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Travelling on a Pendolino train

At a glance

  • Regional train
  • UK

Pendolinos are Italian-built tilting trains first introduced in the UK in 2002. Reaching a maximum speed of 200 km per hour, Pendolinos have either nine or eleven carriages. Also known as Class 390s, they are exclusively used by Virgin West Coast. Pendolinos are the major workhorses used on routes from London to Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and some Birmingham services. The train’s inbuilt tilting technology is well suited for travel on traditional rather than high-speed lines, particularly on routes which weave in sharp curves through hilly terrain. A highlight of the West Coast route to Scotland is the stretch of line where the Pendolino train cuts through the eastern edge of the English lake district.

While Virgin West Coast say there should be room for everyone and their luggage, Pendolinos are modern trains where space is at a premium. So very large suitcases may get in the way. It is possible to take a bike on bord, but this service must be pre-booked. It is wise to get a free seat reservation, which is optional add on to your ticket.

Pendolinos have no on-board restaurant, but in First Class, which might consist of as many as four of the 11 carriages, there is a complimentary meal served at-seat. Fridges stocked with complimentary bottles of water are located in the middle of each First Class carriage. Wifi is free in First Class, but is a paid-for option in Standard Class. Download Virgin’s BEAM app to gain access to on-board entertainment on demand (games, TV and blockbuster movies).

Featured journeys with this train

Seating and sleeping on Pendolino

Standard Class

Seating in Standard Class on a Pendolino train is arranged in airline-style unidirectional seats that come in pairs, arranged across a central aisle. A small number of seats are arranged in seats of four around a table. A number of seats have power points.

Food and drink on Pendolino


There is a Virgin shop on board every Pendolino train, selling hot and cold drinks, newspapers and magazines, wine, beer, prosecco, snacks, including sandwiches and at certain times of day hot treats.

Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.