22 July 2009
Passengers are to be offered thousands of extra seats over the next few weeks on the busy Virgin Trains route between the West Midlands and Scotland through Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.
Longer trains with more coaches will run between Birmingham and Edinburgh six days a week from Saturday 25 July to Saturday 5 September. More will follow on Fridays from 14 August on Birmingham services to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
More than 200 extra seats will be added to selected trains to cope with summer peak demand, particularly during the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August.
Five-car Virgin Super Voyager trains with 226 seats each will be replaced by nine-car Virgin Pendolinos with 439 seats on two trains in each direction between Birmingham New Street and Edinburgh (Haymarket and Waverley), Mondays to Saturdays. On some other trains on Fridays only from 14 August an extra Super Voyager will be coupled on to make a combined train of eight or nine cars, offering between 412 and 452 seats.
“Demand for travel is always high in July and August, especially for Festival visitors to Edinburgh. We are offering more seats this summer because our trains are even busier than ever, with more people attracted by our improved timetable,” said Karen Hattie, the General Manager of Virgin Trains in Scotland and Cumbria.
Birmingham/Edinburgh journeys take around four hours. Stations served include Wolverhampton, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme The Lake District and Carlisle.
Advance fares to Edinburgh by Virgin Trains include from £6 each way from Carlisle and from £14 from Birmingham.
Notes to Editors
The trains to be operated by Virgin Pendolinos from 25 July to 5 September, Mondays to Saturdays, are the 0617 (0620 on Saturdays) and 1020 Birmingham New Street to Edinburgh and the 1052 and 1452 from Edinburgh Waverley to Birmingham New Street.
Advance single fares to Edinburgh on direct Virgin Trains are priced from £14 from Birmingham and Wolverhampton, £10.50 from Crewe, Warrington and Wigan, £8.50 from Preston and Lancaster, £7.50 from Oxenholme and Penrith and £6 from Carlisle. Conditions apply. Bookings can be made by 2359 the day before travel, subject to availability, at stations, by visiting http://www.virgintrains.com/ or phoning 08457 222 333.
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