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First British PENDOLINO passenger run at full tilt

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The trip came after the ALSTOM-designed Tilt Authorization and
Speed Supervision system was granted safety clearance by an
official independent safety assessor to the Railway Inspectorate
of the Britain's Health and Safety Executive.

On board for the round trip from London to Litchfield were the
chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority, Richard Bowker; the
chief executive of Network Rail, John Armitt; the chief executive
of Virgin Trains, Chris Green; as well as other railway officials
and journalists.

“Today is a real milestone for the West Coast Main Line
upgrade,” said Mr. Green. “We now have our first
stretch of 125 mph track — and plenty of tilting trains to
go with it.”

ALSTOM delivered a new nine-coach PENDOLINO train for the
event. “The train worked perfectly throughout the return
trip,” said Mr. Green. “The new tilt technology works
so well that passengers are almost unaware that they are

“We have broken through the technical barriers,”
he said, “and the race is now on to deliver the remaining
track, trains and driver training in time for the Winter 2004
timetable. ALSTOM is on track to complete production of 53
nine-car tilting sets by the end of 2004 in support of Virgin's
service aspiration.”

By end of the year, ALSTOM will have delivered 36 of the 53
PENDOLINO trains for Virgin.

ALSTOM's TILTRONIX tilting technology in the PENDOLINOs will
allow Virgin to cut average journey times from London to
Manchester from two hours and 44 minutes to two hours and six

For the maintenance of the trains, Virgin has contracted
ALSTOM to apply its Total TrainLife Management program in order
to ensure the highest levels of fleet performance and reduced
operating costs.

With more than 35 product lines and a presence in more than
60 countries, ALSTOM's Transport sector offers complete
products and services for new rolling stock, signaling, and
electrical and mechanical infrastructure as well as maintenance
and rehabilitation services to four distinct types of
customers: urban transit authorities and operators; intercity
passenger rail operators and rolling stock owners; rail freight
operators; and intercity railway infrastructure owners.
ALSTOM's Transport sector, with sales of €5.1 billion in
financial year 2002-2003, is among the world's leading
suppliers to the railway industry.

Press information:

Helen Connolly

Tel. +33 (0)1 41 66 91 43