InterCity Voyager

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Jeremy B

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I was talking to a retired BR buffet steward this week during an EC journey to York & one of the subjects was the original BR plans for an enhanced travel experience called InterCity Voyager on Cross Country services between Scotland & the South West introduced in the early 1990's. Being for long distance passengers only I never experienced it but I recall they had a dedicated coach with host & meal service, newspapers etc - a much enhanced but somewhat cheaper ticket price wise version of the then Silver Standard. I was surprised to learn that on one of the dedicated HST's for the service had a modified coach which included a 'control room type office' for the host & had a CD player console supplying piped music to headphone sockets at the Voyager coach seats. I guess with privatisation in the air all these plans fell by the wayside but does anyone else remember this.
 
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EltonRoad

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I remember the Voyager concept, I used it once on an HST from Preston to Bristol. Was a while ago now - sometime in the 1990s - but it definitely had a dedicated coach and meal service, akin to a restaurant car but not quite as grand. Seem to remember you had to travel a minimum distance to be able to make use of it.
 

sprinterguy

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The two HST vehicles you make reference to in the later part of your post were market test vehicles 41178 and 45084: These were converted in late 1992/early 1993 to demonstrate and assess various new features that were proposed to go into the next HST refurbishment which would have taken place between 1995 and 2000 under BR had privatisation not intervened.

41178, converted from 42011, was the FO that was fitted with headphone jacks at each seat where passengers could select from four channels of CD music and two radio channels (BBC Radio 4 and Classic FM). Music from a CD could also be played over the PA, but this wasn't often done.

The other vehicle was 45084, which was converted from TGS 44084 into a new Trailer Standard Conductor Disabled (TSCD) vehicle. This was the carriage that featured the new design of guards' office and was created in response to concerns that the guard was too inaccessible right at the very end of the train in the TGS and aimed to relocate the guards' office to the centre of the train, as the TSCD would be marshalled next to the buffet car when in service.

The two carriages featured a lot of prospective features that have since become standard in modern train designs and others that still haven't found widespread use: Electronic seat reservation displays, electronic passenger information displays above the saloon doors and a disabled accessible toilet.

They were unveiled at Derby on April 19th 1993, and then went into service from May in the formation of the "Master Cutler" HST working to and from St. Pancras on the MML. They transferred to Laira in mid-August for use by Crosscountry, where they were regularly employed on the "Cornishman" working from Penzance to Edinburgh/Aberdeen. They were then later reallocated to the Great Western where they were used on the "Golden Hind", but with the advent of privatisation they fell into disuse (No more hope of a BR refurbishment to test the market for) and have subsequently both been converted into TSOs, 42360 and 42362 working for FGW.

I've heard about the Intercity XC Voyager service retrospectively, but I'm too young to remember Crosscountry operations before the early days of Virgin (And even then never had any dealings with first class). It sounds like the sort of thing I'd like to see make a come back in order to make my long Crosscountry journeys a bit more pleasant.
 

Jeremy B

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The two HST vehicles you make reference to in the later part of your post were market test vehicles 41178 and 45084: These were converted in late 1992/early 1993 to demonstrate and assess various new features that were proposed to go into the next HST refurbishment which would have taken place between 1995 and 2000 under BR had privatisation not intervened.

41178, converted from 42011, was the FO that was fitted with headphone jacks at each seat where passengers could select from four channels of CD music and two radio channels (BBC Radio 4 and Classic FM). Music from a CD could also be played over the PA, but this wasn't often done.

The other vehicle was 45084, which was converted from TGS 44084 into a new Trailer Standard Conductor Disabled (TSCD) vehicle. This was the carriage that featured the new design of guards' office and was created in response to concerns that the guard was too inaccessible right at the very end of the train in the TGS and aimed to relocate the guards' office to the centre of the train, as the TSCD would be marshalled next to the buffet car when in service.

The two carriages featured a lot of prospective features that have since become standard in modern train designs and others that still haven't found widespread use: Electronic seat reservation displays, electronic passenger information displays above the saloon doors and a disabled accessible toilet.

They were unveiled at Derby on April 19th 1993, and then went into service from May in the formation of the "Master Cutler" HST working to and from St. Pancras on the MML. They transferred to Laira in mid-August for use by Crosscountry, where they were regularly employed on the "Cornishman" working from Penzance to Edinburgh/Aberdeen. They were then later reallocated to the Great Western where they were used on the "Golden Hind", but with the advent of privatisation they fell into disuse (No more hope of a BR refurbishment to test the market for) and have subsequently both been converted into TSOs, 42360 and 42362 working for FGW.

I've heard about the Intercity XC Voyager service retrospectively, but I'm too young to remember Crosscountry operations before the early days of Virgin (And even then never had any dealings with first class). It sounds like the sort of thing I'd like to see make a come back in order to make my long Crosscountry journeys a bit more pleasant.
Well it certainly seems that those early plans of improvement by BR were the beginnings of a radical shake up on how InterCity travel was to develop towards the millenium. Nowadays we think it was only with privatisation & the 'Branson effect' that such things were possible with little or no credit given to those forward thinking BR minds of the day.
 

sprinterguy

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From what I have read there seemed to be a lot of new hope for the future of BRs' Intercity business sector in the early nineties: Intercity 250 was proposed for the West Coast Main Line (Ahead of the Pendolinos by a decade and would have used a more traditional push-pull formation like the 225s) and there was the promise of a squadron HST refurbishment across the fleet in the second half of the decade that would probably have introduced many new features that are still considered modern on more recent trains. They were definitely ahead of their time with the at-seat headphone jacks that Virgin then brought in on the Voyagers and Pendos last decade.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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From what I have read there seemed to be a lot of new hope for the future of BRs' Intercity business sector in the early nineties: Intercity 250 was proposed for the West Coast Main Line (Ahead of the Pendolinos by a decade and would have used a more traditional push-pull formation like the 225s) and there was the promise of a squadron HST refurbishment across the fleet in the second half of the decade that would probably have introduced many new features that are still considered modern on more recent trains. They were definitely ahead of their time with the at-seat headphone jacks that Virgin then brought in on the Voyagers and Pendos last decade.
...before they deactivated them. Then again, the old times were better in this way before the routes split and the headphone jacks deactivated.
 

Zoe

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...before they deactivated them. Then again, the old times were better in this way before the routes split and the headphone jacks deactivated.
Not much need for them these days though considering most people have mp3 players. This certainly wouldn't have been the case back when BR were considering installing them.
 

Zoe

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Yep. That's probably the downside, maybe "railradio" which talks about the status on the rails?
Maybe a TV system would be better than a radio for that though as you wouldn't even have to listen for information, it could be displayed on the screen.
 

sprinterguy

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Not much need for them these days though considering most people have mp3 players. This certainly wouldn't have been the case back when BR were considering installing them.
Yeah in that sense BRs' installation of them would probably have been better timed. They would have got a few years more use out of them at any rate.
 

Wath Yard

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From what I have read there seemed to be a lot of new hope for the future of BRs' Intercity business sector in the early nineties: Intercity 250 was proposed for the West Coast Main Line (Ahead of the Pendolinos by a decade and would have used a more traditional push-pull formation like the 225s) and there was the promise of a squadron HST refurbishment across the fleet in the second half of the decade that would probably have introduced many new features that are still considered modern on more recent trains. They were definitely ahead of their time with the at-seat headphone jacks that Virgin then brought in on the Voyagers and Pendos last decade.
There was a lot of hope in the majority of things Chris Green was involved in in his BR days - ScotRail, NSE and then InterCity. He was probably 'the' railway manager of the 80s and early 90s, but sadly disappeared off the scene after privatisation. Had Virgin employed him from the start I think we would have had better trains than the Voyagers and Pendolinos for a start.
 

the sniper

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Thanks for all the info sprinterguy, as I'd never even heard of this before this thread (so thanks to Jeremy too)!

Does anyone know if a layout plan exists online for the Trailer Standard Conductor Disabled?
 

DarloRich

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Well I have the attached picture in a book I own, I'm not sure if there is a better version online:
8 tables in second class - typical bloody BR thinking about passenger comfort. What a disgrace!

when you look at those plans you do see a lot of features that we see in a modern train. But of course BR couldnt possible have done anything sensible or forward thinking now could they.........................
 

Aictos

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The other vehicle was 45084, which was converted from TGS 44084 into a new Trailer Standard Conductor Disabled (TSCD) vehicle. This was the carriage that featured the new design of guards' office and was created in response to concerns that the guard was too inaccessible right at the very end of the train in the TGS and aimed to relocate the guards' office to the centre of the train, as the TSCD would be marshalled next to the buffet car when in service.
This actually is a good idea by BR and one which GNER ought to have done with the Mallard refurbishment as it would lead to greater staff visibility, the former Train Manager's office in the TGS could have been ripped out and the space used to provide Standard Class seating.

It could have been designed as a small office next to the buffet with everything the Train Guard would need indeed the office on the Mk4s is the size of office which BR and indeed GNER should have used.

BR and GNER also could have swapped the TGS's for a FO which would have provided much needed seating in Standard, the TGS would then be reclassified as a TGF (Trailer Guard First) meaning that regardless of train used, the formation would remain the same with the Guard being at the London end of the train.
 

LE Greys

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This actually is a good idea by BR and one which GNER ought to have done with the Mallard refurbishment as it would lead to greater staff visibility, the former Train Manager's office in the TGS could have been ripped out and the space used to provide Standard Class seating.

It could have been designed as a small office next to the buffet with everything the Train Guard would need indeed the office on the Mk4s is the size of office which BR and indeed GNER should have used.

BR and GNER also could have swapped the TGS's for a FO which would have provided much needed seating in Standard, the TGS would then be reclassified as a TGF (Trailer Guard First) meaning that regardless of train used, the formation would remain the same with the Guard being at the London end of the train.
Having the van in the middle worked fine for CEPs, CIGs, etc. I think the practice of having the van at the end is a holdover from the days before continuous brakes, and nobody ever bothered to change it. So good idea all round.
 
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