Virgin Trains

Virgin Trains is a British railway company. Although the Company occurs with the famous logo of the Virgin Group, this group comprises only 51 percent of the share capital. The remaining 49 percent are held by the Stagecoach Group.


The company was founded after the privatization of British Rail in mid -1990s. Virgin Trains successfully applied for two national intercity concessions in franchising. The first concession included the operation of intercity trains on the West Coast Main Line.

Until November 10, 2007 Virgin Trains also operate the franchise of the cross-country route. This was, however, since restructured and assigned to other operators. The majority fell to Arriva, which it marketed under the brand now Cross Country. The previous features of the destination Birmingham - Glasgow, which were previously operated by Virgin Cross Country, have been the West Coast franchise slammed. Trains between Manchester and Scotland went to the First Group.

The remaining West Coast franchise was due to expire in 2012, but was extended in favor of a longer tender and testing by early 2013. In August 2012, was finally announced that Virgin Trains has lost that re-tendering and the franchise should be operated from December 2012 by First Group as First West Coast. Due to faulty tendering decision which was revised and Virgin Trains the track again awarded rights for at least a year, until a new licensing round is done.

Rolling stock

For use comes on most routes the modern British Class 390 Pendolino called. On the routes that end in Wales and Scotland, and operate on the West Coast Main Line, is also the British class 221, called SuperVoyager, used.

In addition, Virgin Trains is a push-pull train consisting of 9 Mark 3 passenger car, a Class -82 - control car and a class 90 locomotive available. This train has undergone an extensive redesign in 2009 at Wabtec in Doncaster and equipped among other things with new seats, power outlets and Wi -Fi. The interior has been updated to the level of the Pendolino, so that the train was nicknamed " Pretendolino ".

Route network

The route network of Virgin Trains is summarized in six routes that start from London and Birmingham:

  • A route from London Euston via Birmingham New Street to Wolverhampton
  • Route B from London Euston via Stoke -on-Trent or Crewe to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Route C from London Euston via Rugby and Lancaster to Glasgow Central
  • Route D from London Euston or Birmingham New Street to Holyhead via Chester or Wrexham
  • Route E from London Euston via Rugby to Liverpool Lime Street
  • Route F of Birmingham New Street on Lancaster to Edinburgh Waverley or Glasgow Central