Monday 7 September 2015

Children Challenged to Design the Virgin Christmas Train, judged by Jill Murphy

Virgin Trains today announced it has partnered with the children’s reading charity, Book Trust, to launch a nationwide search for a Christmas Train design, to be judged by Jill Murphy.

Primary school age children across Great Britain are being challenged to send in their most festive drawings and win the chance to see their design transform a Pendolino and an InterCity 225 this December. The drawings will be judged by a panel headed up by renowned illustrator and author, Jill Murphy, author of Five Minutes' Peace, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Virgin Trains is asking all primary school age children to enter their festive drawings, sketches or paintings. One winning drawing will be chosen to give two trains the special festive makeover, which will travel on both the West Coast and East Coast networks during December.

Jill Murphy has been brought on board to head up the judging panel, joining Book Trust Chief Executive Diana Gerald, and Virgin Trains. In addition to judging, Jill will be providing signed copies of a special 30th anniversary edition of Five Minutes Peace.

Jill Murphy said: “I'm really looking forward to seeing all the entries for this exciting competition - I wish I was still at school so I could enter it myself! Just imagine your own design being used to give an actual train a Christmas makeover! I'm delighted that Virgin Trains asked me to be the judge and I promise to look carefully at every single entry; so grab your pens, pencils or paints and get started!"

The competition is open to primary age school children aged five to 11. A shortlist will be announced week commencing October 26 and the winning design will be unveiled on December For more details and to enter, visit

 Get a copy of Five Minutes' Peace at your local bookshop.