East Coast (Train Operating Company) - D
East Coast (Train Operating Company) - D
East Coast Rolling Stock
East Coast inherited the rolling stock operated by NXEC, comprising InterCity 125 High Speed Train sets made up of Class 43 power cars and Mark 3 carriages, and InterCity 225 sets made up of Class 91 electric locomotives and Mark 4 carriages and Driving Van Trailers. This same rolling stock dated back to the British Rail era, with some of the HSTs approaching 40 years old by the end of East Coast's operation.
The original franchise holder, GNER, undertook a major refurbishment of its rolling stock from 2003, which it titled "Project Mallard". The Mark 4 carriages were upgraded and refurbished between 2003 and 2005, while work on refurbishing the Mark 3 carriages started under GNER in early 2007 and continued under NXEC, with the final set completed in October 2009. The Mallard interiors were used throughout East Coast's tenure, Rail magazine alleged that, by 2015, some sets were looking particularly worn and in need of another refurbishment or wholesale replacement.
Some minor changes were made to the InterCity 225 fleet, perhaps the most noticeable of which was their repainting into East Coast's silver livery. This repaint was started in June 2010, with the first full set (excluding loco) being released on 30 July 2010. A key concept behind the new livery was that a plain base livery would be readily customisable to suit any potential future operator of the franchise.
East Coast Fleet at End of Franchise
East Coast InterCity 125 Trains (HSTs)
London King's Cross to Lincoln Central, Harrogate, Hull Paragon, Aberdeen and Inverness. Also Skipton to London King's Cross (Saturdays only) and Leeds to Aberdeen
East Coast InterCity 225 Trains
London King's Cross to Leeds, Bradford Forster Square, Newark North Gate, Skipton, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central
East Coast Unused Fleet
East Coast leased five Class 180 Adelante diesel multiple units from Angel Trains with the intention of using them on proposed additional services from London King's Cross to Lincoln and Harrogate. In the event, they never operated in revenue-earning service with East Coast, as the proposed services were never introduced and the units did not find favour with East Coast's parent company Directly Operated Railways. Three of the units were sublet to Northern Rail for use on services from Manchester to Preston and Blackpool, before all five were returned to their original operator, First Great Western, for use on the Cotswold Line.
East Coast Cancelled Fleet
East Coast investigated the use of a single 11-coach Pendolino from July 2011, but ultimately decided instead to lease an extra HST set from East Midlands Trains from May 2011, bringing the number of HSTs leased to East Coast to 14.
East Coast Locomotive Naming
The fleet of Class 91 locomotives inherited by East Coast has carried various names up until 2008. In 2011, in response to customer requests, East Coast resumed the practice. It began by naming 91109 as Sir Bobby Robson, unveiled in a ceremony at Newcastle station on 29 March 2011 by his widow Elsie and Alan Shearer, patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which the company was also now a supporter of.
On 2 June 2012, 91110 was renamed Battle of Britain Memorial Flight by Carol Vorderman at the National Railway Museum as part of the Railfest 2012 Event.
On 16 February 2013, 91107 was renamed Skyfall and temporarily returned to its original 91007 number to mark the James Bond film of the same name, which featured trains extensively and became the highest-grossing film of all time in the United Kingdom.
On 14 October 2014, 91111 was unveiled to mark the 100th anniversary of World War I. The specially-designed East Coast locomotive, named For The Fallen, carries a livery filled with images, stories and tributes to regiments and people who served in them across the East Coast route.
East Coast Performance
The public performance measure (PPM) shows the percentage of trains which arrive at their terminating station on time. It combines figures for punctuality and reliability into a single performance measure. The moving annual average PPM for East Coast by the end of its franchise (P12 2014–14) was 88.2%.
Unlike the majority of rail franchises, East Coast was a profitable ongoing concern. It paid back in excess of £1 billion to the British government over the course of its franchise.
East Coast Loyalty Scheme
East Coast inherited the 'escape' loyalty scheme from National Express which was eventually rebranded as East Coast Rewards. The original scheme involved giving benefits to customers who spent over £1,750 in a three-month period on East Coast tickets. Benefits included first class lounge access for the member and a guest, discounts at partner retailers, 20% off online advance ticket booking and a large number of free first class travel tickets.
As this scheme had a high barrier to entry East Coast launched a revamped loyalty scheme in 2011 which was points based and included all spend on the East Coast website even if booking travel for other operators. The scheme meant rewards such as free travel were now within reach of a greater number of passengers as only a modest spend was required to earn benefits. The scheme initially launched with online bookings only but was then expanded to cover season tickets and business travel.
East Coast TV Series
In November 2013, Sky1 started to broadcast a documentary series "All Aboard East Coast Trains". One of the InterCity 225 sets was painted in a special blue livery which includes faces of employees that feature in the programmes in order to promote the series.
East Coast (Train Operating Company) Overview
East Coast Franchise(s): InterCity East Coast
14 November 2009 – 28 February 2015
East Coast Main Region(s): Greater London
East of England
Yorkshire and the Humber
North East England
East Coast Fleet Size: 31 Class 91 electric locomotives
30 InterCity 225 sets
14 InterCity 125 (HST) sets
East Coast Stations Called At: 53
East Coast Stations Operated: 12
East Coast Parent Company: Directly Operated Railways
East Coast Reporting Mark: GR
East Coast Predecessor: National Express East Coast
East Coast Successor: Virgin Trains East Coast
East Coast Route Map
Dunkeld & Birnam
Bradford Forster Square
Newark North Gate
London King's Cross