Virgin Trains Class 390 Pendolino

The Class 390 is an AC propulsion EMU manufactured by Alstom of France in Birmingham, England.  It incorporated active tilting technology Alstom inherited from Fiat, an Italian train manufacturer Alstom had purchased, making the Class 390 one of the Pendolino series tilting train.  The Class 390 was introduced in 2002 by Virgin Trains on the West Coast Main Line to replace older equipment for services between London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly.  The Class 390 was later also deployed on services from/to London Euston to/from Liverpool Lime Street, Birmingham New Street, Wolverhampton, Preston, and Glasgow Central.  Due to the lack of in-cab signaling, the top speed of the Class 390 is capped at 125 mph (201 km/h) instead of the designed top revenue speed of 140 mph (225 km/h).

(All pictures below were taken in May 2009 at Manchester Piccadilly Station after detraining from this Pendolino the City of Edinburgh.)

Each set of the Class 390 is named, and the full list can be found here.  I have been fortunate enough to experience a ride on the 390-030, the City of Edinburgh, from Milton Keyne Central to Manchester Piccadilly.  Of the Class 390 sets, the most brilliantly and beautifully named (a personal opinion) would be 390-022 (formerly Virgin Hope), Penny the Pendolino.  The current Class 390 trainsets consist of 9 cars each and are being extended to 11 cars.


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