In this article, C Green, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Trains, describes how the West Coast Main Line (WCML) will again become a world class railway; the article is based on his recent George Curry Memorial Lecture and includes a route map. During the 1980s and early 1990s, two attempts to modernise the WCML service failed. After the privatisation of British Rail, Virgin won the franchise bid for the WCML, and aimed to reduce journey times dramatically, and deliver a new modern railway to compete with the car, over the 15 years of its franchise. Virgin decided that it was not sufficient to improve the track to carry 200kph (125mph) trains (PUG1), and to negotiate a further improvement for it to carry 225kph (140mph) trains (PUG2), with capacity increases to allow more frequent trains. PUG2 is a partnership between Virgin and Railtrack under which 80% of Railtrack's #600M investment is underwritten by Virgin. West Coast's additional track access charges. Virgin will be using Pendolino tilting trains with enhanced customer facilities. Railtrack aims to deliver PUG1 standards of track and overhead line renewal by 2002 and PUG2 standards, with 25% journey time reductions, by 2005. Several stretches of WCML line will be widened to four tracks, and safer signalling systems will be introduced.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Ian Allan Publishing, Limited

    Riverdene Business Park, Riverdene Industrial Estate
    Molesey Road
    Walton-on-Tham, Surrey  United Kingdom  KT12 4RG
  • Authors:
    • Green, C
  • Publication Date: 2000-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 43-7,50
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 57
    • Issue Number: 617
    • Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing, Limited
    • ISSN: 0026-8356

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00790340
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Apr 11 2000 12:00AM