Virgin Trains

British train operating company (1997-2019)

Virgin Trains was a train operating company in the United Kingdom. They ran trains from London Euston to the North West, West Midlands and Scotland on the West Coast Main Line and trains on the East Coast Main Coast Mainline between London, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland. Before 11 November 2007, they also run trains linking the south and south-west of England with the north of England through Manchester and Scotland, through Birmingham, under the CrossCountry franchise. Although it is branded as part of Virgin Group, Virgin's share in the company is only 51%, with the remaining 49% owned by Stagecoach. Virgin's share in Virgin Trains East Coast is only 10% with 90% being owned by Stagecoach, although the company is also branded under the Virgin name. The East Coast franchise was transferred to London North Eastern Railway in 2019, and the West Coast franchise to Avanti West Coast.

Virgin Trains West Coast
Franchise(s)InterCity West Coast
9 March 1997 -2019 [1]
Main route(s)London - Scotland
London - North West
London - West Midlands
London - Chester
Other route(s)London - Holyhead
London - Shrewsbury
London - Wrexham
London - Blackpool
Fleet size56 Class 390 Pendolino sets
20 Class 221 Super Voyager sets
Stations called at48
Stations operated17
National Rail abbreviationVT
Parent companyVirgin Rail Group
Virgin Group (51%)
Stagecoach (49%)

New trains

A Virgin Trains 'Virgin Voyager' train at Banbury railway station in the year 2004.
A new train, to be delivered by December 2018, undergoing testing.

Their first trains, formerly owned by British Rail, were very old and broken down, but were replaced by new trains in 2002 on the West Coast and CrossCountry lines. New trains were built for their East Coast operations.



  1. "Government launches bids for West Coast franchise". Buying Business Travel. 27 March 2018. Archived from the original on 18 December 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2018.

Other websites

Preceded by
As part of British Rail
Operator of Cross-Country franchise
1997 — 2007
Succeeded by
Operator of InterCity West Coast franchise
1997 — 2017
Preceded by
East Coast (train operating company)
Operator of InterCity East Coast franchise
2015 — 2018
Succeeded by
London North Eastern Railway