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Virgin Trains and Cherry Healey launch ‘Train Jotting’ to help children reimagine train travel

Press release   •   Jul 17, 2019 14:50 BST

  • TV presenter Cherry Healey will lead competition judging panel and help pick the winning entry
  • Winner will have their drawing turned into a real-life model to play with,and a Virgin Trains Rookies Academy Experience Day to take a peek behind the scenes of train travel
  • The competition was inspired by the new Virgin Trains TV advert ‘Imagine,’ which challenges viewers to visualise their ideal mode of transport 

London, 17 July 2019 – This summer, Virgin Trains is launching a competition encouraging young people across the UK to get creative and reimagine train travel by drawing the ultimate dream train journey. ‘Train Jotting’is a brand-new initiative open to children aged five to 12 and one lucky winner will have the chance to see their drawing turned into a real-life toy.

Inspired by the new Virgin Trains TV ad, ‘Imagine’, the competition is calling for children to take their vision of the perfect train journey one step further; the train has already got speed, WiFi and snacks, but what if there was a swimming pool inside the train carriage? Or a video arcade?What if all the other passengers were super cute puppies?! With ‘Train Jotting’, Virgin Trains wants kids to let their imaginations run wild. To enter, all they have to do is draw a picture illustrating their ultimate train ride and upload it to the Virgin Trains website:

To help pick the winner, Virgin Trains has enlisted the help of TV presenter and podcaster, Cherry Healey. As a mother of two, Cherry is a huge fan of encouraging creativity within in the household - be it writing, drawing or crafts.

Once chosen, the winner’s design will be turned into a real-life model for them to take home and keep. But that’s not all, the winner plus three friends will also get a chance to take part in a Virgin Trains Rookies Academy experience day.They will get to see what goes into running a railway station and have a chance to take partin all sorts of different activities that include;learning how to dispatch a train, making a station announcement and even meeting a driver in the cab of the train. Places on a Virgin Trains Rookies Academy experience will also be available to three runners-up.

Peter Broadley, Executive Director of Customer, Operations and Safety at Virgin Trains,said: “With ‘Train Jotting’ we want to help children delve into the magic of train travel. From the Scotland to the Lake District, our services pass through some of the most picturesque locations in the UK, and we love to see how excited children are onboard. There are no rules on this competition –we want entries to be as fun and imaginative as possible. We can’t wait to see what our young entrants come up with!”

TV Presenter, Cherry Healey, said:“Having kids myself I know how vivid a child’s imagination can be. This competition is a fantastic way to get young people interested in train travel whilst also getting their creative juices flowing!”

“There are certainly a few things that would complete my dream train journey - a play area carriage complete with ball pit for kids would be a brilliant idea. I also wouldn’t mind an on-board spa where I could get a massage while the train gently glides towards my destination!”

The competition is open now, with the closing date set for Sunday 11 August 2019. Winners will be judged by an internal Virgin Trains panel and campaign ambassador Cherry Healey.

To enter Train Jotting and for more information about the initiative including full terms and conditions, please

About Virgin Trains

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the West Coast inter-city route under the Virgin Trains brand, revolutionising travel on one of the UK’s key rail arteries.

The network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and London.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains ahead of other long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

Virgin Trains has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme, introducing the industry-leading onboard entertainment streaming service, BEAM, and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

Virgin Trains operated the East Coast route between March 1, 2015 and June 24, 2018. In that time, we invested £75m to create a more personalised travel experience, including over £40m in the existing fleet. Customers have benefitted from 48 additional services between Edinburgh and London every week, and an extra 22 Saturday services between Leeds and London – a total of 1.74 million additional seats since May 2015.

Working together, the partnership railway of the public and private sectors has published a long-term plan, called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, to change and improve Britain’s railway. The plan will secure almost £85bn of additional economic benefits to the country whilst enabling further investment and improvement, and contains four commitments which will see rail companies: strengthen our economic contribution to the country; improve customers’ satisfaction; boost the communities we serve; and, create more and better jobs in rail. For more information go to Britain Runs on Rail.

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