Virgin Trains scores highly in Which? annual train survey

Picture by: Virgin Trains East Coast online.
Picture by: Virgin Trains East Coast online.

Virgin Trains has been rated by customers as the top long distance franchised operator in the UK.

A survey of nearly 7,000 rail passengers scored both Virgin Trains franchises either four or five stars for availability of seating, cleanliness of carriages, overall condition of the train, train reliability, train frequency and punctuality.

Patrick McCall, co-chairman of Virgin Trains said: “We’re delighted by these results.

“The two Virgin Trains franchises have been recognised as the top two long distance franchised operators – that’s a testament to our strategy of putting customers at the heart of everything we do.

“We’ll continue to build on these results with all the exciting initiatives we have this year.

“We have pioneered Automatic Delay Repay on the West Coast and we are rolling out a £40 million revamp of our trains on the East Coast, as well as introducing additional services between Edinburgh and London.”

Matthew Rayson, 20, from Newcastle, said: “I can’t fault them! Every time I go visit my girlfriend in Northampton, they’re never late. Haven’t had any delays as of yet, at the moment they’re great!”

Alysha Jane Stirling, 19, from Sunderland, said: “I use it frequently to travel to see my boyfriend and I’m always happy with the service. I think during the three years I’ve been using it I’ve only been delayed about two times, and it was only by a couple of minutes! The staff are always so friendly and helpful.”

However, Megan Fife, 20, from Durham, said: “It was okay, although I was disappointed because I paid to be in first class but was in carriage J, (the same as the kitchen) which meant that we had no plug sockets, so I couldn’t charge my phone or my laptop.”

Virgin Trains has been contacted for a comment and replied but they said they do not wish to be quoted.

It comes as North East commuters have backed a consumer survey finding that Grand Central Rail is the best train operator in England.

Ellie Young, 20, who is currently living in Sunderland, said: “I have travelled with both Virgin East Coast and Grand Central and I can honestly say that I do agree [with Virgin Trains being the top long distance franchised operator in the UK], with the exception of the occasion when there have been delays due to incidents on the line itself. But, overall, they have always been accommodating, polite and deliver a present experience.

“I have travelled in both standard and first class on Virgin East Coast and the first class experience was something else for a 3 hour train journey from Newcastle into London. They are attentive and, on the occasion my Metro has been delayed and caused me to miss my train, they will help me to get on the next available train to my destination.”

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