Delay derails Virgin plan for Dome exhibit

Virgin is in talks with the New Millennium Experience Company about the inclusion of one of its high-speed tilting trains as an exhibit in the Dome.

But it is understood plans for the train’s inclusion have been shelved because they will not be ready until 2001. Agoon Gardiner, marketing co-ordinator at GEC Alstom, which is manufacturing the trains in conjunction with Fiat Ferroviaria, confirms: “There was a discussion but the train won’t be ready.”

A Virgin spokesman says: “As things stand, there is no agreement,” but it remains possible that a full-scale model of the train could still be included.

Such a move would signal a U-turn for Richard Branson, who wrote in the Mirror last August: “I have always felt strongly that the Millennium Dome was a sad waste of money…I didn’t want to be involved with a giant white elephant.”

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