Avanti West Coast (the operator of long-distance trains out of London Euston) has hit a big milestone with its Pendolino fleet upgrade.
Alstom’s team at Widnes in front of the first nine-carriage Pendolino to be refurbished following the completion of all 35 of the longer 11-carriage trains – Image, Avanti West Coast
The train operator has received its 35th refurbished 11-carriage Pendoline set back from Alston – marking the completion of that part of the fleet’s refurbishment. The focus of the work now changes from the 11-carriage fleet to the remaining 21 nine-carriage trains which make up the 56-strong Avanti West Coast fleet.
The Pendolinos have served towns and cities along the West Coast Main Line for over 20 years, clocking up more than 270 million miles – enough to go to the moon and back more than 500 times, with them in need
The departure of the last of the 11 carriage trains from rail manufacturer Alstom’s Widnes facility marked the end of the first phase of the project, one that has seen 35 refurbished trains delivered within 16 months, at a rate of one set every two weeks. UK suppliers are also benefitting from 80 per cent of the £117m investment, which is financed by Angel Trains.
So far, a total of 385 carriages have been fully refurbished to date, with 17,780 brand new seats installed, in addition to 770 infotainment screens, 3,010 new tables with WiFi charging and 14,230 square metres of sustainable woollen flooring from UK-based Axminster Carpets.
Philippa Cresswell, Executive Director On Board at Avanti West Coast said:
“The refurbished Pendolinos are proving a big hit with our customers. They really do look and feel like a new train.
“We will continue to work with our partners Alstom and Angel Trains to complete the transformation of one the UK’s most iconic trains as we look forward to welcoming more people back to rail.”
Peter Broadley, Alstom’s Managing Director Services, commented:
“We’re incredibly proud of the Pendolino fleet upgrade project which takes train refurbishment to another level. Working in partnership with Angel Trains and Avanti West Coast we’ve delivered a fantastic product for passengers on the West Coast.”
Malcolm Brown, CEO of Angel Trains, said:
“Our iconic Pendolino trains have been refurbished to provide a comfortable, connected, best in class passenger experience at a lower cost and carbon footprint than building new. Working together with Avanti West Coast and Alstom this project has supported UK suppliers and skilled jobs the length of the West Coast Main Line. “
According to Avanti West Coast, the new look trains have received positive feedback from customers, many commenting on the increased levels of comfort, improved lighting, increased availability of power sockets, the refreshed interior and new on-board Shop.
And there’s more
With the Pendolino fleet being refitted, eyes will turn to the new Hitachi-based fleet that is due to enter service towards the end of 2023, with the Class 805 Dual System trains (Overhead Electric and Diesel powered) and Class 807 Electric trains – that will be used to replace the existing SuperVoyager (Class 221) fleet.
There’s a lot to deliver as Avanti – like a lot of the rail industry – works through its industrial disputes.
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