Virgin on track to recruit drivers for new East Coast trains
Rail giant Virgin is launching a recruitment campaign for drivers ahead of a new fleet of trains which will "revolutionise" travel on its East Coast line.
The company said it is the biggest single recruitment programme for drivers on the route since the 1980s.
Virgin said it wants to hear from people who have not previously considered becoming a train driver, with training taking a year, and including classroom-based and on-the-job learning.
A new 65-strong fleet of Azuma trains will be launched in 2018, providing an extra 12,200 seats, an expanded timetable and increasing capacity into London's King's Cross by 28% during peak times.
A total of 78 drivers will be recruited to operate the new trains.
Clare Burles, people director at Virgin Trains East Coast, said: "We're getting ready for some really exciting changes and as part of that we want to challenge people's perceptions of rail and shake up just what it means to travel in the UK.
"The arrival of our Azuma trains is an important part of our plans and we need amazing people to join us on our journey.
"It doesn't matter if you have never worked in rail or if you haven't even considered a career as a train driver before, we are looking for people who are not afraid to do things a little differently and want to be part of something innovative and rewarding."
Virgin said it is investing £140 million on its East Coast route, including £21 million already spent on revamping its existing fleet.
The company has around 340 train drivers on its East Coast route.