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Virgin Trains pulls a cracker for Christmas with more staff to help customers

Press Release   •   Dec 18, 2015 10:09 GMT

Worried about travelling with extra luggage this Christmas? And, more importantly, how you’re going to carry all those presents? You no longer have to worry while travelling on the east coast route with Virgin Trains.

We've drafted in dozens of extra staff to check-in luggage and help customers board our trains at some stations, and scores of Virgin managers and staff have volunteered to work a variety of shifts across all our stations at one of the busiest times of the year for travel.

David Horne, Managing Director of Virgin Trains on the east coast route said: “Our trains are often busy throughout Christmas time as people travel across the country to spend time with their loved ones.

“We’ve noticed that customers are bringing bigger, bulkier luggage onto our trains, so we thought we’d make our customers travel easier this festive season by providing more people to help .”

But it's not all about luggage and pointing customers in the right direction at stations. Our dedicated Christmas team  have been preparing for several weeks to make sure customers get some great festive treats to make their journeys even more comfortable and pleasant.

If you’re travelling in First Class, you’ll be able to enjoy our complementary food and drinks service right up until Christmas Eve. And if you fancy a Christmas Eve tipple before your journey from King’s Cross, you can enjoy free Prosecco in the First Class lounge and further complementary fizz on board on services departing King’s Cross between 4pm and 7pm on that day.

If you’re travelling in Standard you’ll get free luxury chocolate with your tea or coffee, and you can take advantage of our great free 'Wi-Fi Wonderland' offer – that’s free Wi-Fi for everyone onboard between 18 December and New Year’s Eve.

We've also been busy raising money in support of the ITV Text Santa charity campaign with collections at our stations and the display of a huge Text Santa Christmas jumper at London's King's Cross station to raise awareness.

So, sit back, relax and enjoy your Christmas travel experience with Virgin Trains. Merry Christmas to everyone!

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:

Boarding teams will be in place at Leeds, London King’s Cross & Edinburgh on selected services throughout the festive holidays.

In addition, dedicated luggage check-in will be available at London King’s Cross and Edinburgh.

Contact the Virgin Trains East Coast Press Office: 0116 366 3988 during office hours (09.00 - 17.30 Mon-Fri). Outside these times, and for urgent media enquiries only, please call 08700 005151 and ask for the duty Virgin Trains East Coast press officer to be paged.

Virgin Trains East Coast is the brand name of InterCity Railways Ltd (ICR), which is owned by Stagecoach Group (90%) and Virgin Group (10%). Virgin Trains East Coast began operating services on the East Coast Main Line on Sunday 1 March 2015, serving key UK cities including London, Peterborough, Doncaster, Leeds, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness. In November 2014 the Department for  Transport awarded ICR a new franchise until at least 31 March 2023.

Virgin Trains East Coast is committed to delivering a high speed, high quality service with new services, faster and more frequent journeys, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. More than £140m is to be invested in delivering improved service and a more personalised travel experience for customers.

Visit the Virgin Trains East Coast Media Centre at: http://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/media-centre for the latest news and images.

STAGECOACH GROUP

• Stagecoach Group is a leading international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, mainland Europe, the United States and Canada. The Group employs around 38,000 people, and operates bus, coach, train, and tram services.

• Stagecoach is one of the UK’s biggest bus and coach operators with around 8,300 buses and coaches. Around 2.8 million passenger journeys are made on Stagecoach's buses every day on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The Group’s business includes major city bus operations in London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hull, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield and Cambridge. Low-cost coach service, megabus.com, operates a network of inter-city services across the UK and continental Europe.

• Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It is also the majority shareholder (90%) in the new Virgin Trains East Coast franchise and has a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group, which operates the West Coast rail franchise.

• Stagecoach also operates the Supertram light rail network in Sheffield.

• In North America, Stagecoach operates around 2,400 buses and coaches in the United States and Canada. Megabus.com links around 130 key locations in North America. Stagecoach is also involved in operating commuter, transit, airport express services, contracted, charter and sightseeing services.