Virgin Trains Press Release - 8 April 2002

Chris Green with APT-P at The Railway Age, Crewe 30 August 2001.

Two generations of tilting trains meet up

Virgin Trains and Pete Waterman's London & North Western Railway Company have teamed up to start restoration work on the world's first tilting train this spring.

The Advanced Passenger Train (APT) has been exhibited at The Railway Age museum, Crewe since 1988 and can be viewed from passing trains on the West Coast Main Line. The exterior condition of the APT has seriously deteriorated and Virgin Trains has undertaken to make the train look spick-and-span in time to meet the next generation of Pendolinos which will start running past the museum this summer.

Pete Waterman said: "I am delighted that Virgin Trains has recognised the contribution that the APT made in developing the tilting train concept. The APT was an important development in our history and the partnership between Virgin Trains and the London & North Western Company will provide a reminder of the link between the APT and the Pendolino."

Chris Green, Chief Executive of Virgin Trains said: "The Pendolino owes its existence to the Advanced Passenger Train. My aim is to see our first Pendolino pausing at Crewe next to a pristine APT as a tribute to the visionary engineers who have brought the tilting train to the UK."

The Advanced Passenger Train was ahead of its time in the 1980s when it achieved a UK speed record of 162mph and a record journey time from London to Glasgow of just 3hrs 52mins. The three APT test trains were finally abandoned in 1987 and it was left to Sweden and Italy to evolve this UK invention into commercial production.

53 tilting Pendolino trains are now under manufacture at ALSTOM's Birmingham factory and six of these trains have already been delivered for the start of passenger services planned to start this summer.

Issued by Virgin Trains Corporate Affairs Office.
Notes to Editors:
  1. The Advanced Passenger Train (APT) was developed by British Rail for use on the electrified West Coast Main Line in 1977. After trials and a brief period in passenger service, the APT was used for development of the next generation of electric locomotives and rolling stock for BR and was withdrawn in 1987.
  2. Some of the APT vehicles were moved to The Railway Age, Crewe on 15 June 1988 for preservation.
  3. Full details on the APT and its role at The Railway Age, Crewe can be found on the website: [DEAD LINK]

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© R G Latham 2002.