Virgin Trains Helps Open New Alehouse to Attract Doncaster Customers

London, 2017-May-02 — /Travel PR News/ — Virgin Trains has helped open an alehouse at Doncaster station which has seen a disused Victorian buffet room transformed into a stunning new customer attraction.

Russ Thompson’s passion for the history and heritage of his home town has combined with his love of real ale and an opportunity to draw on his family history.

His father Barry was a draughtsman for the railways, based in Doncaster, so there was only ever one name for the new alehouse: The Draughtsman.

Russ said: “My father, who died in 1978, used to make the drawings to manufacture train engines, some of which were used at this station. I’m so proud of my railway history and being born and bred in Doncaster, and I wanted to do something to promote the history and heritage of the town and its great railway past, as well as provide a special place for customers to sup real and cask ale at the start or end of their journeys.”

Russ, 51, has used his 30 years’ experience in the building trade, along with the support of his family, to restore the former buffet to its former glory, opening as an alehouse on Platform 3b.

“The room was formerly a buffet, latterly for railway workers throughout the night,” said Russ. “But it had not been used for 20 years and it took seven weeks just to strip paint from the walls, but it was well worth it as it revealed stunning ornate Victorian tiles which now adorn the walls.

“I have also added my dad’s tools to the walls, including his compass, which also forms part of my branding. I’m sure he would have loved it and I could not think of a more appropriate name, given his job for the railways and, of course, we’ll also serve draught ale!”

Natasha Wilding, general manager for Virgin Trains, which manages Doncaster station, said: “We’re thrilled with the transformation of what became a disused store room into a beautiful alehouse and a fantastic place for customers to relax.

“Virgin Trains is committed to promoting history and heritage, and it’s fitting that Russ draws on his and the town’s railway past as we’re about to embark on a transformation of our east coast route with the introduction our new Azuma fleet of 65 trains from next year, many of which will be serviced at a new depot in Doncaster.”

To celebrate the opening, Virgin Trains has combined with North Yorkshire brewer Rudgate and The Draughtsman to offer a prize of two cases of its Hop on Board beer and two First Class tickets to any of its east coast destinations for customers of The Draughtsman.

Craig Lee, managing director of Rudgate Brewery, said: “Rudgate brewery is exceptionally proud to be involved in the launch of a new local business at Doncaster Station in association with Virgin Trains. The east coast route passes through the heartland of Rudgate Brewery and Doncaster is one of our main customer bases.”

Notes for Editors

The competition will be open to any customer who hands in their contact details or business cards at The Draughtsman in the next four weeks. A prize draw will be held by The Draughtsman, and Virgin Trains will contact the winner and arrange for delivery of the cases and tickets during the week commencing 29 May 2017.

Hop on Board is a Golden Ale which is brewed for Virgin Trains by the Rudgate Brewery near York. For more information on Hop on Board ale visit:

The Draughtsman will be open in the mornings for tea and coffee, and from 11.00 until late, seven days per week for alcoholic drinks. For more information about The Draughtsman visit:

About Virgin Trains:

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.

The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York and London.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. We have already invested £21m to completely revamp our existing fleet and customers can now benefit from 42 additional services (22,000 extra seats) per week between Edinburgh and London. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.

The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo – from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

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Source:  Virgin Trains