|Quoting Trekster (Reply 3):|
From a reliable source (a train spotter who need not be mentioned lol) im told Arriva are only taking some of the voyagers, with the resto going to there West coast op from BHX
I told you, I'm not a bleeding trainspotter! I'm just a commuter in the know.
|Quoting 777236ER (Reply 10):|
The Voyagers are crap compared to the Meridian and Pioneers, which is what Bombardier should have done first time around. The Voyagers are too noisy, overcrowded, the toilets smell and the interiors are cheap and plasticy
I wouldn't go as far as to say the Voyagers are crap in comparison. Ok, it's a fact they are not as technically up to date but most of the improvements in the later class are behind the scenes, you know, to make sure the toilets don't explode or things catch fire behind the cab. I was on a First Hull Trains Pioneer the other day and I really felt as a passenger that the interior was naff compared to Virgin's! That is just personal preference though.
In a Dft press release it is stated that there will be internal changes on the Voyager trains that go to Arriva that will provide for a 20-25% increase in luggage storage space. This however is to be achieved by taking out one toilet and by removing the onboard shop.
's (125's/Class 43's) will be leased in as 4 sets with approx 9 carriages each for operation on long distance services and will be refurbished to the standard of the existing Voyager Trains. GNER and First Great Western still use HST
's so I don't see this greatly as an issue although saying that I was on a GNER HST
the other day and I found the ride quality completely inferior to a Voyager! That was in First class as well.
|Quoting 777236ER (Reply 10):|
The 185s are quite nice. The problems with them are the doors should be at the end of the carriages instead of 1/3 and 2/3 of the way along, they're a bit noisy and they're a bit bouncy (ever tried using a laptop on one? I've been close to throwing up). But apart from that the interiors are much nicer than the voyagers, the air con is awesome, the windows are huge and they're quite fast. If there's enough frequency the size shouldn't be a problem.
I tend to agree that from a passengers point of view the door locations aren't the best (you get cold in winter!) but you have to remember that this was a request from First TransPennine that stemmed from the inability to board and deboard passengers quick enough back when it was First North Western and they had the class 175's.The 175's, which funnily enough are now with Arriva albeit in Wales, were basically badly designed and implemented for the routes they were used on (Manchester Airport - Blackpool/Windemere/Barrow via Preston). Granted from a passengers point of view they were comfortable but with frequent stops along the way, they weren't ideal. FNW weren't the smartest franchise but they haven't been around since the timetable change in December 2004.
The 185's all in all are a great improvement over anything the North West has ever had on commuter routes. The addition on Frist Class on routes via Preston came as somewhat of a shock to the regular punters causing a bit of a stir in places but things seem to have calmed down now and they've accepted they have to pay to stay in there. I'm one of the few who pay the extra for a First Season to get to work but the great thing is I'm always guaranteed a seat at rush hour thanks to the low cost nature of the Northern people. Northern, now there is a franchise that should be put back up for grabs, not Virgin! True bollocks.
However, whilst I do think that TPE
and their new units are pretty impressive I just do not think running them up to Glasgow and Edinburgh is a great move. A 3 car Pennine versus a 4 or 5 car Voyager isn't going to work well and like said above, the tendency for the 185's to bounce around a little isn't going to be much of a plus for Rab C (Gkirk) after a few cans heading back home.
One last note is that from December when the new XC franchise starts Arriva will only run the trains as far north as Manchester which leaves Birmingham-Scotland in the capable hands of West Coast Trains Ltd, a member of the Virgin group. This franchise will get (see: keep) a set amount of Voyager's for this operation. I feel it's a shame Virgin lost XC and I sure do not look forward to the interim with Arriva XC and the lack of brand awareness. Can anybody say red and silver voyager with faded Virgin decals overlayed with badly applied lime green and yellow Arriva decals with an interior of red and blue seats with Arriva headrests? You just know it's coming. Hopefully though their refurbished 170's don't somehow find their way to Manchester one day for the 7 hour ride to Cornwall. That really would be taking the biscuit.
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