March 10 Letters: Virgin off to low-key start on East Coast line

From: Robert Minton-Taylor, Senior Lecturer, Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University.

I WAS interested to read your paper’s coverage on the first day of the Virgin East Coast rail service (The Yorkshire Post, March 2).

I travelled down to London from Leeds late morning on March 2 and back mid-afternoon on March 3 and was somewhat underwhelmed by what I found.

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The trains still had on board the old East Coast menus in the buffet car, there were no leaflets on the train about the new service offering, staff uniforms were still East Coast and the buffet staff had not been briefed on what the new service offering was.

Surprisingly at King’s Cross station there wasn’t even a booth or stall about the new service.

The only Virgin showcase was a Virgin Media stand advertising their mobile phones.

All in all, as a communications professional, I thought it was a rather shaky introduction to a new franchise and a bit of PR damp squib.

The only truly Virgin brand identifiers on the train were Virgin chocolates. I guess the proof will be in the eating.

As they say, actions speak louder than words.