Images and details have been revealed of how Avanti West Coast’s new trains will look as the operator begins its £117m upgrade of the famous Pendolino fleet.
The firm, which operates services between cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, will transform all 56 of its trains in the UK’s biggest ever fleet upgrade.
Regarded as the UK’s hardest working train fleet, clocking up more than 270 million miles since they were launched, the Pendolinos have served the west coast mainline for almost 20 years – and the upgrade will return the vehicles to an ‘as new’ condition.
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The provider – a partnership between First Group and Trenitalia – took over running of the West Coast mainline back in December, promising new and refurbished trains, better stations and simpler fares.
Phil Whittingham, managing director for Avanti West Coast, said: “The Pendolino is a real workhorse which has helped to transform services on the West Coast Main Line.
“This investment will take them to the next level and they’ll feel like new trains with state of the art technology and brand new seats. I can’t wait to see the reaction from our customers and people.”
According to Avanti, customer improvements will include:
- Replacing 25,000 standard class seats
- Conversion of one First Class carriage on each of the 35 eleven-carriage Pendolinos to provide more than 2,000 extra standard class seats
- The introduction of a new café bar
- Improved lighting and new interior carpets
- Greater use of technology with customer-friendly passenger information screens
- Additional luggage space
- Power points at every seat
- Refurbished toilets
Rail manufacturer Alstom will oversee the refurbishment at their new depot in Widnes in the North West securing 100 skilled jobs.
The first train, set number 390125, is due to re-enter service in late 2021.
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The upgrade programme will run until February 2024 when the last of the fleet is expected to leave Widnes.
Peter Broadley, managing director, services, Alstom UK & Ireland, said: “We were delighted when our friends at Avanti West Coast entrusted our team at Widnes with the upgrade of the Alstom-built Pendolino, one of Britain’s most reliable, popular and sustainable trains.
“Alstom is the nation’s leading train services provider and train refurbishment is a major part of our offering, so we can’t wait to get cracking on this landmark project.”’
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UK suppliers will benefit from 80% of the £117m investment, which is financed by Angel Trains, a UK-based train asset management companies.
David Jordan, CEO of Angel Trains, said: “Investing in the refurbishment of rolling stock is crucial for advancing the UK rail industry and supporting the wider supply chain.
“This project is a huge milestone, and we are proud to work with our customers Avanti West Coast to upgrade the Pendolino fleet, to create modern train interiors that are fit for future passengers’ needs.”