LONDON, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Virgin Trains is urging customers to make sure they have reserved seats for train travel over the May Day bank holiday weekend by booking their tickets as soon as possible. This can be done on line by visiting virgintrains.com, phoning 0871 977 4222 or calling in at any Virgin Trains station where knowledgeable travel consultants will be able to discuss and book journey requirements. Weekend First Class Upgrades along with Off Peak tickets will be available for travel throughout the three day holiday weekend together with an extensive range of Advance tickets.
Network Rail is taking the opportunity to carry out essential route improvement work on the West Coast Main Line - one of the busiest rail routes in Europe - at certain times during the holiday period while less people are travelling to work. In most cases this work is scheduled to be completed by early afternoon on the bank holiday Monday allowing returning travellers to complete journeys without interruption. Where work is taking place, in many cases alternative routes are available for train travel, although in order to ensure that all stations are served, in some cases replacement coaches, will have to be used.
For full details of train and replacement coach timings visit either nationalrail.co.uk or call 08457 48 49 50.
Here is a day by day summary of those sections of route that are closed for improvement work:-
Saturday 4 May
- Rugby to Stafford via Nuneaton from 21:00 - Trains diverted via the West Midlands route
- Crewe to Liverpool Lime Street - Train connections via Manchester for journeys to/from London Euston or for local journeys use replacement coaches
- Crewe to Warrington Bank Quay from 10:00 - Train diversions via Chester
- Preston to Oxenholme - Replacement coaches, or for Anglo Scottish journeys to/from Birmingham New Street or London Euston use East Coast route
- Motherwell station- Train diversions
- Lockerbie to Edinburgh from 10:45 - Trains diverted via an alternative route
Sunday 5 May
- Milton Keynes to Rugby - An hourly service of trains to/from Euston diverted via an alternative route with passengers changing at either Coventry or Nuneaton for connections to the North. Replacement coaches serve Milton Keynes
- Crewe to Liverpool Lime Street - Replacement coaches connecting at Crewe out of services from the South
- Crewe to Glasgow Central - Replacement coaches, or for Anglo Scottish journeys to/from Birmingham New Street or London Euston use East Coast route
- Carlisle to Edinburgh - Replacement coaches
Monday 6 May
- Euston to Milton Keynes until 12:00 - Route open to trains but some individual lines shut so reductions in service frequency
- Birmingham International to Birmingham New Street - Trains diverted via an alternative route
- Preston to Oxenholme until 13:00 - Replacement coaches
[Notes to Editors]
For further information journalists can call the Virgin Trains Press Office on 0845 000 3333.
Visit our Media Room website - http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/about/media-room/ for an Image Library of pictures of Virgin Trains and the company's operations, or to subscribe to receive alerts to new press releases.
Virgin Trains has revolutionised rail travel by creating a high speed, high frequency service that has cut journey times and made rail journeys more comfortable. It has operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997, serving key UK cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Glasgow.
Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned 51 percent by Virgin Group and 49 percent by Stagecoach. The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded VRG a franchise contract, which started on 9 December 2012 and will run for up to 23 months. The DfT announced on 26 March 2013 a programme for letting future franchises, with the long-term West Coast franchise expected to start in April 2017.
Virgin Trains has been recognised in numerous awards. In September 2012 Business Traveller magazine readers voted the company the Best UK Domestic Rail Operator for the sixth year running. In 2011 the company was named Best Rail Operator in the Group Leisure Awards (which it also won in 2009 and 2010). In 2011 Virgin Trains won the British Quality Foundation's Achievement Award for Customer Satisfaction.
Customers consistently rate the company the top long-distance rail franchise operator, as measured by the National Passenger Survey (NPS) run by industry watchdog Passenger Focus. In the most recent NPS (Autumn 2012) overall satisfaction was 92%, our best score ever.
Virgin Trains first achieved Investors in People accreditation in 2007 and this was renewed in 2010; the IIP Gold award was achieved in 2011. In May 2011 Virgin Trains was awarded accreditation against the criteria of the European Foundation for Quality Management's (EFQM) Excellence Model. The company's Learning and Development team won a National Training Awards 2011 West Midlands award for its Coaching Culture programme.
SOURCE Virgin Trains