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Thursday, December 3, 2020

£60m Pendolino overhaul complete

A major £60 million overhaul of Virgin Pendolino bogies and wheelsets has been completed at Alstom’s Longsight depot.

Virgin’s entire fleet of 53 9-car trains have now undergone their third heavy overhaul (H3), having travelled around 2.5 million miles up and down the West Coast Mainline.

To mark the occasion a special event was held at the Manchester site.

The final Pendolino has now returned to service, just a couple of weeks after arriving at Longsight.

In total, 1.3 million parts were changed during the programme, 936 bogies overhauled and 1,872 new wheelsets delivered.

[pullquote align=”right”]The real test of an overhaul for me is whether or not our passengers know about it. I’m delighted to say that our passengers were completely unaware of the H3 project – they take that kind of thing for granted and, as long as it goes smoothly, they know nothing about it.[/pullquote]

The H3 overhaul also involved extending 31 of the nine-car trains to 11 cars.

Tim Bentley, managing director of Alstom’s West Coast Main Line activities, said: “We’re delighted to reach the successful conclusion to a hugely complex and challenging activity.

“Combining engineering capability from across the group and, in particular, locally at Manchester developing local jobs and skills. Delivering a sophisticated industrial solution involving multiple stakeholders invisible to the daily train service this showcases our capability perfectly.”

With the H3 overhaul complete, Alstom is now turning its attention to the H4 programme which is due to start at the end of the year.

Chris Gibbs, chief operating officer at Virgin Trains, said: “The real test of an overhaul for me is whether or not our passengers know about it.

“I’m delighted to say that our passengers were completely unaware of the H3 project – they take that kind of thing for granted and, as long as it goes smoothly, they know nothing about it.”

Alstom has also indicated that it plans to move its Class 180 bogie work over to Longsight.

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