East Coast Main Line
The East Coast franchise has been in public hands since 2009 but a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin will take over the franchise on 1 March. Its plans include 23 new services to and from London and 3,100 extra seats for the morning peak time by 2020. Virgin and Stagecoach already operate rail services on the West Coast main line and I hope they don’t change their meal offering. The beef and ale stew with cobbler is packed with flavour. So much so that I asked for a spoon to mop up the gravy. Carrots are also not enough to accompany the meat but it is a sound option. What isn’t good is the staff knowledge of dietry problems (lactost and gluten) and also why, or why, do they keep adding herbs and mayo to sandwiches. Simple, pain food – ham, cheese, chicken – would suffice and probably suit more passengers instead of the jazzed-up sarnies now offered.