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3M graphic films refresh interior décor on Virgin Trains

10 April 2014

Diversified technology company 3M today announced that Virgin Trains has completed an interior makeover using its graphic films to refresh the décor in its toilets.  Passengers travelling on Virgin’s Class 221 Voyager and Class 390 Pendolino fleet of trains on the West Coast Main Line are benefiting from an aesthetically improved toilet environment with a picturesque vista of a Virgin balloon in flight over a meadow.  The 3M graphic films used in the project were printed and supplied by Virgin’s fleet livery partner Stewart Signs.  They are long-lasting, hard-wearing and industry compliant with full warranty and approval for rail industry use.

Ken Gibbs, Communications Manager, Virgin Trains, commented, “The toilet refurb project is a typical Virgin initiative, adding personality and individuality to bring a smile to customers’ faces.  It’s important to us that customers reach their destination on time and in comfort, feeling refreshed on arrival.  By sprucing up the toilets with smart new graphics, improved lighting and door controls, they are now a more attractive place to be.  Together with our tongue in cheek toilet sign humour and amusing recorded messages, they contribute to the unmistakable Virgin passenger experience.”

Train wrapping offers advantages all-round: passengers get to travel in a pleasant environment, the graphic art arouses the interest of new audiences, and the rail operators and transit authorities protect the interior of their trains during a time of increasing network usage.

“We are seeing a growing trend in the European rail industry towards protecting train interiors and enhancing the passenger experience with art in transit,” said Pen Webley, Marketing, 3M Commercial Graphics.  “The Virgin Trains toilet project is a great example of a refurb where a rail operator has enlivened an otherwise drab and unwelcoming space.  Similarly, our graphic films have been used to bring artistic beauty to commuter trains in France.  For example, last year the interior ceiling and walls on commuter trains in the Paris suburbs were covered with graphic films reproducing the famous paintings and artefacts of Paris’ Musée d’Orsay.”

For the Virgin Trains interior makeover, Stewart Signs chose to use Controltac Graphic Film with Comply Adhesive IJ180C and Scotchgard Graphic and Surface Protection Film 8995 from 3M.  Controltac Graphic Film IJ180C is a popular film for rail applications and is also used on the First Capital Connect Fleet.  This opaque film is fully compliant with required rail standards, producing high quality and long-lasting, large fleet graphics. Its pressure-activated adhesive allows for easier and faster installation reducing the time a train needs to be out of action for a livery upgrade or overhaul.

The Scotchgard Graphic and Surface Protection Film 8995 is a durable, matte, extruded polyester rail overlaminate designed to protect graphics and surfaces from graffiti, scratches and gouges.  The film prevents scratches from damaging the under-surface by providing a protective barrier. It can withstand harsh solvents that are needed to clean the surface and remove graffiti to uphold brand image.

In the case of the French commuter train, it has been noted that vandalism is less of a problem since the graphic films have been installed.  During their journey, commuters can admire travelling works of art such as “Morning Sun” by Camille Pissaro, Claude Monet’s “Blue Water Lilies”, the famous clock or the glass wall of the Musée d’Orsay.

For more information about 3M graphic solutions for the rail industry, visit www.3M.co.uk/graphicsolutions.  Follow 3M on facebook.com/3MgraphicsUK or twitter.com/3MgraphicsUK

3M, Scotchgard, Comply and Controltac are trademarks of 3M Company.

Media enquiries:
Neesham Public Relations
Beky Cann
Tel: 01296 628180
Email: bekyc@neesham.co.uk