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Virgin Trains unveils revamped trains on east coast route

Press Release   •   Jan 08, 2016 11:45 GMT

Virgin Trains has unveiled the first of its newly refurbished trains as part of a £40m project to improve its customers’ experience.

All of Virgin’s trains on its east coast route are being given a makeover with stylish new interiors bringing added customer comfort and a touch of the glamour for which the Virgin brand is famous.

A total of £21m has been earmarked to complete the refurbishment of the trains’ interiors, including adding luxurious leather seats to First Class, new carpets and fittings throughout, as well as bringing the distinctive Virgin red on-board.

Since taking over the East Coast Mainline in March 2015, Virgin Trains has invested millions of pounds to improve the customer experience. The refurbishment programme, which also includes a £16m investment in new diesel engines and the re-branding of the exterior of the trains, has been brought in ahead of the arrival of Virgin’s new fleet in 2018. These trains are being built in the UK by Hitachi.

David Horne, Managing Director of Virgin Trains on its east coast route, said: “Our new fleet of trains arrive in 2018, but we want to ensure the trains people are catching right now deliver the same comfort and glamour for which Virgin Trains is known.

“The East Coast Mainline features some of the world’s iconic rail journeys and has played host to some of the most famous locomotives ever made, including the Flying Scotsman. Our own uniquely Virgin Flying Scotsman was unveiled last year and is a symbol of this major investment that will bring the Virgin style and a dash of glamour back to the east coast route in the build up to the launch of our new trains.”

ENDS

For further information contact Hope & Glory PR:

james.bunting@hopeandglorypr.com / 07843929932

Contact the Virgin Trains East Coast Press Office: 0116 366 3988 during office hours (09.00 - 17.30 Mon-Fri). Outside these times, and for urgent media enquiries only, please call 08700 005151 and ask for the duty Virgin Trains East Coast press officer to be paged.

Virgin Trains East Coast is the brand name of InterCity Railways Ltd (ICR), which is owned by Stagecoach Group (90%) and Virgin Group (10%). Virgin Trains East Coast began operating services on the East Coast Main Line on Sunday 1 March 2015, serving key UK cities including London, Peterborough, Doncaster, Leeds, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness. In November 2014 the Department for  Transport awarded ICR a new franchise until at least 31 March 2023.

Virgin Trains East Coast is committed to delivering a high speed, high quality service with new services, faster and more frequent journeys, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. More than £140m is to be invested in delivering improved service and a more personalised travel experience for customers.

Visit the Virgin Trains East Coast Media Centre at: http://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/media-centre for the latest news and images.

STAGECOACH GROUP

• Stagecoach Group is a leading international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, mainland Europe, the United States and Canada. The Group employs around 38,000 people, and operates bus, coach, train, and tram services.

• Stagecoach is one of the UK’s biggest bus and coach operators with around 8,300 buses and coaches. Around 2.8 million passenger journeys are made on Stagecoach's buses every day on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The Group’s business includes major city bus operations in London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hull, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield and Cambridge. Low-cost coach service, megabus.com, operates a network of inter-city services across the UK and continental Europe.

• Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It is also the majority shareholder (90%) in the new Virgin Trains East Coast franchise and has a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group, which operates the West Coast rail franchise.

• Stagecoach also operates the Supertram light rail network in Sheffield.

• In North America, Stagecoach operates around 2,400 buses and coaches in the United States and Canada. Megabus.com links around 130 key locations in North America. Stagecoach is also involved in operating commuter, transit, airport express services, contracted, charter and sightseeing services.