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  1. ITV Report

New rail operator to be known as 'Avanti'

Avanti West Coast has been unveiled as the name of the operator replacing Virgin Trains, which runs the West Coast line through Milton Keynes.

Aberdeen-based transport company FirstGroup and Italian firm Trenitalia announced the brand name for their partnership which will run services from December 8.

Avanti livery Credit: Avanti

Their trains and station signs will display an orange triangle logo symbolising the 400-mile train network which links London with towns and cities across England, North Wales and Scotland.

The word avanti means forward in Italian.

Avanti West Coast is pledging to deliver a range of passenger enhancements, including 263 more weekly services by 2022.

The existing 56 Pendolino trains will be completely refurbished with 25,000 new seats, more reliable wifi and improved catering.

Avanti logo Credit: Avanti

A fleet of new trains will also be introduced.

The partnership between FirstGroup and Trenitalia is also due to operate initial HS2 services, although the future of that project is in doubt and a decision expected after the General Election.

Trenitalia currently runs trains on the c2c line between east London and Shoeburyness in Essex.