Flying Scotsman now carries Virgin branding

29 Oct 2015 by Alex McWhirter

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled the new Virgin Trains livery for the famous Flying Scotsman in Edinburgh.

Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC), like its predecessor, the government-run East Coast, is determined to further boost the rail share of Anglo-Scottish traffic.

This rebranding is part of the process.

Flying Scotsman in Virgin Trains East Coast livery

Sturgeon said: "For over 150 years, the Flying Scotsman service has connected Edinburgh and London King's Cross by the historic rail route. It is wonderful to see the name of the Flying Scotsman kept alive on the route with a new contemporary design."

Although VTEC talks about the Flying Scotsman running south from Edinburgh to London in four hours, it does gloss over the fact that this famous train no longer departs London and Edinburgh at its original time of 1000.

The departure times were changed some years ago. It means that if passengers want a four-hour journey, they would have to leave Edinburgh at 0540.

Heading north from London there is no train taking as little as four hours; the fastest journey from King's Cross is four hours and 20 minutes.

Current train schedules were already in operation when VTEC acquired the franchise from East Coast and it is likely that some changes will take place in the coming months and years.

Already, VTEC has announced it will be running a new through-train from Stirling to London King's Cross on December 14. And to cope with rising demand it will operate four extra Edinburgh-King's Cross return services in May.

Recent years have seen rail woo more passengers from the high road. Keen pricing is one reason and an ideal ticket for business people is the £229 Scottish Executive Return. You must book by 1800 on the day before travel and no Railcard discounts are possible. But that price provides first class travel plus free catering, drinks etc. Although the outward must be booked, the return can be left open-dated. Crucially a) full refund (less £10 admin fee) is granted if the ticket is wholly unused and you find you cannot travel on the day itself and b) if your travel plans change on the day of travel you are allowed to catch a different train. Please read these rules carefully.

Alex McWhirter

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