Providing an unbeatable service

We aim to be the easiest and most enjoyable way to find, book and make a journey

The basics: reliable, punctual trains

Offering a consistently punctual and reliable sets a train company apart. That’s why we have a close working relationship with Network Rail and the Department for Transport, aiming for 90% punctuality between Monday to Saturday.

There are times when delays (around 80% of them) are caused by something we have very little control over – like the track, signalling or power lines problems. But there is one thing you can rely on; when we do come across a snag, we’ll do everything we can to keep you speeding along to your destination.

And if you do happen to be delayed by 30 minutes or more, our Delay Repay scheme lets you claim back some or all of the cost of your ticket.

Tickety-boo ticket booking

Everyone's needs are a little different, so we've got lots of ticket options and ways to buy.

You can select the best train for you based on price, flexibility, departure and arrival times, and even how crowded it’s likely to be.

And there's lots of ways you can book tickets for your journey:

  • Online at
    In which case you can print your tickets at home, collect them at a station or receive them by post.Handy.
  • From the folks in the station ticket offices.
    They're very nice, but they can't always stop to chat - we aim to serve everyone in less than five minutes at peak times, and under three when it's quieter.
  • At a station self-service machine
    You can get a ticket to anywhere on the UK rail network for travel that day, and use them to print tickets you've already bought. But they can't sell you Advance tickets, sadly. And they definitely won't stop and chat.
  • Over the phone
    Speak to one of our happy band in the Ticket Sales team on 03457 225 225. If you worry about call-centre conditions, we promise they're all free-range.
  • On the train
    If you've got money to burn, you could just buy one on the train, but we wouldn't recommend it - you'll be paying top-whack - the anytime single fare for the journey. Buying in advance is always cheaper. And if you're hoping to dodge the fare altogether, don't even think about it. What would your mother think?

Wherever you meet them, our staff can help with information, tickets, reservations and so forth across the whole rail network. And they will always help you choose the right ticket for you, impartially. (Scout's honour.)

Safety and security throughout the journey

We've got to look after you all, which is a big responsibility. One anti-social type can really ruin it for the rest of us. So even fun loving folk like us have to have a few rules. There are certain types of behaviour on our trains, or at our stations up with which we will not put, as they say.

Things like:

  • Being drunk, disruptive or rowdy
  • Using offensive language
  • Playing music so loud it annoys other passengers
  • Putting feet on seats
  • Leaving trains in a mess
  • Braying away noisily on a mobile phone
  • Breaking the Quiet Coach rules
  • Taking up seats with luggage when it's busy

Good to go?

We do not allow someone to board one of our trains who appears ‘unfit to travel’. You are ‘unfit to travel’ might mean:

  • Unable to stand steady without support
  • Behaving aggressively
  • Acting in a disorderly, indecent or offensive way

We're not being moralistic or judgmental about this - we have to think about your safety and that of other passengers and our employees. We don't normally do any more than ask you not to travel, but if a situation starts to develop, the British Transport Police are there to back us up.

Banning orders

In some cases, a customer may be issued with a banning order. This means they are not permitted on any Virgin Trains East Coast property. If they ignore the ban, they will be breaking the law.

Secure stations scheme

The Secure Stations scheme encourages rail companies to improve security at their stations and show they’ve taken measures to reduce crime – the scheme is run by the Department for Transport and the British Transport Police.

Virgin Trains East Coast stations with Secure Stations status are:

  • Dunbar
  • Berwick-upon-Tweed
  • Newcastle, Durham
  • Darlington
  • York
  • Wakefield Westgate
  • Doncaster
  • Retford
  • Newark North Gate
  • Grantham
  • Peterborough