Pendolino train

NW Bank Holiday bookings popular, says Virgin Trains

Michael Hunt

Manchester is the second most popular destination for rail passengers this Bank Holiday weekend, according to Virgin Trains.

Despite having marginally less advance bookings than this time last year, the North West city is still second behind London.

Virgin Trains also said routes to Carlisle and the Lake District are proving popular with 6,600 advance bookings taken prior to any additional walk-up tickets.

A 33% increase on the amount of rail passengers booking advance tickets to the capital, compared to the last Bank Holiday, has also been recorded by Virgin Trains.

Jim Rowe, communications manager at Virgin Trains, said: "The Bank Holiday is always a popular travel period, however this August long weekend is certainly set to be one of the busiest with people trying to enjoy the last of the summer. With more frequent services, we're keen to encourage more people to stay within the UK and use the train wherever possible!"

Meanwhile, Network Rail will reveal the five routes most in need of high-speed lines today, including the West Coast Main Lines.

The plans are part of a £34bn project expected to be operational by 2025. If given the go-ahead it would mean travel timetables being reduced considerably, with estimated routes between Manchester and London being cut back to a more favourable 1hr 6mins.

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