FM Design puts Virgin on track

Richard Branson’s Virgin group took control of the Cross Country rail franchise yesterday, running its first train from Edinburgh to Penzance.

The initial livery for the train was developed by FM Design and its subsidiary Design Clinic. FM is currently evaluating the interiors of the existing rolling stock, with a view to refurbishment.

A condition of the franchise award is that Virgin replaces the rolling stock by May 2004.

Virgin is also a final bidder for the West Coast Main Line franchise. Should it win, it will need to spend 750m on rolling stock, creating more work for designers. Final bids from Virgin and rivals Stagecoach and Sea Containers must be in by 30 January.

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