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Virgin Trains Injects Style into First Class Travel with Edinburgh Lounge Makeover

Posted: 6th May 2016

Virgin has undertaken a major overhaul of 8 First Class Lounges on its east coast network, doubling seating capacity, following growth of 6% in First Class travel on the route.

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The new-look Lounge provides a stylish environment to hold meetings, work and unwind before getting on a train. Refurb of the Edinburgh Lounge has been undertaken along with Caledonian Sleeper and will be used by customers of both operators.

Hearts director Ann Budge has opened Virgin Trains’ First Class Lounge at Edinburgh Waverley following a root-and-branch makeover. Ann stated “It is vital that Edinburgh continues to attract businesspeople to the capital, so that it can further enhance its reputation as one of the most enterprising cities in the United Kingdom. Providing top class facilities, such as this, will go a long way towards helping establish Edinburgh as Scotland’s gateway to the business community.”

A splash of red has been introduced into the innovative designs, which include new meeting points, desks for customers to work at and relaxation spots to unwind. Free wif and powerpoints have been provided, along with soft drinks, snacks and newspapers.

The investment will help Virgin Trains drive further growth in First Class travel among business people who can prepare for meetings onboard and leisure passengers treating themselves to a luxury journey. The latest improvements come after Virgin Trains embarked on a £21m refurbishment of its trains, including putting leather seat covers in First Class.

Lounges in King’s Cross, Edinburgh, Leeds, Newcastle, Berwick, Doncaster, Darlington, Berwick, Darlington and Wakefield have all been refurbished.

David Horne, Virgin Trains’ managing director for the east coast route, said: “This is the latest investment that will help us lift the experience for our First Class customers. We know that being able to relax ahead of a journey or prepare for that key business meeting is one of the things that our customers really value. We’re confident that providing some Virgin style to these Lounges will help us to meet this increasing demand for First Class travel.”

Ryan Flaherty, Caledonian Sleeper’s Guest Services Director said:  “The completely refurbished facilities in the first class lounge at Edinburgh Waverley will provide a greatly enhanced experience for Caledonian Sleeper guests arriving into and departing from the Capital, with the new shower facilities giving our guests the best possible start to the day. We are delighted to have worked with our colleagues at Virgin on the redesign and with the resulting success of this project, delivering a tangible benefit for our guests in advance of our new rolling stock being introduced in 2018.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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