CrossCountry says it has modified its Class 220/221 Voyager fleet to enable operation in stormy conditions on the South Devon coast.
Since their introduction in the 2000s, the trains have suffered failures when waves have washed over the sea wall and onto the trains roofs, sometimes causing them to shut down and be unable to restart.
Extensive modifications now mean the fleet – which is owned by Beacon Rail – is expected to be operational in the same conditions as other trains. Since 2016, restrictions have been imposed in severe weather conditions when there is a risk of a Voyager blocking the railway through South Devon.
Work began on software modifications from 2019, with trains running in so-called ‘blue’ conditions that they were hitherto unable to. Trials in more severe ‘amber’ conditions have proved the trains’ greater resilience in bad weather.