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Railhub Archive
2001-07-09 VIR-001
Virgin Trains

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The Red Revolution – Pendolino launch


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Class 390
franchises
franchising
Pendolinos
rolling stock
tilting trains
Virgin Rail Group Holdings Ltd
Virgin Trains
West Coast Trains Ltd



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Virgin Trains

The Red Revolution – Pendolino launch
_______________________________________________________________


date
9 July 2001
source Virgin Trains
type Press release



Virgin Trains unveiled its 140-mph tilting Pendolino train for the West Coast today at ALSTOM's new test facility near Melton Mowbray.

Guests witnessed a high-speed ""fly-past"" by the newly-named Pendolino ""Red Revolution"", before becoming the first passengers to ride on a tilting train in the UK since 1982. The Pendolino gave a demonstration of the new tilt technology together with its dramatic acceleration rates of 0 to 100 mph in just 100 seconds.

The Pendolino is set to become the centrepiece of the long-awaited West Coast upgrade when deliveries start in just five months’ time. Its mission is to double rail travel on this core national route to 30 million passengers per annum within five years, by winning back business from the airlines and motorways.

Virgin Trains is currently taking delivery of new train fleets to meet its commitment to scrap the existing trains by 2003. Guests travelled from St Pancras on the new 125-mph Voyager diesel train, which has already started to enter service on the CrossCountry network.

The CrossCountry Voyager travelled straight onto the Asfordby Test Track for the first ever line-up with the new West Coast Pendolinos.

Michel Moreau, President ALSTOM Transportation, welcomed Virgin Trains shareholders, Sir Richard Branson and Brian Souter, to ALSTOM's new £15 million rail testing facility at Asfordby and invited them to name their newest Pendolino train.

Sir Richard Branson said at the ceremony:"" I have been waiting four years to see our new Voyager and Pendolino family together for the first time. The Virgin brand has come to stand for quality and innovation in the air industry - and these new trains are going to do the same for the rail industry. I therefore name our newest Pendolino ""Red Revolution"" to kick-start a new era for the UK rail industry.”

Brian Souter, Chairman Stagecoach said:""Rail operators are starting todeliver. I congratulate ALSTOM on its £15 million investment in a much-needed test track which can be used to test both the Pendolino and the new train protection systems (ETCS) before they enter service.”

Haydn Abbott, Managing Director Angel Trains, said: “Angel Trains, the UK’s leading rolling stock company, is delighted to have assisted in arranging and structuring – and also underwriting – financing for the trains. This investment will allow Virgin Trains to achieve its vision of providing West Coast customers with faster, more reliable and more comfortable new trains and I am confident they will offer substantial benefits for the rail travelling public on the West Coast route.”

Chris Green, Chief Executive released the latest plans for introducing the Pendolinos into public service (see Appendix). Pendolinos would start replacing existing 110-mph trains from June 2002 between London and the North West in time for the Commonwealth Games.

The ALSTOM Test Facility is also being used to develop the new European automatic train control system (ETCS) which will become mandatory for UK high speed trains from 2008. The first stage will be to test the tilt control system (TASS) that will be needed from 2002. The second stage will be to test the new ETCS system on a parallel track in readiness for installation on the West Coast from 2005.

Note to Editors:

o Virgin Rail Group is jointly owned by Virgin (51%) and Stagecoach (49%).

o Pendolino is Italian for ‘tilting’: the trains follow a successful Fiat tilt design, which is now working successfully in nine other countries.

o The Pendolino trains are being built by ALSTOM at its Washwood Heath works in Birmingham. They are being leased through Angel Trains - a wholly owned subsidiary of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

o Pendolino maximum speed will be 125 mph (200 kph) from June 2002 and 140 mph (225 kph) from 2005.

o Virgin Trains is investing over £1 billion in a new train fleet of 53 nine-coach Pendolino trains for its West Coast route.

o The purchase price is £594 million and an additional £600 million covers maintenance of the trains through to 2012. The original contract was for 44 eight-coach trains and 9 nine-coach trains. An order for an additional 44 vehicles to make all sets nine-coach was placed on November 23rd 2000.

o Pendolino 390 001 was named Virgin Pioneer on 14th February 2001 and 390 002 was named Red Revolution at today's ceremony.

o Each nine-coach train will have 441 seats and will comply fully with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. On-board facilities will include a self-service shop, a serving galley, at-seat audio equipment and electronic on-board information and reservation systems.

APPENDIX

WEST COAST UPGRADE PLANS

PENDOLINO MILESTONES

February 2001 Testing starts Asfordby test site

August 2001 West Coast mainline testing in Lake District

November 2001 First ""series"" train leaves Washwood Heath

June 2002 Pendolinos start taking over existing services at 110mph

September 2002 Pendolinos start running at 125 mph with tilt

May 2003 All 53 Pendolinos delivered: full 125 mph timetable

May 2005 Line speeds increased to 140 mph running

JOURNEY TIMES/FREQUENCIES

Journey times will be reduced by up to 25% following the introduction of the Pendolino trains:

From London to: 2001 2003 2005
Birmingham 1hr 35min 1hr 20min 1hr 10min
Manchester 2hr 40min 2hr 00min 1hr 50min
Liverpool 2hr 50min 2hr 00min 1hr 50min
Preston 2hr 30min 2hr 02min 1hr 52min
Glasgow/Edinburgh 5hr 00min 4hr 05min 3hr 55min
North Wales (Bangor) 3hr 50min 3hr 20min 3hr 20min (Super Voyager)

From London to: 2001 2003 2005
Birmingham 2 per hour 3 per hour 4 per hour
Manchester 1 per hour 2 per hour 3 per hour
Liverpool 1 per hour 1 per hour 1 per hour
Preston 1½ per hr 2 per hour 2 per hour
Glasgow/Edinburgh ½ per hour 1 per hour 1 per hour
North Wales (Bangor) 3 per day 7 per day 7 per day (Super Voyager)


Railhub Archive ::: 2001-07-09 VIR-001





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