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Megatrain

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Megatrain

Megatrain
Overview
Franchise(s): Integrated into Stagecoach Group franchises
(East Midlands Trains and South West Trains)
Integrated into Virgin CrossCountry
March 2006 - November 2007
Main Town(s): Sheffield, Portsmouth, Southampton, Nottingham
Other Town(s): London, Chesterfield, Leicester, Loughborough
Parent company: Stagecoach Group
Web site: www.megatrain.com

Megatrain offers low cost intercity train travel via the Megabus website, using yield management pricing, on East Midlands Trains and South West Trains which are rail franchises in the United Kingdom operated by Scottish-based Stagecoach Group. The services began on 1 November 2005.

Contents

  • Service overview 1
  • Routes 2
  • History 3
    • Former routes 3.1
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Service overview

Megatrain offers low cost intercity train travel on East Midlands Trains and South West Trains both of which are owned by Stagecoach Group. In addition, Megabusplus tickets allow combined coach and train journeys to London via East Midlands Parkway railway station with Feeder services from Huddersfield - Halifax - Bradford, Harrogate - York - Castleford and Hull - Scunthorpe. A similar scheme is available from The Trainline on Virgin Trains West Coast between London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly (Virgin Trains is 49% owned by Stagecoach).

In the UK, prices are advertised as starting at £1, with a 50p booking fee. Megatrain follows the yield management model typically used by low-cost airlines where the lowest fares are offered to those who book early or on less popular journeys. Tickets must be purchased in advance, via their website or by telephone.

Services are available Monday to Saturday only, with no service on Sundays or many public holidays.

Routes

Route Start date Notes
Sheffield - Chesterfield - Derby - Loughborough - Leicester - London St Pancras International 2 January 2008
Nottingham - Loughborough - Leicester - London St Pancras International 2 January 2008 Replacement for the M13 Megabus route.
Sheffield - Chesterfield - Nottingham - Peterborough - Norwich 5 January 2009 No longer available
East Midlands Parkway - London St Pancras International 20 March 2009 Part of the Megabusplus service, providing onward coach connections to Yorkshire
Portsmouth Harbour - Portsmouth & Southsea - London Waterloo 1 November 2005
Havant - London Waterloo 29 October 2007
Southampton Central - London Waterloo 1 November 2005
Bournemouth/Poole/Weymouth - London Waterloo 22 April 2006
Salisbury - London Waterloo 22 April 2006
Yeovil Junction - London Waterloo 22 April 2006
Axminster - London Waterloo 29 October 2007
Honiton - London Waterloo 29 October 2007
Exeter St Davids - Exeter Central - London Waterloo 22 April 2006
Bath Spa - London Waterloo 22 April 2006
Bristol Temple Meads - London Waterloo 22 April 2006
Birmingham New Street - Coventry - London 2009 Selected journeys as part of Virgin Trains
Birmingham New Street - Edinburgh Waverley 2011 Selected journeys as part of Virgin Trains

History

Megatrain announced by Stagecoach, on 31 October 2005: there will be more than 3000 seats available each week.[1]

The concept was piloted on South West Trains, Stagecoach's first franchise. The first services of Megatrain were on the London Waterloo to Portsmouth and London Waterloo to Southampton routes. The trains continue to be operated as standard timetabled services by South West Trains but with designated areas for Megatrain customers. The service was launched on 1 November 2005 for trains to start running on 14 November 2005. The price of tickets range from £1 to £19.

From 22 April 2006, the scheme was expanded to provide cheap rail travel on South West Trains services from London Waterloo to Bristol Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Exeter St Davids/Exeter Central, Yeovil Junction, Bournemouth, Weymouth and Salisbury in addition to the Southampton Central and Portsmouth and Southsea/Portsmouth Harbour services. Poole has since been added as an option on the Weymouth line. From 29 October 2007, following the completion of the Portsmouth area engineering works, the scheme now also operates on services from London Waterloo to Havant, Honiton and Axminster.

On 6 March 2007, the Times Online announces that only 1 in 900 of the passengers carried by either Virgin or South West Trains companies bought a Megatrain low-fare ticket.[2]

On 2 January 2008, the Megatrain concept was extended to certain rail services on the East Midlands franchise, with the introduction of Megatrain between London St Pancras and Sheffield, and London and Chesterfield/Nottingham, on selected East Midlands Trains services.

The new East Midlands Trains franchise was awarded to Stagecoach in November 2007 and from 2 January 2008 Megatrain services started running from London St Pancras International to Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield and Sheffield.[3]

The service was available on the following Virgin Trains (which is 49% owned by Stagecoach) services as well: Penzance - Bristol Temple Meads, Bournemouth and Southampton Central - Birmingham New Street, Manchester Piccadilly - Glasgow Central/Edinburgh Waverley and Morpeth - Edinburgh Waverley. Tickets are also available from some intermediate stops on these routes. These routes were withdrawn on 11 November 2007 when the train services were transferred to CrossCountry, owned by Arriva.

At the start of 2009 more routes were introduced between Norwich and Nottingham, and Leicester and Sheffield.[4]

In March 2009 Megabusplus tickets offering for combined coach and train journeys to London via East Midlands Parkway railway station were introduced;[5] Three feeder coach routes were provided: Huddersfield - Halifax - Bradford, Harrogate - York - Castleford and Hull - Scunthorpe.

Former routes

Route Start date End date Notes
Penzance - Bristol Temple Meads 22 April 2006 10 November 2007 Was operated as part of Cross Country franchise
Bournemouth/Southampton Central - Birmingham New Street 22 April 2006 10 November 2007
Manchester Piccadilly - Glasgow Central/Edinburgh Waverley 22 April 2006 10 November 2007 Partially reinstated in 2008 with one early morning journey, and one late evening journey
Morpeth - Edinburgh Waverley 22 April 2006 10 November 2007
Manchester Piccadilly - Glasgow Central January 2008 January 2009 One journey each direction as part of Virgin Trains

References

  1. ^ Bargain rail fares from £1 as Stagecoach launches megatrain.com Stagecoach Group
  2. ^ Plane beats train on cost and speed as discount fares prove elusive
  3. ^ megabus.com-Timetables for London to East Midlands
  4. ^ "From the New Year passengers can visit more destinations with East Midlands Trains for a crazy credit crunching price of just £1!".  
  5. ^ "Rivals do not fear £1 London service". This is Hull. Retrieved 201-02-23. 

External links

  • Official website
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