Avanti West Coast starts UK's largest refurbishment of a train fleet

The current look of the Pendolinos on the West Coast Mainline Credit: Luciana Guerra/PA Wire/PA Images

A rail operator has launched the UK's largest refurbishment of a train fleet.

Avanti West Coast said the £117m scheme, being carried out in Cheshire, will make its 56 Pendolinos "feel like new trains".

The programme involves replacing 25,000 standard class seats, and fitting new carpets, lighting and information screens.

A new bar area for passengers to socialise and consume refreshments will be installed.

Power points will be available at every seat, additional luggage space will be created, and the toilets will be refurbished.

All 35 Pendolinos with 11 carriages will see one first class carriage converted to standard class.

The electric fleet has clocked up more than 270 million miles connecting stations in London, Crewe, Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Scotland for nearly 20 years.

The first train to be refurbished was taken out of service earlier this week, and is due to return later this year.

The project is being carried out by train manufacturer Alstom at its new depot in Widnes, Cheshire.

Avanti West Coast's other train fleet - diesel-powered Voyagers - is being replaced by new electric and hybrid trains built by Hitachi from 2023.