Virgin turns 50 shades of red over route loss

VIRGIN Trains is pulling out all the stops in its attempts to get back the West Coast franchise, which it lost to FirstGroup last week.

The firm’s spinners have dusted off their finest quills to pen a sprawling 50-point paean to just how great Virgin is at running trains.

Though at least half the points on the list can be neatly summarised as “we’re pretty good at customer service”, more than 26,000 disgruntled passengers have been persuaded to sign an online petition to get Virgin back on the train tracks – not bad in two days, and well on the way to 100,000, which would trigger a Commons debate.

And the list itself makes for entertaining reading. Virgin Trains quite rightly bellows about its capacity increases in standard class, customer services awards and charity work.

But the authors ran out of steam somewhere around point 20, and start to take credit for things like trains being more environmentally friendly than planes (just as well Branson’s not launching more domestic flights in the near future) and the existence of its corporate Twitter account.

You missed a trick, Virgin flaks. What the Capitalist remembers most fondly about the route is the on-board bacon butties, the damp cardboard aroma of which always managed to cut through the pong of the carriage toilets.