John Balmforth provides readers with a look at the history of Virgin Trains as they celebrate 15 years of service. Emerging from the franchising process in the 1990s, Virgin Trains, although branded as a single entity, was in fact the product of two distinct franchises: the West Coast Main Line and InterCity Cross-Country. The two franchises were, to a considerable extent, amongst the most difficult on offer - the former as a result of its ageing infrastructure and rolling stock and the latter due to the convoluted route network over which it operated - and in its early years of operation Virgin Trains suffered significant adverse comment. However, as the WCML modernisation scheme was gradually completed and as the new high-speed Voyager and Pendelino units came into service, so the performance of the franchises improved as did the company's reputation. However, come franchise renewal, the Cross-Country franchise was modified and reallocated to Arriva, leaving Virgin Trains to continue operating the West Coast franchise. This album will mark the 15th anniversary of Virgin Trains and will be packed with colour illustrations portraying the evolution of Virgin Trains operations over the period from 1997 to 2012.