|Virgin Trains Ltd.
|Real: VT, 1999: 3733km standard gauge, electrified at 25kV 50Hz Virgin Trains is a train operating company in the United Kingdom. It is generally considered part of the Virgin Group, although the shareholding is actually split 51:49 between Virgin Group and Stagecoach Group. The company was formed to take advantage of the privatisation of British Rail in the mid 1990s. Virgin Trains were successful in the bids for two franchises, the first being to run express train services on the West Coast Main Line (WCML). This part of the company is called Virgin West Coast (VWC) and provides services from London Euston to the West Midlands, the North West and Scotland. The other franchise Virgin Trains obtained is called Virgin Cross-Country (VXC - see also Cross Country Route) and runs long distance services which by-pass London and link the south and south-west of England with the north of England and Scotland via Birmingham. Unlike most other train operating companies, Virgin operates the two franchises as a single brand, although legally and operationally, they are separate companies.