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Class 222

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Class 222

British Rail Class 222 "Meridian"
The new refurbished interior of Standard Class aboard a Class 222/0 Meridian No. 222008
In service 2004–
Manufacturer Bombardier Transportation
Family name Voyager
Constructed 2003–2005
Refurbishment 2011–2012
Number built 27 trainsets
Number in service 27 trainsets
Formation 4, 5, or 7 cars per trainset
Fleet numbers 222001–222023
Operator East Midlands Trains
Line(s) served Midland Main Line
Oakham to Kettering Line
Car body construction Steel
Car length 23.85 m (78 ft 3 in) end cars
22.82 m (74 ft 10 in) other
Width 2.73 m (8 ft 11 in)
Maximum speed 125 mph (200 km/h)
Engine(s) Cummins QSK19
Power output 750 hp (560 kW) per car
UIC classification 1A'A1'+1A'A1'+...+1A'A1'
Braking system(s) Rheostatic
Safety system(s) AWS, TPWS
Coupling system Dellner[1]

The British Rail Class 222 is a diesel-electric multiple unit high-speed train capable of 125 mph (200 km/h). Twenty-seven units have been built by Bombardier Transportation.

The Class 222 is similar to the Class 220 Voyager and Class 221 SuperVoyager trains used by CrossCountry and Virgin Trains, but it has a different interior, less cramped than the Voyager's. The Class 222 trains have more components fitted under the floors to free up space within the body. Since 2009 East Midlands Trains has been the only train operating company using Class 222s.


All coaches are equipped with a Cummins QSK19 diesel engine of 750 hp (560 kW) at 1800 rpm.[2] This powers a generator, which supplies current to motors driving two axles per coach. Approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km) can be travelled between each refuelling.

Class 222 have rheostatic braking using the motors in reverse to generate electricity which is dissipated as heat through resistors situated on the roof of each coach, this saves on brake pad wear.

In common with the Class 220s, B5000 lightweight bogies are used - these are easily recognisable since the entire outer surface of the wheel is visible, with inboard axle bearings.

The Class 222 are fitted with Dellner couplers,[3] as on Class 220 Voyager and Class 221 SuperVoyager trains,[3] though these units cannot work together in service because the Class 222 electrical connections differ from that of the Class 220 and Class 221 trains.[3]

All Class 222 units are maintained at the dedicated Etches Park depot in Derby which is just south of Derby station.


Class 222 units are currently running in the following formations:

East Midlands Trains: seven cars with 236 standard seats and 106 first-class seats.

  • Coach A - Standard Class with driving cab and reservable space for two bikes
  • Coach B - Standard Class
  • Coach C - Standard Class
  • Coach D - Standard Class with Shop/Buffet counter
  • Coach F - First Class
  • Coach G - First Class
  • Coach H - First Class and driving cab

East Midlands Trains: five cars with 192 standard seats and 50 first-class seats

  • Coach A - Standard Class with driving cab and reservable space for two bikes
  • Coach B - Standard Class
  • Coach C - Standard Class with Shop/Buffet counter
  • Coach D - Standard Class / First Class
  • Coach G - First Class and driving cab

East Midlands Trains: four cars with 132 standard seats and 33 first-class seats

  • Coach A - Standard Class with driving cab and reservable space for two bikes
  • Coach B - Standard Class with Shop/Buffet counter
  • Coach D - Standard Class / First Class
  • Coach G - First Class and driving cab

The four- and five-car units can be coupled to form 9/10-car services at peak times. When coupled together, coaches A-G are found in the front unit and the rear coaches become labelled J, K, L, M, N, with the first-class seats in coaches J and K.

Initially, the 23 units ordered for Midland Mainline were 4-car and 9-car. Over time these have been gradually modified to the current formations. The 4-car units ordered by Hull Trains had an option when constructed to be extended to 5-cars if required.[4]


Midland region

Except for certain sections of route, no routes operated by East Midlands Trains are electrified north of Bedford, and all its trains are diesel-powered.

Midland Mainline introduced the first of 23 Class 222 units on 31 May 2004, branding them Meridian. These replaced a fleet of Class 170 Turbostars having better acceleration and a higher top speed.

Seven of the sets were nine-car Class 222 Meridians intended for an enhanced London St Pancras to Leeds service, but after the trains had been ordered, the Strategic Rail Authority decided not to allow them to run the service.[5] The nine-car Meridians were used on London-Nottingham and some London-Sheffield services.

When the trains were ordered, Midland Mainline overestimated the number of first-class passengers, and the four-car Meridians had less standard-class seating than the three-car Turbostars they replaced. Coach D subsequently had a section of first-class seating declassified for use by standard-class passengers.

At the end of 2006 Midland Mainline removed a carriage from the each of the nine-car sets and extended seven of the four-car sets.

Following the formation of the new East Midlands rail franchise on November 2007, the entire fleet of Class 222 Meridians was inherited by East Midlands Trains, which operates the expanded East Midlands rail franchise, including all routes previously run by Midland Mainline.

East Midlands Trains has named the following Meridians:

Unit number Name Date named Named by Notes
222 001 The Entrepreneur Express 22 September 2011 Tim Shoveller, East Midlands Trains Managing Director Named to kick off the start of the 2011 entrepreneur festival MADE
222 002 The Cutlers’ Company 18 October 2011 Master Cutler, Pam Liversidge Named to mark as successful partnership between East Midlands Trains and Sheffield
222 003 Tornado 24 March 2009 Tim Shoveller, East Midlands Trains Managing Director Driving car 60163 named as it has the same number as Tornado
222 006 The Carbon Cutter 31 May 2011 Philip Hammond, Transport Secretary To mark the introduction of eco-mode to the fleet
222 022 Invest In Nottingham 19 September 2011 Jon Collins, leader of Nottingham City Council Named to launch the 2011 Invest in Nottingham day

Midland Mainline had named some of the units as follows:

Unit number Name Date named Named by
222 004 City Of Sheffield 29 March 2007 Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Jackie Drayton
222 005 City Of Nottingham 30 January 2007 Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Des Wilson
222 006 City Of Leicester 7 March 2007 Lord Mayor of Leicester, Councillor Paul Westley
222 007 City Of Derby 17 May 2007 Mayor of Derby, Councillor John Ahern

The names were removed when the franchise passed to East Midlands Trains.

In 2008 further rearrangements were made to the sets: another carriage was removed from the eight-car Meridians, except for 222 007, which has been reduced to five cars.[6] The surplus coaches were then added to the remaining four-car Meridians to make six seven-car sets (222 001-222 006) and 17 five-car sets (222 007-222 023). This took place from March to October 2008; as part of the process, two first-class coaches removed from 222 007 were converted to standard class and part first class.

The seven-car trains are almost exclusively used on the fast services between London St Pancras and Sheffield. These do not operate the London St Pancras-Leeds, although the service is via Sheffield. The five-car trains are mainly used between London St Pancras and Sheffield, Nottingham or Corby on semi-fast services. The four-car trains supplement the five-car trains on these services.

In December 2008 the Class 222 Meridians started work on the hourly London St Pancras to Sheffield services, because they have faster acceleration than the High Speed Trains and so were able to reduce the Sheffield to London journey time by 12 minutes. The hourly Nottingham service was then transferred to High Speed Train running to cover for the Meridians now working the hourly Sheffield fast service.[7]

In February 2009, 222 101 and 222 102 transferred from Hull Trains to East Midlands Trains, and were quickly repainted in the East Midlands Trains white livery. 222 104 followed from First Hull Trains later in the year. 222 103 followed a few months after 222 104 after repairs had been completed (see below). None of them has been refurbished internally. 222 103 has now been reinstated for service after two years for repairs after the unit fell from jacks at Bombardier, Crofton in early 2007.

Hull services

First Hull Trains (formerly known as 'Hull Trains') introduced Class 222 Pioneer units, to replace its Class 170 Turbostars in May 2005. The units reduced journey times between Hull and King's Cross by up to 20 minutes. The Pioneers have a different interior colour scheme and less first-class seating than the Meridians.

First Hull Trains' fleet consisted of four four-car Pioneers, each named after a 'modern-day pioneer' related to Hull.

222 101 Professor George Gray
222 102 Professor Stuart Palmer
222 1031 Dr John Godber
222 104 Sir Terry Farrell

1222 103 was involved in an accident during maintenance work that severely damaged two of the unit's four cars.

First Hull Trains decided to use only Class 180 units from 2009 onwards. The Class 222 Pioneers have been transferred to East Midlands Trains[8] and are now known as Meridians.


East Midlands Trains has refurbished its entire class 222 fleet. The refurbishment includes new seat covers and carpets in standard class. First class received new leather seat covers along with a new colour scheme and carpets. The refurbishment started in February 2011 and was complete by Spring 2012.[9][10] =


  • On 10 June 2006, 222009 working 1D17 10:30 London to Sheffield had to be taken out of service due to a door open at Desborough, Northamptonshire whilst at speed. The door unlocked while the train rushed through Luton, opened north of Kettering, and in Desborough the train was stopped when a passenger reported that the door was open.[11]
  • On 26 January 2010, 222016 working a London service was involved in a fatality. 222016 has now recently re-entered service with a new cab, painted all-yellow making it look different from the other members of the fleet. It is identical to the rest now(excluding the numbers), because EMT repainted its cab to the standard livery.[12]
  • On 20 April 2012, at 08:44, an East Midlands Trains Class 222 unit pulled into Nottingham Station where both the driver and station staff noticed smoke coming from underneath one of the carriages, the engine underneath the carriage had caught fire from overheating, the engine had overheated due to day-to-day grime which had built up underneath the train and then been heated up by the movement of the wheels. Both the train and the station were evacuated, there were no injuries.[13]

Derailment near Market Harborough

On 20 February 2010, 222005 working 1F45 14:55 London to Sheffield derailed near East Langton, Leicestershire. Two wheels on Coach E in the middle of the train came off the track; on approaching the site of the derailment the train was travelling at close to 100 mph. No other wheels derailed and the train remained upright. There were also reports that one or more road vehicles on an adjacent highway were struck and damaged by debris as the derailed train passed. 222005 was moved from the site the next day after a replacement bogie was fitted and was for a few months formed of vehicles of 222101 and 222022 including a standard class cab end which was temporarily renumbered until the damaged vehicles were returned to the set in mid-June. The derailment caused damage to the Midland Main Line near Kibworth for a distance of two miles, the line underwent emergency repairs by Network Rail to get the stretch of line back open for start of service on 24 February 2010. The RAIB working with Bombardier and East Midlands Trains are currently investigating the incident. The RAIB’s preliminary examination has identified that the derailment is likely to have been the result of the failure of an axle in proximity to the final drive. Bombardier examined the rest of the 22X fleet within seven days of the incident and found no similar faults, however modifications have since been made to all the 22X fleet to monitor the gearbox oil levels more effectively.[14]

Other prospective operators


In 2005 HSBC Rail took delivery of the seven nine-car trains planned for use by Midland Mainline on its London-Leeds service, but the trains were left idle when the Strategic Rail Authority prevented Midland Mainline from operating this service. HSBC Rail made contact with Northern Ireland Railways and Iarnród Éireann, with a view to their leasing these units for use by Enterprise.[15] Using these trains on the Belfast-Dublin line was one of a number of options, which also included the purchase of additional 22000 Class railcars or cascaded coaching stock. In the event, the trains entered service with MML providing the fast services from London to Nottingham, thus releasing HSTs. The trains would have required significant modification to be used by Northern Ireland Railways, including reducing each train from nine to eight cars (the maximum length of stations on the Belfast-Dublin line), and converting them from standard gauge to Irish gauge (5 ft 3 inches).

Grand Central

Grand Central, on the announcement of its planned open-access operation to Sunderland in the summer of 2006, planned to run its services using five Class 222 units, with the intention of starting by the end of that year. However, this never happened, pushing back the planned start date while the company looked for alternatives. Grand Central finally started operating in December 2007 using three High Speed Trains.[16]

Current fleet details

Class Operator No. in service Year Built[17] Cars per Set Unit numbers.
Class 222/0 East Midlands Trains 6 2003-2005[18] 7 222001-222006
17 5 222007-222023
Class 222/1 4 2005 4 222101-222104


External links

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