New brake pads for Voyagers

From new, the fleet of Voyagers (class 220 and 221) have suffered with undue wear of the brake discs and a new specification of pad material, which would meet the braking performance specification but not adversely affect the disc life, had been sought for a long time.

In July 2007 the first trials were undertaken with a class 221 which was to be followed at a later date by a class 220 unit. The trains were to be based at Crofton Depot, Wakefield which was very convenient for the ECML.

The test unit 221142, which was marshalled in four car formation, ran a number of lower speed brake tests from Crofton to York and then the high speed tests between York and Darlington on the well used test route. The pads had already been proven on the dynamometer rigs at the manufacturers and the on-track testing was to validate their performance in traffic.

My involvement was to produce the documentation in order to amplify Virgin Cross Country's Railway Safety Case to allow the testing to be undertaken.

Following the impending change of franchise from VXC to Arriva towards the end of 2007 the second part of the testing was delayed and was not undertaken until April 2008 with a class 220 unit, this time under Arriva CrossCountry Trains' safety case.

Such is the railway today!

The successful outcome will allow the disc life of both type of units to be extended considerably whilst retaining their excellent braking performance.

Here are a few shots of the Voyagers on test and an interloper

Click on the picture for a bigger image - all pictures are the author's

Waiting for a path

On 17th July 2007 221142 in four-car formation pictured at the south end of platform 4 at Darlington waiting for a path back to York

Colton Junction

On the evening of 21st April 2008 the first unit to wear the XCT's new livery - 220017 - passes Colton Junction en route to the south

Platform 2

On 22nd April 2008 220002 sits in the bay platform at Darlington after a test run from York

New colours

The test unit 220002 is captured in the sidings at Crofton depot on 23rd April 2008 ready to depart for York

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