Tuesday, 7 October 2014

1966 and all that...

Among all the exhortation of Mr Shooter's Presidential Address there were of course nuggets of interest to those of us who follow the fortunes of the routes between Birmingham and London.

Take timings between the two cities. In 1966, it was promised that the fastest timings between Birmingham and London would be 94 mins (down from 112 mins) with one train an hour using the 100mph capability between New St and Euston (Your New Railway April 1966). Almost fifty years on, Virgin run three trains an hour with average timings of 84 mins (fastest 73 mins) whilst Chiltern match the original electric timings with their diesel powered services.

Mr Shooter's view is that the 'rivalry' (I wonder if Virgin see it as such?) between Chiltern and Virgin has been good for Birmingham, driving up customer service and driving down fares. He is particularly pleased with the ongoing poster wars between the two companies... Of course, his remark came on the day that Chiltern amended their regular Monday wrap-round of the Metro in Birmingham to poke fun at Virgin's 'Arrive Awesome' campaign!

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