Virgin Trains has invited a railway fan making his first visit to Manchester Pride on board its specially decorated #RideWithPride train, as it transports hundreds of visitors to the city for a long weekend of celebrations.
Chris Tomson, who is from Trent Vale in Stoke-on-Trent, made his journey to Manchester on the Pride train, which boldly displays the Pride colours and highlights Virgin Trains’ passion for celebrating diversity.
A self-confessed railway fan, Chris, had been eagerly awaiting a sighting of Virgin’s Pride train after first seeing it on social media. He snapped it whilst waiting on the platform at Stoke-on-Trent station earlier this month.
After seeing Chris’s post on Instagram, the Virgin Trains Social Media Team invited him to join customers and Virgin’s own people to travel in style to Manchester on the Pride train.
This morning the train arrived into Manchester in a joyful celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. There was a true party atmosphere on board the train where everyone got involved in games/a quiz, applying colourful face paint, sampling delicious Pride biscuits and waving #RideWithPride flags.
A photo booth and props were available for customers to post photos of their journey to Manchester using the #RideWithPride hashtag.
Speaking of his opportunity to ride to Manchester Pride with Virgin Trains, Chris, 28, said: “I couldn’t believe it when Virgin invited me onto their Pride train. I only uploaded the photos of the Pendolino to Instagram to show my followers, as I love trains that have unique liveries. To be invited on the train was a real honour and one I knew I had to accept – especially as this is the first time I’m going to Manchester Pride. I’m really excited to experience the city’s celebrations and I’m sure it will be a day I’ll never forget.”
Victoria Whitehouse, Inclusion Lead at Virgin Trains, who hosted Chris on the Pride Train, said: “At Virgin Trains we’re always looking at ways to surprise and delight our customers and we’re happy we did just that with Chris. We couldn’t wait to welcome Chris on board our Pride train and make his first trip to Manchester Pride one to remember. We’re really proud of supporting a diverse workforce at Virgin Trains and to bring our customers and our people together to celebrate this is fantastic. We’ve had a great time on our journey to Manchester and we’re sure it helped get everyone in the spirit of Pride before they enjoy the city’s celebrations this weekend.”