West Coast Mainline operator, Avanti West Coast, have secured a seven-year deal worth precisely £642 million with Alstom, who will refurbish and maintain the routes 56 electric Pendolino trains.
As well as covering a £127 million upgrade programme of the Pendolinos, which is believed to be the biggest train upgrade programme ever in the UK, the deal will see Alstom maintain them until 2026 alongside a new train fleet recently ordered from Hitachi.
The renovation will focus on onboard facilities, with passengers benefitting from more comfortable seating, enhancements to the onboard shop, better lighting, improved toilets, new interiors, and the installation of at-seat chargers and improved Wi-Fi throughout.
Performance will also be improved through new maintenance programmes.
The deal will also mean 100 high-skill jobs will be created, mainly based at Alstom’s Transport and Technology Centre in Widnes, with hundreds more existing engineering jobs secured at key depots in Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxley and Wembley.
Managing director of Avanti West Coast, Phil Whittingham, 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.”
Nick Crossfield, managing director, Alstom UK & Ireland added: “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.”