Posted 25th June 2024 | 2 Comments

117m refurbishment of Avanti West Coast Pendolino fleet completed

A two-year mid-life refurbishment of the 56 Alstom Pendolinos operated by Avanti West Coast has been completed, just two months since the 22nd anniversary of the day in April 2002 when a Pendolino went on display at London Euston for the first time.

The first Pendolino passengers were carried on 23 July that year, when a special Virgin Trains service took invited guests from Birmingham International to Manchester Piccadilly.

The completion of the £117 million refurbishment, financed by Angel Trains, has been celebrated with an event at Alstom’s depot in Widnes.

A total of 574 vehicles have been improved and the last Pendolino set to be completed went into service yesterday, when it worked the 08.43 from Liverpool Lime Street to London Euston.

The upgrade, at an average cost of £2 million a train, has included the fitting of 25,000 new, ergonomic Standard Class seats, the conversion of one First Class coach in each of the 35 eleven-car Pendolinos to provide more than 2,000 extra Standard Class seats, a new on board shop, improved lighting, refurbished First Class and Standard Premium seats, new information screens, more luggage space in Standard Class, power points at all seats, refurbished toilets and new carpets throughout, made of British wool.

Avanti West Coast managing director Andy Mellors said: ‘The refurbished Pendolinos, together with our new Evero fleet, are a key part of our mission to transform rail travel for our customers on the west coast route.

‘The Pendolino is an iconic train, and now even better than before, with innovation and sustainability at its heart.’

Alstom’s services managing director UK, Peter Broadley, added: ‘This milestone highlights the dedication and expertise of our team at Widnes. They have worked tirelessly in partnership with colleagues at Avanti West Coast, Angel Trains and our wider UK supply chain to elevate the interior refurbishment of rolling stock to another level. We are immensely proud to see the entire Alstom-built Pendolino fleet returning to service in peak condition.’

Angel Trains CEO Malcolm Brown said: ‘A huge thank you to both Alstom and Avanti West Coast for making the UK's biggest ever fleet upgrade possible. It's significantly transformed our iconic trains, and I'm positive that passengers will enjoy the comfort and connectivity when they travel on one of our refurbished Pendolinos.

‘This is exactly what the partnership between our businesses set out to achieve together, and I'm certain that it will encourage people to make a positive decision to travel by train on the West Coast Main Line.’

Reader Comments:

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

  • Greg T, London

    But, presumably still with amazingly uncomfortable hideous seating?
    Recently, I came home from Glasgow to Euston - the Night Bus back home was more comfortable!

  • david C smith, Bletchley

    The Pendolino is an evolving design from ( originally) Fiat / Alstom, and the latest version can reach 250 kph ( 155 mph ).

    An alternative to the extended ( original plan) HS2 as a basis for intercity trains from London to the North might be to utilise the 155 mph plus tilt facilities on infrastructure that would need a good deal less than HS2 standards, but dispersed onto a series of "cutoffs"wherever these could be inserted on good benefit / cost grounds ?

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