Further Alstom carriages on track

The government has reached an agreement with Alstom to provide 106 new carriages for the West Coast Main Line. The company will begin the production process of new high speed tilting Pendolino trains and carriages, to deliver over 7,420 additional seats.

This is in addition to the 45 per cent increase in long distance services in December 2008. The agreement will provide four new eleven-car trains and will also lengthen 31 of the existing trains from nine to 11 cars. These will be in full service by December 2012. There is also an option to procure a further 42 carriages by early 2013, to meet the rising passenger demand.

Transport secretary Ruth Kelly said: ‘Our priority for the railways is increasing capacity and this will provide much needed extra seats on the busiest services from London to Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.’

She added: ‘In addition the £8.8bn upgrade of the West Coast Mainline will cut journey times and deliver more frequent services.’

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the bidders for the Pendolino Lengthening Project, which includes Govia Transportation Projects and Virgin Rail Projects, who are to receive an invitation to tender.

The service provider will support the DfT throughout the design finalisation, manufacture, delivery, testing and commissioning of a new ‘Pendolino’ rolling stock through to the end of the current West Coast franchise on March 31, 2012.