Avanti West Coast has been confirmed as the name of FirstGroup and Trenitalia’s West Coast Partnership.
The use of Avanti has been chosen as it is the Italian word for “forward, let’s go!” reflecting the core aims of the new franchise to deliver a railway service that is innovative, “ready for today and fit for the future.”
First Trenitalia was awarded the franchise in August and will officially operate the West Coast Mainline from 8 December, replacing Virgin Trains who were denied the opportunity to make a bid to retain the franchise.
Avanti West Coast will, they say, deliver a more comfortable, reliable and greener service.
It will link London to various cities and towns throughout England, North Wales and Scotland.
As part of the West Coast Partnership, First Trenitalia has committed to delivering passenger enhancements for InterCity West Coast services, with passengers benefiting from simplified fares, more frequent seats and services, and more trains; 56 Pendolino trains will be refurbished with 25,000 new seats, better Wi-Fi and improved catering.
In addition, 263 more train services will be in place by 2022.
At the launch of Avanti West Coast, Steve Montgomery, Managing Director of First Rail, said: “Avanti West Coast enshrines the type of forward-thinking operation we intend to run, that’s ready for today and fit for the future.
“We’re looking forward to taking over the franchise and we are very pleased and proud to be working with Trenitalia, a strong partner who is committed to playing an increasing role in UK rail and has many years of expertise in the high speed sector in Italy.”
The brand logo – a bright orange triangle that symbolises the geographical extent of the route that serves Britain’s cities – was unveiled at an event in Birmingham that was attended by more than 200 guests.
Going forward, the Partnership will also work with HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport.