Virgin Trains has topped two categories for innovative projects on its east coast route at the UK Rail Industry Awards 2018.
Bringing together leaders from across the industry, the UK Rail Industry Awards celebrates excellence and innovation across the industry.
Virgin Trains was recognised in the Training and Development category for Project AURA, as it leads the way in preparing the east coast route and the wider industry for the transition to in-cab signalling, European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS); and the arrival of Azuma trains later this year.
The long-distance operator also received the Design Innovation Award for its project to replace traditional axle testing with Eddy current testing and surface wave methods - an industry-first in the UK, which allows non-destructive testing of axles and improves efficiency.
Nicola McGuiness-Brown, Head of Innovation at Virgin Trains on the east coast, said: “At Virgin Trains we like to challenge the status quo and are always looking at ways to transform rail journeys. We’re delighted to have been recognised for our innovation and we look forward to seeing the end results of our projects – particularly with the arrival of our Azuma trains.”
About Virgin Trains
Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.
The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York 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 as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.
On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. We have already invested over £40m in our existing fleet, including £21m refurbishing interiors and £16m towards improving the engines of our trains. Customers can now benefit 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. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.
The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.
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