Latest Rail News

14.05.08

Pendolino agreement reached

The Department for Transport has reached agreement with Alstom for the supply and maintenance of Pendolino high-speed tilting trains for use on the West Coast Main Line between London and Glasgow. This notice to proceed is intended to be followed by a firm contract for trains and maintenance worth a total of £1.5 billion which is due to be finalised in August 2008.

The notice to proceed for rolling stock, worth £255 million, will cover the delivery of four Pendolino trains. The West Coast Main Line fleet, currently composed of 52 trains built and maintained by Alstom since 2003 and operated by private operator Virgin, will therefore comprise 56 trains after this delivery.

The new trains with eleven cars each will be put into service in 2011 and 2012. To meet the needs of the growing number of passengers on the West Coast Main Line, 31 of the trains in the fleet currently in service will also be lengthened by two cars each, for a total of 11 cars per train. This will raise their capacity to 589 passengers each. These lengthened trains will be put into service between April and December 2012.

The agreement provides for an option – to be exercised by August 2010 – for the 21 remaining trains to be lengthened to 11 cars as well.

The four new Pendolino trains and the cars required to lengthen the existing trains will be manufactured at Alstom's centre of excellence for high-speed models in Savigliano, Italy. The train lengthening will take place at Alstom's maintenance centre in Liverpool.

The £1.25 billion notice to proceed covers maintenance of the Pendolino fleet and would extend the current contract by ten years beginning on 1 April 2012, the date on which the contract with private operator Virgin Trains expires. Maintenance will be performed at the five Alstom Traincare Centres located along the West Coast Main Line.

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