Press release -

Virgin Trains’ response to ORR announcement on West Coast plan

02 May 2008

Virgin Trains today pledged to keep inconvenience to passengers to a minimum while one of the most intensive programmes of engineering work ever on a UK main line is completed by Network Rail.

This follows the Office of Rail Regulation’s (ORR) announcement today that paves the way for the introduction of a vastly improved timetable at the start of the New Year that includes over 30 percent more train services and faster journey times.

Tony Collins, Chief Executive of Virgin Trains said today: “We are satisfied that, in reaching its decision, the ORR has taken into account all the issues surrounding this very complex and challenging infrastructure project. We welcome the ORR’s statement that it will closely monitor delivery of the project.

“Obviously we respect the decision and we will do everything we possibly can to limit the inconvenience to customers during extensive works which will inevitably cause disruption. The test must be to ensure that the project is delivered on time and can be maintained to a high standard so that the new timetable remains reliable.”

In conjunction with Network Rail, freight companies and other train operators, the following initiatives are being developed, particularly when the route in the Rugby area is closed to trains:-

· Extra carriages on East Midlands Trains between Liverpool and Sheffield via Manchester to help passengers travelling from North West England to London
· Re-design of the Virgin Trains website to make it easier to find out when and where engineering work is taking place

· Agreement for passengers holding Virgin Trains tickets to be able to travel from Manchester via Leeds to London using the services of Trans Pennine Express and National Express East Coast.

The infrastructure work will enable the introduction of a transformed timetable from December, which will add millions more seats a year to Virgin Trains’ services. This will include three trains an hour each way serving Birmingham and Manchester from London – up from the present two an hour - and faster and more frequent services to and from Scotland, North Wales and the North West. Weekend services will also be improved, with far more services on Saturdays and Sundays from 2009.


  • Train, Line traffic

We love keeping everyone informed at all times. Here, in our Media Room, you'll find the latest press releases, as well as downloadable images and our informative and very handy factsheet.


Virgin Trains Press Office

Press contact 0845 000 3333