Class 158 Virgin CrossCountry

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Kier

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According to the wikipedia page, Virgin XC had class 158's.

Is this true? If so what routes did they run and were they ever in Virgin livery?
 
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Welshman

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I seem to remember seeing one at Crewe some time ago, at the beginning of Virgin's XC franchise, and it was forming I think a Blackpool-Portsmouth service. A 2-car 158 - still in Regional Rail livery, IIRC.

Of course, that odd service was soon disbanded.
 

Kier

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Were they used by Intercity (pre privitisation)? Were they ever in Intercity livery?

Seems strange, allocating class 158 services to Intercity? Why were they not just part of Regional Railways? On that logic routes such as Norwich-Liverpool and Nottingham-Cardiff could have been part of Intercity as well.
 

driver9000

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They were used by Intercity and at least one had Intercity branding below the windscreen. They wore the Express livery carried from new. I used to use them regularly on Manchester Airport-Edinburgh services in the early VXC days.
 

TheWalrus

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Yes they did have them but they didnt have virgin livery or branding. They used to do swindon-cheltenham/birmingham (vt0)
 

TEW

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They can do, FGW ran a Cotswold Line-Portsmouth special either last year or not long before that. They have to be fitted with SSL bogies of course, which all of the XC fleet would have been for operating in other 3rd rail areas. The Portsmouth services were in the main booked for 47s though I believe.
 

Johnny Lewis

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The use of an HST on the daily Blackpool - Portsmouth train was short-lived, but it DID happen. Once it was replaced by 47s + Mk 2s, the service operated with the 47 permanently coupled at either end, and was diverted to run into the Low Level platforms at Portsmouth & Southsea.

To return to the main thread, the VT 158s were used on direct services from Manchester Airport - Scotland, Liverpool - Scotland and Liverpool / Manchester - Portsmouth. For a couple of timetables, one of the diagrams was Edinburgh - Liverpool - Portsmouth, giving a "direct" service from Edinburgh to Portsmouth, albeit with a 45 minute wait in Liverpool!

The Manchester Airport - Scotland services were frequently coupled to a First North Western service running between Manchester Airport and either Barrow or Windermere. The trains generally used to split and divide at Bolton. Northbound, the FNW "bit" (formed of a 156) was on the front, but then ran via Wigan North Western, which means it then arrived into Preston after the VT 158 "bit", which had departed Bolton after it. A timetabling nightmare really!

Obviously the introduction of the Voyagers put paid to this and the 158 diagrams were the ones that were early replacements once enough Voyagers came along.
 

Eagle

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The Manchester Airport - Scotland services were frequently coupled to a First North Western service running between Manchester Airport and either Barrow or Windermere. The trains generally used to split and divide at Bolton. Northbound, the FNW "bit" (formed of a 156) was on the front, but then ran via Wigan North Western, which means it then arrived into Preston after the VT 158 "bit", which had departed Bolton after it. A timetabling nightmare really!
Luckily the introduction of TPE seems to have solved that (with all their routes running into Piccadilly, so no need to re-split at Bolton).
 

158747

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The former Virgin Cross Country 158s were 158747-158751, all are now operated by First Great Western. All these vehicles are now used in nine of the hybrid 3 car 158s.
 
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dk1

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158747 was the unit used for publicity advertising direct trains to Manchester airport for obvious reasons.

Virgin never wanted any real association with the units & hence branding was never applied.

These trains where occasionally substitued in the NW with super power in the form of a load 2 HST. Unfortunatly i never managed to travel on one & ascend Shap at 'line speed' :(
 
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