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Avanti West Coast has returned to service the first of its 56 Pendolino trainsets to be modernised in a £117m refurbishment programme.
The work is being undertaken by the fleet’s original manufacturer Alstom at its Widnes site, supporting 100 skilled jobs. The programme is being is being financed by leasing company Angel Trains, and around 80% of the spending is with UK suppliers.
The project ‘demonstrates how, through sustainable methods, existing trains can be renovated to provide a top-tier passenger experience’, said Angel Trains CEO Malcolm Brown.
The project includes fitting 25 000 replacement standard class seats similar to those used by FirstGroup’s East Coast Main Line open access operator Lumo, and the conversion of one first class coach on each of the 35 11-car Pendolinos to standard class; a refurbished 11-car set will have 607 seats, with the number of standard class seats increased from 444 to 508 and the remaining 99 split across first and standard premium. Every seat has a power point.
Other changes included refubishment of the onboard shop, improved lighting, new carpets made from British wool, ‘customer-friendly’ information screens, additional luggage space in standard class and refurbished toilets.
‘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’, said Managing Director of Avanti West Coast, Phil Whittingham when newly refurbished 390 125 re-entered service by operating the 05.05 from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston on April 25.
The second set due back in service in early May, and the last is expected to be completed in 2024.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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