FIRST CLASS: South Yorkshire long distance operator Virgin Trains leads way in customer satisfaction and performance
Virgin Trains has achieved among highest overall results for long-distance operators in today's National Rail Passenger Survey results, scoring spectacular 91% on route serving the region.
The company, which has delivered consistently high scores on West Coast services for some time, has now achieved best autumn result in three years on East Coast route, including two per cent rise in overall satisfaction rating over past year.
Topping long-distance franchised operators in latest results, Virgin Trains scored marked improvement in stations and on-board facilities with journey time, frequency and punctuality scoring similarly high.
Substantial Â£50 million investment in refurbishment of entire East Coast fleet and enhancements in customer experience were reflected in nine per cent increase in scores for upkeep and repair of trains and eight per cent improvement in train seats' comfort.
Car parking facilities across the area also saw eleven per cent boost in customer satisfaction, according to results revealed in Transport Focus’ latest biannual survey, reflecting extra 1,000 spaces made available at managed stations en route.
Regional route's recent timetable enhancements - particularly at Leeds and York as well as Edinburgh - contributed to high scores for frequency (92%), speed (90%) and punctuality (89%).
Virgin Trains East Coast MD David Horne said: “We are delighted to see Virgin Trains leading the results for long-distance franchised operators.
"The Â£50 million investment in our services is bearing fruit and we are happy to see that customers are seeing the benefits of our new interiors, more frequent services and our on-board entertainment app, BEAM.
"The work doesn’t stop here though as we continue to improve on the high quality service our customers have come to expect of us ahead of the launch of our cutting edge new Azuma fleet (previewed here) in 2018.”
The company works with Stagecoach to operate East Coast inter-city routes under Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are in line to revolutionise regional rail travel.
Committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, '‹Virgin Trains offers shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. East Coast services have enjoyed Â£140 million investment to create more personalised travel experience including major fleet revamp, smarter stations and exciting new routes.
May 2016 saw 42 additional services (22,000 extra seats) per week between Edinburgh and London while next year will witness launch of new Azuma trains being built in UK by Hitachi.