On the odd occasion that I am not buried by at least six feet of paperwork and marking on a weekend or school holiday, there’s nothing I like more than hopping aboard a Virgin train and heading north for a bit of retail therapy. My city of choice you ask? Well, this weekend I was Liverpool bound. I’ve been to Liverpool quite a few times now and I love going there.
I like the way the shopping district is spread out, you don’t feel like you’re battling for room and there is plenty of shopping choice. The other plus point is that the station, Liverpool Lime Street, is only a short walk away from the shops.
Of course, if you’re done with the shops, you can carry on a bit further down to Liverpool Waterside (docks), where you can find some wonderful restaurants. Or you may simply wish to cruise down the River Mersey. For the hardy types who want to make a weekend of it and are able to, the Hilton is literally on the waterfront and sits on the edge of the shopping district – extremely well placed!
This particular weekend, my journey to Liverpool was made even better, and this was due to Virgin Train’s brand new app called BEAM. This app, free of charge I may add and available to both First Class and Standard, connects you to a wonderful selection of movies, TV shows, magazines, kids programmes and more to keep you entertained as you cruise and tilt through towns, cities and countryside. Time literally slips away and before you know it, you’ve arrived at your destination.
Now you need to make sure that you have downloaded the app to whichever device you are using on your journey before you board the train. I was using my iPad for this journey. The train hadn’t even finished pulling out of the station when the BEAM app roared into life, enticing me to choose from a rather impressive selection of titles. I understand that the films showing on the app are due to update at various times, as there are dates that the films are available to. No fear though, I am talking months here rather than just days! Similar to that of an airline if you will. Big blockbusters as well as some old classics are free to view at just the click of a button.
On the journey to Liverpool, I settled down to watch Bridget Jones’s Diary, a popular film that I shall never grow tired of. The film quality was excellent – no buffering at all. A smooth viewing that went without a hitch. Of course though, be warned, should the train experience any hiccups with power then you will be cut off. The app only works inside the train with its Wi-Fi connectivity. This means that as soon as you arrive and disembark, you will not be able to use the app any more. If you are cut off though at any point, and then resume your watching, the app does remember where you have watched up to – very handy indeed!
This app, in my opinion, is a great move by Virgin Trains. Providing customers with an entertainment system that is free of charge is going to make travelling a much more pleasant experience. Travelling with kids? No problem. Hook them up to a child friendly film or game on BEAM and you have an easier journey.
For more adult content themed films, you have an age suitability warning that comes up first before the film starts; another way of ensuring customers are viewing the most appropriate material.
After a long day of shopping, I treated myself to the film of ‘Bridesmaids’ for the journey back. At the end of the film, we were already on the approach to London Euston. As on the way up, I had been so completely engrossed!
Of course now I am already looking forward to my next (shopping) journey; what shall I watch next?
*Liverpool Waterfront image