London 2012 Spectators Can Buy Rail Tickets 12 Months in Advance

By Virgin Trains, PRNE
Monday, March 14, 2011

LONDON, March 15, 2011 - London 2012 spectators travelling by rail to Olympic and Paralympic
sporting venues throughout Britain will benefit from special Games train
tickets and extra services, it has been announced today.

Train operators, including Virgin Trains, have been working with the
Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to offer Olympic and Paralympic spectators
the chance to buy rail tickets and book seats a full year in advance,
allowing them to plan their travel as soon as they have their sports events

The 2012 Games train fares, which will be able to be purchased through a
dedicated website covering all the country's train operators, will offer
passengers good value for money and will allow for discounts, such as with
Railcards, to be used on top. They have been designed to be flexible, to
enable spectators to change the time they return should an event be
unexpectedly rescheduled, or if they simply wish to remain longer.

Atos Origin, a leading provider of rail retail solutions in the UK and
Worldwide IT Partner to the Games, has been chosen as preferred supplier to
provide the booking website.

Train services will also be boosted to get spectators to and from events.
Longer trains and thousands of additional services starting earlier and
finishing later will be provided for customers across the Olympic and
Paralympic Games, giving spectators time to enjoy the events, socialise and
get home safely.

A special Games train timetable, developed by train companies and Network
Rail, will be announced prior to train tickets going on sale this summer.
Network Rail has suspended all improvement works on rail routes serving
venues for almost three months next summer, starting four weeks prior to the
Games through until the end of the competition.

As well as travel to London, 2012 Games train fares will be available for
travel to and from all other cities hosting Games events: Coventry,
Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff and Weymouth. Ticketed spectators
travelling to London will also be given a Games Travelcard with their London
sports event ticket, allowing them to reach their final destination venue via
National Rail or Transport for London services.

Virgin Trains' 2012 Games Co-ordinator, Natasha Grice, said: "It's great
that people will be able to plan their travel to Games venues when they buy
their event tickets. 2012 suddenly seems much closer. Virgin Trains will be
carrying on with detailed planning to ensure that spectators and visitors to
Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester and London have quick and comfortable journeys
to their destinations."

Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of the Association of Train Operating
Companies, said: "Being a spectator at an Olympic event represents a
once-in-a-life-time opportunity for millions of people in the UK and abroad,
and the rail industry is committed to offering fast, flexible, reliable and
affordable travel for them. Train companies have been working hard for
months, alongside Network Rail and the ODA, to create a rail ticket for the
Games that allows advance booking up to a year, and flexible travel

ODA Transport Director, Hugh Sumner, said: "We have worked with the train
operators to stage a Games built around public transport. Spectators will
benefit from a service that will help them book their journey well in
advance. This demonstrates how the transport industry at large is focussed on
bringing all travel modes to life for the Games."

Lord Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the
Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), said: "London 2012 is a Games for the
whole nation, and we want as many people as possible from all around the
country to get to the Games. With Olympic and Paralympic Games tickets on
sale to the public from 15th March to 26th April, these new 2012 Games train
fares from Britain's train companies will help spectators plan their Games."

Rail Minister Theresa Villiers said: "London 2012 will be a great
festival of culture and sport and transport will be a vital part of
delivering a successful Games. A key part of this is getting spectators to
events as easily and efficiently as possible and I welcome the introduction
of 2012 Games train fares, which should enable people to enjoy the benefits
of rail travel to reach Olympic and Paralympic venues around the country. It
will ensure that, whether you live in Teesside or Truro, you can get to the

Benefits of 2012 Games train fares include:

- Tickets with seat reservations can be booked a year in advance - a UK
first - and will go on sale shortly after customers are notified what event
tickets they have been allocated in June.

- Spectators with tickets for services without reserveable seats can
board any train on the date of travel. The return journey can be made on the
day of the ticket and up to noon the following day - allowing for late
finishes, overnight stays and to stagger demand.

- On trains with reserved seats, spectators can choose to return on a
later journey than booked if an event runs late or they are delayed. Their
ticket will be valid for up to three hours after the original service booked
or by the first available journey if none is scheduled sooner.

- Users will benefit from being able to rebook train tickets in the
unlikely event of an Olympic or Paralympic event being rescheduled to another
time or date. Those wishing to change their booking for any other reason can
do so free-of-charge in the first instance, plus any difference in fare.

- Spectators will also be able to make use of national Railcard discounts
and the standard 50% child discounts will apply.

Notes to editors:

Spectators must travel with their Games sporting event ticket in order
for the 2012 Games train fares to be valid.

2012 Games train fares will only be available to buy through the
dedicated website, with a call centre facility for those unable to access the

2012 Games train fares will be competitively priced. Specific fares are
not yet available because train companies are still finalising them. All the
prices will be publicised as soon as possible.

Details of the Games train timetable will be made available in coming
months. It will enable spectators, both in the South East and in centres of
population broadly within a two-hour journey of London, to catch some later,
more frequent services. There will also be some earlier Sunday services to
enable spectators to arrive for the start of Sunday morning events.
Additional capacity will be available on routes from London to venue stations
on event days.

Network Rail is suspending all disruptive work for over the Games period
on rail routes serving venues during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic
Games. Transport for London is also suspending work on the tube network with
all lines and stations remaining open throughout the Games period. Network
Rail will keep key routes clear from the end of June to early September, some
11 weeks, starting four weeks prior to the Games through until the end of the
competition. As well as lines that directly feed venues and suburban and
metro routes across London, mainline rail routes across the country will be
free of disruptive work.

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Atos Origin is a leading international IT services company, providing
hi-tech transactional services, consulting, systems integration and managed
services to deliver business outcomes globally. Atos Origin is the Worldwide
IT Partner for the Olympic Games and has a client base of international
companies across all sectors. For further information, visit

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or visit the Virgin Trains Media Room website at

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