The naming took place at Wolverhampton station on 29 June as Virgin Trains continues to highlight its sponsorship of the travel for a number of sportsmen and women who hope to represent their country in upcoming major sporting events. Pendolino 390027 now carries Jessica’s name under the windscreen on both ends of the train. Following the naming, Jessica took a trip to Birmingham in the cab of ‘her’ train.
The Virgin Trains sponsorship initiative is supported by Alstom, which built and maintain Virgin’s Pendolino train fleet including from a depot at Oxley, near Wolverhampton.
The initiative, ‘Supporting British athletes’, enables a number of sportsmen and women to attend training camps; key competitions and championships up and down the country. With the numerous events happening in the run up to the 2012 Games and Glasgow 2014, the ability to train and take part in competitive events is an important part of these athlete’s careers.
Jessica Varnish, at 19 years of age, is an upcoming star of the British Track Cycling Team. She is ambitious, focused and talented, and has her eyes on World titles and gold medals at the Olympic Games in London 2012.
Jessica is a level headed individual and popular in the Midlands region, winning the Young Sports Personality award for the past two years. She has already taken part in fashion and photo shoots to promote cycling and, with the recent changes in Olympic cycling rules meaning more opportunity for medals in the2012 Games, is perfectly positioned as a brand ambassador and the fresh face of women’s cycling in Britain.
Jessica said: “Having a train named after me is incredible and something I never thought would happen. My friends think it’s awesome! I’m really happy and thankful for the huge support Virgin Trains are giving me”
Paul Holland, General Manager, West Midlands at Virgin Trains, said: “We think it’s fantastic that Jessica has agreed to have one of our trains named after her. We think it is really important to help support the athletes of the future and, with the 2012 Games held on home turf this year, it has even greater resonance.”
Richard Woodroofe, Alstom Transport UK’s Mainline Operations Director said: “Alstom is delighted to support this initiative with Virgin Trains. We identify with the determination and commitment needed by the athletes to deliver top performance and wish Jessica well for the exciting challenges ahead.”