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Virgin Trains' travellers are first past the post in Ebor Festival fashion stakes

Press Release   •   Aug 23, 2017 14:18 BST

Erin Peart and Richard Lomax on Virgin Trains' catwalk with Commerical Director Suzanne Donnelly and colleagues

Virgin Trains has been giving Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival racegoers the opportunity to strut their stuff on a specially constructed catwalk at York station today.

It is partnering the Best Dressed Couple award each day at the prestigious annual race meeting where it is also handing out goodies, including sunglasses and 30% off vouchers for travel on Virgin Trains’ services.

Virgin Trains’ catwalk and prizes for best dressed arrivals into the station today have given racegoers an early chance to impress in the station’s atrium.

And first past the fashion post today, and winning a pair of First Class tickets on Virgin Trains, were colleagues Richard Lomax and Erin Peart who had travelled to York from Newcastle.

Erin, who is a surveyor with the Hanro Group, said: “For me the Ebor Festival is as much about the fashion and people-watching as the racing itself. I do wonder if wearing red helped sway the Virgin judges, but I’m delighted to walk off the train and on to Virgin’s catwalk today!”

Richard, who is a solicitor at DWF LLP, added: “We’re regular racegoers and it’s a great day – but I never expected to be on a catwalk as part of it!”

James Brennan, Head of Sponsorship at York Racecourse, said: “We are delighted that Virgin Trains have come onboard for Ebor Fashion Lawn. A sense of fun with fashion at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival is key and the events at the train station only add to the occasion.”

Suzanne Donnelly, Commercial Director for Virgin Trains on its east coast route, said: “The Ebor Festival is one of the country’s top race meetings of the year – and one of Yorkshire’s most glamorous occasions. People really do dress to impress and it’s a great combination of top class sport and social occasion.

“We’re delighted to partner Ebor Fashion Lawn for the first time, with prizes for the Best Dressed Couple on each of the four days. And we have loads of goodies at the station and at the course to help make it a more memorable occasion for racegoers.”

ENDS

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 over £40m in our existing fleet, including £21m refurbishing the interiors and £16m towards improving the engines of our trains. Customers can now benefit from 42 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 2016. 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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