A few Virgin Pendolinos are carrying passengers on the West Coast main line from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly.

The fleet of Pendolinos have been built by train manufacturer Alstom and more trains will be phased in between now and 2004 to replace existing trains.

Pendolinos will run at up to 125mph on the West Coast route but will not operate in 'tilt' mode until 2004 when necessary infrastructure work is completed.

The new trains are in nine-coach formations and include 441 seats and a larger version of the shops currently seen on Virgin's Cross Country trains.

From September 2004 there will be nine Virgin West Coast services an hour running each way during the daytime.