Bachmann 32-603: Class 220 4 Car DMU 220017 Cross Country

Manufacturer's Description

5th June 2001 saw the official launch of the Class 220 & Class 221 DMUs at Euston Station by Sir Richard Branson. The origins of the class can be traced back to December 1998 when Virgin Trains placed an order with Bombardier Transportation for 78 new trains of which 34 were non-tilt Class 220 and 44 were tilting Class 221 units. Re-organisation of the cross country franchises in November 2007 saw Arriva Cross Country become a new operator of the class.

These trains are truly international. The Class 220 was designed at Bombardiers Brugge factory in Belgium, which also built the body shells. The Bombardiers Crespin works in France built the bogies. Final assembly in many cases was carried out at Wakefield, where Bombardier purchased the former Procor wagon works as an initial British base. Such was the success of the train that it quickly cleared all the hurdles to secure a Railtrack safety case, able to enter service just a few months later on 21st May 2001 between Birmingham and Reading via Oxford.

The standard Class 220 unit comprises a four-car set with a driving cab at each end, with the option to add more cars, as demand requires. The four-car sets carry a total of 162 standard passenger seats with a further 26 in Club Class. The Class 220 and the Class 221 both share the same body shell, thus being visually identical apart from the latter's tilting bogie, which allows curves to be negotiated at high speed. Both are diesel-electric units with a maximum speed of 125 mph, each car with a 750 hp Cummins QSK1 diesel engine. The four-car unit therefore has 3000 h.p. of power, which compares favourably with an express diesel locomotive, although the performance is enhanced by the power being spread down the length of the train and not just in the front unit. This increases reliability and gives greater operational flexibility.


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