The trains, the staff and the entire management team may be staying the same, but passengers on intercity west coast mainline services will next month no longer be boarding a Virgin train but riding on a rebranded, “ready and fit for the future”, Avanti.
The name Avanti, according to new operators FirstGroup and Trenitalia, “embodies progress and forward movement”, and is Italian for “forward” and “let’s go”.
Avanti is already a popular company name in the UK, for firms including tax accountants, numerous Italian restaurants, a hazardous waste collection business and a purveyor of urinal floor mats and jumbo toilet rolls.
Avanti West Coast will also have a new logo: an orange triangle. According to the train operators, the triangle was designed by an independent creative team of more than 100 people working in two locations: an old pickle factory in London and a theatre in Amsterdam.
The triangle, First Trenitalia said, symbolised how their train service will bring communities across England, north Wales and Scotland closer together.
The trains will be painted green and white. The tilting Pendolino trains will be refurbished and eventually phased out from 2022 to be replaced by a new fleet.
First Trenitalia said there would also be 263 more trains a week, as well as new stops along the 400-mile route that takes in major cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
Steve Montgomery, the managing director of FirstGroup’s overall rail division, said the rebranding marked the start of “a new era in high-speed rail services – one that will generate national prosperity and pride”.