Rail Changes Afoot4th July 2006
A few weeks ago, I learned of a change to the CrossCountry rail franchise that has me quite concerned: the excision of the northern portion of the West Coast Mainline from the network so that trains can be cascaded to the London-Holyhead route. Though this is not due to occur until November 2007, I still have my reservations about the plans.
The result of the change is that CrossCountry services will not run north of Manchester or Crewe. From what I read in Rail magazine, Transpennine Express (TPE) is pencilled in for Manchester-Scotland services, a backward step in my opinion. The first problem is capacity: the Voyagers are 4/5 carriage affairs. The second is train quality: so long as TPE run their newer trains, it may not be much of a problem but they usually are 2/3 carriage affairs. Let’s hope that we don’t get the older ones where air conditioning failure is a real possibility. Still, there will be Virgin West Coast trains for Glasgow or, if I really feel flush, the East Coast Mainline.