Cascaded Voyagers could free up CrossCountry HSTs for Leeds to Glasgow operation

The Settle and Carlisle line: Northern’s Nos 158859/786 at Garsdale on a Carlisle to Leeds service on 24 August 2020. 
Keith Dungate

PLANS FOR a new Leeds to Glasgow through service via the Settle and Carlisle line are being developed, with CrossCountry and the Department for Transport starting to look at the possible scheme.

It is thought the service, which could start as soon as December 2023, would be operated by CrossCountry; it is understood the operator is keen to improve services for customers making Leeds to Glasgow journeys. Services could be operated by CrossCountry’s fleet of five HSTs, subject to their release from current duties by the cascade of 20 Class 221 Voyagers from Avanti West Coast to CrossCountry, the ‘221s’ in turn being replaced at Avanti by new Hitachi Class 805 bi-mode and Class 807 electric trains in 2022.

If HSTs were used on Leeds to Glasgow services, it is possible their maintenance could transfer from its current location at Laira depot in Plymouth, with Neville Hill in Leeds or Craigentinny in Edinburgh both potential alternative maintenance locations.

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