Avanti West Coast unveiled as name of new Scotland-London train operator

A new teal-like "graphene", black, orange and white livery will replace Virgin Trains' red. Picture: Avanti West Coast
A new teal-like "graphene", black, orange and white livery will replace Virgin Trains' red. Picture: Avanti West Coast
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Avanti West Coast was tonight announced as the new name for the company taking over Scotland-London trains on the west coast main line next month.

Outgoing operator Virgin Trains’ red livery will also be replaced with a teal-like “graphene”, orange, black and white colour scheme when the FirstGroup-Trenitalia consortium assumes control on Sunday 8 December.

The new logo reflects the operator's geographical area, stretching to central Scotland and north Wales

The new logo reflects the operator's geographical area, stretching to central Scotland and north Wales

Aberdeen-based First, which has a 70 per cent stake in the tie-up with Italian state railways, has pledged to upgrade the trains with new seats, more reliable wi-fi and better catering.

The operator has also pledged simplified tickets, more services and upgraded facilities at stations.

The name Avanti, or “forward”, brings a further Italian touch to the operation, on top of the Italian-built electric Pendolino tilting trains which were introduced by Virgin a decade ago.

The new 12-year contract covers Glasgow and Edinburgh services to and from Euston, including via Birmingham.

Avanti said its name “reflects a mission to deliver an innovative railway service that is ready for today and fit for the future”.

However, the operator has yet to say with what it will replace a second fleet of diesel Voyager tilting trains.

There are fears within the industry that this will lead to increased journey times because no new tilting trains are available, which are able take corners faster on the twisty west coast route.

The Avanti logo includes an orange triangle to symbolise the franchise area, stretching as far west as north Wales.

Design expert Susanna Freedman, director of Edinburgh-based Brand Insiders, said: "There is good rationale behind the inspiration for the brand identity, with the triangle in the logo symbolising the three geographic points on the west coast route.

"It's straightforward and meaningful."

"Design is so subjective - what may appear bland, uninteresting or overly simple to some can be clean, considered and refined to others.

"This brand has wide-ranging stakeholders from its customer base to various partners, industry and government audiences.

"It needs a visual language which is appropriate for corporate communications with the ability to flex for a consumer audience.

"Using the bright orange colour and friendly language to amplify and bring energy to its consumer face works well, reflecting what they do and the experience promised to customers.

"The real test success for this brand will be delivering on that promise."

First Rail managing director Steve Montgomery, who ran ScotRail for First until 2015, 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.”

Ernesto Sicilia, managing director of Trenitalia (UK), which has run Essex train operator c2c since 2017, said: “Avanti West Coast is a strong, progressive and dynamic brand that reflects our commitment to providing our customers with an exceptional service.

“We are thrilled that the name Avanti has been chosen to represent these values to our customers and pays tribute to our expertise in transforming Italian railways.”