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Virgin Trains has launched its brand new services to London from Sunderland and Stirling.The new services have been launched in response to demands from both business and leisure customers who have been calling for more early morning departures that will give them a longer day in London.
Business, civic and community leaders joined Virgin Trains on-board both inaugural services this morning, with the new Sunderland service being met at London King’s Cross Station by the UK rail minister, Claire Perry, who named the Virgin Train ‘Spirit of Sunderland’.
The new services mark a major milestone in Virgin Trains’ ambitious plans to transform services on its east coast route, which include a £21 million overhaul of its fleet of 45 trains.More than £40 million has been committed to the fleet since the company launched its east coast services in March, when it spelt out plans to invest £140 million over eight years.
A fleet of 65 brand new Virgin Trains will also be introduced on the east coast from 2018.The trains will be built by Hitachi at its plant based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.