Pendolino train

Virgin Rail to deliver longer Pendolino trains

The department for transport has selected Virgin Rail Projects as chosen bidder to introduce longer Pendolino trains on the West Coast Main Line by the end of 2012.

The Virgin Rail Group subsidiary will deliver 31 longer trains and four new trains. The extra vehicles will be ordered from Alstom by the DfT.

Virgin's regional franchise, which runs until the end of March 2012, includes services from London Euston to Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, North Wales and Glasgow.

An agreement has been reached between the DfT and train manufacturer Alstom to begin production of the new high speed tilting Pendolino trains and extra carriages which will deliver 7,420 additional seats.

The DfT agreement with Alstom provides for 106 carriages which will create four new 11-car trains and will also lengthen 31 of the existing trains from 9 to11 carriages. These will be in full service by December 2012.

Tony Collins, Virgin Rail Group CEO, said, "We have already seen strong increases in customer numbers and further growth in future needs to be matched by adding many more seats. This project is a prime example of the private sector working in partnership with Government to meet customer expectations. We are keen to see the carriages introduced at the earliest possible opportunity."

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