LONDON, December 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Virgin Trains is reminding passengers to check times and book seats in plenty of time as services around the holiday period on all their routes are likely to be very busy. Seats can be booked when purchasing tickets online at virgintrains.com, by phone on 0871-977-4222, or in person at Virgin Trains' stations. Train times can be checked by visiting nationalrail.co.uk or calling 08457-48-49-50.
Apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day when there will be no services, trains will be running every day.
Day by day summary of services
Saturday 24 December: Weekday service. Services reduced from early evening in preparation for a mid-evening shutdown.
Sunday 25 and Monday 26 December: No services
Tuesday 27 December: Weekday service although some early morning trains will be withdrawn. Two out of the four lines south of Rugby will be closed for route improvement work which means Euston to Manchester and Euston to Birmingham services will be reduced from three to two trains each hour with most North Wales and Chester services running only as far south as Crewe. Trains will be unable to run between Wolverhampton and Stafford in both directions until 12:00 which will result in Birmingham to Scotland services being diverted via an alternative route and not serving Wolverhampton, with replacement coaches running between Wolverhampton and Stafford. Improvement work at Edinburgh station will mean that Edinburgh to Birmingham services will depart EARLIER than normally scheduled.
Wednesday 28 December, Thursday 29 December, Friday 30 December: Weekday service.
Saturday 31 December: Saturday service. Services reduced from early evening in preparation for a mid-evening shutdown.
Sunday 1 January: Sunday service. Some early morning services withdrawn. Because of route improvement work, Euston to Manchester services will be reduced from three to two trains per hour in both directions and will not serve Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield, and Stockport. These stations will instead be served by replacement coaches that will connect with the Euston to Manchester services. Improvement work at Edinburgh station will mean that Edinburgh to Birmingham services will depart EARLIER than normally scheduled.
Monday 2 January (Bank Holiday): Weekday service. No route improvement work.
Tuesday 3 January: Weekday service.
Time restrictions on Off-Peak tickets will be lifted from Noon on Friday 23 December through to close of service on 2 January while First Class upgrades will be available at up to £15.00 per single journey from Tuesday 27 December through to Monday 2 January inclusive.
Catering in First Class
Although the full First Class catering offer will be withdrawn between Tuesday 27 December and Monday 2 January inclusive, First Class customers travelling on Pendolino trains will receive at their seats a selection of hot drinks, water, crisps, biscuits and fresh fruit. First Class customers travelling on Super Voyagers can collect refreshments from The Shop between Tuesday 27 December and Monday 2 January.
Notes to editors
- 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 is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned 51 percent by Virgin Group and 49 percent by Stagecoach. We have operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997.
- The current franchise was due to run until 31 March 2012, but the Department for Transport announced on 27 October 2011 that it would be extended until 8 December 2012. We have been short-listed for the new franchise that will start on 9 December 2012 and run until 31 March 2026, with an option to be extended by up to 20 months.
- Virgin Trains has been recognised in numerous industry awards. In 2011 the company was named Best Rail Operator in the Group Leisure Awards (which we also won in 2009 and 2010). In 2011 Virgin Trains won the British Quality Foundation's Achievement Award for Customer Satisfaction. In 2010 we were named Best Rail Operator of the Year at the Travel Globe Awards (voted for by readers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard. In 2009 we were voted Best UK Domestic Train Service by Business Traveller magazine for the second year running.
- 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