Train companies are asking passengers to book their rail travel early for the upcoming festive season.
Rail passengers in the UK are being asked to book their Christmas tickets as early as possible by Virgin Trains, a UK-based train company, to benefit from the best prices and ensure reserved seating for the busiest travel period of the year.
Currently, the price for a single ticket for advance travel from London Euston to Birmingham is around GBP7.50; GBP12.00 from London Euston to Liverpool or Manchester; and GBP40.50 from London Euston to Glasgow.
Although there is still some political uncertainty over which rail company will ultimately be operating the West Coast franchise, as the current operators of the rail network, Virgin Trains are offering tickets for the Christmas season from December 9, 2012. The company has reported that tickets purchased before December 9, 2012, will be valid for travel on the journey dates.
While there will be no train services on December 25 and 26, all stations will remain open for the entire holiday period, with some alterations to train services due to routine maintenance work.
UK Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has earlier announced the cancellation of the contract awarding the West Coast mainline rail franchise to First Group, a Scotland-based transport company. The government has scrapped the contract after an investigation by the UK Department for Transport discovered major flaws in the franchise process. Three civil servants were also suspended following public pressure to revisit the franchise contract.
Virgin Trains, the current operator, has commenced court proceedings against a decision by the UK’s Department of Transport to award the West Coast Main Line franchise to FirstGroup.