Virgin Trains has revealed a 70% increase in train seat bookings to Liverpool for the bank holiday weekend. The train company has recorded Saturday as the busiest day to travel and has posted an overall ticket sales boost of 28% compared to 2009. Manchester and Scotland have also proved popular destinations for the long weekend. Sales to the city had been boosted by a series of events including the Beatle Week Festival, Mathew Street Festival and Creamfields festival. A Virgin Trains’ spokesperson told Travel Daily that a new timetable has also helped. “I think now we are able to provide a better service as our new schedule has more trains and shorter journey times,” he explained. “This has made using trains increasingly attractive. For example in Liverpool, we have reduced the journey time to two hours and seven minutes.” He added that the staycation trend had helped boost figures. However, the train network will be affected by a series of engineering strikes over the bank holiday weekend, which will lengthen journey times. “We’ve become better at not putting people on buses but diverting trains instead,” said the spokesperson. “The West Midlands to Euston route will be affected but trains will take a longer route around West London to still end up at the correct station. The journey time will be longer, but at least passengers stay on a train and they prefer this to buses.” Meanwhile Stagecoach, which owns 49% of Virgin Trains, has said its profits remain on track after its rail operation revenues rose 7% for the 12 weeks before 25 July year-on-year. In this same period, Virgin Trains’ operations increase 18.7%.