Name of new West Coast train operator revealed

According to the group, the new name embodies progress and forward movement.

The train operator set to replace Virgin Trains is going to be known as Avanti – the Italian word for “forward”.

Aberdeen-based FirstGroup, along with the Italian firm Trenitalia, are taking over the West Coast Main Line from 8 December.

According to the group, the Avanti name embodies progress and forward movement.

The logo, which will be displayed on trains and at stations, encompasses an orange triangle, which symbolizes the three geographic points of the 400-mile long West Coast Main Line that services cities and towns across England, North Wales and Scotland.

The new train operator has pledged to deliver a range of enhancements for passengers, including an additional 263 services a week by 2022.

In addition, the current fleet of 56 Pendolino trains used by Virgin will be completely refurbished.

Passengers are being promised 25,000 new seats, more reliable Wi-Fi, improved catering and simpler fares.

The partnership will also pave the way for a new era in high speed rail in the UK in the coming years, working with HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport.

First Rail managing director Steve Montgomery said: “We are committed to our customers and over the next few years we will work with our industry and local partners not only to invest in and improve rail services on the route, but also to attract more people to rail and connect communities across the country.”

Trenitalia UK managing director Ernesto Sicilia said: “Avanti West Coast is a strong, progressive and dynamic brand that reflects our commitment to providing our customers with an exceptional service.”

Both of the companies involved in the new franchise already run rail services in the UK.

FirstGroup currently operates Great Western Railway, South Western Railway and TransPennine Express, while Trenitalia runs trains on the c2c line between east London and Essex.