On December 9th First Trenitalia, to be known as Aventi, take over the West Coast Main Line services from Virgin. Express services between London Euston, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh via Preston are effected.
Also in December new trains, Class 397, are being introduced by First Trans-Pennine Express on the Manchester to Glasgow and Edinburgh, Liverpool to Glasgow and Edinburgh all via Preston. These replace the Class 350 which appear more like suburban trains.
This gives First a monopoly of services to Glasgow and Edinburgh from Preston.
Virgin have run the West Coast Main Line successfully since March 1997 and most people are sorry to see them go. However the government decided their bid was non-compliant over a dispute about pension liabilities.
Also Northern has introduced its Class 195 Diesels and 331 Electric version of the new ‘Civity’ trains. These run on diesel between Manchester Airport and Barrow. The electric versions run from Manchester to Blackpool and Liverpool to Blackpool.