Train-building company Alstom has reached an agreement with the UK Department for Transport (DfT) to construct four new high-speed tilting Pendolino trains for the busy West Coast Main Line (WCML) from London to Glasgow.

The new trains with 11 carriages each will be put into service between 2011 and 2012 according to Alstom.

Two carriages will also be added to 31 of the 52 Pendolinos currently on the route – raising their capacity to 589 passengers – which will be enter service between April and December 2012.

Overall, 7,420 additional seats will be provided, with an option for a further 42 carriages by 2013. Alstom”s contract for the work ” due to be confirmed in August – would be worth £1.5bn ($3bn).

Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly said: ”Our priority for the railways is increasing capacity and this will provide much-needed extra seats on the busiest services from London to Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.

“In addition, the £8.8bn [infrastructure] upgrade of the West Coast Main Line will cut journey times and deliver more frequent services.”

DfT also announced that Govia Transportation Projects Ltd and Virgin Rail Projects Ltd make up the shortlist to win the contract to deliver these carriages to service – this would include support during the design finalisation, manufacture, delivery, testing and commissioning of new Pendolino rolling stock through to the end of the current West Coast franchise (31 March 2012).

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