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Virgin Trains to add more seats

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Virgin Trains have announced plans to add more seats to its West Coast Main Line service next year.

The plans followed the announcement of an eight month extension to its West Coast franchise which was due to end March 2012; this has now been extended until December 2012.

The line starts from London Euston, passes through Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe and Manchester ending its destination in Edinburgh; it is one of the busiest train lines in the country.

Plans were revealed to add two standard carriages to each of the 31 existing Pendolino trains which will see the current 9 carriages extended to 11 as well as four new trains.

New trains and carriages will provide 150 extra seats to the current 294 seats for passengers between April and December 2012, for now First Class accommodation will remain the same; plans are in place to commission four new carriage trains into the Pendolino fleet next year which will provide 600 seats for standard and First Class passengers.

Virgin Rail Group Chief Executive Officer, Tony Collins said: "We are delighted to have worked in partnership with Government to agree this extension to the current West Coast franchise.

“The extension will bring continuity and allow us to run services for passengers at an exciting and challenging time for the country with the 2012 Games which start in July next year.”

Extra carriages which are built in Italy are planned to be introduced by spring and the rest will follow during the eight month extension.

Passengers of Virgin Trains will be happy with the new development in place making their journey stress free.

Victoria Priestly, 19, from Preston said : “I Think it’s a brilliant idea because there has been so many times I’ve had to stand with all my luggage coming back from university and for the time I'm travelling and the fact I'm so uncomfortable.

“The new carriages would improve the comfort, especially for long journeys.”

Kayleigh Edward-Douglas, 22, from Birches Head ,who is also a commuter said: “The new trains will be better for me as I often commute to Manchester, it can get overcrowded at times which means I have to stand."

The new development from Virgin Trains will be introduced to help with overcrowding on the West Coast Line due to the number of passengers increasing in the past 7 years which stands at around 30 million passengers per year.

There is set to be up to 28,000 extra seats available daily once the carriages are up and running with up to 10 million a year, staff are about to be trained about dealing with longer trains and more passengers.

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By Amanda Bainbridge