Branson has gone off the rails

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by northern-matelot, Aug 15, 2012.

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  1. Branson Goes Berserk as Virgin Loses Rail Franchise | Gizmodo UK

    So it looks like we will no longer be seeing the sigh of the red and silver pedilinoe's running from London to the North, instead being replaced by First. Personally I can't stand First as they seem to strip every thing they do to the bare minimum and charge sky high prices still. What with the costs of rail prices already going up in Jan, I can see that getting about is going to be even more of a nightmare soon!
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  2. Indian Railways
  3. Virgin are shite as well, they're both just gouging the tax payer for offering a lousy overpriced service that would be a laughingstock in mainland Europe. Virgin have the added defect of being run by a bearded little tit who mistakes crony capitalism for being an entrepreneur.
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  4. [​IMG]
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  5. I see they have improved Birmingham New Street since the last time I was there.
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  6. I can see why Mr Branson threw his toys out of the pram. He prefers doing business with Government along the lines of the Virgin Money deal.
    Putting that aside, FirstGroup do not appear to have an unblemished track record.

  7. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    One of my favourite memories of Branson was being on a train some years ago that stopped at Crewe. Branson was there with some of the characters from Alice in Wonderland - the dormouse, the mad hatter, etc. I presume they were filming a commerial or suchlike.

    Someone stuck their head out of a carriage window and bellowed "is that your new board, Richard?"

    Beardie had a sense of humour failure....

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  8. Someone having the freedom & pleasure of being able to stick their head out of a carriage window, was certainly a few years ago.
  9. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    It's been a number of years since I travelled regularly from Manchester/Liverpool to London with Virgin, but the service was good. In First Class you got "free" food and booze. I now travel between Cardiff and London on First Great Western. The service is shite and travelling first class only gets you a bigger seat (and it costs more).
  10. Must have been the driver.

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  11. Seems beardie might be troubled by the loss of the £200M is was trousering in dividends each year in return for his 50% stake.
  12. Branson has always had a fondness for boorish behaviour - he is quite well-known for shoving dinner-jacketed fellow-guests into a convenient pool, pond or fountain and deriding them for being poor sports if they fail to find it as funny as he does. I've always felt he planned his customer service along those lines.

    The story has often been told - and I hope it is true - that he once pulled this trick with a little Frenchman in a velvet suit on some private resort island, and had to leave rather fast when the chap went off to his chalet to change, before returning with a gun.
  13. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    Don't know much, but I do know this. Virgin trains has a policy that a conductor can upgrade any serving member of HM Forces to first class at no cost at their own discretion.
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  14. Agreed, First are a bunch of twats, licensed to legally conduct highway robbery. The Scotrail franchise or monopoly & the town of North Berwick is a classic example. They run both the trains & the buses to the town & you can tell by the way the fares are structured, or rather fixed. Once they get it all sown up, the passenger gets well & truly soaked. Now, with their acquisition of the west coast mainline franchise, they are just having the opportunity handed to them on a plate to get it even more sown up. By mainstream european standards, our railways are an utter joke.

    They can`t even run the Scotrail franchise properly. Having passed through Waverly station in Edinburgh every other month over the last year, they have the nerve to present what they call a first class lounge, one of only 2 in Scotland, the other being in Aberdeen, to those willing or foolish enough to be willing to pay for a premium ticket & expect anything in return. Bearing in mind, this is supposed to be the capital of Scotland, a country with ambitions to be independant. On one occasion, it looked like nothing more than a store cupboard for boxes & assorted dross. On another occasion, the tv did`nt work for weeks on end, with the excuse, the building work had done for the aerial. On another two occasions, right in the middle of a normal working day it was shut & the explanation given was staff shortage after having fought through a police cordon of ticket collectors at the barriers. All of which just emphasises, that all they are interested in is making sure they collect all the money & their idea of their number 1 service priority is combatting fare avoidance. End of rant.

    I can only hope they fail spectacularly & have to beg to give the franchise back, sooner rather than later, just like what happened on the east coast, now effectively nationalised once agin.
  15. In the Spring Branson had a go at Team Dave for not doing enough to encourage economic recovery. Went down like an lead balloon as he'd been bigging the Tories up in 2010 and scooped up Northern Rock at a discount price. I'm sure none of this is connected, that would just be a sordid rentier relationship more typical of a third world country or New Jersey.