A Class 390 Avanti West Coast Pendolino has gone into service this morning with new and more comfortable seats, a redesigned shop and better passenger information displays. One First Class coach has been converted to Standard, to provide more seats.
It’s the first example of a £117 million upgrade that will eventually include all 56 of the trains, most of which have achieved almost two decades of service. The first Pendolino was placed on display at London Euston by franchise-holder Virgin Trains almost exactly 20 years ago, on 30 April 2002, and the first carried passengers aboard a special service on 23 July.
The first passengers to experience the new-look train were on board this morning’s 05.05 from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston. The train is then making a round trip to Liverpool before being given a formal welcome at Euston.
Avant West Coast managing director Phil Whittingham said: ‘This investment has been one of the key promises to our customers and they will see a dramatic transformation of our well-loved fleet. The refurbished Pendolinos look and feel like new trains with state of the art technology as well as brand new seats that promise best-in-class comfort.’
The Class 390 fleet is owned by Angel Trains, and the refurbishment programme, which is being carried out by Alstom at its Widnes centre, is due to be completed in 2024.