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Home Maintenance Behind the scenes images of the UK’s biggest ever train fleet upgrade...

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

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 depot in the North West, new images reveal the full extent of the work involved in the £117m project.

“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.

About the Pendolino fleet

· 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.

Photo credit: Avanti West Coast

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