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Railhub Archive
2001-09-18 VIR-001
Virgin Trains


First Virgin Voyager run on West Coast

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Virgin Trains

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Virgin Trains

First Virgin Voyager run on West Coast

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2001-05-06 New dawn for Virgin Trains (Virgin Trains)


18 September 2001
source Virgin Trains
type Press release

Delivery of half of the Voyager fleet on time and on budget, was celebrated today when a new Voyager train made the first ever run along the West Coast Main Line from London Euston to Lichfield, cruising at speeds of 110 mph.

Guests included the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, David Jamieson MP, The President & Chief Operations Officer of Bombardier Transportation, Pierre Lortie and Vice Chairman Bombardier Inc, Andre Bombardier.

Guests then attended the official opening of the £30 million Bombardier Transportation maintenance depot at Central Rivers (near Burton upon Trent) – the largest maintenance depot built for almost a decade.

Pierre Lortie hosted the opening of Central Rivers, which has been purpose built to ensure the new CrossCountry Voyager fleet is maintained to the highest specification and in the process has created 250 new jobs in the area. Half of the 34 Voyager trains have now been delivered and during the ceremony, Andre Bombardier officially named train number 17, “Bombardier Voyager” in honour of the Company and to mark the half way point in the delivery.

Chris Green, Chief Executive, Virgin Trains said today:

“Bombardier has broken the UK taboo that new trains don't work first time. I am delighted to report that Virgin is receiving a new train every week as promised - and they are able to go straight into service after a 200 mile safety run”.

Brian Souter, Executive Chairman, Stagecoach Holdings added:

“This is a big week for CrossCountry passengers. We started replacing the first of the forty-year old trains yesterday. Passengers will see 11 new Voyager trains in service from 30th September timetable”.

The 125 mph diesel trains being built by Bombardier Transportation will take over the London - North Wales services on the West Coast next year. The remaining Voyagers are destined for Virgin's CrossCountry network, which operates across the UK from their Birmingham hub. They are replacing some of the oldest trains in the country, dating back to the mid 1960’s.

Virgin Trains has committed to a £1 billion investment to renew its entire CrossCountry fleet with brand new Voyager trains. This is divided between £390 million capital costs and a further £670 million for a maintenance contract that runs until 2012.

The first Voyager trains have been operating a new shuttle service between Birmingham and Brighton until this week, when they started entering front-line service and replacing the ageing locomotive-hauled fleet on the through Manchester to Brighton route.

The 34 Voyager trains are on schedule for delivery by December and attention will then turn to the 44 Super Voyager trains which will offer tilt for use on the fast-curving West Coast route.

Railhub Archive ::: 2001-09-18 VIR-001


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