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Virgin Trains names train to mark the launch of Bee in the City

Press release   •   Jul 20, 2018 15:20 BST

Virgin Trains has named one of its Pendolino trains to mark the launch of Bee in the City.

The 390001 Pendolino train had its new ‘Bee Together’ nameplate unveiled at Manchester Piccadilly station this morning ahead of the start of the city-wide public art experience that is expected to attract around 1m visitors to the city centre this summer.

Over 100 individually designed Bees will go on display through streets, parks and public spaces in Manchester taking people on a journey of discovery through the city between July-September. Visitors will be able to follow the free, accessible trail, looking out for the two Virgin Trains Bees, with help from the Bee in the City App, unlocking exciting rewards in the process.

“We’re incredibly excited to BEE involved,” enthused Ady Crymble, Customer Experience Manager for Virgin Trains in Manchester. “The bees will bring added life and energy to the city centre, connecting the wider community and showcasing all that is good about Manchester.

“We wanted a name that captured the spirit of a city famous from its enterprise, industriousness and creativity. We are incredibly proud to have served Manchester and the wider community for the past 21 years and we will be looking to add a bit of Virgin Trains fun to this summer.”

Today also saw the launch of a children’s competition to design their very own bee. The winner will see their creation brought to life and presented to them as a ‘money can’t buy’ prize. Colouring-in sheets are available to pick up from the Virgin Trains team at Manchester Piccadilly.

Virgin Trains employs close to 700 people in Manchester, operating 47 services every day (Monday – Saturday) from Manchester Piccadilly to and from London, carrying over 10 million customers each year, providing a vital link to help strengthen local economies.

Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director, Wild in Art said: "We are thrilled to have Virgin Trains on board as a Bee in the City Presenting Partner. Thousands of families will be travelling to Manchester on Virgin Trains from July to September to enjoy what will be one of the biggest and most spectacular public art events ever. And what an honour to have our own train!”

After the naming, Pendolino 390001 ‘Bee Together’ headed to London on the first of many services that will see the train travel around 300,000 miles in the next twelve months.

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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Press Office: 0845 000 3333.

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