25 NOVEMBER 2019
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A tongue-in-cheek video featuring Virgin Trains staff went out last week as the operator’s riposte to losing the West Coast Mainline franchise to First Trenitalia (BTN 19 August). Virgin ran the service for 22 years.
Also starring Virgin boss Richard Branson, the 2min film takes viewers on one final Virgin Trains journey from 1997 to 2019 with a lip sync to the iconic song (I’ve Had) The Time of my Life from the film Dirty Dancing.
Cameo appearances come from 1990s’ stars Shaun Williamson (Barry from Eastenders) and Mr Blobby (below), plus 2019 faces including Chris Kamara and drag icon Anna Phylactic.
Branson said: “Virgin Trains has led the UK rail industry for over 20 years, delivering faster journeys, ground-breaking innovation and award-winning customer service. Our 3,500 amazing staff are the heart of the business and the stars of this video.
“We’ve had the time of our life serving our customers and wanted to celebrate the fun we have had with them since 1997.”
First Trenitalia, a partnership between Trenitalia of Italy and First Group, which runs the Great Western Railway, South Western Railway and Transpennine franchises, takes over next month.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Norman Bartlett, Chelmsford
Don't forget that for 21 of those 22 years, it was a majority operation by Stagecoach; Virgin was a minority partner, simply providing the brand.