Passenger figures boost for east coast line

The first Virgin East Coast train at the launch of Virgin Trains East Coast. Picture; PA
The first Virgin East Coast train at the launch of Virgin Trains East Coast. Picture; PA
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An EXTRA 5000 passengers a week have travelled on the Edinburgh-London east coast main line since extra trains were added, Virgin Trains East Coast says.

The seven per cent increase follows more 42 more services being introduced in May. The figures will cheer the 90 per cent Stagecoach-owned firm, for whom passenger growth is vital to pay for its £3 billion bid to run the franchise. Vtec said the service had been made more attractive by refurbished train interiors and a pioneering free streaming entertainment system which enables travellers to watch films on mobile devices.

It is counting on further growth when new Azuma trains are introduced in 2018, cutting journey times and providing more seats.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “Cross-Border rail services are an undoubted success and demand continues to grow. We look forward to the further planned improvements in quality and journey times, which will improve rail’s attractiveness in this market.”