HS748
Topic Author
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Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:29 pm

During February and March, Virgin Trains is offering a free first class return rail trip to London from any North West England station it operates from. All you have to do to claim is send in a used one-way boarding pass from either a MAN-LON or LON-MAN flight taken with any airline on a weekday (not weekend). They're calling the campaign 'Plane Relief' and the application form is contained in a box that looks like a box of pain killers! I'm flying BA next week so I'm going to take advantage of this offer (and for those who don't know, Virgin Trains services from Manchester to London are now just over two hours and the on-board service is very, very good).
 
Shamrock330
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:01 pm

How much would it cost normally for a one way first class manchester to london? This sounds like an interesting proposition and i wouldn't mind giving it a go  bigthumbsup 
 
carduelis
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:05 pm

Quoting HS748 (Thread starter):
free first class return rail trip to London from any North West England

What about From London?

Quoting HS748 (Thread starter):
on-board service is very, very good

Each to his own . . . but your standards/experiences must be different to mine!

I've used Virgin Trains extensively over the years to/from North West, always travelling in First Class. Of those only one trip could be classified as good, the remainder were absolute crap, and after each trip I always get my £10 voucher for future travel after I have sent in my complaint form! It really is that bad. On top of that, the cheerfully educated staff of their Customer Relations team ALWAYS include spelling mistakes in their letters, and errors in my simple address!

FYI - there used to be a pair of speakers in circulation in the past, who came along to travel evenings, lunches, etc. One was from British Rail (predecessor to Virgin Rail), the other from BEA (the Domestic and European predecessor to British Airways). Their arguments were always put over in friendly banter, but always in an entertaining way, on the same subject as this Thread! Great fun - and excellent for later 'after dinner' conversation!
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
carduelis
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:16 pm

Quoting Shamrock330 (Reply 1):
normally for a one way first class manchester to london?

For tomorrow morning, GBP155.50, although there are cheaper off peak fares if you look - and of course return fares come out cheaper than two OW!

The journey time for the above trip is listed a 2h12

Try: http://www.thetrainline.com/
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
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shamrock350
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:17 pm

Those funny looking trains go past my house and they are always stopping! Has anyone that T.V advert where at the very end some guy on the train goes "beats flying doesn't it"
 
carduelis
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:25 pm

Quoting Shamrock350 (Reply 4):
some guy on the train goes "beats flying doesn't it"

That 'guy' is film actor Cary Grant, and the whole commercial cuts between scenes from one of his films with Eva Marie Saint(?), linked with scenes from 'The Railway Children', with the lovely Jenny Agutter, linked with current Virgin film. It is very well put together, with the exception of the 'current' Virgin scenario - 'Cup of Tea - of course, Madam'! You cannot be serious!!!

Yes, the trains do stop far too often in my opinion, and of course, adding to journey time!
Japan Rail Working To Keep Riders From Airlines (by Centrair Feb 19 2006 in Civil Aviation)
Yes, it looks like it's happening in Japan too!
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
gkirk
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:33 pm

I actually like the new trains that Virgin use, they are quick, quiet and very comfortable. TBH, If I was travelling between Manchester and London, I would probably use the train.
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:44 pm

Well Virgin must be doing something right, as in the past year its share of the Manchester-London market has risen from 40% to 60%. LIke EuroStar to Paris and Brussels, Virgin's half hourly service is proving very popular.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
carduelis
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:44 pm

Quoting Gkirk (Reply 7):
I actually like the new trains that Virgin use

. . . when they actually work . . .

Forget about the lovely new trains, the staff are still the same, unfriendly, miserable, morons - with the occasional exceptions of course!

At least they're younger that the four AA grandmother FAs in my cabin recently from HNL to ORD, charging for everything, headset, food and drinks. UGH!

The ORD LHR segment was not much better, especially the so-called mini-pizza that refused to be cut with the AA plastic knife. Thank goodness I have two hands that could pull apart the 'orrible' pizza base! From the little I was actually able to eat, it still tasted terrible! Not much of an experience in my nearly 20 hours on AA!
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
CRJ900
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:10 pm

I dropped by virgintrains.co.uk and saw the TV ad, and I thought it was great  Smile

I worked as a train attendant for 4 years onboard Norwegian Railways' long-haul services, and it was great fun, but the Virgin Pendolinos look like a fab place to work... perhaps I'll "cart my arse on down" to the UK and apply...

Does Virgin trains have a decent reputation as an employer in the UK?
Come, fly the prevailing winds with me
 
HiJazzey
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:16 pm

HS748,

Perhaps instead of accusing Carduelis of being bitter, it would be better to illustrate why you disagree with the points he made in his criticism of Virgin Trains.

My personal experiences on VT are closer to Carduelis than yours, although I don't travel first class. Yes they might have improved a bit, but they remain an embarrassing shambles.

But I'd still take the train to Manchester since it is more convenient.
 
BDKLEZ
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:17 pm

Quoting Carduelis (Reply 5):
Yes, the trains do stop far too often in my opinion, and of course, adding to journey time!

Perhaps, but the train operating company, whoever that may be, cannot be held responsible for that. They are at the mercy of Network Rail who operate and manage the track/network.
Trespassers will be shot; survivors will be shot again!
 
carduelis
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:25 pm

Quoting CRJ900 (Reply 12):
Does Virgin trains have a decent reputation as an employer in the UK?

Don't know, but just found this from 'Virgin Trains Cross Country'

Virgin Trains Cross Country and the RMT union have confirmed industrial action will take place on Sundays up to and including 14 May 2006. Virgin Trains Cross Country hope to run a near normal service on these dates, but will still be subject to alteration due to weekend engineering work. Customers are advised to check their journeys as close to the time of travel as possible.

Virgin Cross Country will not be able to provide seat reservations on these dates. On the Sundays affected, Virgin Cross Country will be offering a 'Virgin Voyager WalkUp' single ticket which will offer travel on any Virgin Cross Country service for a flat rate single fare of £20 (adult) and £10 (children). This ticket is valid for travel only on the Sundays affected, and only on Virgin Cross Country train services. This ticket can be purchased on the day of travel but must be bought before boarding the train. Tickets can be obtained from booking offices and through Virgin telesales and website.
If passengers are travelling a short distance it may be cheaper to purchase a normal 'Walk Up' fare


My best Virgin service was from from Warrington Bank Quay to London Euston, given by an ex BA Steward who had to give up flying, and chose to join Virgin Trains, so it can't be that bad.

He knew the business and it showed - a true professiona! Hopefully his style and expertise will rub off on his colleagues as time goes by . . . !
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HS748
Topic Author
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:29 pm

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 10):
My personal experiences on VT are closer to Carduelis than yours, although I don't travel first class. Yes they might have improved a bit, but they remain an embarrassing shambles.

Well I would never travel in standard class.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:49 pm

I've travelled in first class with Virgin Trains, normally Chester-Exeter. I normally only have to pay £17.50 one-way - which, if I'm lucky, is cheaper than a one-way standard class ticket.  Big grin I was, on the whole, rather impressed, not least because I could devour as much food and drink as I wished.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
Demoose
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:59 pm

This promotion was started about a month ago, certainly got a few heads talking at MAN when we read about it. Virgin Trains are already winning the 'battle' with the airlines between Manchester and London so it'll be interesting to see if the airlines will simply accept defeat or come back with some offers to stop the decline in pax.

My brother phoned me yesterday to ask what the website for this offer was as 3 of his mates had just flown down from MAN to see him in London. Hopefully i'll be seeing a free first class train ticket in the post. I have been on their pendelino's a few times in the past month and have to say they're very comfortable inside and at just over 2 hours for a trip down to London it's hard to see how the airlines can compete on point to point passengers.

Mark
Take a ride...fly across the sky
 
carduelis
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:19 pm

Good on Virgin!

By taking pax from the airlines, LONMANLON, they can then rely on more seats being available for their hundreds of commuting VS crew who use, and get looked after very well by BA/BD, every day!
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:24 pm

Demoooooose - do you have any idea when train services between Birmingham, Manchester, etc., will have be extra-fast (well, relatively speaking) to Glasgow and Edinburgh?
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
Demoose
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:29 pm

Pe@rson,

Not sure, though they are currently upgrading the final part of the west coast mainline between Preston and Carlisle so when that is completed I guess journey times will be 'super fast'. The Manchester - Scotland trains are Virgin Voyager trains, just as comfortable but not as fast as the pendelinos and stop alot more - I see them trundling through Bolton quite a bit.

Mark
Take a ride...fly across the sky
 
carduelis
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:33 pm

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 17):
to Glasgow and Edinburgh

I believe all the Euston Glasgow services are routed, quite quickly, through Warrington Bank Quay, which is quite easy to connect with from Manchester and North Wales. I feel that Edinburgh is not on the Virgin network, being part of the more eastern routings.
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
Feroze
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 11:00 pm

Quoting Carduelis (Reply 19):
I feel that Edinburgh is not on the Virgin network, being part of the more eastern routings.

Edinburgh is on the Cross-Country network IIRC
 
David_itl
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 11:28 pm

Anyone remember Branson touting a 4 daily MAN-LHR service using A320s before he decided to play with some trains? Can't remember how many pax travel annually on the MAN-LHR sector are connecting but think MAN said around 750,000 which leaves around 300-400,000 passengers for Virign trains to nab.

David
 
SQno1
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Sun Feb 19, 2006 11:41 pm

Quoting Feroze (Reply 20):

Edinburgh is on the Cross-Country network IIRC

There is also a single daily service between Edinburg Waverley & London Euston, at the insistance of the SRA, when it still existed.

With Regards,
Alex.B
 
samL
Posts: 149
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Mon Feb 20, 2006 12:50 am

Actually the trains to Manchester hardly stop at all. The Cross Country ones stop almost everywhere but most of the London - Manchester trains call at 3 or 4 out of the following:
Watford
Milton Keynes
Stoke
Macclesfield
Stockport
 
StarGoldLHR
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:23 am

Quoting SamL (Reply 23):
London - Manchester trains call at 3 or 4 out of the following:
Watford
Milton Keynes
Stoke
Macclesfield
Stockport

My experience shows it stops at all of these most of the time.
Plus a few extra when signals demand.

My experience (given that BD is now Over £100 and no more airmiles) is that the train is better and much cheaper / faster than flying.

Though I would almost certainly book the train in advance, its your only chance of getting a seat (unless of course your an olympic sprinter and leg it from the first call to the seat).
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
mhodgson
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Mon Feb 20, 2006 8:12 am

While I'd much rather fly, if I can get a free first class ticket from a MAN-STN boarding card (which cost me £7.50 as one of 4 sectors!) I'll take it. Shame the promotion isn't offered from Lancaster, though  Sad
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BlackandWhite
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Mon Feb 20, 2006 8:46 am

Now ive a senior railcard have used Virgin Trains several times last time was GLAMAN using Virgin to preston then changing to i think Northern trains , to me the Virgin coach was rather narrow with 2 and 2 seating but with a 12 channel entertainment system (audio), about 3.5 hrs but was only £20.00 rtn ,which is about half the BA staff fare ,taxes now are a killer on airtickets.
Have another journey to Feltham (for those who dont know Feltham isabout 2/3miles from Ter4 at LHR), Virgin to Watford then local trains to Feltham oneway £14.50 travel time 6hrs 19mins and again cheaper than a staff ticket, and as someone said above will open up a seat to probably a VS crew flying from GLA and theres alot of them
 
KJFK31L
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:07 am

Quoting HS748 (Thread starter):
They're calling the campaign 'Plane Relief' and the application form is contained in a box that looks like a box of pain killers! I'm flying BA next week

Id be interested to see how/if they are compensating BA for any lost revenue. I know they are competing airlines, but nevertheless and interesting concept. I love those Virgin trains-- from an equipment perspective, they are beautiful.

Matt
If it's not Boeing, I'm not going.
 
planesarecool
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:05 am

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 24):
My experience shows it stops at all of these most of the time.
Plus a few extra when signals demand.

They very rarely stop at both Watford and Milton Keynes. Only late night or very early services, or weekends.

I can travel wherever i want in first class for 2 quid so its not a bother for me, but i do hope that the airlines don't lose too many customers. My last BA flight from LGW-MAN had just 24 passengers onboard, and i got practically the whole back half of the plane to myself.
 
JAT74L
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:31 pm

Virgin West Coast use electric "Pendolino" trains on the services to and from London Euston. After a shaky start they are now achieveing 20k miles between even minor faults. The route upgrade is in place to allow these trains to run at a max of 125mph and tilt through curves up to 20% faster.

City centre to City centre in 2h12 is just enough time to enjoy the full English at your seat, read the papers or listen to the radio while you work.

It's the only way to fly!

P.S. VT are a very good employer. Pendo pilots earn 40k basic for a 35hr week!
I like trains just as much as planes but trains don't like the Atlantic!
 
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Vasu
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:34 am

How does this offer work? I couldn't find anything on the website...

I have BA E-boarding pass printouts which I used for LGW-MAN and MAN-LGW last year... would those be acceptible? Both flights were on a Thursday by the way.
 
Demoose
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:42 am

Quoting Vasu (Reply 30):
I have BA E-boarding pass printouts which I used for LGW-MAN and MAN-LGW last year... would those be acceptible? Both flights were on a Thursday by the way

No, you need to send a boarding pass stub for travel between MAN and LON issued for travel between Feb and March 06 (excluding weekends).

The website is here http://www.planerelief.com/

Mark
Take a ride...fly across the sky
 
BAxMAN
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:49 am

If Virgin are going to be cheeky enough to offer free train tickets to air passengers, you might as well be cheeky yourself and get a train ticket without spending a penny.

Buy a fully refundable ticket on BA. Use Online Check-in. Print off Boarding Pass. Phone and cancel booking. Send Boarding Pass to Virgin. This whole process can be done in about 5 minutes from the comfort of your own home.

This scheme is completely open to abuse, so play Virgin at their own game and take advantage!
I need to get laid
 
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ZSOFN
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:58 am

For those with sinister minds it might sound like a ploy to put BD in a weak enough position that they may accept a takeover bid from another "Sir"...
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:02 am

How much is a one way fare from Manchester-London on the rail system going for these days over there???

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
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Vasu
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:13 am

Quoting USAFHummer (Reply 34):
How much is a one way fare from Manchester-London on the rail system going for these days over there???

Greg

Well, The National Rail Enquiries website gave me this:

----------------------------------------------

OUTWARD JOURNEY
Manchester to London
Outward Journey on Mon 20 Feb 2006

Depart 19:15 19:24 20:15 20:45
Arrive 21:34 22:54 22:57 00:09
Duration 2:19 3:30 2:42 3:24
Changes 0 1 0 0
Bulletins

* Depart Manchester 19:15 Arrive London 21:34
* Depart Manchester 19:24 Arrive London 22:54
* Depart Manchester 20:15 Arrive London 22:57
* Depart Manchester 20:45 Arrive London 00:09

* View Details

Single Fares
You can choose a different ticket for your outward and return trip, to suit your journey requirements.

* FIRST OPEN SINGLE
* £155.50

----------------------------------------------
 
richierich
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:40 am

I took a Virgin Voyager standard class train last August and overall it wasn't too bad at all.... I took it from Preston to Glasgow and it was reasonably comfortable and on-time, although it was PACKED in there! Are they all like that? My biggest complaint was that it cost a lot of money - isn't the train supposed to be more of a bargain? I could have easily hired a car (one-way) and got there in the about the same amount time for a lot less money!
None shall pass!!!!
 
A342
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:50 am

Quoting KJFK31L (Reply 27):
Quoting HS748 (Thread starter):
They're calling the campaign 'Plane Relief' and the application form is contained in a box that looks like a box of pain killers! I'm flying BA next week

Id be interested to see how/if they are compensating BA for any lost revenue. I know they are competing airlines, but nevertheless

Huh ? Why should they compensate BA for lost revenue ??? After all, it´s business in a free market.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
lehpron
Posts: 6846
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RE: Virgin Trains Takes On The Airlines!

Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:33 am

Soon we'll see Virgin buses and cars and gas stations, and ships (ocean liners)...can someone scream MONOPOLY. Big grin

Unless these are different divisions run by different people, can one person me the landlord/lordess of all this? Boeing and United used to be the same company. It changed for a reason. But then this was in the US, we are talking about the UK. A county that should have William the 5th in charge, I'd pray for that day.  Smile
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