InterCity West Coast - A

InterCity West Coast - A
InterCity West Coast (ICWC) was a 1997–2019 railway franchise in the United Kingdom for passenger trains on the West Coast Main Line (and branches thereof), between London Euston, the West Midlands, North Wales, Liverpool, Manchester, Carlisle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and other major destinations between.
The franchise was formed during the privatisation of British Rail and transferred to the private sector on 9 March 1997, when Virgin Trains commenced operations. It was due to be re-let in December 2012, with FirstGroup announced as the winning bidder; this decision was later reversed after the discovery of irregularities in the franchise letting process. In December 2012, Virgin Trains was awarded an extension to continue to run the franchise until November 2014, which was extended in several increments until December 2019.
The InterCity West Coast franchise was superseded on 8 December 2019 by the West Coast Partnership, currently operated by Avanti West Coast.
InterCity West Coast Services
As of March 2017, these were the services offered:
  • A   London Euston - Glasgow Central or Edinburgh Waverley via Birmingham New Street
Milton Keynes Central, Coventry, Birmingham International, Birmingham New Street, Sandwell and Dudley, Wolverhampton, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme Lake District (1tp2h), Penrith (1tp2h), Carlisle, then either (Glasgow Central) or (Haymarket, Edinburgh Waverley).
Trains call alternately at Oxenholme Lake District and Penrith. Before 1 pm, trains to Glasgow Central call at Penrith and trains to Edinburgh call at Oxenholme Lake District. After 1 pm, this is reversed.
Pendolino & Super Voyager 1 tph
  • B   London Euston - Birmingham New Street
Watford Junction (1tph), Rugby (1tph), Coventry, Birmingham International
Trains call alternately at Watford Junction and Rugby.
Peak time services run to/from Wolverhampton. Two daily services run to/from Shrewsbury which are operated by Super Voyagers.
Pendolino & Super Voyager 2 tph
  • C   London Euston - Chester, Bangor, Holyhead and Wrexham General
Milton Keynes Central, Crewe
Certain trains are extended beyond Chester to/from Bangor (Gwynedd) or Holyhead.
1 train on Monday-Friday is extended to/from Wrexham General.
1 train on Monday-Friday runs between Bangor/Holyhead and Birmingham New Street.
Super Voyager 1 tph
  • D   London Euston - Liverpool Lime Street
Stafford, Crewe, Runcorn.
Pendolino 1 tph
  • E   London Euston - Manchester Piccadilly
Milton Keynes Central (1tph), (Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield (1tph) / Crewe, Wilmslow), Stockport
2 tph run via Stoke-on-Trent and 1tph runs via Crewe.
Trains via Stoke-on-Trent call alternately at Milton Keynes Central and Macclesfield. Off-peak trains via Crewe do not call at Milton Keynes Central.
  • F   London Euston - Glasgow Central
Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme Lake District (1tp2h), Penrith (1tp2h), Carlisle.
Trains call alternately at Oxenholme Lake District and Penrith.
One daily weekday service operates to/from Blackpool North which is operated by a Super Voyager or Pendolino.
Pendolino 1 tph
InterCity West Coast 1997 Franchise
The initial franchise was contested by Sea Containers, Stagecoach and Virgin Rail Group. Each submitted two bids, one based on an all tilting train fleet, and another based on a combination of conventional and tilting trains. On 19 February 1997, the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising awarded a 15-year franchise to Virgin Rail Group, with Virgin Trains commencing operations on 9 March 1997.
In order for tilting trains to be operated, Railtrack was committed to upgrade the West Coast Main Line to allow 140 mph operation by 2005. In the wake of the collapse of Railtrack and the inability of its successor Network Rail to deliver the upgrade, the franchise was suspended in favour of a management contract in July 2002. After projected costs greatly increased from £2.5 billion to £10 billion, there were cutbacks to the upgrade and the top speed was reduced to 125 mph.
InterCity West Coast
InterCity West Coast Current Operator: Avanti West Coast
InterCity West Coast Main Route(s): West Coast Main Line
InterCity West Coast Stations Called At: 44
InterCity West Coast Stations Operated: 17
InterCity West Coast Dates of Operation: 9 March 1997 - 7 December 2019
InterCity West Coast Track Gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in)
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