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Travelling on a Class 390 Pendolino train

At a glance

  • Regional train
  • UK

Overview

Pendolinos, from the Italian word for pendulum, are Italian-built tilting trains first introduced in the UK in 2002. Reaching a maximum speed of 200km/h, Pendolino trains have either nine or eleven carriages. Also known as Class 390s, they are used exclusively by Avanti West Coast. Pendolinos are principally 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.

Practical information

Before you board

Always make sure that you hold a valid ticket before boarding the train.

Some UK train stations require travellers to validate their tickets through automatic gates. Simply insert your ticket orange-side-up into the slot in the gate and it will pop back up through a slot at the top. Take your ticket and the gates will open. If there are no automatic barriers at the station, ticket control will take place once onboard.

Onboard

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 onboard, but this service must be pre-booked. Read our Help article on taking your bikes on trains.

Pendolinos have no onboard 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 on weekdays. Fridges stocked with complimentary bottles of water are located in the middle of each First Class carriage.

There is a cafe/shop on board every Pendolino train, selling hot and cold drinks, including Fairtrade coffee, snacks that include locally sourced produce and vegetarian or vegan options.

There is free wifi on board Pendolino trains.

Booking and printing options

Pendolino train tickets are open for bookings 90 days in advance.

Seat reservations are not mandatory on Pendolino trains, but it is advisable to get a free seat reservation, which is an optional add-on to your ticket.

Get the lowest prices on Pendolino trains by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell out quickly.

Advance tickets offer discounts of up to 80% for bookings made well in advance.

Using a railcard may also help to get further discounts when booking UK trains.

Opt for off-peak Pendolino trains when you have to travel at short notice. Off-peak trains are more affordable than ones that run mornings and evenings, Fridays and Sundays or during popular holidays.

Make the most of our Pricehack fares, or split ticket bargains on over 200 million train journeys in Great Britain Collect-at-station tickets are available for every UK train.

Classes of service

Pendolino trains provide two classes of service: Standard Class and First Class.

Pendolino First Class

On Pendolino trains seating is significantly more spacious in First Class than in Standard Class, with three seats across a central aisle rather than four. With your First Class ticket, you gain access to Avanti West Coast First Class lounges with comfy seating, free newspapers and snacks. Power points are available at every window seat in First Class.

A free at-seat service is available on Pendolino trains for First Class customers. Choices include the Great British Breakfast, a brunch menu, lunch and dinner options as well as afternoon tea. There are vegetarian and vegan options too. Complimentary drinks (including alcohol) are also served. Lunch and dinner include a choice of at least three main courses. On weekends, the at-seat service is more limited, with most trains only serving complimentary coffee, tea and soft drinks.

Pendolino Standard Class

Seating in Standard Class on a Pendolino train is arranged in airline-style seats that come in pairs, arranged across a central aisle. A small number of seats are arranged in seats of four around a table. Some seats have power points. You can often upgrade for £15-20 to First Class on weekends.

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.