18 MAY 2015
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Virgin Trains East Coast is stepping up its presence as it approaches its 100th day of business. Owned 90% by Stagecoach and 10% Virgin Group it was awarded the contract last November, taking over from the government-owned Intercity East Coast, created by the failure of the National Express railway subsidiary.
“East Coast” has quickly introduced a more flexible reservation system allowing reservations to be made closer to departure to better suit customers making last minute travel arrangements. Fares have been reduced too (10% off ‘Standard Anytime’) and the London to Scotland air routes targeted. The real benefits will come in 2018 with the introduction of the first of 65 new ‘Super Express’ trains.
In the meantime it has brought back the Great British breakfast in First Class comprising of rare breed smoked back bacon, rare breed pork sausage, free-range omelette, mushrooms, grilled tomato, and sliced potatoes. There is a vegetarian offering comprising free-range omelette, mushrooms, grilled tomato, spinach and sliced potatoes, plus a porridge alternative served with a choice of stewed plums, sliced banana, honey or preserve. The Omelette Arnold Bennett is revealed as smoked haddock served with cheese omelette and béchamel sauce.
Virgin Trains East Coast expects to transport over 20m customers this year, with around 50% travelling on business. www.virgintrainseastcoast.com
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Peter Smart, Luthermuir
Wrong. Virgin has not 'brought back' the great British breakfast. This was (re)introduced a couple of years ago by the nationalised East Coast as part of their review of first class complimentary catering - along with afternoon tea and all day offerings.
Alan Bowen, Harrow
There has been no obvious changes so far, the breakfast quoted has been available on East Coast for years. As a regular user, I fear they will dumb down to their West Coast alternative