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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Pendolinos look East

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All four new 11-car Virgin Pendolinos have now entered service, nine months ahead of schedule, and work continues at Alstom’s Manchester Traincare Centre at Longsight to lengthen 31 of the nine-car Pendolinos to 11 carriages.

The lengthening programme is expected to finish in November.

A visit to Longsight on June 27 saw the 10th and 11th Pendolino sets being lengthened.

The Pendolino fleet is also undergoing a H3 overhaul – a heavy maintenance programme that is due 950,000 miles after the H2 overhaul.

The H3 overhauls are expected to be finished  next year.

Speaking to Railstaff’s Jonathan Webb, Alstom’s mainline managing director Tim Bentley said: “If Pendolinos were to enter service on the East Coast Main Line, in 140 mph tilting mode and with ERTMS signalling, the journey time between King’s Cross and Edinburgh could be slashed by 50 minutes compared to the class 91s currently in service.”

Over £3.7 million has been invested in the Manchester Traincare Centre to support the H3 project.

Staff are now able to work on two Pendolino sets in parallel , where as before a single Pendolino was taken out of service for a week.


  1. Whilst the Pendolinos are certainly good, the situation is only barely adequate in terms of what the passenger sees. I travelled on a new set (no. 56)  last week, and the whole of one car had no secondary hotel power – for laptops, phones etc. That is not good for the maintainers or for Virgin. I have experienced it before, but on a new set it shows poor presentation.


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