Edinburgh [EDB] - Birmingham [BHM] Why Class 221

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Hi All,

I recently went down to Kendal at Easter, obviously took Virgin. I'm wondering why Virgin use the Super Voyager "under the wires" instead of putting a Pendo onto the run? Is it something to do with not enough Pendo stock or what? It doesn't make sense to burn diesel when you could use the juice wire instead :idea:

Slightly off topic: Coming back was a nightmare, overcrowded SV with people literally crammed into the vestibules :-x
 
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YorkshireBear

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The crowding you experienced is pretty usual for that route...

Yeah it is simply that they do not have enough electric stock. But with an extra 4 pendilinos delievered recently it is hoped by end of 2012 that the Birmingham scotland services will be double voyager or 9 coach pendilino minimum. (to the best of my knowledge anyway)
Also some extra chester and wales services will be doubled too
 
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I personally blame the crumple zones and the exhaust in the Super Vomiters for taking up too much room :P

I'll only use Virgin again if they start lengthening trains - till then it's Transpennine Express that get my custom. But maybe I'd stick with Virgin as the Vomiter does give a more interesting ride. Especially as it tilts when you're walking back from the restaurant car and end up dousing half the vestible in coffee.

Though TPX services don't tend to be overcrowded from EDB - MIA from what I've seen (though I stand to be corrected!) At least in the Diesel Dessies there's plenty of standing room so you don't have to get intimate with some stranger lol. With the SV I was stuck between three people, the exhaust box (I presume, as it was pretty hot to the touch) and the wall.
 

YorkshireBear

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Transpennine are even worse in that part of the world, from my experience (i travel to penrith regularly) i have never had a seat on TPE from manchester to penrith and ive regularly seen people left at platforms on route. So i think its all bad and it could do with being 4 coach desiros and 9 coach pendilinos on all services.
 

TheJRB

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Yes, it's funny to see a Voyager on a service to Barnes - BNS. Or maybe you meant BHM. Sorry, the pedant in me couldn't resist. :oops: :lol:

I wonder how much money is wasted running diesel trains on electrified routes every year? Down here the Marshlink diesels travel for the majority of their journey (about forty of the sixty miles) to Brighton over electrified tracks.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Hi All,

I recently went down to Kendal at Easter, obviously took Virgin. I'm wondering why Virgin use the Super Voyager "under the wires" instead of putting a Pendo onto the run? Is it something to do with not enough Pendo stock or what? It doesn't make sense to burn diesel when you could use the juice wire instead :idea:....

The Pendolinos were ordered and delivered when Birmingham-Scotland was part of the Cross Country franchise. Understandably, XC didn't want electric trains as few, if any, of their services stayed under the wires.

When XC changed hands from Virgin to Arriva, the Birmingham-Scotland routes were shared between Transpennine Express (who didn't really have enough newly delivered 185s) and West Coast (who had no spare trains to run it). As a result some 221s were transfered from XC to WC to run the service (and the Holyhead/Chester runs).
 

Failed Unit

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You also have growth, when they were ordered they expected the voyagers to cope as the frequency increased. I am not sure how much impact the loss of the Crewe stop on the Pendos has made as this has forced traffic onto the Voyagers. I used to avoid voyager and change at Crewe on the Pendo to get to Wales, that option is gone.

As for TPE, they vary and sometimes are 6 coach. But I often see the leaving Haymarket already full. Travel before 10am towards Manchester seems to be fine, after that make sure you have reserved a seat even in 1st
 

LNW-GW Joint

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A couple of EDB-BHM trains are now Pendolinos anyway (since the new ones were delivered) with more coming.
And the TPE 185s will become 350s in a couple of years.
Plus there's the chance that the winner of the West Coast franchise might replace the 221s in 2016 (when the present lease runs out) or turn them into e-Voyagers.

And are these packed Scotland-England trains the same ones that others report as "empty north of Preston"?
 

Failed Unit

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A couple of EDB-BHM trains are now Pendolinos anyway (since the new ones were delivered) with more coming.
And the TPE 185s will become 350s in a couple of years.
Plus there's the chance that the winner of the West Coast franchise might replace the 221s in 2016 (when the present lease runs out) or turn them into e-Voyagers.

And are these packed Scotland-England trains the same ones that others report as "empty north of Preston"?

At certain times yes, the 0652 Edinburgh - Birmingham for example which is now a Pendo is empty (and wasnt crowded as a Voyager). It picks about Lancaster.

It the times I travel to get me into Manchester / Birmingham / London before 1100 and leave those cities after 1600 as a rule Voyagers are fine north of Preston but can be very overcrowded South of. I have not experienced it myself but I understand demand to / from Edinburgh is stronger than Glasgow, particully between 1000 and 1800

Thinking about the removal of stop south of Warrington on the Pendo's it has probably had a worse effect on the voyagers as you now need to use the voyagers for Preston - Milton Keynes type journeys which used to be direct. Shame London Midland were refused access - Preston

London midland doing London - Blackpool direct when the wires are up anyone?
 

starrymarkb

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The Pendolinos were ordered and delivered when Birmingham-Scotland was part of the Cross Country franchise. Understandably, XC didn't want electric trains as few, if any, of their services stayed under the wires.

When XC changed hands from Virgin to Arriva, the Birmingham-Scotland routes were shared between Transpennine Express (who didn't really have enough newly delivered 185s) and West Coast (who had no spare trains to run it). As a result some 221s were transfered from XC to WC to run the service (and the Holyhead/Chester runs).

And in the past the Scotland-Birminghams would have continued to Bristol/Plymouth, the route south of Birmingham was cut but the stock remained.

I suspect Virgin would love more Pendolinos, but given the fight they had to get the extra coaches for the 11 car project (remember that Virgin's franchise expires this year and the DfT cut the number of units to be lengthend) I can't see the Voyagers continuing for a while yet.

And isn't BHM in Alabama? ;)
 
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Hi all,

The complete irony is that the 16:52 on Friday was deserted in my coach (EDB - New Street) but coming back from OXN on Saturday the 10:23 (OXN depart) was jam packed with people getting off at Carlisle to get the Pendo to Glasgow Central and SR (TM said SR were honouring tickets) to EDB. But that'd mean that I'd miss my Inverness connection so I couldn't take him up on the offer, which was literally a pain I can tell you!

It's what I get for getting an Off Peak Return and not being able to reserve inbound seats (since I didn't know when my holiday would end - it only lasted about 12 hours thanks to my bestie having to work over the weekend!).

Usually when going down to Manc to see my best mate (it'll now be Stockport as he's moved house) I use TPX and reserve seats with my Advance Singles, but the problem is that if you miss your connection you'd be cheaper to just drive it!

It'll be interesting to see what the DAfT come up with when it comes to angering passengers (i.e. giving us short trains). At least with my trusty Volvo I have a seat all to myself, air conditioning and entertainment. And an extra 10 mph top speed roughly. But anyway I digress, I'd have to sit in a traffic jam for hours on end and deal with someone called (p)Rick trying to ram his Repmobile up my exhaust so it's probably not worth the aggrivation...

It'd be interesting to see what capacity would be with the Pretendolino with it's spacious MK3s - or an HST. It'd get a slightly slower speed by 15mph (110 instead of 125 for tilters) but at least we'd have 3 to 4 extra coaches.

And that takes me onto the next point - why do modern DMUs insist on running the exhaust up through the wall out to the roof instead of at the rear of the coach beside the gangway, surely that'd save space inside?
 

387star

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The crowding you experienced is pretty usual for that route...

Yeah it is simply that they do not have enough electric stock. But with an extra 4 pendilinos delievered recently it is hoped by end of 2012 that the Birmingham scotland services will be double voyager or 9 coach pendilino minimum. (to the best of my knowledge anyway)
Also some extra chester and wales services will be doubled too

Good to hear!.

It is good the class 350s will provide corridor connections possibly for the first time on an Intecity route.

Will TPE be able to pair them to give 8-car units? One extra coach won't make much difference?
 
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YorkshireBear

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Good to hear!.

It is good the class 350s will provide corridor connections possibly for the first time on an Intecity route.

Will TPE be able to pair them to give 8-car units? One extra coach won't make much difference?

Ermm, its hard to say as i dont think some of the stations off the WCML can take 8 cars. Someone withmore knowledge of NW would have to answer that.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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Ermm, its hard to say as i dont think some of the stations off the WCML can take 8 cars. Someone withmore knowledge of NW would have to answer that.

From Piccadilly:
Oxford Road possibly
Wigan NW definitely
Euxton can, but would need to use SDO as was during the Leyland fire
Leyland can't
Preston definitely
Lancaster definitely
Oxenholme definitely
Penrith not sure
Carlisle definitely
Lockerbie not sure
Carstairs most likely not
Haymarket and Motherwell definitely
Glasgow and Edinburgh definitely
Assuming the 2014 timetable and throwing 2 extra stations in there for fun
 

D6975

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You may be interested to hear that a quote has been requested for extra Voyager coaches, electric powered to make Voyagers bi-powered.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Ermm, its hard to say as i dont think some of the stations off the WCML can take 8 cars. Someone withmore knowledge of NW would have to answer that.

8 car services will probably only be 8 as far as Preston, then 4 for Manchester and 4 for Liverpool. Even if they do run 8 to Manchester, it will probably be non stop initially. The Bolton route is not due to be electrified at first, they're going the other way, but when it is, the platforms there are plenty long enough.
 

MidnightFlyer

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From Piccadilly:
Oxford Road possibly
Wigan NW definitely
Euxton can, but would need to use SDO as was during the Leyland fire
Leyland can't
Preston definitely
Lancaster definitely
Oxenholme definitely
Penrith not sure
Carlisle definitely
Lockerbie not sure
Carstairs most likely not
Haymarket and Motherwell definitely
Glasgow and Edinburgh definitely
Assuming the 2014 timetable and throwing 2 extra stations in there for fun

Oxford Road you would be limited to the number of platforms that could take it, IIRC only 2 of the 4 could. Euxton BL and Leyland wouldn't be calling points, but neither could handle 8 coaches anyway. All stations after that can with quite a bit of ease - the platforms at Penrith, Lockerbie and Carstairs are all ~280m+ (except Penrith's p3), identical to those at Wigan and Oxenholme!

Edit - Leyland's are longer than Euxton's ;) - if SDO could be used at the latter then it could be used anywhere!
 
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It'd be pretty good if we could get them bi-mode. I wonder how long it would take to recoup the/any savings made though from all the diesel that is saved though?
 

Robbies

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If whoever takes over the West Coast Franchise, still needs to be running Voyagers between Birmingham and Edingburgh, surely they would be better going along the same lines as the XC voyagers in becoming E-Voyagers? Certainly the Voyagers that do the run to North Wales would be better being E-Voyagers. But I suppose that is DafT for you.
 

chris89

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Gladly they are starting to run more Pendo's now on this route.

Since New Year, i've used them 3 times, and the rest were Super Voyagers.

It is a bit barmey to use them under the wires, so if the Pantograph car does go ahead it will help a lot + add an extra carriage to the services.

One thing i have noticed. More of the GLC - BHM services seem to be Pendo's then Voyagers and the oppersit way round at Waverley.

Chris
 

johnnychips

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I use TPX and reserve seats with my Advance Singles, but the problem is that if you miss your connection you'd be cheaper to just drive it!

I thought that if you missed your connection at either end due to a train delay, Advance tickets were still valid on the next train as long as you'd allowed yourself the published connection time. But the many fares experts here will correct me if I'm wrong.
 

IanXC

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surely they would be better going along the same lines as the XC voyagers in becoming E-Voyagers? Certainly the Voyagers that do the run to North Wales would be better being E-Voyagers. But I suppose that is DafT for you.

It is a bit barmey to use them under the wires, so if the Pantograph car does go ahead it will help a lot + add an extra carriage to the services.

Trouble then is that you've got 6 car Voyagers, which makes multiple working virtually impossible. Think of how much work has been required for 11-car Pendo operation, the works for 12-car operation would be much greater in size!

I think this is the reason that e-Voyager only seems to be being considered for the (4-car) Class 220s.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Trouble then is that you've got 6 car Voyagers, which makes multiple working virtually impossible. Think of how much work has been required for 11-car Pendo operation, the works for 12-car operation would be much greater in size!

I think this is the reason that e-Voyager only seems to be being considered for the (4-car) Class 220s.

Some quick maths told me that:

12-car Super Voyager - 277.96m
11-car Pendolino - 265.30m

Unless you rolled out SDO then I think you would struggle with that at Lancaster and Haymarket, and maybe Warrington BQ / Wigan NW.
 

Robbies

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Trouble then is that you've got 6 car Voyagers, which makes multiple working virtually impossible. Think of how much work has been required for 11-car Pendo operation, the works for 12-car operation would be much greater in size!

I think this is the reason that e-Voyager only seems to be being considered for the (4-car) Class 220s.

The E-Voyager though would be good for the North Wales services, with being a six car train especially when the 5 car trains are used on their own. Admittedly it maybe argued that at least a couple, should be left as 5 cars possibly or better still as well as adding the pantograph car, maybe add another 4 cars as well with two of those having diesel power below.

The only trouble with adding the other 5 coaches is that, when the five coaches do work on their own during the day you probably only need an extra coach maybe two to cope with the demand.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Some quick maths told me that:

12-car Super Voyager - 277.96m
11-car Pendolino - 265.30m

Unless you rolled out SDO then I think you would struggle with that at Lancaster and Haymarket, and maybe Warrington BQ / Wigan NW.

Not unless, you add 5 coaches to the existing five coaches as I have stated above.
 

ainsworth74

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I thought that if you missed your connection at either end due to a train delay, Advance tickets were still valid on the next train as long as you'd allowed yourself the published connection time. But the many fares experts here will correct me if I'm wrong.

No you're correct you can combine two (or more) advance tickets together and you have the same protection as you'd have on any other ticket. So if you miss a connection due to the service you're travelling on being late you're entitled to take the next train to complete your journey.
 

calc7

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One thing i have noticed. More of the GLC - BHM services seem to be Pendo's then Voyagers and the oppersit way round at Waverley.

Likely to be for operational reasons - in case they need to run a Pendo back to London instead of Brum.
 

calc7

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They are balanced, you just need to be up early in the morning for Edinburgh Pendo's or in bed late.

But in times of disruption where a set meant for a Brum service is instead put onto a London service then it's useful (necessary?) to have Pendos in Glasgow.
 

Robbies

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But in times of disruption where a set meant for a Brum service is instead put onto a London service then it's useful (necessary?) to have Pendos in Glasgow.

I would have thought it would be more useful to have a couple of Voyagers myself, especially if the disruption is caused by the lack of electrical power?

This is another reason, why I think the Virgin Voyagers should be considered to be converted to E-Voyagers and it is also why if IEP goes head that there should be at lest enough hybrid trains such that services can still work where there is line clearance if electric power supply is not available.
 
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