Virgin Trains has broken new passenger records, after nearly doubling rail industry growth levels.
Nearly 40 million journeys were made over the last year (2018/19) on the route connecting London to major cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Preston and Glasgow, a 3.1% increase on the previous year and up by nearly 10m compared with six years previously.
The current growth trajectory will see nearly 50m passenger journeys being made on the west coast route by 2026 when the HS2 route between London and Birmingham is due to open.
It comes as a new report by Campaign for Better Transport found that growth on the west coast route had nearly doubled that of the rest of the rail industry following “transformative” investment by government and industry in the Virgin High Frequency timetable a decade ago.
Phil Whittingham, Managing Director for Virgin Trains said today’s rate of passenger growth had taken years of investment and commitment.
He said: “We have worked tirelessly with Government and industry partners to completely transform the West Coast route, introducing a fleet of new trains, achieving one of the biggest timetable changes since privatisation without a hitch and bringing a focus on customer experience that the industry had not experienced before. This report offers a useful insight into the scale of this transformation and its wider positive impacts on regional economies and the environment.”