The notice to proceed for rolling stock, worth €318
million (£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
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.
Regarding the maintenance of the Pendolino fleet, the
€1.5 billion (£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 along the West Coast Main Line.
"This agreement confirms the success of the Pendolino," said
Philippe Mellier, President of Alstom Transport. Since 2003,
when the Pendolino was put into service on the West Coast Main
Line by Virgin Trains, the number of passengers has risen 40%.
With this agreement, Alstom will play a role in increasing the
UK rail system's capacity. We are committed to providing UK
railways with ongoing high-performance maintenance services
– just as we've been doing since 2003 for our customer
Alstom Transport's Pendolino
The tilting trains in Alstom's Pendolino range operate at 200
km per hour. The Pendolino is equipped with Tiltronix
technology, a tilting system guaranteeing passenger comfort and
safety when the train takes curves at high speeds. Moreover,
the energy saved in braking means that the Pendolino consumes
17% less electricity than trains with a conventional braking
system. The fleet is also outfitted with the "e-train"
maintenance system, which anticipates maintenance needs and
relays them to maintenance teams via GPRS, thereby improving
Since its launch in 1998, Alstom's Pendolino has been a true
success, covering over 200 million kilometres in commercial
service worldwide. It is already in operation in ten countries:
the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Austria, the Czech
Republic, Switzerland, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain and Finland.
Russia will join the list in 2010 with the inauguration of the
high-speed St. Petersburg-Helsinki line.
Philippe Kasse, Stéphane
Tel +33 1 41 49 29 82 /33 08
Cécile Dodat (Transport)
Tel +33 1 41 66 91 43
Tel + 33 1 41 49 37 38