Avanti West Coast begins the UK’s biggest ever train fleet upgrade
The first Avanti West Coast Pendolino has entered Alstom's Widnes depot to mark the start of a £117m investment to refurbish and transform the UK's hardest working fleet.
- The west coast operator will invest £117m in its iconic Pendolino trains
- First ‘new’ train due back in service in late 2021
- Upgrade will add more than 2,000 extra standard class seats
Avanti West Coast has kicked-off the UK’s biggest ever train fleet upgrade this week, as the first Pendolino was taken out of service for work to begin on the £117m project.
The programme will transform all 56 of Avanti West Coast’s iconic Pendolinos. The trains are widely regarded as the UK’s hardest working train fleet, clocking up more than 270 million miles since they were launched – enough to go to the moon and back more than 500 times.
The Pendolinos have served routes between London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Edinburgh for close to 20 years and the upgrade will return the whole Pendolino fleet to an ‘as new’ condition.
Customer improvements 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 for customers to meet and enjoy refreshments;
- 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.
Watch the train arriving onto the depot:
“The Pendolino is a real workhorse which has helped to transform services on the West Coast Main Line,” explained Phil Whittingham, Managing Director for Avanti West Coast. “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.”
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. The upgrade programme will run until February 2024 when the last of the 56 strong fleet is expected to leave Widnes.
“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” said Peter Broadley, Managing Director, Services, Alstom UK & Ireland. “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.”’
UK suppliers will benefit from 80% of the £117m investment, which is financed by Angel Trains, one of the UK’s leading train Asset Management companies.
“Investing in the refurbishment of rolling stock is crucial for advancing the UK rail industry and supporting the wider supply chain,” said David Jordan, Chief Operating Officer of Angel Trains. “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.”
The refurbished Pendolinos are just part of the changes taking place on the West Coast. The ground-breaking Standard Premium has already been introduced, as has at-seat ordering and a brand-new fleet to replace the diesel Voyagers is coming in 2023.
- The Pendolino fleet was launched in 2002/03 and has clocked up over 272 million miles in service along the West Coast route.
- Train number 390125, the first to enter the refurbishment programme, has travelled over 5.1 million miles.
- A refurbished 11 carriage Pendolino will have 607 seats. 508 will be in Standard Class, up from the current 444 (an increase of 9.6%). The remaining 99 will be split across First and Standard Premium.
Avanti West Coast
Notes to editors
About Avanti West Coast
Avanti West Coast, operator of intercity rail services on the West Coast Main Line, is a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, delivering a cleaner, greener railway that drives the West Coast forward.
We’re on a mission to revolutionise train travel, linking together the towns and major cities of the UK to create an iconic railway the country can be proud of. We’ve got big plans including a fleet of new intercity trains, as well as the complete refurbishment of the existing Pendolino train fleet. We will introduce more train services every week with new routes added, and a much-improved onboard service with enhanced free Wi-Fi, plug sockets, 25,000 brand new seats and improved catering. Since December 2019, passengers have benefitted from improved passenger compensation, available for journeys delayed by just 15 minutes.
For the latest news, visit the Avanti West Coast Media Room: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/
Press Office: 0845 000 3333
Leading societies to a low carbon future, Alstom develops and markets mobility solutions that provide the sustainable foundations for the future of transportation. Alstom’s product portfolio ranges from high-speed trains, metros, monorails and trams, to integrated systems, customised services, infrastructure, signalling, and digital mobility solutions. Alstom has 150,000 vehicles in commercial service worldwide. With Bombardier Transportation joining Alstom on January 29, 2021, the enlarged Group’s combined proforma revenue amounts to €14 billion for the 12-month period ended March 31, 2021. Headquartered in France, Alstom is present in 70 countries and employs more than 70,000 people, including over 6,000 people in the UK: www.alstom.com
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About Angel Trains
Angel Trains is one of Britain’s leading train leasing companies and has been an owner and lessor of rolling stock since 1994. The company leases to 18 franchised operators and two open access operators in the UK. Angel Trains is passionate about financing and delivering high quality, modern assets to its customers and is committed to working with the Government, the Rail Delivery Group ("RDG") and other stakeholders to provide innovative funding solutions to modernise and improve the UK's train fleet.
Angel Trains has invested £5 billion in new rolling stock and refurbishment programmes since 1994 and is one of the largest private investors in the industry.
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