Virgin Trains East Coast set to complete handover to LNER

A Virgin Trains East Coast Class 91 / 225 departs Leeds with a service to Kings Cross
A Virgin Trains East Coast Class 91 / 225 departs Leeds with a service to Kings Cross
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Virgin Trains East Coast will hand over the East Coast franchise to London North Eastern Railway (LNER) this weekend.

The change of ownership comes after VTEC delivering leading customer satisfaction scores and investing £75 million in improving train services.

Passenger numbers have grown by 5% building on 21.8m journeys in 2017/18.

The operator is 90% owned by Stagecoach Group and 10% by Virgin Group has also prepared for the introduction of Azuma trains from this December.

Virgin took over the East Coast franchise in 2015, the takeover will not affect Virgin Trains West Coast.

What did the officials say?

Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group, said he was proud of the achievements made during Virgin Trains’ tenure, despite the contractual challenges it faced.

“Our people can be fiercely proud of everything they’ve achieved: from delivering huge investment and high levels of customer satisfaction, to providing new services and benefits for passengers and creating hundreds of new jobs. The growth we’re now seeing proves our initiatives are paying off and the railway we hand over to LNER is not only better than we inherited, but one that has been positively transformed for customers and ready to continue our journey of improvement with the introduction of the new Azuma train fleet from December.”


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  • In that case of say goodbye to them. Farewell Virgin Trains East Coast. 1st March 2015-23rd June 2018.

    I hope that London North Eastern Railway will become a better train operator for the East Coast Main Line and to provide better services aswell bringing in brand new Class 800’s and Class 801’s Azuma fleets to replace the Class 43’s & Class 91’s Intercity fleets.

    Hope that the government can extend the franchise from 2 years to 5 years.