We'll be taking over responsibility for running the existing InterCity West Coast services on 8 December 2019. In the meantime we’ll be working with Virgin Trains to ensure a smooth transition.
As we go through this process, it’s still business as usual for those who run the current InterCity West Coast services - to keep its trains running every day and provide a quality service to customers. We’ll be working closely with Virgin Trains to keep employees informed about what we’re doing and provide the information needed, with minimal disruption.
We'll be making updates as we progress.
FirstGroup and Trenitalia look forward to working with our future West Coast colleagues to carry on providing great services for customers.
As with all new franchises, there will be some changes which will focus on providing our customers with the best service possible. We are building on the strong foundations of the existing franchise and want to learn more about what works well and what we can improve.
At this stage, we’ve published some of the high-level information on our plans. Further detail on the specific arrangements for the end of the current franchise, as well as specific roles and responsibilities in the new franchise, will follow. Right now, we can share general information here rather than comment on specific changes.
There’ll be a wide range of opportunities for people working in the new franchise. We invest in our people, offering training and development across the business at all levels, giving them opportunities to increase their skills and progress their careers.
We’re introducing a staff app, to help give people information when they need it, where they need it. We also have resources available to make improvements to staff accommodation and will collect people’s ideas on how these can best be invested.
Once the new franchise is underway, we will run a series of workshops with our new colleagues to collect ideas on a wider range of topics, from high speed services to uniforms. We have teams responsible for driving, vehicle maintenance, customer services, safety, planning, finance, and HR. Colleagues will also receive the benefits enjoyed by other FirstGroup and Trenitalia colleagues.
In addition to welcoming nearly 3500 Virgin Trains colleagues to FirstGroup on 08 December 2019, we also expect to be able to offer some new and exciting opportunities within the West Coast Partnership. We will post details of vacancies here, as they arise.