Virgin Pendolino (UK)

These tilting Pendolino trains which travel at up to 125 miles per hour (200 km/h) operate all Virgin Trains' services on these routes:

London Euston <> Manchester via Stoke or Crewe
London Euston <> Liverpool
London Euston <> Glasgow via Preston and Carlisle
London Euston <>  Birmingham  via Coventry

They also operate most of the services on this route:
London Euston <> Edinburgh/Glasgow via Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Preston and Carlisle.

The tilting motion can be particularly noticeable when travelling to/from Scotland, the railway line twists and turns as it passes through the more spectacular scenery.

BOARDING   l    CATERING

ASSISTED TRAVEL
   l   SUMMARY

10 Things that are good to know about travelling on a Virgin Pendolino train:

(1) Complimentary Wi-Fi access is available throughout the train.

(2) Echoing the fact that Virgin is also an airline operator, once your logged on to the Wi-Fi, you can access a complimentary entertainment portal.

(3) Power sockets are available at all WINDOW seats in First Class, but only at a limited number of seats in Standard Class.
If you book tickets on the Virgin Trains website, you can choose access to power sockets as a seating preference for your complimentary reservation.

(4) Each First and Standard Class coach on the train offers a mix of table seats and airline style seats - and you can specify a preference for being sat at a table seat(s) when booking tickets.

(5) Particularly if you will be travelling long-distance, prior to making a booking, ShowMeTheJourney recommends looking at the seating plans, which can be accessed through the Pendolino guide on this page of the Virgin Trains website.

You can use these plans to check which seats have a limited view, because not all seats in First or Standard class line up with the windows - or to check which seats do have power sockets.

Then when you have made a booking you can check which seats you have been offered on the seating plan and then change them to your preference, depending on availability.

(6) An at-seat catering service is provided in both First Class and Standard Class (second class)

(7) Coach A is the 'Quiet Coach' on a Virgin Pendolino train, passengers travelling within it are requested not to make or receive calls during the journey - and to use headphones when accessing audio or video.

Seats within this Quiet Coach can be requested when making a reservation.

Coach A is usually found at the very front of trains heading north from Euston, so you will have to walk the length of the platform to access it.
On trains heading south it is usually located to the rear, so will be the closest coach to the ticket gates when boarding in Glasgow, Liverpool or Manchester.

(8) Spaces for non-folding bikes must be reserved ahead of travel, but these bike spaces can’t be booked online, instead you can call 03445 56 56 50.

ShowMeTheJourney recommends booking your bike space and travel tickets on the same call.
There are a limited number of bike spaces per train, but you will have to choose a specific departure when booking travel tickets online.
So if you don’t book both by phone, there’s a chance that you’ll subsequently discover that no bike spaces will be available on the train you have booked tickets for.

(9) The maximum size of suitcase that can be taken on board is 30cm x 70 cm x 90 cm – more information is available here.

(10) Up to two dogs can travel for free with an individual, or group of travellers.

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Boarding:

If you have a seat reservation:

At  London Euston and the stations in Edinburgh, Glasgow Liverpool and Manchester where these Virgin Pendolino trains commence their journeys, the number of the platform (track) that a specific departure will be leaving from, normally appears on the information screens 10 -15 minutes prior to departure.

This will signal the start of a race to board the train, join the throng if you have luggage, the space for storing luggage isn’t particularly generous, especially in Standard Class.

However, if you don’t have luggage, but do have a reservation, you can take your time as your seat(s) will be waiting for you to occupy them.

If you will be boarding at a station, where the train will be calling during a journey, there are now usually signs on the platform (track), which will show you where to wait for easy boarding into each coach/carriage.

Don’t just check the coach/carriage numbers by the doors, also check the seat number info that’s on the outside of the train.
All coaches will have two doors, one at each end, and the other door may be nearer to your seat.

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Worth knowing is that for your travel ticket to be valid, you don’t have to occupy the seat(s) you will assigned when booking online - the train conductor will check the ticket, but not the reservation.

So if for any reason you want to travel in a different seat, you can do so.
As long as you check that the alternative seat(s) you want to move to haven’t been reserved, so will be available for your journey.
When you enter the coach/carriage check to see what other seats are free.

If you don’t have heavy luggage, after departure it can be worth having a walk through the train, to see what seats are available in other coaches.
It’s not unknown for some of the coaches on the train to relatively full while others will be comparatively empty.

Coach C in Standard Class is usually set aside for travellers who haven’t made reservations.
ShowMeTheJourney has made multiple journeys by Pendolino trains, on which the coach in which our reserved seats were allocated was busy, while coach C was comparatively quiet.

If you don’t have a seat reservation:

Coach C is usually set aside for travellers who haven’t made seat reservations, but there is something else worth being aware of if you don’t have reservations.

On the main departure screens at the larger stations, at the foot of the information for each train (below its list of calling points), you should be able to see something which resembles a table/chart.
This info will show which of the coaches on the train will be busy, because most of its seats have been reserved, and which will be relatively empty.

So if you don’t have a reservation, you can board into the coach in which you’ll be most likely to find available seats.

Back to the menu.

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Catering:

Standard Class:

On virtually all departures at some point during the journey a catering trolley will be taken through the train, from which you can order hot/cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches at your seat.

There is also an on-board café from which you can order hot food and a more extensive range of food/drink items.

First Class:

If you won’t be making a short-distance journey* complimentary food and drink is served to first class passengers at their seats – *this service is always available when traveling to/from London

The service can be excellent value for money, although what you’ll receive depends on the day of the week - and on Mon-Friday, it also matters at which time you’ll be travelling.

On early morning Mon-Friday departures breakfast is available, but later in the mornings the less-extensive brunch menu is served.
The switch over between these two menus seems to occur between 08:30 and 09:00.

On later Mon-Friday departures, a lunch menu with no hot food options is available in the middle of the day, while a more extensive choice with multiple hot food options is available in the late afternoon and evenings.

The departure time and not the length of journey will dictate what you will be provided with, because the menu is usually served between 30 mins and an hour after departure.

The Weekend menu is similar to what’s available from the Standard Class catering trolley, but with the key difference being that what you are offered in First Class will be complimentary.

This weekend menu is also available when Mondays and Fridays are national holidays, with the exception that a limited version of the Brunch Menu will also be available.

Back to the menu.

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Assisted Travel:

Virgin Pendolino trains have both wheelchair spaces and seats with additional leg-room, but even if you don’t require these specific services, you can book your requirements online and more general info is available here.

Back to the menu.

Catering
Availability
Restaurant
Bistro (Hot Food)
Bar (Cold Food)
Features
Availability
Double Deck
High Speed
Classes
First Class
First
Second Class
Standard

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