Virgin CrossCountry - Virgin CrossCountry Rolling Stock - D

Virgin CrossCountry - D
Virgin CrossCountry Rolling Stock
Virgin CrossCountry inherited a fleet of Class 47 and Class 86 locomotives, Mark 2 Carriages, High Speed Trains and Class 158 Express Sprinter diesel multiple units from British Rail. Class 47s on hire from English Welsh & Scottish and Fragonset were also fairly common.
A franchise commitment was the replacement of these trains with new stock. In December 1998 Virgin signed a deal to lease 78 Voyager diesel–electric multiple units built by Bombardier Transportation, consisting of 34 four-carriage Class 220 Voyagers and 40 five-carriage and four four-carriage Class 221 Super Voyagers.
The Super Voyagers were built with tilting mechanisms to enable higher speeds on curved tracks, including on the West Coast Main Line and between Oxford and Banbury. The four-carriage Super Voyagers were intended for use by Virgin West Coast on services from London Euston to Holyhead, although they ended up being pooled with the other Voyagers. When Virgin West Coast started using Super Voyagers on Holyhead services in September 2004, the five-carriage units were used.
The first Class 220 Voyager arrived from Belgium in January 2001 and entered service on 21 May 2001. The last Class 47s, Class 86s and Mark 2 carriages were withdrawn in August 2002, while the Express Sprinters were transferred to Wessex Trains and First TransPennine Express.
After experiencing rapid growth Virgin CrossCountry decided to retain some High Speed Train sets. In December 2001 it announced plans to refurbish eight HSTs as Virgin Challengers for use on proposed services from London Paddington to Manchester Piccadilly via Cheltenham, with the option to refurbish more.
In the wake of the collapse of Operation Princess, the project was cancelled with the remaining HSTs withdrawn in September 2003 on the instruction of the Strategic Rail Authority.
To provide extra stock for services on summer Saturday services to Paignton and Newquay, Virgin CrossCountry hired HSTs from Virgin West Coast, Midland Mainline and Great North Eastern Railway (GNER), and Mark 3B loco-hauled carriages from Virgin West Coast. In 2004 Virgin hired Class 67 locomotives from EWS and Mark 2 carriages from Riviera Trains to operate summer Saturday services to Paignton.
A standby set of Mark 2 carriages was leased from Riviera Trains from September 2004. This set was usually used with an EWS Class 90 locomotive between Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly, although it did run to Newcastle with a Class 57/3 in January 2007.
HSTs were hired from Midland Mainline and GNER on a number of occasions to operate services from Edinburgh Waverley to Plymouth when Voyagers were unavailable.
Virgin CrossCountry Overview
Virgin CrossCountry Franchise(s): InterCity CrossCountry
6 January 1997 – 10 November 2007
Virgin CrossCountry Main Route(s): Southern England/London Paddington and South West England/South East Wales – Midlands – Northern England and Scotland
Virgin CrossCountry Fleet Size: 34 Voyager and 44 Super Voyager sets
Virgin CrossCountry Parent Company: Virgin Group (51%)
Stagecoach (49%)
Virgin CrossCountry Reporting Mark: VXC
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