Waving goodbye to the West Coast Mainline

Richard Branson and his father Ted Branson smiling in front of a Virgin Trains train
Image by Virgin.com
A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 20 November 2019

It’s time to celebrate all the incredible things Virgin Trains have achieved as we wave goodbye to the West Coast mainline.

Watch Virgin Trains #FinalWhistle Video

I joined a cast full of our brilliant people and some familiar faces to create a video to take viewers on one final journey.

Mr Blobby onboard a Virgin Train
Image from Virgin Trains

We really have had the time of our lives serving our customers and we want to leave as we entered: by celebrating our people, our passengers, and having fun.

Blobby Barry reading the newspaper on a Virgin Trains train
Image from Virgin Trains

Virgin Trains is the UK’s longest running and top-rated rail franchise in the UK, and it’s all down to our wonderful people. They are the heart of our business and the stars of this video – thank you for everything you have done, day in and day out, for the past 22 years. 

When we took over the West Coast route in 1997, it was struggling but we were determined to turn it around. We wanted to disrupt the rail industry and create something different that put the customer experience at our core.

Richard Branson takes a call on a red phone for Virgin Trains
Image from Virgin Trains

Fast forward 22 years and add some new trains, new track and our incredible team to the mix and Virgin Trains has become renowned for the award-winning way our teams look after our customers. Virgin Trains haven’t stopped innovating or improving – introducing ground-breaking initiatives like automatic delay repay, Beam and Alexa.

I’m proud that Virgin Trains has become one of the best train companies in the UK, if not the world. Drawing on our expertise over the past two decades, we have recently launched Virgin Trains USA and look forward to disrupting the rail industry in the States.

While I am devastated to see Virgin Trains gone from the UK, I’m so proud of everything we have achieved over the past 22 years.