This includes spending £21m on upgrading interiors including the fitting of new carpets in 410 coaches and replacing 24,227 seats with leather-covered seats in first class and cloth-covered seats in standard class.

The investment is part of Virgin’s franchise commitment to spend £140m to provide what it describes as “a more personalised travel experience” on the ECML which includes improvements to stations and introducing additional services.

In 2018, Virgin will start to introduce the fleet of 65 Intercity Express Programme (IEP) electric and bi-mode trains being supplied by Agility Trains, a consortium of Hitachi Rail Europe (70%), John Laing Investments (24%), and MetLife Private Capital Investors (6%), under a finance-supply-maintain contract agreed with the British government.

VirginEC refurb standardclass

Standard-class interior.