Not quite the usual suspects, but would you buy a train ticket from any of these men?

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The Independent Online
Virgin Trains has launched a pounds 5m advertising campaign to promote its new telephone inquiry and booking centre, which opened in Edinburgh last week.

Callers will be able to get information on journeys and make bookings on any train - not just those operated by Virgin. The TrainLine represents the country's first national rail telephone booking service.

"We'll have all the information on all the services and on each we'll be quoting the lowest price," said Dominic Ryan, Virgin's commercial director.

"We're conscious that, for both our rail franchises, the main competitor is the car, so we want to make it as easy for people to pick up the phone in their living-room or office as it is to take the car keys off the coffee table."

The centre employs nearly 40 staff and plans to increase numbers to more than 100 in the summer when demand picks up. The TrainLine is a franchise commitment made by Virgin, which operates the Cross Country and West Coast Main Line services.

Last week also saw Great North Eastern Railways open its telesales office, which expects to sell 1.3 million tickets in its first year.