Virgin Gets to Grips with its New Train Fleet

This article describes how the introduction of 200 km/h Pendolino tilting train on Britain's Virgin West Coast (VWC) franchise posed enormous technical and training challenges. Nonetheless, the 53-train fleet has taken two years to overcome its obstacles and is now finally demonstrating its reliability. Staff are better trained in dealing with maintenance issues as they happen. Eighty percent of train failures are down to 12 repeating issues, which makes a difference in how drivers and fitters deal with defects. Another major operational change for the VWC staff was becoming accustomed to the new tilting system called the Tilt Authorisation and Speed Supervision (TASS) system, which authorizes the driver to obey the faster speed signs for tilt operation. When something goes wrong, TASS signals the driver to slow down to the non-tilt speed and it intervenes if drivers do not slow down. Initially, TASS suffered poor reliability because it was a new system, but it has shown improvement. The new trains are proving popular with staff due to their ease in getting a train moving compared to the older locomotive-hauled sets.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 26, 28
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01010433
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 14 2005 9:13AM