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The Summer Booking boom

Press Release   •   Jul 14, 2009 23:00 BST

15 July 2009

As the summer holiday season approaches Virgin Trains, the leading West Coast rail provider, has seen a staggering 32% increase in bookings on the same period last year. With journeys to Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow contributing to the increase of 256,000 bookings, these figures undoubtedly confirm ‘staycations’ are the trend for 2009.

Combining designer shopping and historic architecture Chester has become a new favourite seeing a 300% increase in bookings. However, interestingly the picturesque Lake District is less popular this year with bookings to Oxenholme down a quarter. It appears passengers are opting for more cosmopolitan city breaks such as a weekend in the capital, where between May and June this year bookings reached nearly 180,000.

Starting from this weekend, in time for the summer holidays, families will be able to upgrade to First Class on Saturdays and Sundays from £5 per child and £15 per adult for a single journey. Providing access to free Wi-Fi, bigger seats, more legroom and complimentary refreshments including the new ‘Best of British’ breakfast or brunch, meaning passengers can sit back and relax.

Says Jim Rowe Senior Communications Manager at Virgin Trains: “With the children’s summer holiday fast approaching it can be a difficult task choosing a destination that will appeal to all the family. However with the varied mix of city vs. country so readily available families are spoilt for choice.”

Rowe continues “As the UK increases in popularity we are pleased that travellers are taking advantage of our faster and more frequent services and with people looking for greener methods of travel more are opting for the train. We are endeavoring to make the journey fun for all the family and with the introduction of an increased children’s offering and the new First Class catering, the train journey should signal the start of the holiday not just the journey.“

Some of the top destinations so far this year include:
London with 90,607 bookings
Greater Manchester with 35,258 bookings
Glasgow Central with 18,621 bookings
North Wales with 4,155 bookings
Chester with 3,469 bookings

To book tickets go to or telephone 08457 222 33.
Notes to Editor:

Images of Virgin Trains and the company’s operations are available on our online media website

Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group. We have operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997; the current franchise runs to March 2012.

Virgin Rail Group is owned 51 percent by Virgin Group and 49 percent by Stagecoach.

Virgin Trains has been listed as the Best Train Operator in a survey by the Institute of Customer Service and has been voted Best Rail Company by Travel Weekly magazine and Best UK Domestic Train Service by Business Traveller magazine.

Virgin Trains has been awarded the Global Travel Awards 2009 ‘Best Rail Operator’ Category as voted by Evening Standard readers.

To upgrade passengers can either ask when buying a standard ticket or take a seat in First Class and buy the relevant tickets onboard. The £5 children’s upgrade is available from 3rd August via onboard purchasing only.

Originally introduced to run between June - July the ‘Best of British’ breakfast or brunch offer has been extended until 27th September due to popular demand. Available on selected services. For more information please visit

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