I woke up really early today because today is the day I get to make my first real train announcement . I had won a competition offered by Virgin Trains to make a real life train announcement!!!!!!!!
We caught the 07:46 train from Gloucester to Birmingham New Street – it called at Cheltenham, Ashchurch for Tewkesbury, Bromsgrove, Birmingham University and Birmingham New Street (the train was a Cross-Country service for Nottingham). We arrived at Birmingham New Street and I did some train-spotting – I saw mostly Virgin, West Midlands Railway and Cross-Country trains. I then caught a Virgin Trains service to Birmingham International where I did my real train announcement.
When we arrived at Birmingham International we went to the pods, which take you to the Birmingham Airport, they are so quick it only takes a minute to get from one side to the other. We went back on the pods to Birmingham International and we told a member of the Virgin Trains team that I had arrived for the train announcing. The Virgin Trains member of staff took us to the central office on Platform 4. I met the station manager, Sarah (Virgin Trains Media Executive) and the train announcer. The station manager showed us the screens to use to do the train announcing and to track the trains (link to train tracker). I got to make some announcements at Birmingham International(link to the announcing). We went outside the central office and made a platform announcement on the platform with a handheld device. We then went upstairs to have a photo with Richard the Virgin Trains bear with the group. I did some more trainspotting at Birmingham International and then traveled back on a Virgin Trains repaint and got a table seat.
When we arrived at New Street station we walked to the front of the train so I could take a photo. The driver spotted me looking at the train and kindly invited us inside his cab – he explained how all the buttons and screens worked. I got to sit in the drivers seat and looked out the window and could see the tunnels leading out of New Street.
Next we headed to the train book shop and model shop at the end of the the road (where the tram turns around). After that we walked to a pizza cafe and had some pizza :-). We walked to Snow Hill station and met a lovely lady who was interested in my train spotting and let us through the barriers. We saw Chiltern Railways and West Midlands Railway trains, the lady came to find me on the platform and gave me some old train tickets to keep. We went back to New Street, via Waitrose for tea and cake on the train. We arrived at New Street and found we had five minutes to get to the right platform – the train was for Cardiff via Gloucester! When we were on the train I spotted there was a Cross-Country train stopped stationary in the middle track of Birmingham New Street with its lights off – very strange. Luckily we got another table seat and enjoyed our tea and cakes while we were going past the canal and barges. On the way back to Gloucester I saw a very long freight train (EWS).
That was our action packed day – THANK YOU VERY MUCH VIRGIN TRAINS FOR AN AMAZING DAY 🙂