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Alstom and Virgin Trains launch co-branded "Alstom Pendolino", a train with a mission

Press Release   •   Sep 16, 2010 23:00 BST

Alstom and Virgin Trains have unveiled a new look for one of the fifty-two high-speed tilting Pendolino trains serving the West Coast Main Line.

The train, renamed “Alstom Pendolino” by Virgin Trains CEO Tony Collins during a ceremony at Euston station, London, now displays a specially designed Alstom branding alongside that of Virgin. This is in recognition of the successful partnership between the two companies, established in 1999, which underpins the delivery of a world class intercity service. The fleet, built and maintained by Alstom, is one of the most intensively used in the world, with 47 trains in service every day, covering over 16.5 million miles per year.

Alstom has chosen the newly branded train for a special mission in a further illustration of cross-industry partnership aimed at bringing benefits to passengers. “Alstom Pendolino” will be used to improve system reliability thanks to an initiative between Alstom, Virgin Trains and Network Rail. The train is fitted with pantograph and track monitoring equipment which will provide valuable data to support preventative maintenance of the track and overhead line. In addition the set will be used to trial potential train modifications that can be used to improve fleet reliability.

Tony Collins, CEO Virgin Trains, said: "Our customer service success at Virgin Trains is heavily dependent on the relationship with our key partners. Alstom has consistently gone beyond the call of duty to help us achieve the performance that has attracted record customer numbers and customer satisfaction scores. We are grateful for that support and partnership."

Paul Robinson, Managing Director, Alstom Transport UK & Ireland added: “ It is an honour to place the Alstom brand alongside that of Virgin and so emphasize our daily contribution to the running of the flagship Pendolino fleet. Furthermore, “Alstom Pendolino” will be instrumental in helping train maintainer, operator and infrastructure provider target further improvements on the West Coast Main Line”.

Jo Kaye, Route Director for Network Rail said: “This is just one demonstration of how we, as an industry, are developing new technologies to deliver an efficient and highly reliable railway. The track data this train will provide will prove invaluable in helping us to detect potential faults as they develop so that we can carry out preventative maintenance and push performance on the West Coast to ever higher levels.” 

Notes for editors Alstom carries out a full service regime on the Pendolino fleet from five Traincare Centres in London Wolverhampton, Liverpool , Manchester and Glasgow and a fleet control centre in Birmingham

As of 16 Sept 2010 the 52-strong Pendolino fleet has covered almost 90 million miles in service

Each train averages 1100 miles per day in service

In the 12 months to end August 2010 the fleet returned 62.7GWh of electricity to the grid, the equivalent of powering 15 600 homes for a year*

Total households in Great Britain 24.7 million in 2004. (Source:

Typical household annual electricity consumption values are estimated between 3300 kWh and 4600 kWh. The calculation has taken 4000 kWh as an average.

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