One of Britain’s iconic train fleets will undergo a major refurbishment, which will create scores of high-skilled engineering jobs and secure hundreds more roles throughout the UK.
In a boost to the manufacturing sector, all 56 electric Pendolino trains deployed on the West Coast Mainline will be overhauled in a seven-year deal worth approximately $840 million signed between the route’s new operator, Avanti West Coast, and Alstom, which built the fleet.
As well as covering an approximate $167 million upgrade program of the Pendolinos, which is believed to be the biggest train upgrade program ever undertaken in the UK, the deal will see Alstom maintain them until 2026 alongside a new train fleet recently ordered from Hitachi.
The first of the revolutionary tilting Pendolino trains entered service on the London to Glasgow route in January 2003. The overhaul will focus on onboard facilities, with passengers benefitting from more comfortable seating, improvements to the shop, revamped toilets, better lighting, new interiors, and the installation of at-seat chargers and improved Wi-Fi throughout. Performance will also be improved through new maintenance programs.
The deal will create 100 high-skilled roles, mostly based at Alstom’s Transport and Technology Centre in Widnes, with hundreds more existing engineering jobs secured at key depots in Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxley, and Wembley.