[UK] COP26: Avanti West Coast reveals its ‘Climate Train’ Pendolino

Between 31.10.2021 and 12.11.2021, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) takes place in Glasgow, Scotland (UK). A special ‘Climate Train’ operated between the Netherlands and Scotland carrying passengers to COP2. Avanti West Coast is one of the operators that supported the campaign. To mark the occasion, the operator also revealed a specially colored Pendolino trainset. Let’s take a look at it.

Thanks to the Climate Train cooperation project, official delegations from the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Germany have joined young people, MEPs, and NGOs such as Friends of the Earth and Oxfam, to enjoy one of the more sustainable ways to travel between the continent and COP26.

Pendolino 390 121 as Avanti West Coast’s Climate Train © Avanti West Coast

One of Avanti West Coast’s iconic Pendolinos, 390 121, which carried delegates on the London to Glasgow part of the COP26 journey, has been fully wrapped with a unique sustainability design.

“By uniting with operators across the continent, the Climate Train’s journey illustrates the ease of travelling between countries providing customers with a sustainable alternative. But our commitment goes beyond COP26. For example, in the next few years, we will be replacing our diesel-only trains with a combination of electric and bi-mode trains that will substantially reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment.” – Phil Whittingham, Managing Director, Avanti West Coast

About the Climate Train design

The new livery f 390 121 is set in blue/green tones. Both end and middle cars have been wrapped with foil—the cabs of the train feature the earth, the intermediate cars are decorated with leaf motifs, and some of them display the slogans “Ride against climate change” and “Our planet means the world to us.”

The design has been applied with the support of railway vehicle manufacturer Alstom, communication & graphics agency Aura Graphics, and rolling stock company Angel Trains, owner of the Pendolino fleet.

Pendolino 390 121 as Avanti West Coast’s Climate Train © Avanti West Coast

Of course, a sustainable livery calls for a unique name. This is why a special competition is to be launched on social media to name the train.

Part of a more extensive cooperation

While traveling between Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, and London, youth activists joined politicians and rail experts to debate and exchange ideas, tackling topics such as accelerating the modal shift towards sustainable travel and how innovation in rail can support this.

Pendolino 390 121 as Avanti West Coast’s Climate Train © Avanti West Coast

The Climate Train is initiated by non-profit organization Youth for Sustainable Travel and Dutch rail infrastructure manager ProRail and became a reality thanks to a collaboration with carriers Eurostar, NS, and Avanti West Coast. It benefits from the financial support of all Infrastructure managers on the route (Infrabel, SNCF Réseau, Getlink, HS1) as well as SNCB and EWS Schönau.

The initiative is supported by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM), and the International Union of Railways (UIC) as part of the #EUYearofRail.

© ProRail

According to Eurostar, which also provided traction for the Climate Train, a passenger’s carbon footprint from one flight between Amsterdam and London is the equivalent of seven Eurostar journeys. This means significant carbon savings to be made by improving access to fast, seamless rail connections between the UK and the continent.

Timelapse video

In the past years, it has become a tradition to release timelapse videos of the stickering process of railway vehicles. The Climate Train is no exception in that sense:


While Pendolino 390 121 is the eyecatcher from this article, its sibling 390 125 is currently being refurbished by Alstom in its UK facility in Widnes. Learn more about that project by visiting our article below:

[UK / Expert] Alstom kicks-off refurbishment of the Avanti West Coast Pendolinos

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