A rail operator has launched the UK’s largest refurbishment of a train fleet.

Avanti West Coast said the £117 million scheme will make its 56 Pendolinos “feel like new trains”.

The programme involves replacing 25,000 standard class seats, and fitting new carpets, lighting and information screens.

A new bar area for passengers to socialise and consume refreshments will be installed.

Power points will be available at every seat, additional luggage space will be created, and the toilets will be refurbished.

All 35 Pendolinos with 11 carriages will see one first class carriage converted to standard class.

The electric fleet has clocked up more than 270 million miles serving cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh for nearly 20 years.

Avanti West Coast managing director Phil Whittingham said: “The Pendolino is a real workhorse which has helped to transform services on the West Coast Main Line.

“This investment will take them to the next level and they’ll feel like new trains with state of the art technology and brand new seats.

“I can’t wait to see the reaction from our customers and people.”

The first train to be refurbished was taken out of service earlier this week, and is due to return later this year.

The project is being carried out by train manufacturer Alstom at its new depot in Widnes, Cheshire.

Avanti West Coast’s other train fleet – diesel-powered Voyagers – is being replaced by new electric and hybrid trains built by Hitachi from 2023.