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The first of the Graham Farish Class 220 Voyager unit has been distributed to Bachmann dealers.
Bombardier Transportation built 34 units for Virgin Trains CrossCountry services with body shells being built at their establishments in Brugge (Belgium), bogies at Crespin (France) with final assembly taking place at Wakefield (England). Construction began in 2000 and was completed in 2001 with the first unit entering service on 5th June 2001 prior to the launch of the fully modernised CrossCountry services being launched on 30th September 2002 under the Virgin Trains Operation Princess modernisation programme. Although identical to the Class 221 Super Voyagers in appearance, the Class 220 does not have tilt capability, which the Class 221 has.
Following revision of rail franchises, Arriva were awarded the CrossCountry franchise and took control of those services on 11 November 2007. Some former Central Trains routes were also transferred to the new franchise with services between Scotland and Birmingham via the West Coast transferred to the existing Virgin Trains West Coast franchise. All 34 Class 220 units were transferred to Arriva from this date and the new Arriva Cross Country livery is now being applied. Nameplates fitted by Virgin Trains were removed in accordance with franchising regulations prior to transfer.
The Virgin liveried model is the first to be released (371-675) depicting 220001 Maiden Voyager, which was named by Sir Richard Branson in Brugge on 6 December 2000. After naming the unit worked a special train from Brugge to Ostend over the SNCB (Belgian National Railways) network. The Arriva Cross Country version (371-678) depicting 220017 will be released in the next few weeks.
The Class 220 is a fitting addition to the Blue Riband range of Graham Farish and includes a heavy twin fly-wheel chassis, working bi-directional lighting, fully detailed interiors and optional N gauge couplings (allowing the purchaser to fit standard N gauge couplings if required). Six pin decoder sockets are provided for DCC use. The recommended retail price of each four car unit is 115.45.
23 October 2008
For further information please contact :
Dennis Lovett, Public Relations Manager,
Bachmann Europe PLC, Moat Way, Barwell, Leicestershire, LE9 8EY
Telephone: +44 (0) 1455 841756