This report looks at Virgin Rail Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Richard Branson's Virgin Group Ltd. Virgin Trains are one of the largest passenger train operators in Britain with more than 1600 services a week calling at over 130 stations.
Virgin Rail operates two franchises, the West Coast Main Line and CrossCountry Trains. Birmingham is the hub of the Virgin Trains network from which frequent services are provided to London, Manchester, Sheffield Reading and Bristol with regular services to Glasgow, Edinburg, Aberdeen and New Castle in the north and Brighton, Bournemouth and Penzance in the south and west.
Virgin Trains plan for the future is to invest in brand new high-speed tilting and conventional trains both being capable of running much faster than current trains, thus reducing journey times for both West Coast and CrossCountry services.
In analysing the Virgin Rail's marketing strategies I intend to use the Strategic Marketing Process model adapted from Cravens.
Figure 1. Strategic Marketing Process
MARKET SITUATION ANALYSIS
To analyse the environment I will use the Situation Analysis Strategic Model.
* The transport policy of the new labour government is unclear. However, it seems unlikely that the Labour Government will renationalise the railways.
* It is expected that there will be greater local authority involvement in rail services under the Labour Government.
* The Government plans more effective regulation of the privatised railway network.
* However, the Government has a more proactive attitude to public transport and was committed to creating a system capable of mobilising higher levels of investment and more intensive use of rail.
* The Government provides subsidies to all operating companies so that they can improve their train services according to customer's demand. However, this amount of subside is declining steadily to zero by...