09/20/2010 AT 07:43
The train, renamed “Alstom Pendolino” by Virgin Trains CEO Tony Collins during a ceremony at Euston station, London, now displays a specially designed Alstom branding alongside that of Virgin. This is in recognition of the successful partnership between the two companies, established in 1999, which underpins the delivery of a world class intercity service. The fleet, built and maintained by Alstom, is one of the most intensively used in the world, with 47 trains in service every day, covering over 16.5 million miles per year.
Alstom has chosen the newly branded train for a special mission in a further illustration of cross-industry partnership aimed at bringing benefits to passengers. “Alstom Pendolino” will be used to improve system reliability thanks to an initiative between Alstom, Virgin Trains and Network Rail. The train is fitted with pantograph and track monitoring equipment which will provide valuable data to support preventative maintenance of the track and overhead line. In addition the set will be used to trial potential train modifications that can be used to improve fleet reliability.
Tony Collins, CEO Virgin Trains, said: "Our customer service success at Virgin Trains is heavily dependent on the relationship with our key partners. Alstom has consistently gone beyond the call of duty to help us achieve the performance that has attracted record customer numbers and customer satisfaction scores. We are grateful for that support and partnership."
Paul Robinson, Managing Director, Alstom Transport UK & Ireland added: “ It is an honour to place the Alstom brand alongside that of Virgin and so emphasize our daily contribution to the running of the flagship Pendolino fleet. Furthermore, “Alstom Pendolino” will be instrumental in helping train maintainer, operator and infrastructure provider target further improvements on the West Coast Main Line”.
Jo Kaye, Route Director for Network Rail said: “This is just one demonstration of how we, as an industry, are developing new technologies to deliver an efficient and highly reliable railway. The track data this train will provide will prove invaluable in helping us to detect potential faults as they develop so that we can carry out preventative maintenance and push performance on the West Coast to ever higher levels.”
Britain's railway saw record punctuality in August 2010 with 94.2% of trains running on time. One train operator, c2c, recorded almost 99% of services on time – another new record.
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Crewe and Preston have come top of an independent national poll of ticket buying facilities at rail stations. They were the only two stations managed by Virgin Trains surveyed in the research conducted by Passenger Focus.
The number of trains arriving on time hit a new record high for May with almost 94% of trains across the country arriving punctually.
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Staff at two Virgin Trains' stations have been praised for outstanding customer service by judges in the Cheshire Best Kept Stations awards.
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