British Rail Class 220

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British Rail Class 220 Voyager
Hugh llewelyn 220 002 (6701873995).jpg
CrossCountry 220002 passes Charfield on a Birmingham New St-Plymouth service.
BRC220 interior.jpg
The interior of standard class on board a CrossCountry Class 220
In service 2001 —
Manufacturer Bombardier Transportation
Built at Bruges, Belgium
Family name Voyager
Constructed 2000–2001
Number built 34 trainsets
Number in service 34 trainsets
Formation 4 cars per trainset
Capacity 174 standard class, 26 first class
Operator CrossCountry
Specifications
Car body construction Steel
Car length 23.85 m (driving cars) or 22.82 m (intermediate cars)
Width 2.73 m (8 ft 11 in)
Articulated sections Flexible diaphragm (within unit only)
Maximum speed 125 mph (200 km/h)
Weight 185.6 t (182.7 long tons; 204.6 short tons) per trainset
Traction system DEMU
Prime mover(s) Cummins QSK19[1]
Power output Each engine: 560 kW (750 hp) at 1800 rpm
Total: 3,000 hp (2,240 kW)
Transmission Diesel-electric
UIC classification 1A'A1'+1A'A1'+1A'A1'+1A'A1'[2][3]
Braking system(s) Rheostatic
Safety system(s) AWS, TPWS
Coupling system Dellner[4]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The Class 220 Voyager is a class of diesel-electric high-speed multiple-unit trains built in Belgium by Bombardier Transportation in 2000 and 2001.

They were introduced in 2001 to replace the 30-year-old InterCity 125 and Class 47 fleets operating on the Cross Country Route, initially for Virgin Trains and since 2007 by CrossCountry.[5]

Technical details[edit]

All coaches are equipped with a Cummins QSK19 diesel engine of 750 hp (560 kW) at 1800rpm. These power a generator which supplies current to motors driving two axles per coach,[6] with one axle per bogie powered.[7][8]

Voyagers have both air and rheostatic brakes. They are fitted with Dellner couplers, like the Class 222, operated by East Midlands Trains and the Class 390 Pendolino electric trains used by Virgin West Coast meaning they can be coupled in rescue/recovery mode (air brake only) in the event of a failure. 220s and 221s can also be easily assisted by Dellner fitted Class 57s (Thunderbirds) in the event of a failure. By use of adaptive couplings a failed 220 or 221 can also be assisted by any air braked locomotive such as a Class 37, 47 or 66 or even an HST. The units can work in multiple with Class 221 units but not Class 222 units as the electrical connections of the Class 222 units are incompatible with the Class 220.[citation needed]

Classes 220 (left) and 221 (right) at Durham, showing the differing bogie designs

The Class 220s and closely related Class 222s have B5005 bogies,[2][7] which are distinctive as they are of inside-frame design and so the axles are supported by bearings behind the wheels, meaning the outside face of the wheel is visible. The related Class 221 Super Voyager has outside-frame bogies and hence a more conventional appearance.

The Class 220s operate in four-coach sets with a carriage mass of between 45 and 48 tonnes and a total train weight of 185.6 tonnes, a top speed of 125 mph (200 km/h) and a maximum range of approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km) between each refuelling. Their route availability is very good being RA 2[6] - in part due to the lightweight bogie design.

Class 220 units do not have automatic sanding equipment, and instead have "one-shot" sanders which activate when all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The emergency stop button has been pressed;
  2. Wheel slip has been detected;
  3. Train speed is over 8 miles per hour (13 km/h).

As it was necessary to take the train out of service for refill following the deployment of sand, Bombardier fitted a second sand bottle, allowing two uses before the train would need to be withdrawn from service. The CrossCountry fleet was modified between February and June 2011.[9]

All Voyagers are maintained at the dedicated Central Rivers TMD near Burton-on-Trent.

The interior of First Class

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Units have sometimes been stopped by salt water, when storm-driven waves broke over the train at Dawlish in south Devon and inundated the resistor banks, causing the control software to shut down.[10] This problem was fixed by an upgrade to the control software.[11] Voyagers are still susceptible to restricted operation between Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth, due to the risk of total electrical failure of the train. If there is a possibility of sea spray following a Met office alert, Voyagers are prohibited from using the route, being terminated at Exeter St Davids.[citation needed]

There were a number of exhaust fires on the Voyager class during 2005–2006 due to incorrect fitting of equipment during overhauls. Fires occurred at Starcross (Class 221), Newcastle and on 19 January 2006 at Congleton.[12]

On 14 March 2008, 220 012, forming a service to Derby, had a roof fire at Banbury.[13][14] This fire was caused by a bird getting caught under one of the hot brake resistors on the roof of the train. Damage to the train was not serious and it was repaired and returned to service.

Formation and passenger facilities[edit]

Class 220s operate in four-coach sets. These trains, unlike the older trains they replaced, feature electronic information boards on the exterior walls showing the train number, the time, the coach, the train's destination, and the next station. This is also a feature of the Class 221 and Class 222 trains (The Class 390 trains have such electronic information boards, but in the doors). They are air-conditioned throughout, with powered doors. The coaches are fitted with power sockets for laptop computers and mobile phone charging. Toilet facilities for disabled people and storage facilities for bicycles are provided.

They provide 26 seats in 2+1 formation in first class and 174 seats in 2+2 formation in standard class.

The formation of a four-car Class 220 is as follows:[1]

  • 604## - Coach A - 26 seats - First Class with disabled area, train manager office, first class catering area and driving cab. Toilet.
  • 602## - Coach C - 66 seats - Standard Class. Toilet.
  • 607## - Coach D - 66 seats - Standard Class with large luggage area and reservable space for three bikes. No toilet.
  • 603## - Coach F - 42 seats - Standard Class with disabled area, catering base and driving cab. Toilet.

There is no coach B on the four car class 220, it exists on the 5 car class 221 and is usually a coach which holds no reservations. This aids short-term fleet changes, for example if a class 220 is running in a diagram that usually has a class 221, then the loss of a coach will not affect the reservation system, as they will all still be allocated. CrossCountry Trains has finished updating the interior layout of all its 220 and 221 sets; the aim is to increase seating capacity, in line with its commitments to the franchise agreements, as well as provide an at-seat trolley service for refreshments instead of a shop. Research had shown that the shop was not making as good a turnover as hoped because people prefer not to leave their seats to get refreshments; they feared either losing their seat or having their belongings stolen when away. In Virgin Trains' unsuccessful franchise bid it also cited removal of the shop from 220s and 221s as a way of trying to improve seating capacity.[citation needed]

The interior renovation involved the removal of the shop from coach D and the conversion of the stowage area in coach F to a catering storage area where there is now a fridge, food storage and a space for an on-board trolley to be stored. Bicycle storage has been moved to coach D where the shop was. It can now store three bicycles instead of four.

The Class 220s have been criticised for a number of shortcomings:

  • Increased underfloor noise and vibration when compared to the non-powered Mark 2 and Mark 3 coaching stock they replaced due to the underfloor diesel engines.
  • As the profile of the bodyshells is designed to allow clearance for tilting (although the Class 220s have never featured tilting capability, they use the same shell as the Class 221), the interior space is reduced when compared with conventional carriages.
  • The four car sets are typically shorter than the trains they replaced (usually a locomotive with 7 coaches or a 7 car HST)- despite more frequent running, overcrowding is still a problem especially with the increase in passenger numbers. A feasibility study into adding another coach to each Voyager is being looked at by the Department For Transport jointly with Crosscountry and Bombardier (September 2011). This coach would have a pantograph and conversion equipment instead of a diesel engine, providing the Voyager units (Classes 220 and 221) with dual traction capability (diesel/electric and electric 25 kV).
  • There is little to no space to store large luggage items or bikes. More luggage space has been provided in the converted CrossCountry units with the removal of the shop. The conversion has however resulted in only three bicycle spaces instead of the original four.
  • Most seating is in 'airline' configuration, with pull-down trays which are too small to use a large laptop on, but are fine for smaller laptops and netbooks.

Operation[edit]

Class 220 in Virgin Trains livery in 2006, after departing Bristol Parkway. It is operating a service from Plymouth to Newcastle, which is an example of a Sunday service still operated today by CrossCountry.
CrossCountry unit 220014 departs Weston-super-Mare with a northbound service from Paignton to Manchester Piccadilly.
Two British Rail Class 220 units operated by CrossCountry coupling to form a longer train
CrossCountry Class 220 unit 220032 on a curve at Langstone Rock near Dawlish.
Main article: Cross Country Route

All units are owned by Voyager Leasing, a consortium of Lloyds Banking Group and Angel Trains.[15] They are leased to the train operating companies; as of 2013, CrossCountry is the only operator of Class 220 units.

Virgin Trains was the sole operator of Class 220 Voyager trains when they were introduced in 2001, via their Virgin West Coast and Virgin CrossCountry franchises. When the Cross Country Route franchise was transferred to Arriva CrossCountry in November 2007, most of the Voyager fleet was transferred with it, and by the end of 2007 CrossCountry was the sole operator of Class 220 units.

The 220s often operate in multiple with Class 221 units, which are mechanically similar except for their bogies and have the same coupler type.

Fleet details[edit]

There are 34 Class 220 Voyager trains, numbered 220 001–220 034.

Class Operator Number Year Built Cars per Set Unit Numbers.
Class 220 CrossCountry 34 2000–2001 4 220 001–220 034

Virgin Trains named all the Class 220 Voyagers after places that they serve or companies that have relations with Virgin Trains.

220 001 Somerset Voyager (previously Maiden Voyager) 220 018 Dorset Voyager (previously Central News)
220 002 Forth Voyager 220 019 Mersey Voyager
220 003 Solent Voyager 220 020 Wessex Voyager
220 004 Cumbrian Voyager (previously New Dawn) 220 021 Staffordshire Voyager (previously Blackpool Voyager)
220 005 Guildford Voyager 220 022 Brighton Voyager
220 006 Clyde Voyager 220 023 Mancunian Voyager
220 007 Thames Voyager 220 024 Sheffield Voyager
220 008 Welsh Dragon 220 025 Severn Voyager (previously Virgin Voyager)
220 009 Gatwick Voyager 220 026 Stagecoach Voyager
220 010 Ribble Voyager 220 027 Avon Voyager
220 011 Tyne Voyager 220 028 Black Country Voyager
220 012 Lanarkshire Voyager 220 029 Cornish Voyager
220 013 South Wales Voyager 220 030 Devon Voyager
220 014 South Yorkshire Voyager 220 031 Tay Voyager
220 015 Solway Voyager 220 032 Grampian Voyager
220 016 Midland Voyager 220 033 Fife Voyager
220 017 Bombardier Voyager 220 034 Yorkshire Voyager

When the Class 220s were transferred to the new operator CrossCountry, all the names were removed. All Class 220 Voyagers are now in CrossCountry livery.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Diesel Multiple Units 2010. Sheffield: Platform 5. 2010. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-902336-75-6. 
  2. ^ a b "High-speed multiple units Virgin Voyager and Super Voyager with SK-450 final drives and cardan shafts". Voith. May 2008. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 13 March 2008. "Drive configuration [diagram]" 
  3. ^ "Cutting noise and smoothing the ride". Railway Gazette (London). 1 August 2000. Retrieved 20 December 2010. "In the Voyager application, every car has a Cummins underfloor engine and alternator supplying power to a pair of body-mounted traction motors. Each drives one inner axle through a cardan shaft and axle-mounted final drive gearbox. Thus all 272 bogies are identical" 
  4. ^ "Mechanical And Electrical Coupling Index". Rail Safety and Standards Board. Retrieved 20 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "New Dawn for Virgin Trains" (Press release). Virgin Trains. 5 June 2001. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  6. ^ a b "Class 220 data". The Railway Centre. 2 June 2008. 
  7. ^ a b M-Size Bogies B5000 For Coach and EMU Applications
  8. ^ B5000 bogies bombardier
  9. ^ "Buffer stop collision at Chester station 20 November 2013". Rail Accident Investigation Branch. November 2014. pp. 5, 9, 29–30. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  10. ^ "Virgin Trains chaos 'over by Christmas'". BBC News. 20 November 2002. 
  11. ^ "Voyager Train fleet "think smart" to operate past Devon sea storms" (Press release). Virgin Trains. 2 December 2002. Archived from the original on 16 October 2006. 
  12. ^ Virgin Trains Cross Country news April 2006. Page 4 section 14
  13. ^ "Train fire at Banbury". Banbury Guardian. 14 March 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  14. ^ "Train Fire is out". Oxford Mail. 14 March 2008. 
  15. ^ Pritchard, Robert; Hall, Peter (2013). British Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock 2013. Sheffield: Platform 5 Publishing. pp. 245–6, 373. ISBN 978-1-909431-02-7. 
  16. ^ Class 220 Fleet Details

External links[edit]