Virgin 1st Class service between London Euston – Birmingham New Street Station : One-way

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  MrMichael 24 Feb 2016
at 20:02
.

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  • Anonymous

    uggboylovestravel
    Participant

    October 2015, One-way

    During our trip to the UK in October 2015 we bought one-way 1st class train tickets online from London Euston Station to Birmingham New Street Station with Virgin.

    It meant we had access to the 1st class departure lounge in London and the arrivals lounge in Birmingham.

    Euston Station was at the time going through a renovation, so there were some building sites, but I guess the end result will be a more beautiful building and better infrastructure.

    The Virgin 1st class lounge was located on the 1st floor, airy, contemporary with some unusual design elements and colors. We felt welcomed and right at home. It was already busy, but not noisy.

    There was a quiet area to work and a central point for magazines, newspapers, snacks and drinks, like orange / apple juice, soft drinks and hot beverages. There were also snacks (biscuits, Uglies and fruits).

    We spent around an hour there, before making our way to the train. The interior was kept mostly in brown, blue and some signature Virgin red.

    The seats had been already selected for us. We had a table which could be used/seated by four people.

    The air conditioning was over our head and on full blast, which we didn’t enjoy that much.

    The table and one of the seats were unclean and full of crumbs, but I assume the turnaround times for the train are too short to properly cleaned by the staff.

    The seats were comfortable.

    The journey began on time, and we really liked it, watching the English countryside pass by.

    Soon after leaving London behind lunch service arrived with juices, other cold and hot beverages, beer, wine, snacks, chocolate and a choice of Mediterranean Vegetable Pastry, Potato and Bacon Salad and Poached smoked salmon sandwich.

    He had the salmon sandwich, while I had the pastry. Both were good.

    We also arrived on time in Birmingham. The journey had passed very quickly and it was pleasant.

    New Street Station was unrecognizable. It has been completely renovated and looks stunning.

    We would take this train trip again. Service was friendly, the seat comfortable and travel time not too long with ca. 1.5 hours.

    Would we recommend this train service to a friend? YES!
    Would we want to enjoy this train service in our future? YES!


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Thanks for the train check, uggboylovestotravel.

    By the way, how much did your ticket cost for this lunch time train ?

    I ask because Virgin Trains has very attractive first class fares if you book Advance and travel outside peak hours.

    In this train check, PatJordan paid just £25 one-way.

    http://www.businesstraveller.com/discussion/topic/Virgin-Euston-to-Birmingham-First-Class


    uggboylovestravel
    Participant

    Hello AMcWhirter, yes it was £25 one-way p.p. which represents excellent value.

    We enjoyed our journey, plus the lower than expected fare was a real bonus.

    Cheers & Safe Travels.


    rjhcambs
    Participant

    And if you have a railcard even better value. Just booked Virgin East Coast Kings Cross to Edinburgh in 1st for £35 each way. £16 in standard.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    “The table and one of the seats were unclean and full of crumbs, but I assume the turnaround times for the train are too short to properly cleaned by the staff.”

    I am not sure that it is acceptable for a table in any class to be left unclean due to a short turn around time.


    MrMichael
    Participant

    I agree with Martyn, but the reality is cleaning of trains is a somewhat hit and miss affair. Southern I understand spends less per pax on cleaning of trains between trips than any other TOC. Get on a Southern train ex Sussex Coast and see for yourself. Metro anyone?


    thecartoonman
    Participant

    Having seen good old Japan Railways sweep through the whole train, with a small army of ladies cleaning everything in sight, proves it can be done, though probably helped by the Japanese way of clearing away any mess that you may have created.

    But the UK is increasingly a messy, dirty place and the above experience on Virgin Trains only reinforces this fact, such a shame.


    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Mr Michael

    To be fair at Brighton station I’m there a lot – and almost always when a train comes in there is a cleaning team jumping aboard every train and if I’m on as train comes in before going back out I’ll find table cleaned. They seem to be well staffed on that basis at Brighton. Always exceptions – but this is certainly the case at here. Other stations however may not be as good.

    I like Virgin West Coast and normally a good service in Standard or First. they have their moments as they all do. But in event of quick train turn around because of knock on delays a case of dirty train – or fines for running late – sadly dirty on train takes precedence which is fine – especially if you have a connection to make. But not ideal.


    MrMichael
    Participant

    TimFitzgerald, I should actually have said Brighton was an exception, I am aware that Brighton does have a team, but other starting points along the coast do not. Littlehampton occasionally, Portsmouth (not in Sussex) office hours only, Seaford never, Bognor never.

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