Posted 25th April 2022 | 4 Comments

First refurbished Pendolino unveiled

A Class 390 Avanti West Coast Pendolino has gone into service this morning with new and more comfortable seats, a redesigned shop and better passenger information displays. One First Class coach has been converted to Standard, to provide more seats.

It’s the first example of a £117 million upgrade that will eventually include all 56 of the trains, most of which have achieved almost two decades of service. The first Pendolino was placed on display at London Euston by franchise-holder Virgin Trains almost exactly 20 years ago, on 30 April 2002, and the first carried passengers aboard a special service on 23 July.

The first passengers to experience the new-look train were on board this morning’s 05.05 from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston. The train is then making a round trip to Liverpool before being given a formal welcome at Euston.

Avant West Coast managing director Phil Whittingham said: ‘This investment has been one of the key promises to our customers and they will see a dramatic transformation of our well-loved fleet. The refurbished Pendolinos look and feel like new trains with state of the art technology as well as brand new seats that promise best-in-class comfort.’

The Class 390 fleet is owned by Angel Trains and the refurbishment programme, which is being carried out by Alstom at its Widnes centre, is due to be completed in 2024.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Andrew Gwilt, Thundersley Essex

    Very nice. Hopefully the seats and interiors on AWC new Class 805 and Class 807 AT300s will also look the same or identical.

  • Jez Milton, Manchester

    The coach has been converted to Standard Class because First Class demand (especially high yield business demand) has evaporated since covid.
    [Not so. It had been shrinking for many years before the pandemic, particularly as Anytime First fares on Virgin West Coast were very high (and are not regulated). Incidentally, how do you know what the current demand for First (or Standard) is, unless you work for AWC?--Ed.]

  • david c smith, Bletchley

    One of Avanti's parent company's is Italian "Frecciarossa", who have at least 3 classes of accomodation on board their high speed intercity trains in Italy. It will be interesting to see how the "Premium Standard"offering will work out in GB under this operator. There were quite often bargains to be purchased on Virgin West Coast in first class if booked far enough in advance , particularly suiting non - business journeys taking more than a couple of hours . It looks as if Premium Standard will be addressing this same market.
    [A minor point: it is Standard Premium, not Premium Standard.--Ed.]

  • John Porter, Leeds

    Does this mean that your Dec 2019 article has been superseded and the idea squashed? It said
    NEW Intercity West Coast operator Avanti has revealed that it is planning another class of travel, which would be inserted between Standard and First.

    Passengers buying tickets for the intermediate 'premium economy' class would sit in first class areas but have fewer at-seat extras than first class ticket holders, with snacks, for example, rather than meals.
    [There is an additional class as expected, branded Standard Premium.--Ed.]