Published at 00:02 on Wednesday 1st April 2015
Tags: Virgin Trains, WCML, Pendolino, Voyager

A computer graphic of how the new on-board fitness coach could look. Virgin Trains

For the unconvinced, yes this is an April Fool story!

Virgin Trains has confirmed that plans for a unique passenger experience onboard its trains are well advanced.

The project, which is being undertaken alongside its Virgin Active organisation, will result in one coach of each train being transformed in to a travelling gym, complete with exercise bikes, cross trainers and running machines.

The move, which is believed to be a world first is to be rolled out across the company's fleet of Pendolino and Super Voyager trains, with the gym vehicle being named the 'Fitness Coach'.

All of the state-of-the-art gym equipment will have been hand-picked by fitness experts at Virgin Active, and in a truly ground-breaking move, the kinetic energy generated from each Fitness Coach will be harnessed and used by the train.

Early drawings of the pioneering ‘Fitness Coach’ have been unveiled today via Virgin Trains’ Twitter feed. They show how the ‘Fitness Coach’ will put an end to sedentary journeys and give the joy of movement to every passenger no matter how busy their schedule or how near or far their final destination.

It will contain state-of-the-art equipment including the Queenax functional training frame and monkey bars that will run the length of the carriage, a Virgin Active Grid inspired floor, plyo-box obstacles and a revolving climbing wall. Workout stations throughout the carriage will be stocked with rowing machines, running machines and a rotating climbing wall burning up to 700 calories an hour.

To ensure passengers make the most of their workouts, on-board staff will all attend a Virgin Active training course so they can offer training advice while checking tickets.

Sir Richard Branson said, “Success isn’t just about having a healthy mind, it’s about having a healthy body too, and this starts with being active. No matter how busy I get, I always factor an hour’s exercise into every day and I want to help other people do the same. To be able to finally combine the expertise of Virgin Trains and Virgin Active is a dream come true and I can’t wait to burn some serious calories as I travel around the UK.”

While the move will no doubt be seen in some quarters as increasing problems related to a lack of seats on WCML services, the company are at least ensuring that passengers retain their fit and healthy lifestyle throughout what is an increasingly busy lifestyle. It should also be remembered that the Virgin brand has always been one to put the 'fun' into travel, especially on the 1st April!

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