|British Rail Class 222 Meridian|
The refurbished interior of Standard Class aboard an East Midlands Trains Class 222 Meridian
|Manufacturer||Bombardier Transportation, Bruges|
|Number built||27 sets|
|Number in service||27 sets|
|Formation||4 & 9 car sets (as built)|
4, 5 & 7 car sets (present)
|Operator(s)||East Midlands Railway|
|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)|
|Prime mover(s)||Cummins QSK19|
|Power output||750 hp (560 kW) per car|
|Safety system(s)||AWS, TPWS|
The Class 222 "Meridian" is similar to the Class 220 Voyager and Class 221 Super Voyager trains used by CrossCountry and Avanti West Coast, but it has a different interior. The Class 222 trains have more components fitted under the floors to free up space within the body. Built for Midland Mainline and Hull Trains, today all are operated by East Midlands Railway.
All are equipped with a Cummins QSK19 diesel engine of 750 hp (560 kW) at 1800 rpm. 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, as on Class 220 Voyager and Class 221 SuperVoyager trains, though these units cannot work together in service because the Class 222 electrical connections are incompatible with the Class 220 and Class 221 trains.[clarification needed]
Class 222 units are currently running in the following formations:
East Midlands Railway: seven cars with 236 standard seats and 106 first-class seats.
East Midlands Railway: five cars with 192 standard seats and 50 first-class seats
East Midlands Railway: four cars with 132 standard seats and 33 first-class seats
The four- and five-car units can be coupled to form nine or ten-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 four-car and nine-car. Over time these have been gradually modified to the current formations. The four-car units ordered by Hull Trains had an option when constructed to be extended to five cars if required.
Except for certain sections of route, no routes operated by East Midlands Railway 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 all of the Class 170 Turbostars, and some of the High Speed Trains having better acceleration than both of them.
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. 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 each of the nine-car sets and extended seven of the four-car sets, using the removed carriages.
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.
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 operated the expanded East Midlands rail franchise, including all routes previously run by Midland Mainline.
East Midlands Trains had 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||Pamela Liversidge, Master Cutler||Named to mark the 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|
|222 004||Children's Hospital Sheffield||26 February 2013||Michael Vaughan, Charity Paton||To mark the successful partnership between East Midlands Trains and the Sheffield Children's Hospital|
|222 006||The Carbon Cutter||31 May 2011||Philip Hammond, Transport Secretary||To mark the introduction of eco-mode to the fleet|
|222 008||Derby Etches Park||13 September 2014||David Horne, East Midlands Trains Managing Director||Named as part of the open day at Derby Etches Park|
|222 011||Sheffield City Battalion 1914-1918||11 November 2014||Ron Wiltshire, Royal British Legion representative||Named to honour Sheffield City Battalion who fought in the World War I|
|222 015||175 Years of Derby's Railways 1839 - 2014||18 July 2014||Paul Atterbury, Antiques Roadshow Expert and railway author||To mark 175 years of railways in Derby|
|222 022||Invest In Nottingham||19 September 2011||Jon Collins, leader of Nottingham City Council||Named to launch the 2011 Invest in Nottingham day|
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. 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.
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 Hull Trains later in the year. 222 103 followed a few months after 222 104 after repairs had been completed (see below). 222 103 was reinstated after being out of service for two years for repairs after the unit fell from jacks at Bombardier's, Crofton works in early 2007.
Hull Trains introduced Class 222 Pioneer units, to replace its Class 170 Turbostars in May 2005. The units reduced journey times between Hull and London King's Cross by up to 20 minutes. The Pioneers had 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|
|222 103||Dr John Godber|
|222 104||Sir Terry Farrell|
East Midlands Trains refurbished its entire Class 222 fleet. The refurbishment included 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.
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. 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 High Speed Trains. 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, on the announcement of its 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.
|Class||Operator||No. in service||Year Built||Cars per Set||Unit numbers.|
|Class 222/0||East Midlands Railway||6||2003-2005||7||222 001-222 006|
|17||5||222 007-222 023|
|Class 222/1||4||2005||4||222 101-222 104|
In preparation of our December 2008 timetable where we plan to run additional services we will be moving carriages between trains. Our smaller Meridian trains will get an extra carriage and some larger Meridian trains will lose one. By carrying out this work we will be improving our capacity on our smaller, busy trains in the peak hours where it is needed. Overall, we will reduce overcrowding at peak times.