Class 380 EMU at Drem on its first day
Rail Action Group East of Scotland
RAGES

Contents

Berwick Gallery

Berwick waiting room revamp October 2018. Photo: B Forrest.

 

Berwick waiting room revamp October 2018. Photo: B Forrest.

 

LNER Train near Berwick. Photo: B Forrest.

 

Virgin Trains East Coast train at Burnmouth. Photo: B Forrest.

 

Virgin Trains East Coast train at Berwick station. Photo: B Forrest.

 

CrossCountry train at Berwick station with latest sign. Photo: B Forrest.

 

East Coast train at Berwick station in previous livery. Photo: B Forrest.

 

East Coast Main Line Services

Whilst RAGES main aim is the re-instatement of the local service between Edinburgh and Berwick, we maintain a watchful eye on the East Coast main line services run by CrossCountry and Virgin Trains East Coast and take any action as appears necessary.

Berwick Station

Our Berwick Representative, Barrie Forrest BEM, visited the station last week (4th October) and reports that the booking office has again moved and reduced from two windows to one. 

Barrie noted that there were long queues and a lot of frustration.

His photographs taken at his visit are seen opposite.

East Coast Main Line Franchise Now LNER

On 16th May 2018, David Horne, Managing Director of Virgin Trains East Coast, wrote to RAGES to update us on their East Coast Main Line services following the Secretary of State for Transport’s statement.

"The Government has announced that our contract will come to an end on 24th June 2018 and that the services we currently run will be delivered by the Operator of Last Resort (OLR). We are deeply disappointed at the Government’s decision and that we cannot continue to deliver our transformational plans for the franchise, building on our 75 million worth of investment since 2015.

"We are very proud of the VTEC team’s exceptional contribution in transforming the passenger experience on the East Coast Main Line – achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction of any franchised operator in the UK. In less than three years, we have undertaken a full refurbishment of our existing fleet, created 48 new services between London and Edinburgh and delivered industry-leading initiatives for our customers, including Advance Purchase on the day tickets. We have laid the groundwork for the rollout of the 65 new state-of-the-art Intercity Express Programme (IEP) trains, which will be entering service from December, adding thousands more seats for passengers. Our colleagues will continue to support the successful delivery of the franchise and the IEP rollout, working for London North Eastern Railway, and we wish them every success.

"Virgin and Stagecoach are privileged to have operated trains on behalf of the UK Government for the past 22 years. In doing so, we have always met in full our contractual commitments. While we have highlighted our track record of innovation, investment and customer improvements, we of course regret that our plans and ambitions for the East Coast franchise have not proceeded as we originally envisaged.

"I wanted to take this opportunity to echo the Secretary of State’s reassurances that the changes to the contract will not impact on the day-to-day operation of train services and ticketing, and customers can continue their travel plans with complete confidence."

See the "new" livery in the gallery opposite.

Franchise - VTEC

Virgin Trains East Coast took over the east coast main line franchise on 1 March 2015.  More details are in The Rages Rag issue 64.

Meet the Manager

Prior to the new franchisee takeover, in February 2015, Barrie Forrest met Jonny Holdcroft, Stakeholder Communications Manager, at Berwick.

Tom Thorburn met the Manager at Dunbar on the same day.

The points raised can be seen in The Rages Rag issue 64

RAGES Meeting with East Coast MD

In the hope to get improved services at Dunbar with East Coast, a meeting with Karen Boswell, Managing Director of East Coast to discuss their service in our area took place on 19th March 2012 and is reported in The Rages Rag Issue 53.