Alstom and Angel Trains have confirmed that the idea of running a Pendolino on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) is possible. Tentative discussions have taken place, and line surveys have shown that it is possible.
The latest Pendolino to roll off the production line in Italy is 390055 which arrived in the UK on 16th November. It is expected to be accepted by Virgin, once test running has finished, in early 2012. Virgin Trains are currently obtaining four new 11-car Pendolino sets, and upgrading other 9-car sets to 11-cars. All these will be in service by the end of 2012.
Asked if a Pendolino could be seen on the ECML before too long, Virgin’s chief operating officer Chris Gibb said: “We will work closely with East Coast if they request our help in running a Pendolino along the East Coast for clearance trials.”
Pendolino trains currently run on the West Coast Main Line, currently at speeds of up to 125mph. However, they are cleared to run at up to 140mph if the track is suitable. Train operator East Coast will be looking to replace its current locomotive-hauled trains with modern EMU sets over the next few years.