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Alstom completes major refurbishment of Virgin’s Pendolino fleet

4 May 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

A major overhaul of Virgin Trains’ Pendolino fleet which operates on the West Coast Main Line has been completed by Alstom at its purpose-built facility in Manchester.

Virgin Trains Pendolino fleet

Alstom has completed major refurbishment work on Virgin’s 56 Class 390 Pendolino ‘tilting’ trains. The project is Alstom’s fourth heavy overhaul of the fleet.

Work on Virgin Trains’ Pendolino fleet was carried out at Alstom’s new bogie overhaul facility

Work was carried out at Alstom’s purpose-built bogie overhaul facility at its Manchester site. Access to such a facility has dramatically reduced the time it takes to overhaul each train. Alstom suggests it is now possible to overhaul an entire set of bogies for either a nine-car (18 bogies) or eleven-car (22 bogies) vehicle in just five days. Altogether, the bogies of 26 vehicles can now be overhauled within one week. This has helped Alstom to reduce the total time it takes to overhaul each train to seven days. As well as the Class 390 trains, the facility can accommodate Class 334s, 175s and 180s, as well as other manufacturers’ trains.

The fleet comprises 574 cars, 3629 interior and exterior doors, and 1148 bogies, which have now been completely overhauled. During this process, the bogies were washed and stripped, with wheelsets, gearboxes, drop links, yaw dampers and other associated components exchanged. In addition, 4,100 modules were tested and 2.3 million consumables were replaced.

“This project has been a real success”

Rob Whyte, Managing Director Regional and Intercity, Alstom UK&I, said: “This project has been a real success story for Alstom and the team of highly-skilled engineers who have done a fantastic job in such a short space of time. The new facility was purpose-built for our work on the Class 390 trains, but with the flexibility to accommodate a much broader set of trains, allowing us to significantly increase our manufacturing capability in the UK. We have supported over 120 local jobs with this work and put millions of pounds into the local economy by working closely with local suppliers in the North West.”

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