East Coast asked to run new ‘Pendolino’ set

One of the new Italian-built 11-car Class 390s is planned to join the EC fleet next summer for commissioning.


DIRECTLY OPERATED RAILWAYS Ltd., the company established by the Government in 2009 to manage Train Operating Companies that come back to the public sector, today announced that it is in discussion with industry parties concerning the possibility of commissioning a new 11-car Class 390 ‘Pendolino’ train on the East Coast Main Line.

Under the plan, East Coast, the publicly-owned company which operates Anglo-Scottish services on the ECML, would take delivery of the new train in July next year. EC would operate the ‘Pendolino’ in daily passenger service, principally between London and Edinburgh, for a period currently estimated to be nine months.

The new 11-car Class 390 – which is being built by Alstom at its facility in Savigliano, Italy – forms part of an order for four such trainsets. Alstom started work on the new order in early 2009. The units will be very similar to the 52 ‘Pendolinos’, each of nine cars, currently in service with Virgin Trains on the West Coast Main Line.

These train-sets were built by Alstom, at Washwood Heath, between 2001 and 2004 and are capable of speeds of up to 140 miles per hour, although the set will only be operated at 125mph on the ECML.

The 11-cars of the new Pendolino will be only slightly longer than trains in the existing East Coast fleet, enabling all current station stops to be utilised by the train without the use of Selective Door Operation.

Whilst the new 11-car trainset is being commissioned with East Coast, it would be fully integrated into the EC fleet and timetable – and would be maintained by the Alstom train care centre at Polmadie, in Glasgow.

Elaine Holt, Chairman and Chief Executive of Directly Operated Railways, and Chairman of East Coast Main Line Company Ltd., said:

“I’m very pleased that East Coast has been asked to commission the new Pendolino on the East Coast Main Line. Whilst a final decision has not yet been made, if it goes ahead, the train would add extra capacity to our fleet – and we’re sure our customers would appreciate the comfort and facilities that the new Pendolino has to offer.

“We’re currently talking with the manufacturers Alstom, and other key industry partners to understand the challenges and opportunities involved in the commissioning and certification of the Pendolino on East Coast.”

3 Responses to East Coast asked to run new ‘Pendolino’ set

  1. Cardiff Bluebird says:

    Crew training, lineside electro interfarence testing etc etc etc why ? When they are fully set up certified for the WC ?

  2. Howard says:


  3. DavidM says:

    I vaguely remember a pendolino being tested on the ECML when they were built may have been the southern end too.

    So long as it is less noisy than the existing sets or a Eurostar that’s not a problem.

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