The ‘open access’ application would deliver the “UK’s most advanced and customer-focussed train service”, says the operator.
Virgin says every ticket would be at least 10% cheaper than tickets currently offered by competitors and every ticket holder would be guaranteed a seat reservation for a particular service.
Services would feature free wifi access and Beam entertainment, automatic compensation for delays and at-seat catering.
“Virgin Trains has led the UK rail industry for 22 years. We’ve delivered faster and more frequent services, pioneered digital ticketing and shaken up the industry with initiatives such as scrapping the Friday evening peak,” says Phil Whittingham, Virgin Trains MD.
“That’s why we top the independent customer satisfaction charts for long-distance franchises.”
Whittingham continues: “But we want to go further. These new services will allow us to take the customer experience on the UK’s railways to the next level and show the rest of the industry how it can be done.”
The application to the ORR bids for 24 services per day between London Euston and Liverpool Lime Street, with station stops likely to include Lichfield, Tamworth and Nuneaton.