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Virgin Trains is first train operator to introduce digital Season Tickets

Press release   •   Jul 26, 2018 11:42 BST

  • Virgin Trains first train operator to introduce digital Season Tickets
  • Latest move towards abolishing the orange ticket, as Virgin Trains aims to reach 50% digital tickets by April 2019
  • All types of season tickets can now be purchased online

Virgin Trains has become the first UK train operator to offer digital Season Tickets, as they move one step closer to getting rid of orange tickets altogether. 

The introduction of digital Season Tickets will help to achieve Virgin Trains’ target of fulfilling 50% of tickets in digital format by April 2019*. Available to purchase from the Virgin Trains website, it removes the need to buy Season Tickets at the station and allows customers to select the format they prefer –on their mobile device, in their Apple Wallet or print-at-home.

This is the latest ticketing initiative to be rolled out by Virgin Trains who are leading the industry in the race to eliminate the orange ticket. It follows the launch of digital tickets across all Virgin’s routes and Apple wallet for some ticket types.

John Sullivan, Chief Information Officer at Virgin Trains, said: “We wanted to be the first train operator to offer digital Season Tickets to give our customers more choice and make things simpler – no more queuing at stations! We have a proud record of digital innovation and are excited to once again be leading the way in digital ticketing. Since their introduction, digital tickets we have had a great response from our customers and we’re always looking at ways to build on our success. This latest move will take us a step closer to ensuring all of our customers can benefit, as we aim for 50% of our tickets to be digital by April 2019.”

From today digital Season Tickets are available for weekly Season Tickets between Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent on Virgin Trains services only. The inter-city operator plans to expand the offering to cover monthly and annual season tickets across all Virgin Trains routes in due course.

As part of this move, all Virgin Trains Season Tickets types can now be purchased through the Virgin Trains website removing the need to queue at the station (those currently not available for digital fulfilment will be posted to the customer).

To purchase digital season tickets, visit:


* Target to reach 50% of ticket sales through Virgin Trains channels as digital tickets by April 2019. Currently over 43% of ticket purchased through Virgin Trains online channels (website, app, mobile site) are fulfilled digitally.

About Virgin Trains

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the West Coast inter-city route under the Virgin Trains brand, revolutionising travel on one of the UK’s key rail arteries.

The network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and London.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains ahead of other long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

Virgin Trains has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme, introducing the industry-leading onboard entertainment streaming service, BEAM, and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

Virgin Trains operated the East Coast route between March 1, 2015 and June 24, 2018. In that time, we invested £75m to create a more personalised travel experience, including over £40m in the existing fleet. Customers have benefitted from 48 additional services between Edinburgh and London every week, and an extra 22 Saturday services between Leeds and London – a total of 1.74 million additional seats since May 2015.

Working together, the partnership railway of the public and private sectors has published a long-term plan, called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, to change and improve Britain’s railway. The plan will secure almost £85bn of additional economic benefits to the country whilst enabling further investment and improvement, and contains four commitments which will see rail companies: strengthen our economic contribution to the country; improve customers’ satisfaction; boost the communities we serve; and, create more and better jobs in rail. For more information go to Britain Runs on Rail.

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Press Office: 0845 000 3333.

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