Pendolino carriage stripped bare

Behind the scenes images of the UK’s biggest ever train fleet upgrade revealed

Avanti West Coast's Pendolino stripped bare as work on the £117m project to transform the fleet gathers pace. 

  • Avanti West Coast Pendolino stripped back as part of major overhaul
  • New images at Alstom’s Widnes facility show the full extent of the work
  • First train due to re-enter service on the West Coast Main Line in late 2021

The first of Avanti West Coast’s iconic Pendolino trains has been fully stripped back as part of the UK’s biggest every train upgrade.

Two months after entering Alstom’s Widnes facility in the North West, new images reveal the full extent of the work involved in the £117m project.

Watch here for a walkthrough of the stripped down Pendolino

“These images really reveal the full extent of the amount of work being undertaken to transform our Pendolino trains,” explained Phil Whittingham, Managing Director for Avanti West Coast. “Our customers can look forward to a real step change in their travelling experience and seeing these developments in progress, we can’t wait for the first train to enter service.”

The first train, set number 390125, is expected 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.

The programme will transform all 56 of Avanti West Coast’s Pendolinos which 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.

Rail manufacturer Alstom will oversee the refurbishment at their new depot in Widnes in the North West securing 100 skilled jobs. 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.

Contact Information

Richard Stanton

Avanti West Coast


Notes to editors

Editors Notes 

  • 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.

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                                                                                                                 

About Alstom

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

For media enquiries, contact: will.tanner@alstomgroup.com 

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.

Website: www.angeltrains.co.uk     

For media enquiries, contact: mediaenquiries@angeltrains.co.uk