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FULL STEAM AHEAD

VIRGIN Trains, 51 per cent owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, has reported a 32 per cent surge in the number of bookings so far this year – a 256,000 gain. The West Coast Main Line operator says the pull of designer shopping in Chester had seen the city register a 300 per cent leap in bookings compared with 2008, while London remains favourite on its list of destinations with 90,607 bookings.