The travel operator has introduced special trackers which help ensure cuddly bears can be identified and returned to their owner.
Virgin Trains has launched teddy trackers to ensure that children who leave their toy behind on a train during their travels can be quickly reunited with it. The first travel operator to introduce this kind of novel tracker, Virgin Trains hopes it can come to the rescue of hundreds of families who will be travelling by train during the summer holidays.
The teddy tracker was inspired by the story of 7-year-old Ted McCaffery, whose mother contacted Richard Branson on Twitter to help relocate his lost teddy, Rufus. CCTV footage revealed that the bear wasn’t left on a Virgin Train and it was returned a few weeks later, but the incident left an impression on Mr Branson. He tasked Virgin staff to come up with a solution that could help find lost toys in future.
Toys account for over half of the items that are left on Virgin Trains each year. The lost property cupboard at London’s Euston station currently has 87 teddy bears waiting to be reunited with their owners. The special trackers can be personalized and tied around a teddy’s paw so it can be identified and returned to its owner if left behind on board a train or at a station.
Virgin Trains has also recruited twelve additional volunteers to its priority boarding team, who will be on the lookout for passengers travelling over the summer holidays who need a bit of extra help. They will come to the aid of those with lots of luggage or young children, helping them find their seats, stow their bags and settle in for a comfortable journey.
The Virgin Trains teddy tracker is available UK-wide on all routes, helping ease children’s anxiety over losing a much-loved toy. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, says:
As anyone who has young children will know, losing a favourite toy can be heart-breaking, and we know it can often ruin a family day out. We were so touched by the message from Ted’s mother that our staff have been working hard to come up with a solution. And that’s when we had the idea of creating a tracker that you can tie onto your teddy. It’s so simple but by promising to return any missing toys we really hope that it will help to ease any stress or anxiety that parents might have when taking a trip with their children and ensure every customer’s journey is that little bit better over the summer holidays.