- Virgin Trains introduces ‘chat carriages’ on its Pendolino trains
- Customers encouraged to strike up conversations with fellow travellers
- All part of the BBC Crossing Divides On the Move day
Virgin Trains customers were invited to strike up a conversation with a fellow traveller in its new ‘Chat Carriage’ on Friday 14th June.
Coach C on a number of Virgin Trains Pendolino services has been converted into the ‘Chat Carriage’ to support the BBC’s Crossing Divides On the Move Day, an initiative designed to get people to better engage with each other, especially when travelling on public transport.
To help facilitate those conversations customers buying a hot drink on a select number of Virgin Trains services were given a second free of charge and encouraged to share it with a someone sitting close by as a means of sparking up a conversation, be it about the weather, their destination or where they have travelled from or what they are up to at the weekend.
“All too often we tend to disappear into our own bubble when travelling by public transport,” explains Jo Buckley, Community Manager at Virgin Trains. “We think there’s still a place for a smile and a chat. Research shows it can have a really positive impact on wellbeing and can brighten someone’s day.”
“Striking up a conversation with a stranger shouldn’t be so daunting. Through our charity partnership with Rethink Mental Illness and our work with the Samaritans we know how important talking is, so we were delighted to support Crossing Divides On the Move day.”
The BBC’s Emily Kasriel added: “The day provides an opportunity for those who want to take part, to reach out to fellow passengers. We are delighted to be working with companies like Virgin Trains who are encouraging their passengers to have conversations.”
By coming into contact with others, we may begin to understand other people’s worlds and help create a greater sense of belonging. Those who think there is nothing worse than talking to strangers and relish their ‘me time’ on their journey will be relieved to hear that any activity is entirely voluntary.”
If successful, Virgin Trains will explore rolling out a Chat Carriage as a permanent fixture onboard all of it services in the near future.