Class 220/221

Introduced in 2001 as part of Virgin Trains’ modification of the Cross Country service, the Class 220, and their tilting cousin the Class 221, saw off both HST’s and loco-hauled services on the routes from Southern England through the Midlands to the North and Scotland. However, the class is notable for being woefully under capacity, and these 4 and 5-car units are often full to bursting.

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Speeding south with the 1A35 Chester to London Euston is an unidentified Virgin Trains Class 221 Super Voyager.

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Approaching Teignmouth with the 1V54 Manchester Piccadilly to Newquay is Cross Country Class 221, 221120.

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Arriving at Teignmouth with the 1V57 Manchester Piccadilly to Paignton is an unidentified Class 221 Voyager Unit.

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As the evening rush hour sets in at Birmingham New Street, a Class 220 Voyager unit awaits its next duties in the centre road, whilst another Class 220 operates one of Cross Country’s long distance trains to Edinburgh, an operation usually diagrammed as a Class 43 HST.

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Heading south with the 1V56 Edinburgh to Plymouth is Cross Country Class 220, 220016.

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Seen beneath the roof at Birmingham New Street operating a through train from London Euston to Edinburgh are Virgin Trains Class 221’s, 221118 and 221112. Until recently, units on this service were a major capacity issue, operating in their singular 5-car formations on one of the busiest passenger corridors in the UK.

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Heading south out of Parson’s Tunnel with the 1V46 York to Plymouth is Cross Country Class 221, 221130.

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Arriving into Birmingham New Street with the terminating 1M49 from Plymouth is Cross Country Class 220, 220005.

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Speeding north through Solihull with the 1E44 Southampton to Newcastle is an unidentified Cross Country Class 221.

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Working the 1V46 York to Plymouth service is an unidentified Cross Country Trains Class 221, passing along the riverbank at Teignmouth.

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Seen taking Sunday off in the centre road at Birmingham New Street is Cross Country Class 221, 221129.

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Awaiting departure at Birmingham New Street is Cross Country Class 220, 220016, prepares to leave with the 1O20 to Bournemouth.

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Departing from Teignmouth with the 1M45 Paignton to Manchester Piccadilly is Cross Country Class 221, 221121.

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Working instead of the usual HST is Cross Country Class 220, 220021, operating a train to Edinburgh. Must be bad for the passengers who booked expecting a 7-car HST but instead were presented with a 4-car Voyager!