ALSTOM Launches pendolino tilting train in the UK
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ALSTOM today unveiled the Pendolino tilting train destined
for the Virgin West Coast Main Line during a presentation held
for rail industry VIPs and media representatives at the ALSTOM
Midlands Test Centre.
During the event, co-hosted by Virgin Trains and Angel
Trains, guests were treated to a demonstration ride on the
Pendolino, becoming the first passengers in the UK to
experience tilt technology at high speed. The event is
considered by its hosts as the culmination of the £1bn
Pendolino order, which is running to schedule to date. Two
additional Pendolino trains were on display at the Test Centre;
they are pre-series trains specially built to allow unlimited
testing of the new technology.
The Pendolino production line at ALSTOM's facility in
Washwood Heath, Birmingham has a further six trains under
construction. The next significant milestone of the project
will be the hand-over of the first train to Virgin in November
2001. According to the contractual timetable a total of 29
trains will be delivered by June 2002, 45 by September 2002 and
the entire order of 53 by November 2002.
ALSTOM's involvement in the West Coast upgrade also includes
designing, developing and delivering an innovative Train
Control System (TCS), which is a UK version of the European
Railway Traffic Management System/European Train Control System
(ERTMS/ETCS) in a Joint Project Team with Railtrack.
To meet the challenging train test and delivery programme,
ALSTOM has invested £15m pounds to create a unique testing
facility in the UK, dedicated to improving train reliability
and safety. The ALSTOM Midlands Test Centre, the first major
off-line test facility in the UK, encompasses a 12 mile, fully
electrified and operational train test track, the Asfordby Test
Centre building, the TCS signalling and control centre and a
dedicated TCS test track.
The Test Centre will be used for the testing of two
pre-series trains, the new ALSTOM designed Tilt And Speed
Supervision (TASS) system to be used on the West Coast Main
Line from 2002, the commissioning of all 53 series Pendolinos,
and testing of the TCS. The Pendolinos are already designed and
wired to take the TCS system, which will be fitted to allow
140mph operation in 2005.
Michel Moreau, President ALSTOM Transport, said at the
launch ceremony: 'This is a special day for the UK railway
industry and the railway industry world-wide. ALSTOM is
introducing tilting technology to the UK, based on proven
technology which is in successful operation in nine other
European countries. And, it's all coming together at this
unique ALSTOM Midlands Test Centre - the very first dedicated
train and signalling test facility in Britain and an investment
we are particularly proud of.'
ALSTOM is the global specialist in energy and transport
infrastructure. The Company serves the energy market through
its activities in the fields of power generation, power
transmission and distribution, power conversion and electrical
contracting and the transport market through its activities in
rail and marine. ALSTOM today has annual sales in excess of 24
billion euros and employs approximately 140,000 people
ALSTOM's Transport Sector, with sales of 4.4 billion euros and
a 17% market share, is a leading supplier of rolling stock,
signaling, services and railway systems to the rail industry
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