Virgin Trains

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390018 at Crewe railway station.jpg
Franchise(s): InterCity West Coast
9 March 1997 – 31 March 2012
5 January 1997 – 10 November 2007 (originally 2012)
Main route(s): London - Scotland,
London - West Midlands,
London - North West
Other route(s): London-North Wales,
West Midlands - Scotland
Fleet size: 53 Pendolino sets
21 Super Voyager sets
16 British Rail Class 57/3 diesel locomotives
Stations called at: 42
Stations operated: 17
National Rail abbreviation: VT
Parent company: Virgin Group / Stagecoach Group
Web site:

Virgin Trains is a train operating company in the United Kingdom. They run trains from London Euston to the North West, West Midlands and Scotland on the West Coast Main Line. Before 11 November 2007, they also ran trains linking the south and south-west of England with the north of England through Manchester and Scotland, through Birmingham. Although it is branded as part of the Virgin Group, Virgin's share in the company is only 51%, with the remaining 49% owned by Stagecoach.

New trains[change | change source]

A Virgin Trains 'Virgin Voyager' train at Banbury railway station in the year 2004.

Their first trains, formerly owned by British Rail, were very old and broke down a lot, but were replaced by new ones in 2002.

Routes as of 2010[change | change source]

At busy times, Virgin Trains are not allowed to stop at Rugby, Milton Keynes, and Watford Junction. London Midland Railway run their trains to these stations instead, but Virgin trains stop at Lichfield Trent Valley, Tamworth and Nuneaton instead. Sources for the new Virgin timetable:

The first Class 390 Pendolino No. 390001 'Virgin Pioneer' arrives at Watford Junction.

Euston-West Midlands

Route Calling At Main Stock
XX:03 London Euston-Birmingham New Street Rugby, Coventry, Birmingham International Pendolino
XX:23 London Euston-Wolverhampton Watford Junction, Coventry, Birmingham International, Birmingham New Street, Sandwell and Dudley Pendolino
XX:43 London Euston-Birmingham New Street/Wolverhampton Milton Keynes, Coventry, Birmingham International with some XX:43 services extended through Birmingham New Street to call at Sandwell and Dudley & Wolverhampton, and the 18:43 service extended through Wolverhampton to call at Stafford & Crewe Pendolino

A handful of Birmingham terminators are operated by Super Voyagers (used for the few West Midlands-North Wales trains).


Route Calling At Main Stock
XX:00 London Euston-Manchester Piccadilly Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield, Stockport Pendolino
XX:20 London Euston-Manchester Piccadilly Milton Keynes, Stoke-on-Trent, Stockport Pendolino
XX:40 London Euston-Manchester Piccadilly Crewe, Wilmslow, Stockport Pendolino

The three-trains-an-hour plan had a knock-on effect on local services in the Manchester area; a number of peak-period local trains were axed, a matter which caused some controversy.[1]


Route Calling At Main Stock
XX:07 London Euston-Liverpool Lime Street Stafford, Runcorn, Pendolino

Average travel time for the whole journey was reduced from 2 hours 30 minutes to less than 2 hours 15 minutes.


Route Calling At Main Stock
XX:30 London Euston-Glasgow Central Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston and Lancaster with most continuing to Oxenholme Lake District/Penrith(alternating), Carlisle Pendolino
16:30 London Euston-Glasgow Central Preston Pendolino
18:46 Fridays Only London Euston-Preston Tamworth, Lichfield Trent Valley, Stafford, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western Mark 3 Class 90

A handful of Lancaster terminators are operated by Super Voyagers (half of a single unit split at Crewe, with the other half running towards Chester). Some also call at Motherwell


A Map of Virgin Trains Services showing the off-peak service pattern each hour.
Route Calling At Main Stock
XX:20 Birmingham New Street-Glasgow Central/Edinburgh Waverley Wolverhampton, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston and Lancaster with most continuing to Oxenholme Lake District/Penrith(alternating), Carlisle, Haymarket (Edinburgh only) SuperVoyager

Euston/West Midlands-Chester/North Wales

Route Calling At Main Stock
XX:10 London Euston-Chester Milton Keynes, Crewe SuperVoyager
XX:10 (7 per day) London Euston-Holyhead Chester, Flint, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction, Bangor (2 terminating here) and Holyhead SuperVoyager
18:10 London Euston-Wrexham General[2] Milton Keynes, Nuneaton, Crewe, Chester SuperVoyager
08:50 Saturdays Only London Euston-Holyhead Watford Junction, Milton Keynes, Crewe, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction, Bangor, Pendolino

Gallary[change | change source]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

Preceded by
As part of British Rail
Operator of Cross-Country franchise
1997 — 2007
Succeeded by
Operator of InterCity West Coast franchise
1997 — 2012

Preceded by
First Transpennine Express
Train Operator of the Year
Succeeded by