Customer services director Simon Bailey outlined the plans to North Bucks business at a lunch organised by the Milton Keynes & North Bucks Chamber of Commerce.

The programme also included increasing the number of trains on the West Coast route from 200 to 300 a day and reducing journey times between London and Birmingham to just over an hour and London-Manchester under three hours, he said.

The number of carriages on Pendolino trains would increase from nine to 12 and and there were plans for new rolling stock.

Mr Bailey said that Milton Keynes was a key location so far as the company was concerned, especially with passenger numbers on the increase.

He told more than 40 business owner-managers at the lunch, held at the Novotel, Linford Wood: “There is a need to ensure enjoyable journeys to give passengers more valuable travel time. It is a question of what more you can do on the train.”

Virgin Trains planned to improve mobile phone coverage and wi-fi capabilities on board and is considering a luggage delivery service and e-ticketing.

The company had recorded more than 20 million passenger journeys since it took over the franchise. There had been some dark days when complaints had been high and rail performance fell to 65 per cent. The timetable changes in 2004 had not helped – a point his audience vividly remembered.

However, the introduction of the Pendolino trains had meant shorter journey times, he said, passenger numbers were rising and performance was now much higher at 95pc

News Filter
online publications

Read the Latest Editions