Skip to main content

Virgin Trains gives the thumbs up to Stephen’s Story

Press release   •   Aug 20, 2019 09:00 BST

Jane receives her nameplate from the Virgin Trains team at Birmingham International
  • Stephen Sutton train nameplate presented to mum Jane
  • Virgin Trains auction off Pendolino nameplates for Teenage Cancer Trust
  • Sale expected to raise in excess of £15,000 and help Jane move closer to her £6m target

Almost four years after naming a Virgin Trains Pendolino in her son Stephen’s honour, Jane Sutton returned to Birmingham International to be presented with one of the original nameplates.

Stephen’s train - which is now sporting new vinyl nameplates, as part of a recent repaint programme - has been seen the length and breadth of the UK, clocking up over one million miles since its naming in September 2015. Jane was presented with the original nameplate by Amanda Hines, General Manager for Virgin Trains in the West Midlands.

The second nameplate, along with ten others from the Virgin Trains fleet, will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to Stephen’s chosen charity, Teenage Cancer Trust. The eagerly sought after items of railway memorabilia are expected to raise around £15,000 contributing towards Jane’s £6m fundraising target.

“We’re incredibly honoured to have had one of our Pendolinos carry Stephen’s name,” Amanda commented. “We needed to find a good home for the original nameplate so who better to present it to than his Mum Jane, who continues to work so tirelessly raising funds for teenage cancer”

“The sale is a rare chance for someone to get their hands on a piece of railway history, so we are hopeful of raising a lot of money for Teenage Cancer Trust.”

“It’s been a huge honour for one of Virgin Trains Pendolinos to carry Stephen’s name,” added Jane. “I really enjoy seeing people’s photos that they post on Stephen’s Facebook page when they have spotted the train on their travels on the west coast route.

“It is incredibly generous of Virgin Trains to gift me one of the original cast-iron nameplates and to auction off a further eleven, with the proceeds being donated to Teenage Cancer Trust. This will significantly boost Stephen’s fundraising total towards the £6million target that I would like to reach this year.”

NAMEPLATES UP FOR GRABS

The following nameplates are up for auction: -

  • City of Birmingham  
  • City of Stoke-on-Trent 
  • City of Preston 
  • City of Liverpool
  • Stephen Sutton 
  • Virgin Hero 
  • Virgin Invader 
  • Virgin King
  • Virgin Glory 
  • The Cumbrian Spirit 
  • Virgin Venturer

People can bid for them by sending a sealed bid to nameplates@virgintrains.co.uk. The auction closes at 17:00 on Friday 6 September 2019. Winners will be notified by email, with payment to be made direct to Teenage Cancer Trust.

Ends 

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.

Visit the Virgin Trains Media Room - virgintrains.co.uk/about/media-room - for the latest news, images and videos. Subscribe here for regular news from Virgin Trains.

Press Office: 0845 000 3333.

Attached Files

PDF document