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Railhub Archive
2000-08-10 VIR-001
Virgin Trains


First Voyager train nears completion

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Virgin Trains

First Voyager train nears completion

10 August 2000
source Virgin Trains
type Press release

The first of 78 high-speed Virgin trains for services linking Scotland, Wales and the English regions is to start test running within months.

The pioneer Voyager diesel is nearing completion at the Brugge factory of train builders Bombardier Transportation in Belgium, where the first trial runs are due to take place this autumn.

Most of the 125 mph trains for Virgins’ CrossCountry franchise will be assembled at Wakefield and will be tested in Yorkshire, after completion of the initial tests in Belgium.

Bombardier Transportation is supplying the rolling stock to Virgin Trains under a contract worth more than £1 billion, including maintenance. Construction is well advanced on Bombardier’s new £30 million Central Rivers facility for the trains alongside the line between Derby and Birmingham.

Passengers will first be able to travel on Voyagers next year between Brighton and the CrossCountry network hub of Birmingham.

More trains will then be phased in, introducing improvements in 2002 and 2003 on routes ranging from the North East of Scotland to the South Coast of England.

Journeys will include North Wales to London, South Wales to Scotland and from Scotland and the North of England to Cornwall.

Chris Green, Chief Executive of Virgin Trains said:

“Virgin Trains intend to transform Cinderella into a national Princess when the clock strikes midnight on Sunday 1 June 2003. On that day Virgin Trains will have replaced every train on the CrossCountry network, doubled its service frequencies, reduced journey times by up to 20% and will be on course to double its passengers.”

For the first time CrossCountry will have dedicated, purpose built trains, instead of hand-me-downs. Britains first easy to remember national clock-face timetable will offer frequent trains at the same minutes past the hour all day on core routes.

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-08-10 VIR-001


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