Virgin Pendolino Fleet Clocks Up 100 Million Miles

By Virgin Trains And Alstom Transport uk, PRNE
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MANCHESTER, England, May 25, 2011 -

Virgin Trains' iconic Pendolino tilting train fleet, designed, built and
maintained by Alstom, has just clocked up 100 million miles since the first
train entered service in June 2002.

The 52-strong fleet is now covering 16.8 million miles a year meaning
that each train is covering a million miles in little more than three years.
Top of the mileage table is Pendolino 390022, named Penny the Pendolino,
which clocked up two million miles at the beginning of May 2011.

Over 28-and-a-half million passenger journeys are now made with Virgin
Trains every year, up from 14 million a year just six years ago. Virgin
Trains now carries more passengers a day (78,700) than the population of
several key towns it serves - Runcorn (61,500); Carlisle (72,100); Crewe
(68,400); Stafford (64,300); and Rugby (62,600). The half-a-million
passengers carried a week is more than the population of Edinburgh (486,733)
and more than twice the population of Stoke-on-Trent (242,257). In a year
Virgin Trains carries the equivalent of over ten times the population of
Greater Manchester (2.6 million).

The state-of-the-art 125mph Pendolino trains emit on average 76% less
carbon dioxide per seat than domestic airlines and are also saving energy and
reducing pollution as they return energy to the electrical feeder stations
every time they brake. The 52 tilting trains, designed, built and maintained
by Alstom, are fitted with electronic control systems that cause the traction
motors to provide braking effort by generating electricity back into the
supply system. The generated electricity which is put back into the supply
system achieves an overall energy saving of around 15% percent.

Regenerative braking used on the Pendolino trains also reduces the use of
the friction brakes, dramatically reducing brake-pad dust and pollution, to
provide a double environmental benefit.

In travelling two million miles in just over eight years, Penny the
Pendolino has covered the equivalent of four return trips to the moon; over
80 trips round the Earth; or 2,487 return trips from Glasgow to London.

The Pendolino trains were designed with a life-expectancy of 30 years, by
which time the fleet will have covered 500 million miles, equating to over
nine-and-a-half million miles per train.

In providing a 24/7 maintenance regime for the Pendolino fleet, Alstom
has taken best practice from operating Pendolino trains in the UK and
incorporated it into its International fleets. To ensure that the trains can
meet their demanding schedule every day Alstom has perfected a 'Pit Stop'
approach to Pendolino servicing at its' maintenance depots, whereby all parts
and staff are in the right place at the right time when the train arrives on
the depot.

Virgin Trains Chief Operating Officer Chris Gibb said: "This is a
landmark for our Pendolino fleet, which also provides valuable benefits to
the environment. We know that our passengers care about the environment and
they can travel in the knowledge that by choosing to travel by train, they
are doing their bit to save the planet and reduce consumption of energy. The
Pendolino trains are used on our services to Manchester, the West Midlands,
Liverpool, Cumbria and Scotland."

The high frequency services operated by Virgin Trains have been described
as "the most frequent long-distance inter-city service in Europe", by Brendan
, Editor of Thomas Cook's European Timetable.

Alstom Transport UK Managing Director Paul Robinson said: "This milestone
again demonstrates Alstom and Virgin's round the clock teamwork in providing
a safe, high-performance Pendolino fleet every day. We are fully committed to
supporting Virgin in delivering a world-class intercity service."

For further information contact the Virgin Trains Press Desk on +44(0)845-000-3333 Or ALSTOM Transport press office: contact Helen Connolly on +44(0)1788-545602 (

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