Extra seating capacity and
exciting new journey opportunities are the key ingredients of the new Virgin
Trains’ timetable from 8 December, details of which were announced today.
In the first big change to Virgin Trains’ services since the successful introduction of Virgin High Frequency (VHF) back in 2008, which has seen passenger numbers grow by almost 40 per cent, customers are set to benefit from a wide range of timetable improvements.
Highlights of the new December timetable include:
· over 3,000 more seats every day on our hourly services between Birmingham and Scotland
· new direct services from Milton Keynes, Coventry and Birmingham International to Scotland, the Lake District and the North West
· an extra late night service to Manchester leaving London at 22:50
· four trains an hour from London to Crewe with improved connections for customers travelling to and from Liverpool, Runcorn and Stafford
· additional open stops at Milton Keynes for selected peak time and late evening London services.
Graham Leech, Virgin Trains’ Executive Director, Commercial said:
“Our VHF service has been a big hit with customers but we are always looking at ways to make it better.
“This has been made possible thanks to our increased investment in both new and longer trains, having introduced four brand new Pendolinos and added a further 62 Standard carriages to our fleet last year.
“With that added flexibility we have been able to introduce these new service enhancements and we look forward to welcoming more customers onboard from December and continuing to deliver speedy and enjoyable journeys.”
Route guides can be viewed or downloaded at virgintrains.com and free printed copies of the guides are available at any station served by Virgin Trains. For our Press Desk, call: 0845 000 3333.
Individual journey details for travel from 8 December can be checked by visiting nationalrail.co.uk or by calling 08457 48 49 50.
Visit our Media Room website for the latest news, press releases and the company factsheet. To receive our content live, as and when we publish it, you can sign up to follow us. Go to Follow Virgin Trains and click on ‘Create account’. You can view stakeholder news in the latest edition of The Red Letter at virgintrains.newsweaver.com/newsletter.
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.For more information about Virgin Trains visit the Virgin Trains' website or the Media Room website.