posted on 27th Sep 2023 14:24
On 7 September 2023 Avanti West Coast has completed the upgrade of the 35th, and the last of 11-car Class 390 Pendolino EMUs. The upgrade work, which started in early 2020, has been carried out at Alstom's facility in Widnes and is financed by Angel Trains. The trains were upgraded within sixteen months, at a rate of one set per fortnight. In total, the work has involved refurbishing 385 carriages and installing 17,780 new seats, 770 infotainment screens, 3,010 new tables with WiFi charging and 14,230 m2 of woollen flooring (from Axminster Carpets, UK).
The operator will now work on upgrading of 21 shorter, nine-car units. It believes that this project is the UK's largest ever train upgrade and that it has “helped to deliver a step change in onboard experience”. The upgrade is scheduled to finish in summer 2024 and has cost of 117 million GBP. The Class 390 fleet is comprised of 56 trains, which have been working along the West Coast Main Line for more than two decades, travelling a total of more than 270 million miles.
Together with upgrading the Pendolino fleet, the West Coast route operator will be bringing a brand-new fleet of Hitachi trains into service from the end of this year.