01/05/2011 AT 07:29
Ticket sales increased 5% during the seven days leading up to Christmas (December 18-24), compared to the same period in 2009. More than 430,000 tickets were sold during the week on the West Coast line, serving Scotland, North-West England, north Wales and the Midlands.
The rise came as Virgin Trains maintained a full advertised timetabled service throughout most of the week before Christmas, in spite of snow that closed many airports and brought the road network to a standstill.
Virgin Trains ran services to all destinations throughout the freezing conditions, and staff and partners such as Network Rail, and train maintenance companies Alstom and Bombardier worked around the clock to ensure services kept going. This meant that, during December, Virgin Trains ran well over 90% of services on its 750-mile network.
Many travellers who abandoned flights to and from Ireland decided to travel by train and ferry and others took the train to and from Glasgow rather than risk heavy airport disruption. Thousands more customers also travelled with Virgin Trains after their services on other routes were disrupted, although these figures are not included in the record sales.
Virgin Trains also saw a record number of seat reservations made over the two-week period (December 15-January 3) with over 620,000 made, up 14% on the previous year.
Chris Gibb, COO, said “The period ahead of Christmas was extremely difficult for customers and staff but I am proud that we maintained a service throughout, working closely with our partners in the rail industry. The increased ticket sales show that our customers appreciated the level of service we were able to offer in very difficult circumstances.”
With Christmas almost upon us, Virgin Trains is urging all passengers to check train times and book seats home in plenty of time as services around the holiday period are already very busy.
Almost 94% of service on Britain's railway during September ran on time, with Chiltern Railways being the most punctual.
Alstom and Virgin Trains have unveiled a new look for one of the fifty-two high-speed tilting Pendolino trains serving the West Coast Main Line.
Britain's railway saw record punctuality in August 2010 with 94.2% of trains running on time. One train operator, c2c, recorded almost 99% of services on time – another new record.
A new car park for rail passengers using Warrington Bank Quay station opens on 4 September. Located a short walk from the station in Slutchers Lane, the car park, (car park 2), has 200 spaces.
Crewe and Preston have come top of an independent national poll of ticket buying facilities at rail stations. They were the only two stations managed by Virgin Trains surveyed in the research conducted by Passenger Focus.
The number of trains arriving on time hit a new record high for May with almost 94% of trains across the country arriving punctually.
Virgin Trains is today announcing the launch of a brand new ‘Small Groups product' to enable groups of three to eight people to travel together on the train for even less than before.
This week saw passengers on Virgin Trains able to relax and enjoy their journey even more with the option of free luxury hand massages on board. In partnership with lastminute.com teams of qualified beauty specialists walked the aisles on selected London to Manchester trains.
Virgin passengers have given a big thumbs up to the trains, staff and value for money for price of ticket, but they have made clear they desperately want to see the same standards at stations. These details are contained in the latest National Passenger Survey from rail watchdog Passenger Focus.