Virgin Trains has received international recognition for its new Customer Information Screens (CIS) at the SmartRail Europe Innovation Awards.
The judges awarded Virgin Trains ‘Project of the Year’ for its innovative-thinking that increases efficiency and improves passenger experience through new-look information screens at Euston. The screens display a pictogram, showing reservation levels in each carriage to indicate where customers without reservations are most likely to find a seat. If a train is cancelled, the screens also show information on subsequent departures for all calling points so passengers can find their next best option.
Virgin Trains was the first train company to introduce this initiative, which is part of a number of projects designed to make the boarding process at the station as smooth as possible.
Euston is the sixth busiest station in the UK with over 70 million users per year. Virgin Trains has nine departures an hour throughout the day from Euston with up to eleven in the evening peak.
Virgin Trains was also named runner-up in the ‘Product of the Year’ category for its Automatic Delay Repay system. A first for the industry, the system calculates the money due to a customer in the event of a delay and automatically pays the compensation directly onto the card they used for purchase.
John Sullivan, Chief Information Officer and Innovation at Virgin Trains, said: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and we strive to give them the best experience. At Virgin Trains, innovation is key to enhancing customer experience, so we’re proud to have been recognised for leading the way with initiatives that are helping to transform rail travel in the UK.”
Automatic Delay Repay
ADR is initially only available:
- For journeys with Virgin Trains on the West Coast Mainline (we are looking at whether to introduce on Virgin Trains East Coast services as well).
- Against transactions processed through www.virgintrains.com or Virgin Trains app. Not available through Virgin Trains East Coast website or app. We do not have the payment details for people who book advance tickets through other providers so are unfortunately not able to include them in the scheme.
- Against Advance Ticket types where a specific trains has been booked – which allows the system to know if it has been delayed or not. (A seat reservation is not enough – the ticket must be for a specific train).
- Where we can be confident in the level of delay encountered. If you have a journey with multiple connections across different train operators you will not be eligible for ADR.
Delays for journeys not booked through the website/app, or for non-advance tickets, can still be claimed in the normal way.
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. This includes a major fleet revamp, smarter stations and exciting new routes. From May 2016, there will be 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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