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Virgin Trains completes fleet refurbishment programme

Press Release   •   Jan 24, 2017 17:02 GMT

The Virgin Trains team at Bounds Green depot in London alongside the final train in its east coast fleet to be refurbished.

Part of its £140 million investment pledge to transform travel on the east coast

Virgin Trains today announced the completion of its fleet refurbishment programme, which has seen a £40 million investment by the company in its current fleet of 45 High Speed and InterCity 225 trains to improve the customer experience. The programme is part of the rail operator’s £140 million pledge to create a more personalised travel experience on the east coast network.

All Virgin Trains on the east coast route have been refurbished, with £21 million spent on new interiors. The new-look interiors include luxurious leather seats and mood lighting in First Class and stunning red cloth seats in Standard, providing a new lease of life to the trains and extra comfort for customers.

The refurbishment programme, which also includes new carpets and fittings, is part of a pledge Virgin Trains made when it started operating on the east coast. A total of 410 carriage interiors have been revamped and 24,427 seats replaced.

The completed refurbishment arrives ahead of the launch in 2018 of Virgin Trains’ new Azuma fleet. Set to be amongst the most advanced trains in the UK, the Virgin Azuma illustrates Virgin Trains’ continued pledge to enhance and transform the customer experience.

David Horne, Managing Director at Virgin Trains on the east coast, said: “Since we launched services on the east coast mainline in 2015 we have committed more than £40 million to improving our existing fleet, to give customers the best possible experience when they travel with us. It gives me great pleasure to announce that we have completed our refurbishment programme, and passed another milestone on our journey towards totally transforming travel for our customers on the east coast.”

Stephen Timothy, Client Relations Director at Eversholt Rail, congratulated Virgin Trains on the successful conclusion of the refurbishment programme and said, “We are sure passengers on the east coast will be delighted with these new look trains, and we are pleased that Eversholt Rail’s investment in our InterCity 225 fleet has played a key role in this transformation”.

About Virgin Trains:

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.

The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York 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 as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. We have already invested £21m to completely revamp our existing fleet and customers can now benefit from 42 additional services (22,000 extra seats) per week between Edinburgh and London. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.

The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

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Press Office: 0845 000 3333.