Virgin Trains Class 220 at Forth Bridge
The Class 220 Voyager is a class of diesel-electric high-speed multiple-unit trains built by Bombardier Transportation for the British train operating company Virgin CrossCountry. They are the mainstay of the long-distance trains in Britain that do not terminate in London (although they are also used for some services between Holyhead and London Euston). They are air-conditioned throughout, with powered doors and a top speed of 125 mph. They were introduced to replace the thirty-year-old High Speed Train and Class 47 fleets. Class 220 Voyagers were built from 2001-2003 and the first Voyager entered service on 5th June 2001.
Virgin Trains have been the sole operator of all Voyager trains since they were introduced in 2001. But this will change when the New Cross Country rail franchise begins on the 11th November 2007. When the new franchise all 34 Voyager trains will be passed on to new operator of the Cross Country franchise, CrossCountry, operated by Arriva.
Virgin Trains have started debranding the Voyagers in preparation to be transferred to CrossCountry in November. All Virgin Trains branding is to be removed or covered, the Virgin Trains nose end badges will be removed, and their name plates will also be removed. 220008 has already been through this process.
Picture added on 29 October 2007