PRN: Rail 'Conversion' for London Skolars

12/mar/2012 13:48:41 PR Newswire Turismo Contatta l'autore

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Rail 'Conversion' for London Skolars


LONDON, March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

The London Skolars  are the latest sports team to turn to Virgin Trains to take them to key away matches.

The club, who play in the third tier of professional Rugby League, are the only southern based club in their division and this means travelling in excess of 4,000 miles this season to fulfil away fixtures. Long coach journeys to and from opposition stadiums often mean that the squad do not arrive back in London until the early hours of Monday morning.

Travelling on Virgin's 125mph tilting trains will significantly reduce journey times and also enable the team to arrive refreshed for the match and provides much needed recovery time on the return journey.

Skolars Head Coach Joe Mbu said: "Skolars travel more miles to fulfil their fixtures than any other professional Rugby League club and the long hours spent on coaches undoubtedly takes its toll on the players.

"Players will arrive at destinations more refreshed and rested and I also see train travel as a more sociable atmosphere for the players and will also have huge benefits for the player's wellbeing."

Arthur Leathley, Virgin Trains Communications Director said: "London Skolars are the latest leading sports team to recognise the benefits of travelling to key matches by train. Athletes value the space and freedom to relax rather than being cramped up in cars. We're delighted to have the team travelling with us and wish them well for the new season, I am confident they will reap the benefits of travelling with us, that other sporting teams enjoy."

Virgin Trains currently looks after the long distance travel for 13 of the 20 Premier League clubs including Manchester United whose Manager Sir Alex Ferguson commented: "I would recommend travelling with Virgin Trains to anyone - its been first class. The preparation going to London is so vital to us and Virgin Trains is part of our team now."

Virgin Trains provides a tailor-made service, for large groups, who want to book an entire carriage through to an entire train. It is this flexible and personal approach that has attracted many of the leading football clubs to switch to Virgin Trains for their important journeys.

Notes to Editors

Visit our Media Room website - - for an Image Library of pictures of Virgin Trains and the company's operations, or to subscribe to receive alerts to new press releases.

Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned 51 percent by Virgin Group and 49 percent by Stagecoach. We have operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997.

The current franchise was due to run until 31 March 2012, but the Department for Transport announced on 27 October 2011 that it would be extended until 8 December 2012. We have been short-listed for the new franchise that will start on 9 December 2012 and run until 31 March 2026, with an option to be extended by up to 20 months.

Virgin Trains has been recognised in numerous industry awards. In 2011 the company was named Best Rail Operator in the Group Leisure Awards (which we also won in 2009 and 2010). In 2011 Virgin Trains won the British Quality Foundation's Achievement Award for Customer Satisfaction. In 2012 we were named Best Rail Operator of the Year at the Travel Globe Awards (voted for by readers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard. We also  won this award in 2010. In 2009 we were voted Best UK Domestic Train Service by Business Traveller magazine for the second year running.

Virgin Trains first achieved Investors In People accreditation in 2007 and this was renewed in 2010; the IIP Gold award was achieved in 2011. In May 2011 Virgin Trains was awarded accreditation against the criteria of the European Foundation for Quality Management's (EFQM) Excellence Model. The company's Learning and Development team won a National Training Awards 2011 West Midlands award for its Coaching Culture programme.

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