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this is an absolute disaster.
shit like this happens all the time
It's been fairly well run by Virgin - frequent service, comfortable trains, not too expensive if you book in advance - and now it's being taken away from them and given to the notoriously awful First Group.
(Yes, I know sometimes the Virgin trains are overcrowded, sometimes they're expensive, they've not perfect, but they're a hell of a lot better than First.)
And it doesn't happen all the time, Virgin has had the route since 1997 and this new contract means First will have it until 2026.
They do Great Western, and in my experience are a lot less cramped than the Virgin ones that go up and down from Euston. Those Virgin ones are too short as well, hit my head on everything on those things. Having said that, it's likely that they'll do what Cross Country did when they bought some of Virgin's franchise and just keep the same trains and rebrand them.
Granted I don't use it to commute but by all accounts it's a massive clusterfuck most of the time. Even on a quiet Sunday afternoon from London to Bristol the train will 60% of the time every time hit a delay somewhere on the line (usually outside fucking Reading.)
IIRC Cross Country just painted them, but First has said they're going to srip out the catering areas (so presumably there'll just be a trolley instead of s ahop you can walk to)and change seat configurations in order to fit more people in.
so not that bad a loss
would feel a bit garish posting an emoticon though
even getting accused of being a terrorist for doing the research in train stations, so...me?