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10 things I don't like about Virgin Pendolino trains

10 things I don?t like about Virgin Pendolino trains

  1. On entering, there is an all-pervading sickly-sweet smell of disinfectant, especially in the vestibules with toilets adjacent;
  2. The carriages in standard class are stuffed full of seating giving a very claustrophobic impression;
  3. The seats are uncomfortable having an incorrect rake of the backrest, caused by stuffing in too many seats. I get back ache after an hour;
  4. The legroom is inadequate for anyone over about 5? 10?; I have to sit slightly sideways;
  5. The seats don?t coincide with windows in standard class. This constrains the view, and some seats have no adjacent window at all (the basic carriage design has a much lower than usual window to wall ratio);
  6. Moreover, the seat reservation system takes no account of this, and on the last three trips my reserved seat has been for a seat without any window, while other seats with windows were unreserved;
  7. The ride is bumpy, despite the multi-billion pound upgrade of the West Coast Main Line. It is almost impossible to write anything on the train, or to safely drink a hot drink, or to walk down the aisle without being thrown onto the lap of other passengers;
  8. The heating very uneven (hot by the window seats, cool at the gangway seats) and not all carriages are at same temperature)
  9. Litter compartments in the vestibule are poorly constructed. The latches break, then the door hangs open obstructing the vestibule.
  10. Coach fittings rattle at speed.

An article in Transit 15th May 2009 showed the scores of public satisfaction for different train types. Pendolino scored worst on the following:

  • Windows (see point 3 on my list)
  • Seating accessories
  • Comfort of seating
  • On-train environment
  • Vestibule area
  • Luggage provision

(This page was created on 26th May 2014)


Virgin, Pendolino, train, train design, train comfort, West Coast Main Line

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