Saturday 24th December 2016
Durham Students Are Just The Ticket To Help With The Festive Getaway


Students from Durham University are helping Virgin Trains with the city’s annual Christmas getaway.

Thousands of students descend upon Durham station at the end of each Michaelmas term to return home for Christmas via Virgin Trains’ east coast route.

Virgin Trains last year asked for staff volunteers to help load students’ luggage on to trains quickly to ensure its services left on time.
This year, it has teamed up with the university to recruit students to pack bags on-board – with the volunteers bagging a First Class ticket home in reward.

Station Manager Louise Rutherford said: “We were inundated with applications to join Virgin Trains, and the university has also been a great help by getting the message out to students to turn up early and not to bring the kitchen sink with them!

“Most of all, we wanted energetic, happy and lively students to have fun and to look after their fellow students on their way home.”

The students have been trained to lift baggage safely and are also directing customers to their correct carriages from today until Sunday. To further help with the getaway, Virgin Trains will also run an additional special service, starting at Durham at 10.05 tomorrow and only calling at Peterborough en route to London King’s Cross.
Purnoor Grewal, 23, who is from New Delhi and is studying for a Masters in Corporate Law at Durham University, said: “This is a really good opportunity for students and, in between helping them with their bags, I am enjoying meeting people, having fun and bringing some festive cheer.

“The staff have been pampering me, bringing me food and drinks, and there is a lovely atmosphere at the station. I will be back on duty on Sunday before I catch the train to London on my way back home to India.”

Dr Michael Gilmore, Academic Registrar at Durham University, said: “Our students volunteer their time to various causes throughout the year and this is another example of Durham students demonstrating their sense of community spirit. We wish all our students travelling home for Christmas a safe journey and look forward to them returning to their studies in the new year.”

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