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On time and in comfort
Member Name: boffy
Date: 14/09/00, updated on 17/09/02 (45 review reads)
Advantages: Inbuilt music, Clean and on-time, Better Shop
Disadvantages: Not always a new Voyager, Expensive
Ok then, hands up if you sat on a Virgin Train and it was late?
Hands up that it was old, dirty and the buffet closed half way through?
Hands up..... you got bored had nothing to read and your walkman bateries ran out?
Well my hands are still on the keyboard (and I've never seen a commuter with three hands!!) so you're guessing I've enjoyed a Virgin Trains trip. Well it wasn't a long one..... Liverpool to Bodmin Parkway, out Friday night, back Monday morning, and both were ON TIME. 6.5 hours of on time trains.... I tell a lie it was delayed but I caught up at a change in Exeter.
But the trains, so nice.....
Virgin, over the last few months have been rolling out their new Voyager trains on the Cross Country routes (that's any none London Euston service) and they are actually quite nice. The seats are comfy, the shop sells tasty (but overpriced) food and books and CDS and the seats have inbuilt music. BBC Radio 4 piped in, plus three channels, for kiddies, teenagers and the rest of us. Shame it's not Virgin Radio but there you go.
The trains come as either 4 or 8 car trains. A four car simply has four carriages linked together, but the eight is made of two trains, so you can't walk between them but they move together. This is clever, allowing more flexability, but there are problems: There is only one conductor, so if you need to find him, you may have to wait 'till the next stop, Virgin has to employ two Shop workers and if one half is busy you can't just walk up the train.
Tis is only a little update on my Virgin Trains ideas. The trains are still often late, overpriced and dirty, but if you are lucky enough to get a new Voyager service, they are a huge improvement. We'll have to see what happens on the West Coast Line though.
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