Class 221

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Arriva CrossCountry and Virgin West Coast operate a fleet of 40 five-car and 4 four-car Class 221 Super Voyagers.

Class 221s used to operate on both East Coast and West Coast Main lines on services to Birmingham and the South of England, for Virgin Cross Country. After franchise changes on the 10 November 2007, the fleet were split between Arriva CrossCountry and Virgin West Coast.

The Class 221 operate now for Virgin West Coast between Glasgow Central/Edinburgh Waverley and Birmingham New Street, and on Arriva CrossCountry routes via the East Coast Main line and Birmingham.

The trains were built by Bombardier and delivered between 2001 and 2003. They are based at Central Rivers Depot near Burton-on-Trent.

Each Class 221 vehicle has a 750hp Cummins QSK1 diesel engine under the floor, which powers two electric traction motors driving the inner axles on each bogie. The trains have a maximum speed of 125mph.

Class 221s are very similar to Class 220s, however the two classes are fitted with different bogies.

The 221s have tilting bogies which they can use on the West Coast Main Line to achieve speeds up to 125mph, where non-tilting trains are restricted to lower speeds.

The 221s also have a 'red shield' on the nose, and have blue backed nameplates.

Up until the franchise changes, all the units were named, mostly after famous explorers. Some retain their name still.

Class 221 at Glasgow Queen Street

Unit 221105 William Baffin visited Glasgow Queen street Station on the evening of 10 December 2003. (photo link)

This was a test to see if the 'axle counter' train detection system used in the Queen Street area was compatible with the train's 'Tilt Authorisation and Speed Supervision' (TASS) system.

The train ran from Carstairs to Glasgow Queen Street via Coatbridge Central, and Springburn. The return ran from Queen Street to Eastfield Loop, then Springburn, Coatbridge Central, Rutherglen and Polmadie depot.

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