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Virgin Trains Looks to Expand in UK

June 22, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox


Virgin Trains is looking to corner the Glasgow market after grounding the airlines between Liverpool and London.

Tony Collins, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Trains, explained how schedules can be reduced still further, including reducing the journey time between London and central Glasgow to less than four hours. He pointed to the potential for further reductions in timings and confirmed that Virgin Trains plans even better timetables on the West Coast Main Line linking Scotland, North West England, North Wales and the West Midlands to London Euston.

Rail's share of the rail-air market is now 100 percent on the Liverpool route and 77 percent and growing for Manchester. Rail's share of the Glasgow/London rail-air market was only 6 percent five years ago but rose from 9 percent to 11 percent by February 2009. Typical journey time from London Euston is 4 hours 31 minutes.

Opportunities for speed improvements and extra trains are being investigated. A scheduled time of less than four hours between London and Glasgow is practical.

Virgin aims to further improve journey times for Liverpool, North Wales and Manchester as well as Glasgow, and deliver new London services for Nuneaton and even more trains for the West Midlands too if granted a long enough franchise to fund such service enhancement.

New high-speed tracks, Heathrow Airport and HS1 for the continent would all link to an enhanced West Coast Main Line.

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