by Keri Allan
29 Jul 2021
Alstom, Beacon Rail, Avanti West Coast and CrossCountry have marked 20 years of operation by the Voyager and SuperVoyager Intercity fleets at a special event at Alstom’s Central Rivers facility in Staffordshire, UK.
The Class 220 and Class 221s were manufactured by Bombardier, acquired by Alstom in January 2021, and entered service from 2001. Operating at speeds of up to 200km per hour, they’ve now clocked up more than 380m miles of service.
The Voyager fleet can be found across Britain’s intercity network from Aberdeen to Penzance, London to Llandudno. With sustainability innovations ahead, such as hybrid diesel/battery operation and intelligent engine stop/start, they’re set for many more years of service on Britain’s railways.
In total 34 Class 220s and 24 Class 221s are in service with CrossCountry operating across multiple mainline routes all serving Birmingham, while 20 Class 221s are in service with Avanti West Coast operating tilting, high-speed services along the West Coast Mainline.
All 78 units are owned by Beacon Rail and maintained by Alstom at its Central Rivers depot, with heavy component overhaul taking place at Alstom’s Crewe and Ilford facilities.
“The Voyager fleet is an integral part of Beacon’s portfolio, consisting of close to 2,000 items of rolling stock operating in 17 countries across Europe. Since taking ownership of the Voyagers in 2017, Beacon has worked closely with our customers Avanti West Coast and CrossCountry as well as Alstom to ensure they offer a high level of safety, reliability, availability and comfort to the travelling public.”
Beacon has also commissioned industry colleagues to develop a hybrid battery solution for the fleet. This will significantly reduce emissions in built-up areas whilst maintaining Voyager’s high-speed, go-anywhere capability.
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