Virgin Trains has launched tickets for its newest destination – Sunderland. The city will benefit from a new direct return service to London from December 14th 2015. Virgin will also today start selling tickets for a new return service from Stirling to London King’s Cross.
Virgin Trains East Coast has reached its 100th day operating long distance cross border rail services on the East Coast Main Line. Since its launch on March 1st 2015, Virgin Trains East Coast has operated 13,834 services and carried more than 4.3 million customers.
As Virgin Trains East Coast soon approaches the 100th day of business, the long distance rail operator has revealed that it will offer a range of new initiatives. These include increased flexibility for business travellers, an improved service and more personalised travel experience over the next eight years.
The first Virgin Trains Pendolino to have one of its First Class carriages converted to Standard is now in service. The train, which also received a major interior refresh and a deep clean as part of the work, marks the first of the 21nine-car Pendolinos to have a carriage converted.
The Competition & Markets Authority has raised concerns over the operation of the East Coast franchise, which is due to be handed back to private hands after five years under government control. The organisation reviewed whether competition concerns could arise given the coach and rail services already operated by Stagecoach Group, which is due to take over control of the line alongside partner Virgin Rail.
A joint venture between Stagecoach Transport and Virgin Rail has been awarded the franchise for the East Coast mainline. The firms have agreed to invest £140 million in the route over eight years, and will pay the government £3.3 billion for the contract. The deal will be finalised pending the successful completion of a standstill period of at least ten days.
Virgin Trains has revealed the results of one of the most extensive pieces of customer research ever undertaken by the travel operator – and has used the results to determine investment priorities for the new franchise. Customers were asked to name their top priorities for an ‘ideal customer experience’, from booking a journey and on-board experience through to arrival.
A new deal for rail services on the West Coast Main Line that will bring thousands more seats, free wi-fi and pave the way for new journeys on the route has been awarded to Virgin, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced. The direct award contract will run for two years and nine months and see the train operator continue to provide vital passenger journeys between London, Scotland and Wales as the government forges ahead with its multi-billion pound investment to improve and maintain our railways.
AVA Lights – the North West-based LED lighting specialists – has secured a contract to supply energy-efficient lighting to Virgin train stations across the country.
Virgin Trains’ First Class lounge at London Euston station is to get its swagger back in March 2014 after seven weeks of refurbishments, starting on 31 January 2014.
Virgin Trains is pleased to announce their second ‘High-Speed Book Signing’ with illustrious author Joanna Trollope. To accompany the launch of her new novel Sense and Sensibility Joanna Trollope, OBE and author of seventeen highly-acclaimed bestselling novels, will be signing her book on-board Virgin Trains on 21st October from Manchester to London.
This autumn, Virgin Trains is launching the UK’s first ever on board ‘high speed’ book signings on its West Coast route. A host of well-known authors have been confirmed, including renowned Scandi-crime writer, Jo Nesbo, highly acclaimed British writer Joanna Trollope, who is launching The Austen Project with a reworking of Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility and renowned comedian and author, Ruby Wax.