Virgin Trains Announces First Year Report

In the first full year of the Virgin High Frequency (VHF) service, Virgin Trains has carried 25.4 million customers. These are the best-ever annual carryings under Virgin Trains' stewardship of the West Coast of Great Britain.

Total growth in passenger numbers is 15 percent, and growth has continued through the year. The share of the rail/air market on the Manchester/London route is over 80 percent, and on Glasgow/London has doubled to 17 percent as customers have switched away from domestic air travel and turned to trains instead.

The routes from Manchester and Birmingham to London Euston have seen train frequencies increased to every 20 minutes, and average journey times (in the case of Manchester) has been slashed to two hours and five minutes. The number of direct trains from London to Glasgow increased from nine to 13 a day, and Chester has been linked to the capital by a train each hour since January 26. Liverpool received extra peak-period trains to and from London Euston.

Weekend service has also increased, with 20-minute interval services between London and Manchester and Birmingham through to mid-evening on Sundays. Passenger numbers at weekends have grown by 36 percent.

Service performance has steadily improved over the year after initially disappointing punctuality in the early part of 2009. Over the period between August and November, the Public Performance Measure (PPM) was 90.1 percent.