Its all gone Pete Tong!
Page last updated 12/06/2013
Operation Princess was to be a big step to far for Virgin XC, delays overcrowding and complaints galore saw them retrench the service. Many locations lost there service completely.
The Brighton line services were cut by 2/3rds and was now worse than back in 1979.
Article from Virgin trains Mediaroom, 16/01/2003 (South).
Virgin Trains restructures CrossCountry - Southern region
VIRGIN Trains and the Strategic Rail Authority today announced changes to the Virgin Cross-Country timetable to help focus and develop the service and improve performance.
Following timetable adjustments already made, Virgin Trains will complete the restructuring on 18 May with more comprehensive alterations to the service to maintain frequency on core routes and to provide more seats on principal long distance trains for the summer.
Five coach Super Voyager trains will take priority on services between Bournemouth, Scotland via Manchester and Newcastle.
The company’s introduction last September of a restructured and high frequency Cross-Country service provided by state-of-the-art Voyager trains has attracted a welcome 40 per cent increase in passenger volume compared to one year ago.
Popularity of the service has, regrettably, been marred by cancellations, overcrowding and poor punctuality, and this has highlighted the need to refocus Cross-Country as a long distance rather than regional and local passenger operation. Also, Voyager trains have proved to be more than twice as reliable as their predecessors, but need their planned quality maintenance time to keep them on top form.
Note to Editors:
Service alterations in the south will include: Services to/from Brighton will be reduced to two southbound and one northbound. A secondary service will start at Gatwick Airport. We still aim to provide an hourly service to/from Gatwick Airport when paths become available. The 14:38 Bournemouth to Edinburgh, the 15:38 Bournemouth to Glasgow and the 16:38 Bournemouth to Manchester services will call at Oxford to pick up only. Customers wishing to alight at Oxford will need to change at Reading. The 13:38 Bournemouth to Newcastle and the 14:38 Bournemouth to Edinburgh will call at Coventry to set down only. Some Bournemouth to Scotland services will no longer call at Banbury or Leamington Spa.
Virgin Trains will no longer serve Portsmouth, Paddington, Poole, Didcot Parkway or Solihull. A half hourly service between Birmingham New Street – Oxford – Reading will be maintained.
TIMETABLE and ROUTE:
As you can see the service has been decimated with just two train each way including Sundays. Even with this minimal service why on earth does the lunchtime arrival in Brighton not return north. It would appear to stable at Three Bridges for the next morning, if so what a waste of resources.
Monday to Saturday the northbound services both ran via Kensington Olympia, I think they were still routed via Solihull but now did not call there. The morning departure ran to Liverpool for the summer reverting to Manchester for the winter timetable. Sundays saw both trains running to Liverpool for the summer, both terminated at New Street for the winter timetable. Southbound all departures were from Manchester, only the morning departure ran via Kensington Olympia everything else running via Guildford. Summer Sundays saw both trains start from Manchester, Stockport was omitted due to engineering works.
1M02 on Saturdays was booked to run via Tulse Hill, Herne Hill and Factory Junction.
Southbound all services bar one started from Manchester, from the Winter timetable services ran via Stoke rather than via Crewe.
From the 4th of January 2004 a revised timetable came into force this mainly affected the Sunday trains which were altered almost every weekend due to engineering works. These have not been included in the details below as we would end up with another page just for Sundays!