Pendolino 250 million miles and still going strong

The Virgin Pendolino has been at the heart of the transformation of the West Coast Main Line. Modern Railways Industry and Technology Editor ROGER FORD recalls key events in reporting on the pioneering fleet

Getting longer: the first 11-car Pendolino arrives at Edge Hill depot, near Liverpool, on 6 December 2010.

Pendolino was born in the heady optimism of the years immediately following privatisation. Where most UK bidders saw commuter and regional franchises as an opportunity to repeat the costcutting formula applied to bus privatisation, when it came to inter-city two transport magnates had more expansive visions.

On the East Coast, Orient Express operator Sir James Sherwood of Sea Containers inherited a recently modernised electric railway and determined to restore former glories, an aim reflected in the name of the franchise – GNER.


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