• Our booking engine at tickets.railforums.co.uk (powered by TrainSplit) helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase! Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

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
Status
Not open for further replies.

DarloRich

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
29,396
Location
Fenny Stratford
6 foot 2 and bit inches.

If you wish to try and criticise my opinion to meet your ends, I'd like to remind you that different people have different proportions.

For me atleast, I find the seat backs on IC70 far too low which hurts my back. As such I have to slouch, which then means my knees are squished against the seat in front.

I am not trying to have a go at you. Just interested, I had assumed you must be either massively small or massively tall. In any case you are entiled to your opinion, wrong as it may be, but you are entilted to it :lol:

Personally, I find the pendo seats uncomfortable because I am built for comfort :D


Which sort of seat do you mean? I find the FGW ones quite supportive, if uncomfortable, I think the EC ones are good, I find the GC ones to be very comfortable. I can see your point with the original seats which are fitted to the EMT HST fleet, i think. I just wondered which service you travelled on.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

asylumxl

Established Member
Joined
12 Feb 2009
Messages
4,260
Location
Hiding in your shadow
I am not trying to have a go at you. Just interested, I had assumed you must be either massively small or massively tall. In any case you are entiled to your opinion, wrong as it may be, but you are entilted to it :lol:

Personally, I find the pendo seats uncomfortable because I am built for comfort :D


Which sort of seat do you mean? I find the FGW ones quite supportive, if uncomfortable, I think the EC ones are good, I find the GC ones to be very comfortable. I can see your point with the original seats which are fitted to the EMT HST fleet, i think. I just wondered which service you travelled on.

I regularly travel on late evening EMT services where HSTs regularly turn up.

I would agree that the FGW seats supportive, and I find them comfortable providing I fidget every now and then (I used to travel to Plymouth every fortnight).

I'd say my prefered seats are either 222s or the "Mallard" refurb seats. The Pendo seats are not the best but they are by no means the worst either in my opinion.
 

SS4

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2011
Messages
8,589
Location
Birmingham
I may be wrong, it would have been before the days I actually took notice. Usually I only go from Birmingham to London and back again on intercity journeys and for local journeys it's Ivo's favourite class ;)
 

DarloRich

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
29,396
Location
Fenny Stratford
I may be wrong, it would have been before the days I actually took notice. Usually I only go from Birmingham to London and back again on intercity journeys and for local journeys it's Ivo's favourite class ;)

well if you did those runs before the Pendolini arrived it will have been a MKIII. Unfortuanlty they were quite run down by that stage and Virgin had no intrest in an overhaul.
 

table38

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
1,812
Location
Stalybridge
One thing I preferred about the WCML Mk.3 TSOs was that they were all basically identical, so you knew where the toilets were, and you didn't suddenly get a coach with a bit of a low ceiling so your bag woudn't fit in the luggage racks.

I always headed for the same seat, one of the forward facing airlines on the right hand side just after the central partition. It didn't matter which way round the coach was as the seats were cleverly laid out to be the same either way.

Also you didn't get that noisy aircon (which on the Pendos just seems to be the noise of the air flowing through the holes in the ceiling rather than the aircon itself - who designed that :()

Also if you want to be really grossed out on a Pendo, have a look down the gap between the table and the window to see what's accumulated there over the years :shock:
 

DarloRich

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
29,396
Location
Fenny Stratford
I regularly travel on late evening EMT services where HSTs regularly turn up.

I would agree that the FGW seats supportive, and I find them comfortable providing I fidget every now and then (I used to travel to Plymouth every fortnight).

I'd say my prefered seats are either 222s or the "Mallard" refurb seats. The Pendo seats are not the best but they are by no means the worst either in my opinion.

I think the Mallard ones are very nice! Ifind the FGW supportive but less than comfortable! Most new trains seats are simply awful. Why is that?

The original MK III seats are very soft and comfortable but they could do with more back support for the taller passenger. They are fine for me mind ;)
 

sprinterguy

Established Member
Joined
4 Mar 2010
Messages
11,072
Location
Macclesfield
well if you did those runs before the Pendolini arrived it will have been a MKIII. Unfortuanlty they were quite run down by that stage and Virgin had no intrest in an overhaul.
I thought that the Birmingham runs mainly utilised mark 2 rakes? The mark 3s were from what I remember utilised more on the Manchester and Glasgow runs with the 87s and 90s. Not that this was strictly the pattern though, my memories of West Coast loco hauled operations in early Virgin days are of barely organised chaos when it came to things like train formations and rostering tbh.
 

asylumxl

Established Member
Joined
12 Feb 2009
Messages
4,260
Location
Hiding in your shadow
Most new trains seats are simply awful. Why is that?

Cost, just like everything else on our railways. They do not want to have to replace the foam often and as such it has to be much harder.

Instead of looking how to save money on the railways, I feel we should be spending as much is needed to bring the railways to a good standard. But the government and TOCs have other ideas.
 

YesToHS2

Member
Joined
7 Nov 2010
Messages
181
Location
UK North West
As I have been mentioned and perhaps criticised for the question I think I should step back in at this point.

Perhaps the questions were a bit 'loaded', but I chose 4 very specific questions to test a theory I had about people's perceptions of Pendolinos, not as a train or technical achievements but rather the perception of space within the carriage. I could quite as easily compared the Pendolino to a 158, 175 (both of which I traveled on this morning and seemed much more spacious than the Pendo) 170 or 222. This wasn't about units v hauled.

Now that the debate has digressed I may as well explain the theory which I'm sure some may have alluded to already.

Due to the tilting nature of the Pendolinos as far as I can tell are 10cm less wide than Mk3s, this doesn't sound like much but I wanted to see if people perceived much of a difference in size or comfort.

Pendolinos are excellent trains and have helped to reinvigorate West cost services, however I feel the the tapered body to allow for tilt combined with a badly designed interior has meant that there is less space for passengers, making it difficult for people to work or even relax on journeys of over 2 hours from the North to London.

I didn't think for a second that this would turn into a debate about which is best or who is right. People have differing opinions about certain trains but this wasn't about having a debate about which is best old or new, rather individual opinion based on a perception of space and comfort.
 

asylumxl

Established Member
Joined
12 Feb 2009
Messages
4,260
Location
Hiding in your shadow
At their widest point, yes.

But there are several contributing factors that make the usable space quite a bit narrower. There are the lack of carriage ende tapers (see 22x for modern example of ta) and the profile of the side being far more curved on the lower half and far more tapered on the top half when compared to other stock. These 3 factors contribute to the usable space in the carriage being less.

Having said that, it is still not a massive difference and I still have no issues with travelling on them.
 
Last edited:

Minilad

Established Member
Joined
26 Feb 2011
Messages
4,343
Location
Anywhere B link goes
I think it is pointless getting into the comfort argument as has already been said it is a very subjective thing. So how about the travelling experience as a whole. Today I have travelled on a 168, 172, Mk3 stock both hauled and HST, Mk2, a pacer, a bubble car, a pendo and a 220. So quite a variety and all for different jobs.
In terms of ranking them for my experience of travelling on them today with my passenger head on I would go
MK3 Hauled. 168. HST. 172. 390. MK2 Hauled. 220. Bubble car. Pacer
With my enthusiast head on it would be
Mk3 Hauled. HST. Bubble car. Mk 2 Hauled. 168. Pacer. 172. 220. 390
 

Peter Sarf

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
5,782
Location
Croydon
Putting aside the general advantages/dis-advantages of Loco Hauled stock versus units. For me the Pendolino is noisy (aircon) and claustrophic.

I am sure the aircon could be improved on with larger exit holes (or perhaps larger ducting) allowing the fan(s) to work less hard. Its also a bit fierce temperature wise so could be allowed to work less hard by not trying to completely undo the outside temperature. Too many times I find I have to carry something warm in summer for the times I am stuck in a chilly atmosphere. Same in winter when I am down to shirtsleeves in my current office (sometimes with the window open). The aircon just needs to be better - I have worked in aircon that is unnoticeable. The aircon is why I do not travel by train on the WCML area - I find the noise quite stressful. I get used to the noise but the sense of relief when it stops makes me realise what torture it is !.

It is disappointing that the windows are so small so that badly arranged seats really suffer from no view. I feel that the decor could be improved.

As for seat comfort this is subjective as it depends on your body dimensions. I am tall so will prefer a different seat to a short person. But I have longer legs and arms than average for my height so some seats I just cannot sit in unless I have my feet off the floor (which is agony with my back !). I once stood on a plane, after takeoff, and refused to sit back down, once asked, in the seat I had allocated !.

I must say that I feel the class 390 environment reminds me of a plane. Sadly it is probably what most people will put up with. But I think a pendolino interior could be improved upon.
 

DarloRich

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
29,396
Location
Fenny Stratford
yep - still a MKIII for me. I am on board a GC on now. There is enougth room on the table for three lap tops, brews, bacon butties and odds and ends and there is this BIG clear thing next to me. Through it i can see things outside and the sun rather than cream pastic land i see from a Pendo. :)
 
Joined
24 Nov 2008
Messages
57
I agree with pendos being like planes, a bit too claustraphobic IMO. When I went to Brum there really wasn't alot to see because the windows are so small and mine was next to a pillar so I just slept for most of the journey. Which wasn't nice because the seats are pretty poor too, its like an ironing board covered with a bit of moquette. I love the performance of pendo's very nippy things! In comparison though Mk3's are like palaces, nice big saloons, decent sized luggage racks, comfortable seats in near silent comfort and you can get a cool breath of proper fresh air at 125mph. Nice :)
 

STEVIEBOY1

Established Member
Joined
31 Jul 2010
Messages
4,001
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.

I Agree, MK 3 (also MK 1 & MK 2) are so much better than Pendolinos, I agree too with your comments about the windows not lining up on Pendolinos. ( I travelled on a MK3 into Marylebone a few weeks ago which was great.):D
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
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.

I Agree with these comments too.
 
Last edited:

xolotl

Member
Joined
30 Sep 2011
Messages
11
Having used both quite extensivly travelling COV-EUS and NOT-STP I can say that the Mk3 is by far the nicer environment to travel in. The only exception to this is the lack of power sockets in standard class but I'm sure this is down to the EMT refurb rather than anything inherent in the design.

However, I would happily trade the comfort of a Mk3 for the improvement in journey times that a tilting pendolino and 125 running could bring to the MML.
 

asylumxl

Established Member
Joined
12 Feb 2009
Messages
4,260
Location
Hiding in your shadow
However, I would happily trade the comfort of a Mk3 for the improvement in journey times that a tilting pendolino and 125 running could bring to the MML.

Well 125mph running will happen anyway with general line speed improvements elsewhere occuring along the route.
 

BuhSnarf

Member
Joined
22 May 2010
Messages
176
Pendo all the way. My only worry is that they won't still be in such good state in another ten years.

Mk3 stock have awful chairs which don't support my head as they are too low and they have that awful immovable arm rest. Seriously who thought that was a great idea?

Sent with Tapatalk from my Galaxy S II
 

Phil6219

Member
Joined
15 Jul 2011
Messages
578
Location
Manchester, UK
While I like Pendo's - well sort of, I am not particularly a fan of travelling long distance on one. These days I tend to stand as I only use them on short hops from Manchester to Stockport or Crewe.

If I am going down to London I will endure the painfully overcrowded journey to Sheffield on a 185 then get an EMT 125 down. It may take longer to do but I find the ride in a Mark 3 so much better and makes the journey much more enjoyable. This applies to refurbed and non refurbed stock.

In a Mark 3 I have a nice big window, reasonable legroom (not the tallest but not a short-arze either), there is much more open space in the cabin, I have a toilet which is functional and doesn't involve stupid electric doors which take aeons to work (more of a voyager issue) and they have droplights which means (from a travellers point of view) it is possible to get a nice blast of fresh air, especially on very hot days. From an enthusiast's point of view the droplights are great for allowing one to get a blast of 125mph air and poke one's head out when travelling slower :)

Pendolino's also have this really annoying issue where they rattle, bounce and creak. The rattling and creaking I can put down to how most of the cabin interior appears to be just one continuous plastic mould. The bouncing is a bit unpleasant but I put that down to track condition.

I would however, much prefer a Pendolino to a Voyager or "Super" Voyager, those things are much, much worse...

I'm going to Edinburgh this year and will be taking a very scenic route as I would prefer to travel on Mark 3 stock, would love to have a go at Mark 4 too...

Phil 8-)
 

davelew99

Member
Joined
7 Sep 2011
Messages
65
Very much prefer Mk3 over Pendo, in fact, anything over a Pendo or Voyager.

Basically they are not fit for purpose for long distance routes - in the last 3 years I have never been able to sit down on a pendo - it's not a matter of booking a seat it's more to do with luggage.

When I travel long distance i have a fairly small suitcase and a backpack, on any other train this is fine - both comfortably fit in overhead storage.

Since the pendo's overhead storage is useless and the end of coach baggage fills up after the first few people there is nowhere to put anything - so i end up sitting on my suitcase in the vestibule.

It made my blood boil recently when at Preston i saw a poster from Virgin stating - please don't carry any more luggage than you can comfortably handle due to limited luggage space on pendolino and voyager trains - I'm sorry? Excuse me, maybe i am a naive traveller but is it too much to ask that on a long distance service I have space for luggage? Is carrying luggage that uncommon?
 

asylumxl

Established Member
Joined
12 Feb 2009
Messages
4,260
Location
Hiding in your shadow
It made my blood boil recently when at Preston i saw a poster from Virgin stating - please don't carry any more luggage than you can comfortably handle due to limited luggage space on pendolino and voyager trains - I'm sorry? Excuse me, maybe i am a naive traveller but is it too much to ask that on a long distance service I have space for luggage? Is carrying luggage that uncommon?

People have a tendency to take more than they can carry/pull at once.

You just have to go to a major London terminus to see this, as they are usually the ones blocking the escalators with their myriad of suitcases.
 

SS4

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2011
Messages
8,589
Location
Birmingham
People have a tendency to take more than they can carry/pull at once.

You just have to go to a major London terminus to see this, as they are usually the ones blocking the escalators with their myriad of suitcases.

And in turn trying to get on a busy tube train.

I don't think Virgin are all that bothered about space but rather with the time it invariably takes to board and alight.
 

barnet_fair

Member
Joined
4 Dec 2011
Messages
37
Location
Norwich
Just before New Years I had my first go in a Pendolino (complete with a raging hang over) from Manchester to London. Fortunately I had the foresight to purchase a cheapo advance ticket in first class, which was virtually empty. I enjoyed the ride plenty. I live in Norwich so have a reasonable amount of experience on the clapped out old stuff we have that runs down to London. I know which journey I preferred, even with the hangover.
 

50041

Member
Joined
14 Dec 2005
Messages
414
The downside for a Pendolino is you sometimes get a bumpy ride, but they certainly move quickly.

They're only allowed to do 15mph faster than the 87s they replaced. Compared to proper high speed trains in Italy, Germany and France they would not even be called high speed. After going at 186mph on some of the French and German stuff last year our Pendolinos looked distinctly naff and slow I'm afraid.
 

SS4

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2011
Messages
8,589
Location
Birmingham
They're only allowed to do 15mph faster than the 87s they replaced. Compared to proper high speed trains in Italy, Germany and France they are slow and would not even be called high speed. After going at 186mph on some of the French and German stuff last year our Pendolinos looked distinctly naff and slow I'm afraid.

High Speed trains require high speed infrastructure and we've seen that many people don't want high speed, at least not in their own back yard.

15mph extra means doing an extra 15 miles in each hour. For a 2 hour journey that's thirty miles.
 

50041

Member
Joined
14 Dec 2005
Messages
414
On a 250 mile journey the difference between the 2 would have been at the most 16 minutes (assuming maximum speed all the way and no stops). Personally I'd prefer to arrive just a tad later but in more comfortable surroundings and with space to put my luggage. Each to their own....
 

asylumxl

Established Member
Joined
12 Feb 2009
Messages
4,260
Location
Hiding in your shadow
The extra 15mph is only half the story. They have great acceleration which is what really helps improve journey times on our infrastructure.

Furthermore, we have quite high average speeds on some journeys even when compared to some countries with "high speed" lines.
 

tbtc

Veteran Member
Joined
16 Dec 2008
Messages
17,882
Location
Reston City Centre
They're only allowed to do 15mph faster than the 87s they replaced. Compared to proper high speed trains in Italy, Germany and France they would not even be called high speed. After going at 186mph on some of the French and German stuff last year our Pendolinos looked distinctly naff and slow I'm afraid.

Not really the fault of the 390s - they were intended for 140mph running, but the upgrade of the WCML didn't go far enough to allow this
 

LE Greys

Established Member
Joined
6 Mar 2010
Messages
5,389
Location
Hitchin
While I like Pendo's - well sort of, I am not particularly a fan of travelling long distance on one. These days I tend to stand as I only use them on short hops from Manchester to Stockport or Crewe.

If I am going down to London I will endure the painfully overcrowded journey to Sheffield on a 185 then get an EMT 125 down. It may take longer to do but I find the ride in a Mark 3 so much better and makes the journey much more enjoyable. This applies to refurbed and non refurbed stock.

In a Mark 3 I have a nice big window, reasonable legroom (not the tallest but not a short-arze either), there is much more open space in the cabin, I have a toilet which is functional and doesn't involve stupid electric doors which take aeons to work (more of a voyager issue) and they have droplights which means (from a travellers point of view) it is possible to get a nice blast of fresh air, especially on very hot days. From an enthusiast's point of view the droplights are great for allowing one to get a blast of 125mph air and poke one's head out when travelling slower :)

Pendolino's also have this really annoying issue where they rattle, bounce and creak. The rattling and creaking I can put down to how most of the cabin interior appears to be just one continuous plastic mould. The bouncing is a bit unpleasant but I put that down to track condition.

I would however, much prefer a Pendolino to a Voyager or "Super" Voyager, those things are much, much worse...

I'm going to Edinburgh this year and will be taking a very scenic route as I would prefer to travel on Mark 3 stock, would love to have a go at Mark 4 too...

Phil 8-)

I'll echo most of that, although I'd better add that the original Mk IVs were never anywhere near as good as MkIIIs. The seating seemed to be far too small and a bit stingy on materials. The "Mallard" refurb brought both types to a sort of in-between standard, and I used to love seeing an unrefurbished HST set pulling in, just as much as I love seeing the Midland set arrive now.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top