Based on the current flawed system, it is extremely unlikely that we would bid again for a franchise. The process is too costly and uncertain, with our latest bid costing £14 million. We have made realistic offers for the East Coast twice before which were rejected by the Department for Transport for completely unrealistic ones and therefore will have to think hard before embarking on another bid.
Note the use of the words "extremely unlikely." Sad face.
For those travelers who never got to experience a trip on Virgin Trains, let us just say this: Having been raised in the US, we are thus also raised not to expect much from train travel, including basic human decency. Our own past trips on Virgin Trains flipped this on its head; sometimes we would hop onto the platform at a destination positively giddy, our faith in rail travel renewed (if just for the short term). And somehow we always managed to score those advance purchase First Class fares that made it doubly sweet with lounge access.
Naturally we hate to see any transportation brand with good motives go away. We're now used to dealing with airline bankruptcies, but trains we take a little harder. Excuse us while we sob in the corner, clutching a steamer trunk.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]