LONDON, November 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Christmas shoppers living in London and the South East will have the opportunity to purchase their gifts elsewhere this year as Virgin Trains prepares to run three special trains to the North West shopping centres of Chester and Manchester.
On Thursday 1 December a yuletide charter will leave London Euston at 08:14 arriving in Chester at 11:22 where customers will be serenaded by a choir on the platform to get everyone in the festive spirit. Return from Chester is at 17:23 allowing everyone plenty of time to purchase that special gift that may only be available in the historic city. Of course if shopping is not the only reason to travel then there are many famous sites to be visited including the Roman walls which are still virtually complete or the beautiful cathedral that dates back one thousand years to Norman times. Everyone will get a Chester trail map with prizes to be won if correctly stamped by featured retailers and also there will be lunch price reductions at some of the best city restaurants.
Special trains will run from Euston to Manchester on Saturdays 3 and 17 December leaving London at 0853 and returning from the North West at 19:59. Manchester has a fantastic range of stores many of them housed in the famous Arndale, the UK's largest inner-city retail centre. Shopping, however, can be combined with a visit to the fascinating Museum of Science and Industry housed in a former railway station or if pictures are you thing then the Manchester Art Gallery is just a short stroll from Piccadilly station.
All three trains will also serve Watford Junction and Milton Keynes.
Cost of these excursions is just £99.00 each and that will include a breakfast box on the outward journey and a delicious snack pack on the return. For that little bit of extra luxury why not go First Class for £199.00 return. Not only is there much more leg room but included in the fare is a champagne breakfast and high tea on the return journey
Notes to Editors
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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.
The first 100 customers to book on any of these excursions will receive a 20% discount on the fare so either visit firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44(0)161-227-4628 now.
SOURCE Virgin Trains