The UK has gone bi-mode mad, before one has turned a wheel in commercial service. Yet the obvious candidate is still overlooked
Back in the mists of time, when electrification was cheap and diesel was dear (2011), there was a proposal to convert that second-most despised of passenger vehicles, the Voyager/Meridian genus, to bi-modes – the e-Voyager. It seemed so obvious: they spend much of their time under the wires and idle for hours in covered stations such as Birmingham New Street, spreading unnecessary pollution that is reported to reach dangerous levels. The West Coast units run all the way between London and Glasgow under the wires day in, day out, generating noise, discomfort and pollution.