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London Euston First Class Lounge to be revamped

Press Release   •   Dec 31, 2013 13:00 GMT

 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.

The Virgin Trains’ team at London Euston has responded to feedback from customers by developing brand new interiors and more seats, improved Wi-Fi connectivity, an expanded food and drink offer and a new business area.

The London Euston First Class Lounge first opened on 1 April 1998. A popular working and relaxing space for First Class customers, it currently boasts a meeting room, plug sockets, complimentary Wi-Fi, tea and coffee facilities, a bar serving a selection of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks, a flat screen TV, shower rooms and a quiet area.

As a way of saying ‘thank you’ for their patience while we improve the lounge, First Class customers will be offered a voucher to use at selected outlets at London Euston station that will entitle them to a hot drink and a pastry or muffin when travelling in the morning, while customers travelling in the afternoon and evening will be given an ambient ‘We’re Sorry’ bag containing a packet of crisps, a chocolate bar, a biscuit and a fruit juice.

First Class customers will also be offered a voucher entitling them to an alcoholic drink on the house when the Lounge reopens, as well as a Chocolate Truffle in a box. Vouchers will be available for customers to pick up from the First Class desk located outside the Lounge.

Richard Shotton, Stations Major Projects Director, says: “We will do everything we can to minimise the inconvenience to our customers when the First Class lounge is closed for upgrade works. In March they will see a refurbished lounge with new interiors and more seats and I am sure they will appreciate the improvements.”

The London Euston First Class Lounge will close on Friday 31 January 2014 at 23:00 and re-opens on Monday 17 March 2014.

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Virgin Trains has revolutionised rail travel by creating a high speed, high frequency service that has cut journey times and made rail journeys more comfortable. It has operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997, serving key UK cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Glasgow.

Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned 51 percent by Virgin Group and 49 percent by Stagecoach. The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded VRG a franchise contract, which started on 9 December 2012 and will run for up to 23 months. The DfT announced on 26 March 2013 a programme for letting future franchises, with the long-term West Coast franchise expected to start in April 2017.

Virgin Trains has been recognised in numerous awards. In October 2013 Business Traveller magazine readers voted the company the Best UK Domestic Rail Operator for the seventh year running. In 2011 the company was named Best Rail Operator in the Group Leisure Awards (which it also won in 2009 and 2010). In 2011 Virgin Trains won the British Quality Foundation's Achievement Award for Customer Satisfaction.

Customers consistently rate the company the top long-distance rail franchise operator, as measured by the National Passenger Survey (NPS) run by industry watchdog Passenger Focus. In the most recent NPS (Spring 2013) overall satisfaction was 92%, equalling our best ever score from the previous survey (Autumn 2012).

Virgin Trains first achieved Investors In People accreditation in 2007 and this was renewed in 2010; the IIP Gold award was achieved in 2011 and again in October 2013. In May 2013 Virgin Trains renewed its accreditation against the criteria of the European Foundation for Quality Management's (EFQM) Excellence Model, which it originally achieved in May 2011. The company’s Learning and Development team won a National Training Awards 2011 West Midlands award for its Coaching Culture programme.

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