Comments: Pendolinos and Voyagers may prove to be one of privatisation's disasters

I find this anti-Virgin line more than a little boring and even more hard to understand. I'll admit that my exposure to Voyagers is limited to a single trip but in the 8 hours or so I was on board I could find nothing wrong with the train itself.

Clean, comfortable and fast; what more do you want from a train? OK, it is different to one of the 1970s vintage InterCity 125s (or whatever they are in anorak-speak). If you concentrate then, yes, you can hear the engines.

Maybe I'm just desentisised by over exposure to SWT's dirty, slow and rattly vehicles.

Posted by Not Responding at October 3, 2004 09:04 PM

The RPC report on Voyagers is here.

Posted by Not Responding at October 4, 2004 06:57 AM

I've been travelling on Voyagers lots over the last 2-3 years, and also don't have any problems with them. The only two serious issues are the overcrowding, which has fallen dramatically since they pruned the timetable, and the bog smell, which is getting better rather than worse.

It's good to know I'm not a loony outlier, and that the vast majority of rail passengers agree...

Posted by john b at October 4, 2004 05:53 PM

I've been travelling on the cross country service regularly over the past few years. Replacing the HST with the Voyager is a bit like replacing a 20 year old Mercedes with a new Ford Ka. It's new and that's about it. Cramped, noisy, claustrophobic, overcrowded (still) and bloody uncomfortable.

Mind you it isn't quite as awful as First Great Western's Adelante - all of the above and even less comfortable and more noisy.

Posted by Mark Ellott at October 4, 2004 07:02 PM

I quite like the interiors of the Adelantes. The ride is poor though, and compares unfavourably with the Voyager.

I get a direct comparison between the two with one regular journey I make, from Slough to Manchester; Adelante to Reading, then a Voyager.

At least they're better than the Pacers we have to put up with on local trains in the north-west; if a Voyager is a Ford Ka, Pacers are Trabants.

Posted by Tim Hall at October 4, 2004 09:53 PM

I find this anti-Virgin line more than a little boring...

I think it is fairly obvious from both my original article and a previous article that I am not a knee-jerk Virgin basher.

As is clear from these comments, and I made plain, there is a variety of opinions. Pendolinos and Voyagers suit some and not others.

Incidentally, the only time I did venture onto a Voyager I made the return by one of SWT's Mark III-based Class 442 Wessex Electrics. For me that was an epiphany.

Posted by Patrick Crozier at October 5, 2004 12:40 AM

"At least they're better than the Pacers we have to put up with on local trains in the north-west; if a Voyager is a Ford Ka, Pacers are Trabants."

Wouldn't argue with that... ;)

On the Virgin bashing bit - I think that the criticism is reasonable. It is, after all, public money they are using here - and they could have made a better job of spending it.

Posted by Mark Ellott at October 5, 2004 10:12 AM

I'd say the 47s and MK2s on VXC were more like a 30-year-old Cortina than a 20-year-old Merc in terms of comfort, reliability and build quality.

The 442 Wessies are very nice trains. So are the new Siemens trains (both suburban and long-distance) replacing the slam-doors on SWT. Congratulations are due to whoever specced them (well, apart from the small matter of £1bn in electrical upgrades needed to make them go...)

Posted by john b at October 5, 2004 01:58 PM

If the 442 Wessex Electric is the type that runs Waterloo->Poole, I'll agree it's a superb train. It was even better until last year when they banned smoking in the 'snug' next to the bar.

I'm in danger of getting all nostalgic; remembering the times coming down from London half pissed on the last train with a bar full of similarly half pissed strangers.

Posted by Not Responding at October 5, 2004 08:17 PM

I do agree with the comments about the 442 electrics - naturally they are more quiet than their diesel powered cousins from Virgin and FGW. They are also mre airy and comfortable.

Posted by Mark Ellott at October 10, 2004 11:04 AM

Meinen Glückwunsch zum Internetauftritt. Eine Webseite, die inhaltlich wirklich interessant und informative ist. Viel zu bieten hat und userfreundlich zu navigieren ist.

Posted by titten at December 6, 2004 02:29 PM