Alstom Transport recently inaugurated a new train maintenance center in Edge Hill, Liverpool. The creation of the facility aknowledges the importance of the Liverpool site in Alstom’s maintenance operations carried out on the Pendolino fleet for Virgin Trains.
As a result of a $21.7-million investment from Network Rail, the U.K. railway infrastructure operator, the Edge Hill site in Liverpool is now able to receive up to eight high-speed tilting Pendolino trains for maintenance every night, rather than the five it formerly handled.
As of November, 2010, the first of four new 11-car Pendolino trains currently being built at Alstom’s facility in Savigliano, Italy, will arrive at Edge Hill for testing. In preparation for the fleet extension, the new facility was built with the longer trains in mind, and will also ensure the integration of two new carriages into 31 of the existing nine-car trains ready for passenger service in 2012.
The current center, built in the 1960s to accommodate diesel trains, could only handle basic maintenance tasks, and major work was carried out at Alstom’s four other centers on the West Coast Main Line. New lifting and access equipment will enable the teams to carry out a wider range of maintenance tasks, including the replacement of pantographs, wheelsets, windscreens and catering equipment.