LONDON, January 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Virgin Trains has again been voted Britain's favourite rail company by customers.
For the second time in three years, Virgin Trains received the coveted Favourite Rail Operator award at the prestigious Globe Travel awards, which recognises excellence among international hotel groups, travel operators and package holiday companies.
The award was decided by customers rather than a panel of judges and was presented at London's Park Lane Grosvenor House Hotel.
Readers of Mail Newspapers' TravelMail section voted for the award, and placed Virgin Trains ahead of luxury operators such as Orient Express and Page&Moyes. Virgin Trains also won the award in 2010.
The award comes as Virgin Trains was named the leading long-distance franchise operator in the independent National Passenger Survey (NPS), run by passenger watchdog Passenger Focus.
Tony Collins, Virgin Trains Chief Executive Officer, said, 'This award and the NPS figures are a result of our customers' views - the most valuable opinion of all.
I am very proud that the hard work of our staff is recognised by customers and we will endeavour to maintain and improve those standards.'
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 2012 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. We also won this award in 2010. 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