The new train operator has taken over! Euston is now the main domain of Avanti West Coast, along with LNWR and Caledonian Sleeper. Virgin’s 22 year regime is over. Will there be changes? It seems so according to Avanti’s publicity. New trains in the pipeline and refurbished Pendolinos. How all this will fare in the light of HS2 and the rebuild of the station, I do not know.
I liked Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Trains operation and it was a classic even though it was not without its faults. Avanti have a hard task ahead to maintain that huge following Virgin Trains had, and its clear from the publicity they have done so far, they are making a good shot at it.
Londonders who were up and about this morning would have seen the front cover of the free newspaper, Metro, adorned with full page Avanti advertising, so that’s evident of the full speed ahead awareness Avanti is going for. It could be easily said that few this morning would not be aware of the new train operation!
Inside the Metro were these other pages….
Avanti are very clear about their aims and objectives for the new operation.
‘We can’t wait to take you to the people you love and the places you need to go to.’
Although its not a new thing and yet seldom done, I sort of liked the presentation of the new timetables. Different looks and layouts for each. Just some examples shown here.
In terms of Euston station they were going for it in a big way. The digital screens have been showing Avanti for sometime, however the floor itself was adorned with huge Avanti lettering over the weekend as the next pictures, which I took, show.
The large digital screens have been extolling the virtues of Avanti for a couple of weeks now.
Avanti in huge letters across the station concourse’s floor.
Avanti’s name and logo visible on the concourse floor.
Some relevant tweets follow:
The staff at New Street are obviously quite enthused about their new arrival!
Avanti are fast off the mark – most stations were rebranded over the weekend!
Avanti are obviously quite pleased with their new look Pendolinos… they published the following tweet while I was writing this post!
I have to admit I did like what this pair of Avanti parody accounts have done…. Have no idea if its disgruntled Virgin employees or not! But we got to see the first pictures of a new Avanti Pendolino emerging in the workshops.
There were some downsides over the weekend though, with passengers complaining about poor communication from Avanti staff at Euston. On top of that Avanti’s brand new website being down and unable to take bookings.
Avanti’s website banner showing the purpose of their red triangle – to denote the area their trains cover.