- See also: Bombardier Voyager family
|British Rail Class 221 SuperVoyager|
| Virgin CrossCountry SuperVoyager approaching Bristol Parkway on 4 May 2006 |
|Number built||44 trainsets|
|Number in service||44 trainsets|
|Formation||4 or 5 cars per trainset|
|Capacity||26 first class, 162 or 224 standard class per trainset|
|Car body construction||Steel|
|Car length||Template:Convert/m driving end cars|
Template:Convert/m other cars
|Doors||Swing plug at vehicle ends|
|Articulated sections||Flexible diaphragm within unit only|
|Maximum speed||125 mph (Template:Convert/outsep)|
|Weight||Template:Convert/t or Template:Convert/t per trainset|
|Engine(s)||Cummins QSK19 of Template:Convert/kW at 1800rpm|
|Power output||Template:Convert/kW per car|
|Braking system(s)||Rheostatic and electro-pneumatic|
|Safety system(s)||AWS, TPWS, TASS,|
The Class 221 SuperVoyagers are diesel-electric multiple-unit express trains built by Bombardier Transportation between 2001 and 2002, entering service on 12 April 2002. The Class 221 are similar to the Class 220 Voyager units, but they have a tilting mechanism enabling up to six degrees of tilt to allow higher speeds on curved tracks. They have a maximum speed of 125 mph (Template:Convert/outsep).
The Class 221s were produced as 5- or 4-coach sets. Each coach is equipped with a Cummins QSK19 diesel engine producing Template:Convert/kW at 1,800 rpm, driving an electrical generator which powers two motors, each driving one (inner) axle per bogie each via a cardan shaft and final drive. Template:Convert/mi can be travelled between refuellings. The coach bodies, the engines and most of the equipment of the Class 221s are the same as the Class 220s, but the bogies are very different; the Class 220 Voyager B5000 bogies have inside bearings which expose the whole of the wheel faces, whilst the Class 221 SuperVoyager Y36 bogies have a more traditional-looking outside-framed bogie. Unlike the Class 220s the Class 221s have an hydraulic actuated tilting system to run at high speed around bends. Each coach weighs between 55 and 57 tonnes with a total train weight of 281.9 tonnes for a 5-car set (227 tonnes for a 4-car set). The trains have air-operated (pneumatic) and rheostatic brakes, with an emergency stopping distance of 350m at 60 mph (Template:Convert/outsep). All Class 221 units are maintained at the dedicated Central Rivers TMD near Burton-on-Trent.
Formation and passenger facilitiesEdit
There are 44 Class 221 trains, numbered 221 101 to 221 144; the first forty are five-car trains originally operated by Virgin Cross Country, the remaining four were four-car sets, originally intended for Virgin West Coast North Wales services. In November 2010, Virgin Trains reformed their three four-car sets into two five-car sets and a residual spare two-car set by inserting the two intermediate (non-driving) cars from 221144 into 221142 and 221143, giving them 20 five-car sets (and two spare driving cars). All vehicles are air-conditioned and fitted with at-seat audio entertainment systems and power sockets for laptop computers and mobile phone charging. First-class accommodation has a 2+1 seating arrangement, while standard class features a 2+2 seating arrangement. Virgin Trains' units are fitted with CCTV. The trains have been criticised for providing insufficient space for luggage and bicycles. Also, because the units are designed to tilt, the carriages have a tapered profile that narrows towards roof level, resulting in a less spacious interior than the conventional carriages they replaced. The formation and capacity of each unit will depend on the Operator.
|Operator||Cars per set||First Class Seats||Standard Class Seats||Bicycle storage||Formation|
|Virgin West Coast||5||26 (84)*||236 (178)*||4||Coach A Quiet Zone, Coach D - Standard/First Dual Use Coach with Shop, Coach E First Class.|
|CrossCountry||26||252||3||Coach A First Class, Coach F Quiet Zone, at seat catering service.|
|CrossCountry||4||26||182||3||Coach A First Class, Coach F Quiet Zone, at seat catering service.|
'*' The number of seats on Virgin sets depends on the use of coach D; if used on North Wales services it provides extra first-class seats, on Anglo-Scottish services coach D is standard-class accommodation.
On their introduction in 2002 Virgin Trains was the operator of all Class 221s, which they used on Cross Country and West Coast Main Line services as well as on the North Wales coast line. On 11 November 2007 CrossCountry obtained the Cross Country Route rail franchise; the trains were shared in a common pool between the two companies until December 2007, when 221 114 to 221 141 were transferred to CrossCountry with the remainder (221 101 to 221 113, 221 142 to 221 144) staying with Virgin Trains on Virgin West Coast. Five units 221 114 to 221 118 were transferred back to Virgin Trains in December 2008.
These are used alongside Class 220 units and HSTs on the routes inherited from Virgin Trains.
Virgin Trains uses the Class 221 units primarily from Birmingham New Street to Scotland and from London Euston to Chester and North Wales. The trains to and from Scotland operate as single units and alternate between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley (in turn alternating with TransPennine Express trains to and from Manchester Airport). When longer trains are needed for some of these services during the summer, a Pendolino will run through from and to London Euston, and the Super Voyager then fills in for it on the London to West Midlands route., The trains on the North Wales route sometimes work in pairs between London Euston and Chester and terminate variously at Chester, Holyhead, Bangor and Wrexham.
Technical problems and incidents Edit
Units have been stopped due to waves breaking over the sea wall at Dawlish in storm conditions, inundating the resistor banks and causing the control software to shut down the whole train. This problem was fixed by a software upgrade to the control software. On 8 December 2005, 221 125 suffered an exhaust fire at Starcross. Other members of the Voyager class suffered similar fires in the 2005-2006 period due to an incorrectly performed engine overhaul.
On 26 May 2006, as one vyager was coming into oxenholme, there was a murder on the train. This particular unit is now haunted, with strange sounds, doors opening by themselves and a figure walking up and down carriages.
On 25 September 2006, 220 136 collided with a car on the track at Moor Lane, Copmanthorpe, North Yorkshire. The 14:25 Plymouth to Edinburgh was decelerating on its approach to York station at 9pm when it collided with the car, which had crashed through a fence and on to the line. Despite being derailed in the 100 mph crash, the train remained upright. Nobody on board was injured. 
Some of the Virgin-operated Class 221 SuperVoyagers were named after famous Voyagers, some fictional and some real, as follows:
|Class||Operator||Number of Trains||Built||Cars per Set||Unit numbers.|
|Class 221||Virgin Trains||21||2001–2002||5||221101 - 221118
221142 - 221143
|CrossCountry||23||5||221119 - 221140|
See also Edit
- ↑ Desiro UK DMU Class 185 fact sheet siemens.com
- ↑ Template:Cite news
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 High-speed multiple units Virgin Voyager and Super Voyager with SK-450 final drives and cardan shafts 1–2. Voith (May 2008). Retrieved on 2008-03-13. “Drive configuration [diagram]”
- ↑ Mechanical And Electrical Coupling Index. Rail Safety and Standards Board. Retrieved on 2010-12-20.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Class 220 data. The Railway Centre (2 June 2008).
- ↑ Virgin eliminate four car Voyagers. Rail-News.com (2010-12-03). Retrieved on 2010-12-20. “The project to re-form two four-car Class 221 Super Voyager trains to provide greater flexibility and offer consistency in the operation of Birmingham-Scotland and London-Chester-North Wales services which are booked for Class 221 operation is now complete. Virgin Trains is no longer operating any Class 221 Super Voyager trains as four-car units.”
- ↑ Template:Cite news
- ↑ Virgin Trains seating plan
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Page 8 of Rail Management 175 confirms this
- ↑ Template:Cite news
- ↑ Template:Cite press release
- ↑ Virgin Trains Cross Country news April 2006. Page 4 section 14
- ↑ Template:Cite news
- Virgin Trains Seating Plan for Virgin Trains Super Voyagers Page 2
- Testing the Class 221s
- Railway Herald Issue 150 page 6 contains an image of a reconfigured Super Voyager.