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Article from BTNews 27 SEPTEMBER 2021

West Coast Main Line

Avanti West Coast has kicked-off the UK’s biggest ever train fleet upgrade.  

Costing £117m 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 270m 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 and the conversion of one First Class carriage on each of the 35 eleven-carriage Pendolinos to provide more than 2,000 extra Standard Class seats.

Customers will notice a new Café Bar, improved lighting and the greater use of technology with friendly passenger information screens; additional luggage space; power points at every seat and refurbished toilets.

“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 is due to re-enter service in late 2021, the upgrade programme running until February 2024.

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 272m miles in service along the West Coast route.  The refurbished 11-carriage Pendolinos will have 607 seats, 508 in Standard Class, up from the current 444 (an increase of 9.6%).



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