Virgin Trains has launched its brand new services to London from Sunderland and Stirling. The new services have been launched in response to demands from both business and leisure customers who have been calling for more early morning departures that will give them a longer day in London. Business, civic and community leaders joined Virgin Trains on-board both inaugural services this morning, with the new Sunderland service being met at London King’s Cross Station by the UK rail minister, Claire Perry, who named the Virgin Train ‘Spirit of Sunderland’.
Rail journeys across the north of England and Scotland will undergo the biggest transformation in decades, thanks to an unprecedented package of improvements being delivered in new franchise deals, the government announced today. More than 500 brand-new carriages, the removal of the outdated and unpopular Pacer trains, room for 40,000 extra passengers at the busiest times, and more than 2,000 extra services a week will all be delivered.
GoEuro.co.uk has announced the closure of a Series B funding round totalling $45 million. The funding was led by Goldman Sachs and joined by new investors including Atomico, Yuri Milner and Tom Stafford, Sebastian Siemiatkowski (Klarna) and Ilkka Paananen (Supercell). Naren Shaam, founder, GoEuro said: “This new investment is a huge endorsement to the progress we have made since our launch two and a half years ago."
With 2016 train ticket prices published today, rail industry leaders have confirmed that fares will rise on average by 1.1 per cent next year, the smallest annual increase for six years. Passengers can find out the price of new fares and buy tickets online and at ticket offices from today. The 1.1 per cent average increase covers all national rail fares with effect from January 2nd 2016.
Hundreds of heads were turned this morning at King’s Cross Station as Virgin Trains unveiled its two Christmas trains sporting striking blue liveries in place of the famous Virgin red. A Pendolino transformed into a Penguilino and a Class 91 made over as Claus 91 appeared side by side for the first time at London’s iconic station.
Collecting multiple paper train tickets for your travels can now be a thing of the past, as Trainline announces that rail travellers in Norwich can use a smartphone based digital ticketing system, mTicketing when travelling by train. Both advance and on-the-day rail tickets are now available for travellers to purchase and download as a mobile ticket via the Trainline App.
A final decision on the HS2 route between Fradley in the West Midlands and Crewe has been announced, with the government confirming its intention to open this section of the line six years earlier than planned, in 2027. In confirming the route, the UK transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has issued safeguarding directions for Phase 2a of HS2, to protect land from potential conflicting development.
Travellers are now much closer to a door-to-door experience as Amadeus Selling Platform’s latest module enables travel agents to sell airport express tickets as they book a flight or hotel. Heathrow Express is the first to launch this tool with Airtrain in Brisbane to follow in 2016. For many travellers, arriving at a destination airport is the easy part - working out how to get to the city centre once there is often an altogether different story.
Virgin Trains has announced a £21 million train refurbishment programme for its fleet of 45 trains on its east coast route. This investment will mean that the company will have committed more than £40 million to improving its train fleet since it launched its east coast franchise in March, as part of its plans to invest £140 million over eight years.
SilverRail Technologies and the Expedia group have signed a strategic technology partnership to power Expedia’s global expansion in the rail business. Rail is an increasingly popular mode of regional transport throughout Europe and Asia. According to Phocuswright, rail is now the fastest growing sector in travel, with over €30 billion in rail tickets sold in Europe alone.
Travelport has announced travel agencies in the UK, Ireland and the Nordics can now earn commission on Heathrow Express tickets booked through Travelport Smartpoint. The announcement follows the launch earlier this year of Travelport’s industry-first solution, offering airport express services to travel agencies through a plugin on its Travel Commerce Platform.
Authorities in France are investigating why several children were on board a TGV train which crashed during a test run. The train was carrying 49 railway technicians when it derailed, caught fire, and plunged into a canal.