Letter to Virgin Trains colleagues
- By Richard Branson -
- Aug 15, 2012
Wanted to share my letter to all of our Virgin Trains colleagues following the government's West Coast rail service decision...
I can hardly express my disappointment and frustration over the Government decision that means we will not be able to run the West Coast rail service after December.
We did everything possible to put together a strong, deliverable bid and I know it would have brought fantastic benefits for customers, staff and taxpayers.
But in the end the decision rests with Government and we have to respect that, however much we disagree with the process behind it.
Despite our huge disappointment in this outcome, we should reflect on the successes we have achieved together.
It is over 15 years since we started on Mission Impossible – aiming to transform rail travel.
Many of you were here at the start of that journey in 1997. You stayed loyal through tough years when Railtrack collapsed and we suffered endless disruption as the track was upgraded.
But gradually you showed that Virgin offered something different – attention to customer service, innovation and a real desire to keep improving.
Customers have recognised that and millions more have switched to rail in recent years as you have achieved the highest satisfaction scores of 91% – higher than ever achieved by a long-distance franchise. With all that success behind us, it is heartbreaking to see the franchise taken away when there are many more new ideas still to be introduced.
However, I remain proud of what was achieved – often against the odds – and I am certain history will show that Virgin Trains was crucial in changing rail travel for the better.
That is entirely down to your efforts and you should take pride in everything you have delivered in recent years.
With best wishes,
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group