Straw poll, Pendolino vs M3 coach

Passenger experience Mk3 vs Pendolino

  • no appreciable difference.

    Votes: 4 3.2%
  • Pendolino has less space and less is comfortable

    Votes: 91 73.4%
  • Pendolino has less space but is more comfortable

    Votes: 24 19.4%
  • Pendolino has more space and is more comfortable

    Votes: 5 4.0%
  • Pendolino has more space but is less is comfortable

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    124
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YesToHS2

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You'll have to forgive me if this has already been asked but I would be interested to know the opinions of passengers who have traveled on the West Coast pre-Pendolino and after the Pendolinos were introduced.

Would you say there is any appreciable difference in comfort and space between Mk3 and Pendolino carriages? Has the introduction of Pendolinos had a positive or negative effect on the amount of space for passengers?
 
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50041

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No contest. Mk3 coaches win hands down. I use those horrible Pendolinos most weeks down to London and their comfort level, space and general ambience is abysmal. The windows don't even line-up with the seats FFS. I hate it when my seat is lined-up with a wall of beige creaking plastic for the whole duration of the journey.
 

shaun

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The seats are too narrow on pendos, also they rattle alot internally and the small windows make the whole thing feel like being inside an airliner. Not really what you want for long-distance rail travel.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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The Pendolino ride is much better than the Mk3 at speed (at least compared to the old West Coast HSTs) and they go like the clappers.
There are some good seats (eg the "priority" ones in standard), but too many are not.
Seat mis-alignment is also irritating.
But they make mincemeat of the WCML distances and you are soon where you want to be.
I greatly enjoy a high-speed run through the tilting sections (Whitmore, Rugeley, Rugby, Weedon, Wolverton, Linslade, Berkhamsted etc).
You feel you are really getting somewhere, and recovery from signal checks is very good.
First class is excellent.

Mk3 had/have their faults (poor seat size, hard armrests, scruffy toilets, stupid doors etc). They were also inclined to "bounce" along.
The WSMR ones (ex-Virgin) still did even after refurbishment.

I just did a run Chester-Bangor, out on a Pendo (57-hauled), back on a 175.
I have to say the 175 seat/view/ambience was better.
On indifferent North Wales track the Pendo suspension bottomed out regularly, even at low speeds (eg 60-75).

All stock types have their good and bad points.
 

The Planner

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But do all the seats line up on the Pretendalino ?? When I have been on it there are certainly some that are not square with the window, and as for fixed arm rests...
 

SchnofRail

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oh the pendolino much better ..

Currently the old MK3's are running between liverpool street and Norwich, when National express/one took over the franchise from first, they got the class 90's and coaching stock, as more pendlino came into service.

And the years up and down the WCML haven't been kind to the stock.
 

Yew

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Don't forget there where significant line improvements for the introduction of pendos.

Personally I find on smooth track. A MK3 will give the best ride around. However more modern trains handle better on rough track, however feel a little rougher on smooth track.

It doesn't help that we are comparing stock that really needed a refurb, against stock that is still in te beginning of its life. I feel that APT's or IC250's could have been better. Than pendolinos though
 

asylumxl

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Pendolino wins for me. Faster, smoother and tbh I don't mind the interior.

They do not have any seat misalignments, they're exactly where they should be. They provide more seats, rather than a clear view of the various urban wastelands of the west coast...
 

calc7

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Pendolinos beat Mk3 for me hands down (other than the lack of window-hanging opportunities). Every time I go on the GEML I feel highly pleased that it is only a leisure trip to see friends and not a commute I'm paying £7k per year for.
LNW-GW Joint makes some very good points that I find myself agreeing with. Pendolinos go like **** off a shovel and First Class is good (there's so much of it anyway!)

I went from Watford to Holyhead on a Pendolino today in Standard and I felt very happy with my journey.
 

ChristopherJ

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I voted for the Pendolino being more comfortable but less spacious.

The MkIII vehicles are old news and are technologically defunct in comparison to the latest rolling stock available to the railway market, fleet is rapidly approaching 30-35 years old and the use of hinged slam doors in the 21st century is obscene.

A Pendolino may have a less spacious interior but it is a consequence for the use of tilt on a railway in country with a comparatively small loading gauge. The benefits in speed increase and shorter journey times created by the introduction of tilt overwhelm the negative drawbacks. A small interior is a small price to be paid...
 
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4SRKT

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I voted for the Pendolino being more comfortable but less spacious.

The MkIII vehicles are old news and are technologically defunct in comparison to the latest rolling stock available to the railway market, fleet is rapidly approaching 30-35 years old and the use of hinged slam doors in the 21st century is obscene.
Obscene?? Go and buy yourself a dictionary pal.
 

sprinterguy

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But do all the seats line up on the Pretendalino ?? When I have been on it there are certainly some that are not square with the window, and as for fixed arm rests...
The advantage that mark 3s, and a lot of other types of rolling stock, have when seats don't line up with the windows is that the window pillars are narrower and the seats are lower so that it is possible to still see out of other windows further along the carriage. With the high backed seats and thick window pillars on a 390 you just can't see anything.

As this poll is in terms of comfort and internal layout, I have voted for mark 3s. However in other areas the Pendolinos offer many benefits over mark 3s: They are much faster than the old West Coast operation, much more reliable (although that of course also considers the 86s, 87s and 90s) and tbh I think that first class on a Pendo is very good.

It must also be noted that there is a world of difference between a mark 3 in good condition and one in bad condition, such as those used on the GEML. I never cease to be amazed by the quality of the W&S refurbishment of the Chiltern loco hauled rakes which has provided an excellent interior ambience, but after travelling on two of the Chiltern sets on Friday I then stepped onto Virgins' Pretendolino and was disappointed to find that the set has essentially remained untouched since the days of squadron loco-hauled service on the West Coast and looked distinctly uncared for. It seems like Virgin have only given it a paint job on the outside to try and bring it into line with the Pendolinos, but inside it isn't fooling anyone. It's nice to have a 90 hauled mark 3 rake still on the WCML though, and a slightly scruffy one at that for added nostalgic authenticity ;)
 

LNW-GW Joint

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When Mk3s came in I was unimpressed.
The nicest environment at the time in my opinion was the older Mk2e setup.
Mk2f were the same coach but with horrid HST (Mk3) plastic seats.
The 2e had a higher, more padded seat, whereas the 2f/HST/Mk3 seats were lower, shorter and were, in the immortal description of Mini seats, like "sitting on a potty".
But of course the Mk2e/f electrics, aircon and toilets were rubbish in comparison.

When the Mk4s came in I was similarly unimpressed, mainly by the squashed seating and naff metal seatback trays, and the ride was very hard.
I don't travel enough on the ECML these days to know how they are regarded today, but it's odd there are not similarly critical opinions on here about them.

Somebody mentioned high Pendolino seatbacks.
Have you tried the refurbished FGW HSTs or EMT 158s?
View = nil, except for the blank plastic seat back 12 inches in front of you.
 

sprinterguy

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When the Mk4s came in I was similarly unimpressed, mainly by the squashed seating and naff metal seatback trays, and the ride was very hard.
I don't travel enough on the ECML these days to know how they are regarded today, but it's odd there are not similarly critical opinions on here about them.

Somebody mentioned high Pendolino seatbacks.
Have you tried the refurbished FGW HSTs or EMT 158s?
View = nil, except for the blank plastic seat back 12 inches in front of you.
I haven't travelled on any of FGWs' HSTs, but I find that the high backed seating on EMTs' 158s isn't anywhere near as bad, as the 158s are much more brightly lit, let in more natural light and there are fewer seats with such bad window alignment as is found on the 390s. Which leads to much less of a feeling of being shut away from the rest of the world.

The original seats fitted to the mark 4s were fairly basic, cheap affairs IMO and they were looking very worn by the time they got into GNER days. The Primarius seats that they've been fitted with since the "Mallard" refusbishment are fantastic. A big improvement.
 

Yew

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I get what you are Sayin about emt's 158's. Although there is lots of privacy, there isn't much view. I imagine with pendolino sized windows it would be thoroughly unpleasant. Although saying that, I found it awkward sitting in a full IC70 carriage, where everyone can see eachother. My favourite is the balance you get from chapman seats in super sprinters.
 

asylumxl

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To add to the seating debate, I find IC70 seats really uncomfortable. I don't think the seat backs were designed with taller people in mind to be honest.

Several people I know of similar height have agreed with me. I find the FGW HST seats quite comfortable as they allow me to sit up without slouching and rest my head back.
 

All Line Rover

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I prefer having Pendolinos running up and down the WCML than HST's. They are faster, quieter and offer a smoother journey. So as a train, yes, they are better.

The interior is OK but not great. The narrow, cramped, hard seats with very restricted legroom do not help. I feel that it could have been far better designed (even with the restricted window space). Imagine a cross between seats on a class 175 and the layout of Coach D on a VT Super Voyager, with a few extra airline style seats added at either end. Yes, capacity would be reduced slightly, but the overall passenger experience would be vastly improved.
 

Yew

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Have hst's ran up and down the WCMl recently? I'm wondering how much of the improvements in ride quality come from the track improvements instead of from the pendolinos?
 

317666

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I'd say a Pendolino has less space, because there are less bays of four than on a Mk3 coach, but I find the seating on Pendolinos more comfortable. And if my reserved seat has a pillar view, I just head for Coach E, the unreserved coach to find a better seat :)
 

MidnightFlyer

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Pendolinos are the revolutionary trains on the WCML, however, internally they are poor, predominantly down to what everyone else has said. Further, I find them awful, bordering on woeful, for smoothness: I cannot write neatly on a 390 to save my life - I find I can manage to so on any other rolling stock I have been on. 350s put them to shame for smoothness, even the tour I did yesterday with 37s and Mk1s I found easier to write on in full flow.

Mark 3s all day long for me.
 
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Whistler40145

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The downside for a Pendolino is you sometimes get a bumpy ride, but they certainly move quickly.

I love Mk 3s, they are robust, but can be cold in Winter.

I do wonder what would have happened if MK 3 stock had been modified with tilting mechanism & sliding or plug external doors?


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sprinterguy

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Have hst's ran up and down the WCMl recently? I'm wondering how much of the improvements in ride quality come from the track improvements instead of from the pendolinos?
AFAIK not since the odd Crosscountry HST used to make it to Manchester on summer Saturdays, I think the last time was in 2010. And that of course only covered the section between Birmingham and Manchester.
 

asylumxl

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Hmmm, really? Nothing to do with the £9 billion WCML upgrade then?
How many members of the public know about sub station upgrades and station remodellings?

Then ask the same people if they know what a Virgin Pendolino is.

I think that will speak for itself. If nothing, Virgin's marketing during their introduction did wonders.
 

Wath Yard

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I would guess the vast majority of passengers who endured a decade of disruption are aware of the WCML upgrade. However, even if they do think the improvements are entirely down to Pendolinos it doesn't mean they are correct.
 

asylumxl

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I would guess the vast majority of passengers who endured a decade of disruption are aware of the WCML upgrade. However, even if they do think the improvements are entirely down to Pendolinos it doesn't mean they are correct.
Irrelevant really. The Pendos drew a lot of new passengers on to the WCML who would have ordinarily taken other routes. People like new, modern trains unlike enthusiasts.

We have to remember general public make up the majority of rail passengers, not enthusiasts.
 

SS4

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A fine example of confirmation/selection bias :). Why not stand outside a Christian church and ask how many people exiting are Christian ;)
 
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