Avanti West Coast unveiled as name for new partnership railway
FirstGroup and Trenitalia’s West Coast Partnership heralds a new era of innovative high-speed rail services
- Avanti West Coast will be the name for the West Coast Main Line
- The bright orange triangle logo symbolises the geographic extent of the 400 mile route
- Avanti is Italian for "Forward" and reflects a mission to deliver an innovative railway service
Avanti West Coast will be the name of the new InterCity West Coast rail franchise, FirstGroup and Trenitalia, the new operators reveal today.
Avanti is Italian for “Forward!” and reflects a mission to deliver an innovative railway service that is “ready for today and fit for the future”, according to the new operators. FirstGroup and Trenitalia will, from 8 December 2019, take over the operation of InterCity West Coast rail services, paving the way for a more comfortable, reliable and greener service.
The service will link London to cities and towns across England, North Wales and Scotland, serving as a “vital economic artery bringing cities and people closer together”.
The Avanti West Coast logo, created by design agency forpeople, is a bright orange triangle, symbolising the geographic extent of the 400-mile long route that serves cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow as well as London and North Wales.
Under the new West Coast Partnership, First Trenitalia is committed to delivering a range of passenger enhancements for InterCity West Coast services and passengers will benefit from more trains, more seats, simplified fares and more frequent services.
The 56 Pendolino trains will be completely refurbished with 25,000 brand new seats, more reliable Wi-Fi and improved catering. By 2022, there will be 263 more train services every week to more places and a fleet of new trains introduced.Fares and ticket types will be simplified with mobile tickets and smartcards introduced.
Stations will be improved with refreshed waiting rooms, better customer facilities, more car park spaces, and greater accessibility for those who need it. The Partnership will also pave the way for a new era in high speed rail in the UK in the coming years, working with HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport.
The new brand and logo were unveiled this evening at a special event in Birmingham attended by more than 200 guests.
Speaking at the launch of the new brand, Steve Montgomery, Managing Director of First Rail, one of the UK’s most experienced rail operators, said: “Today marks the start of a new era in high-speed rail services -one that will generate national prosperity and pride. Avanti West Coast enshrines the type of forward-thinking operation we intend to run, that’s ready for today and fit for the future.
“We’re looking forward to taking over the franchise in 11 days’ time and we are very pleased and proud to be working with Trenitalia, a strong partner who is committed to playing an increasing role in UK rail and has many years of expertise in the high speed sector in Italy.
“We are committed to our customers and over the next few years, we will work with our industry and local partners not only to invest in, and improve, rail services on the route, but also to attract more people to rail and connect communities across the country."
Ernesto Sicilia, Managing Director, Trenitalia (UK) Ltd, said: “It’s an amazing honour to partner with FirstGroup.After our entrance into the British market in 2017, today marks another step in our ambition to play a positive role in the UK rail industry, in which we see a great future. Avanti West Coast is a strong, progressive and dynamic brand that reflects our commitment to providing our customers with an exceptional service. We are thrilled that the name Avanti has been chosen to represent these values to our customers and pays tribute to our expertise in transforming Italian railways. ”
Avanti West Coast
Notes to editors
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Notes to Editors
About the West Coast Partnership
The West Coast Partnership is a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia. The franchise comprises two distinct parts – Avanti West Coast that will run the current services on the West Coast Main Line, and West Coast Partnership Development that will work with HS2 Ltd and the DfT to develop and operate high speed rail services.
Both will work in partnership with stakeholders, communities and customers along the route to develop and enhance rail services and help stimulate economic growth. The new partnership will build on the existing success and culture of the current operator by bringing together the best parts of both Virgin Trains and First Trenitalia. Our goal is to “deliver a progressive railway service that generates nationwide prosperity and pride”.
FirstGroup plc (LSE: FGP.L) is a leading provider of transport services in the UK and North America. With £7.1 billion in revenue and around 100,000 employees, we transported 2.2 billion passengers last year. Whether for business, education, health, social or recreation – we get our customers where they want to be, when they want to be there. We create solutions that reduce complexity, making travel smoother and life easier.
We provide easy and convenient mobility, improving quality of life by connecting people and communities. Each of our five divisions is a leader in its field: In North America, First Student is the largest provider of home-to-school student transportation with a fleet of 42,500 yellow school buses, First Transit is one of the largest providers of outsourced transit management and contracting services, while Greyhound is the only nationwide operator of scheduled intercity coaches. In the UK, First Bus is one of Britain's largest bus companies with 1.6 million passengers a day, and First Rail is one of the country's largest and most experienced rail operators, carrying 345 million passengers last year. Visit www.firstgroupplc.com and follow us @firstgroupplc on Twitter.
Trenitalia is Italy’s primary rail operator and one of the leading railway operators in Europe with presence also in France, Germany and Greece. In UK through its subsidiary Trenitalia UK the Group runs c2c franchisee. Trenitalia is the only high-speed operator in the world that faces domestic rail competition while giving exceptional service to its customers and producing revenues of over €5.37bn. Trenitalia offers two major services: high-speed rail and regional transport. The company is best known for its iconic Frecciarossa high-speed services.
Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, the ultimate shareholder of Trenitalia, is the main Italian transport company with €58bn of investments in its business plan for 2019-2023. The Group is contributing to the overall investment volume in the country and supporting the development and the improvement of the transport, infrastructure, logistics and tourism sectors. FS Italiane’s operating revenue grew to €12bn in 2018, producing an EBITDA of €2.5bn with a net result of €560m.