The train design competition attracted hundreds of entries

Virgin unveils new Christmas trains designed by children

Virgin has unveiled two new Christmas-themed trains featuring designs created by primary school children.

A Pendolino transformed into a Penguilino and a Class 91 made over as Claus 91 were revealed at London’s Kings Cross Station this morning.

The two designers, nine-year-old Amber Maxfield from Carlisle and 11-year-old Madeleine Deakin from Suffolk, were the winners of a nationwide competition amongst primary school children for a Christmas Train design.

The competition attracted hundreds of entries and was run in partnership with the Book Trust, who set up a judging panel headed by author Jill Murphy.

‘‘I am honoured to have been part of this exciting project. We received so many wonderful entries and Madeleine and Amber’s designs stood out as fun designs with a real Christmas feel to them,’’ Murphy said.

Although the two trains feature different designs, they are both decked out with the same midnight blue-sky backdrop and each bears the name of its designer.

“I’m so happy to have won and it was incredible to see my drawing on the train,” said Deakin who attended the launch event. “It’s made me even more excited about Christmas!”

Maxfield added, “When I found out I’d won I just couldn’t believe it! Seeing my drawing on a train and coming to London is a dream come true.”

The two trains will run on separate lines, the Penguilino will be in service on the West Coast and Claus 91 on the East Coast. They will run on the network throughout December carrying passengers over the festive period.

Patrick McCall, chairman of Virgin Trains, said: ‘‘We loved the concepts that these two young designers came up with and are proud to have their ideas transform two trains.

“It’s fantastic that both the East Coast and West Coast services have come together to make our customers’ journeys throughout December extra special - especially on their way home for Christmas.’’

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