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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Virgin wins West Coast mainline franchise contract

Virgin Trains has pledged to increase capacity on the West Coast mainline after securing a deal to continue running the franchise until March 2017.

The contract commits the firm to investing £35 million.

Virgin said there will be “significant improvements” for customers with the introduction of free superfast wi-fi, more seats and new services.

It will convert some first class vehicles to standard class and improve the interiors of Pendolino trains, upgrade stations and improve catering facilities.

Virgin Trains previously lost out to FirstGroup in the battle for a new 13-year West Coast franchise but the process was scrapped by the Department for Transport due to errors in the bidding process.

It resulted in a temporary deal allowing Virgin to run the West Coast service until November.

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