Avanti West Coast begins the UK’s biggest ever train fleet upgrade

Work is now underway on Avanti West Coast’s Pendolino fleet refurbishment, in partnership with Alstom and Angel Trains. This is the UK’s biggest ever train fleet upgrade, a £117 million investment which will transform all 56 of the iconic Pendolinos to ‘as new’ condition.


Improvements will include:


  • Replacing 25,000 Standard Class seats;
  • Converting one First Class carriage on each of the 35 eleven-carriage Pendolinos to provide more than 2,000 extra Standard class seats;
  • Introducing a new Café Bar;
  • Installing improved lighting and new interior carpets;
  • Greater use of technology with customer-friendly passenger information screens;
  • Additional luggage space;
  • Power points at every seat;
  • Refurbished toilets.


The first train (pictured), set number 390125, is due to re-enter service in the new year. The upgrade programme will run until February 2024 when the last of the 56 strong fleet is expected to leave Widnes, where the upgrade is taking place.


Rail manufacturer Alstom will oversee the refurbishment at their depot, securing 100 skilled jobs. It is being financed by Angel Trains, one of the UK’s leading train asset management companies.


This refurbishment programme is in addition to a new fleet of electric and bi-mode trains that will replace Avanti West Coast’s diesel-powered Voyagers in 2023. These projects will bring significant improvement to passenger journeys on Avanti West Coast’s network.


You can find the full press release alongside a video of the first train entering the depot here.