Hello, we’re Virgin Trains. We’re on a mission to make every second you spend with us awesome. If you’re travelling for work, we’re the business. Want a weekend away with family or friends? We’ll take you and the gang to some of the UK’s most iconic destinations, and we’ll take you there in style.
Our lovely staff make train travel something you actually look forward to; helping you to arrive relaxed, refreshed (with our own, specially-brewed beer and cider) and ready for action.
It’s time for a revolution on rails. Ready? Let’s go.
So what is Investors in People? Well, it ‘specialises in transforming business performance through people’, which is what we’re all about. And Gold status means that everyone who works with us is working together, to make your journey awesome.
Here are some of the lovely things the Investors In People assessors said about our business:
“Spurs people on to perform beyond expectations and offers to help out when there are challenges.”
“Almost without exception, people regard the organisation as a great place to work.”
“Virgin Trains people are motivated to achieve the goals of the company and are committed to both securing high levels of customer satisfaction and growing the business.”
Stephen C McGloin, IIP Customer Services Co-ordinator, explains: "The Gold Standard is a very challenging one to meet and is increasingly seen as a measure of a quality employer. Your success not only reflects your own commitment but is also an acknowledgement of the effort of everyone who works for the organisation."
We’re rather pleased with our Investors in People Gold status. But it’s only the beginning! If there’s anything better than Gold, that’s where we’re headed next.
Glossary of Terms
Public Performance Measure (PPM): The PPM is how we measure the punctuality and reliability of our trains. It combines them into a single performance measure that tracks our trains against their planned timetable, and is expressed as a percentage. For long distance operators, such as Virgin Trains West Coast, a train is ‘on time’ if it arrives within ten minutes (i.e. nine minutes 59 seconds or less). Reliability is measured by how many trains are cancelled or do not complete their planned journey.
Bi-Di (Bi-Directional) signalling: On tracks equipped with Bi-Directional signalling, trains can travel in either direction.
Block joint: A piece of insulating equipment that prevents electrical current running through the track (rather important). Most points and signals use this electrical current.
Bridge Bash/Strike: When a road vehicle has a collision with a railway bridge. The bridge must then be inspected by a structural engineer before trains can operate over it.
Joint Performance Improvement Plan Target (JPIP Target): The target PPM percentage agreed between Virgin Trains and Network Rail.
OHLE/OLE: Overhead Line Equipment – this provides the electrical power for the trains.
Possession overrun: A possession is a stretch of line under maintenance, on which no trains can run. A possession overrun is when this engineering work goes on for longer than planned.
TC (Track Circuit): Most points and signals operate using this electrical circuit running through the rail. The passage of a train through a section completes the electrical circuits, operating the signals.
TCF - Track Circuit Failure: A failure of track circuit equipment.
VHF - Virgin High Frequency: More frequent and faster trains, introduced in December 2008.
In fact, the entire industry recognises how important it is to manage disruptions properly, so we all now follow a new Code of Practice.
Its main aims are to:
- Quickly offer you an accurate reason for delays
- Where possible, give you advice on alternative arrangements for onward travel
- Give you a realistic estimate of how long the delays are likely to last
- Ensure that all information channels are covered – trains, stations, websites, telephones, social media and news media
You can read the full version here: ATOC Approved Code of Practice on Passenger Information During Disruption.