Longer trains are set to enter service with Virgin Trains next month (April), providing 150 extra Standard seats on some of the busiest services on the West Coast Main Line
The longer trains will initially work services on the London to Birmingham route, but as more 11-coach trains come into service they will also operate some of the busiest trains on the Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow routes. By the end of April they are expected to be running on over
30 services every weekday with the benefits of the longer trains enjoyed by passengers across the Virgin Trains network.
Tony Collins, Virgin Trains Chief Executive Officer said: “Working closely with the Department for Transport we are delighted to be bringing more capacity on to our services. We have listened to feedback from our customers, staff and stakeholders and are putting the longer trains into service where the extra seats are needed the most. The lengthened Pendolinos will provide 589 seats, with over 440 being provided for Standard customers, an increase of over 50% in the number of Standard seats.”
Transport Minister Theresa Villiers said: “Tackling crowding and reducing the cost of our railways are two of the biggest challenges facing the rail industry at the moment. I am delighted that we have reached agreement to bring these carriages into service.
“But this is just part of the Government’s plans to increase rail capacity - across the network we plan to deliver more than around 2,700 new carriages by 2019.”
106 new Pendolino vehicles are being built, which comprises four new eleven coach trains and 62 additional vehicles to convert 31 existing nine coach Pendolino trains to 11 coach. When all of the extra carriages are in service they will provide over 10 million extra seats on the West Coast Main Line every year.
Passengers in North Wales saw more capacity provided on Virgin Trains services from Holyhead/Chester-London last year and this will continue to be provided on the route with the busiest trains continuing to be formed of ten coaches.