Posts Tagged ‘East Coast Mainline’

No seats on Virgin Trains East Coast Mainline

December 14, 2016

A few months ago, Jeremy Corbyn caused a kerfuffle when found sitting on the floor near the door on a Virgin train on the East Coast Mainline.

Richard Branson claimed it was a publicity stunt.

As regular travellers are well aware, these trains either have occupied seats or are reserved.

And so it was today on the 1330 Kings Cross to Edinburgh train, arrives Edinburgh 1830.

I can personally vouch for what Jeremy Corbyn has stated are the conditions on Virgin Trains East Coast Mainline

August 23, 2016
Virgin Train at King's Cross

Virgin Train at King’s Cross

Virgin Train CCTV shows seats either occupied or reserved

Virgin Train CCTV shows seats either occupied or reserved

Jeremy Corbyn was pictured sitting on the floor by the door of a Virgin Train, bound for Newcastle on the East Coast Mainline, due to overcrowded train, nowhere to sit.

Not true proclaim Virgin Trains, we have the film footage to prove it.

I cannot comment on this particular train, 1100 Newcastle train from King’s Cross, but I can personally vouch that this is the situation on Virgin Trains heading North from King’s Cross.

I walk the length of the platform, dragging my luggage, lugging my laptop, looking for a seat.

Do I find a seat? No. What appears to be empty seats are not, they all have reserved tickets.

I get to the end of the train.

I get on, ignore the reservation, and take a seat. I encourage others to do the same.

Last time I did this, a  passenger came along and claimed their seat. I gladly gave it up. They kindly said, as you are getting off at the next stop, keep the seat until then.

This train was one coach short. Whether now the norm, I do not know.

The train was in an appalling state of repairs.

I was on the 1330 to Newcastle, overcrowded, lack of luggage space, every seat reserved.

Toilet door, lock broken. Nigh impossible to get out of toilet, as door jammed, brute force required to open. Bin for paper, hanging open, not been emptied.

When I walked down to the buffet car, people were sitting on the floor, sitting on their luggage by the doors.

By buffet car, cupboard hanging open, broken.

Totally inadequate luggage space.

One coach missing.

At Newark, passengers barely had time to get off the train.

Virgin Trains even rip passengers off on the so-called ‘free’ wifi. All of 15 minutes free, then have to pay.

This is the reality of travelling on the East Coast Mainline since Virgin Trains took over. It was never like this when the line was in public ownership, but against strong public opposition, it was handed to Richard Branson.

Speaking to staff, they confirmed my own observations, serious deterioration since Branson took over.

I was not on the train with Jeremy Corbyn, but those who were, confirm that the train was overcrowded and people were forced to sit by the door, which is the norm on Virgin Trains on the East Coast Mainline.

So who do we believe, Jeremy Corbyn, fellow passengers, or a man who knows his profiteering from the NHS and the railways will hit the buffers if Labour led by Jeremy Corbyn win the next election?

Virgin East Coast Mainline

December 21, 2015

East Coast Mainline was the only network in public hands.

It was handed to Richard Branson.

Has it improved?

No.

1330 to Newcastle, overcrowded, lack of luggage space, every seat reserved.

Toilet door, lock broken. Nigh impossible to get out of toilet, as door jammed, brute force required to open. Bin for paper, hanging open, not been emptied.

By buffet car, cupboard hanging open, broken.

Totally inadequate luggage space.

One coach missing.

At Newark, passengers barely had time to get off the train.

East Coast at Kings Cross

February 10, 2015
East Coast train at Kings Cross

East Coast train at Kings Cross

Kings Cross is where East Coast trains from the north terminate.

1802 York to Kings Cross yesterday evening, seats more like comfy armchairs (though a little too soft), roomy, lots of leg room. Free wifi.

Arrived at Kings Cross five minutes early then had to wait five minutes to be cleared for a platform.

This is how train travel should be, but a rarity with privatised rail companies, all out to fleece the passenger whilst at the same time providing a piss poor service.

East Coast Mainline is publicly owned, but not for much longer, it has been flogged off to Richard Branson and Stagecoach.

Flogging off East Coast Mainline

November 27, 2014
David Cameron flogs East Coast Mainline to Richard Branson

David Cameron flogs East Coast Mainline to Richard Branson

We have 10 days to tell the Government re-privatising the East Coast Mainline is a terrible deal for passengers and for taxpayers. — Caroline Lucas

Anyone who travels by train knows it is broke and we pay through the nose, with year on year above inflation hikes in rail fares.

Travel at weekend, especially on a Sunday when frequency of trains is poor and connections bad, and you have the nightmare of railworks.

Travel on the Reading-Gatwick line with First Great Western, and the toilets are in filthy condition.

First Great Western can no longer even be bothered to print and display a revised timetable. And it is no use asking at the ticket office, as they do not know either

Travel on the Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line and you get filthy Third World inner-city cattle trucks fit for a scrapyard.

Travel on the East Coast Mainline and you get clean, fast trains, pleasant helpful staff, free wifi (though very limited).

It will surprise many to learn, this line is state owned.

With the failure of Sea Containers, the company that owned the company that owned the East Coast Mainline, it reverted to the state. It was then flogged to National Express, who proved to be disaster,and it was taken back into state control.

In the five years it has been run by the public sector, East Coast has returned nearly £1 billion to the taxpayer, as well as increasing passenger numbers, introducing a new timetable, improving punctuality, investing in ageing rolling stock and establishing industry leading approaches to waste recycling and reducing carbon emissions.

In Switzerland, they take a pragmatic approach, whether or not public or private it is dependent upon what works best.

For ConDen government, it a religious dogma, anything that can be privatised must be privatised, irrespective of what the evidence says.

nationalised or privatised

nationalised or privatised

Ask those who use the railways, is privatisation of the railways a success, and they will tell you no.

They want to see railways brought back into public ownership.

They also want to see the HS2 gravy train scrapped, and the money instead ploughed back into the existing rail network.

It therefore beggars belief that the Government has announced it intends to flog the franchise back to a private operator again, despite the success of the public sector rescue. This is privatisation for privatisation’s sake.

David Cameron is poised to hand East Coast Mainline to Richard Branson.

The new company running the London-Edinburgh trains will be Inter City Railways, a joint venture 90%-owned by Stagecoach with the trains branded Virgin Trains East Coast. Sir Richard Branson retains a 10% stake.

This is is like handing over the Royal Mail to the private sector.

This is handing public assets, our assets, to the private sector.

Have those who use East Coast Mainline been asked if they wish to see it handed to Richard Branson?

The East Coast Mainline should remain in our hands.

David Cameron is doing the dirty. He is trying to hand it over before the General Election, as he knows he is going to be out of office after the election.

The public has just ten days to object to this state give away.


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