Alstom to refurbish and maintain Avanti West Coast Pendolinos
The £642 million contract between Avanti West Coast and Alstom will modernise the Pendolino fleet, which originally went into operation in 2003.
The Avanti West Coast line’s Pendolino train fleet is set to undergo a significant refurbishment, following the signing of a seven-year £642 million contract between Avanti West Coast – the route’s new operator – and Alstom, who originally built the fleet.
Phil Whittingham, Managing Director of Avanti West Coast, said: “The Pendolino is an iconic passenger train and we’re delighted to be giving it a new lease of life. This deal will improve the experience of passengers and ensure the fleet can continue to serve communities up and down the west coast route in the years ahead.”
All 56 Pendolino trains currently operating on the West Coast Mainline will be completely overhauled as part of the project. In addition to covering a £127 million upgrade of the units, the deal will also see Alstom maintain the fleet until 2026, alongside a new train fleet recently ordered from Hitachi.
The project will focus on modernising the Pendolino fleet, which originally entered service on the London to Glasgow route in January 2003. Refurbishments will include installation of more comfortable seating, improvements to the shop, renovated toilets, better lighting, new interiors, and the installation of at-seat chargers and improved Wi-Fi throughout. New maintenance programmes will focus on improving operational performance.
Managing Director of Alstom UK & Ireland, Nick Crossfield, said: “Alstom are proud to have been trusted by First Trenitalia to maintain the Avanti West Coast fleet and upgrade the Pendolino trains. Over the last 15 years, these trains have revolutionised travel for passengers, with faster and more frequent services. Passengers can now look forward to a new chapter in this story with Avanti West Coast, and with this contract in place, Alstom can look forward to investing even more in high quality jobs and apprenticeships as we deliver these improvements.”
The project is expected to create hundreds of employment opportunities and skilled engineering jobs throughout the country, and is believed to be the biggest train upgrade programme ever undertaken in the UK.