Class 159

The Class 159 is a sister class to the Class 158, indeed the 22 original sets were built as 158s but were converted at Babcock Rail for London Waterloo services replacing locomotive hauled trains to Exeter. The conversion took place before their entry into traffic and the modifications including first class compartments and retention toilets. Eight more were converted from Class 158s in 2006-7 forming the 159/1 (the original 22 sets are 159/0).

Number built: 30 3-car sets
Built: 1989-93, 2006-7 (159/1)
Builder: BREL Derby / Babcock Rail (159/0)
BREL Derby / Wabtec Doncaster (159/1)
Engine: Cummins NTA855R per car
Power: 1, 200 hp (900 kW) - 159/0
1, 050 hp (780 kW) - 159/1
Formation: Driving Motor Composite Lavatory (DMCL)+Motor Standard
Lavatory (MSL)+Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL)

Originally operated by British Rail Network South East they are now all operated by South West Trains. They mostly operate on services from Waterloo to Salisbury and Exeter as well as Bristol. In the past they have also worked services to the likes of Penzance, Southampton and Reading.
SWT 159 106 at Clapham Junction

SWT 159 010 at Waterloo

SWT 159 005 at Clapham Junction

Class 70 (Type 5 Diesel) [Updated]

The Class 70 diesel locomotive (the original Class 70 was an early DC electric locomotive) is the most powerful freight diesel locomotive on British rails today with nearly 3,700hp to play with. Thirty have been bought by Freightliner and Colas Rail, they are used on intermodal and heavy haul freight services.

Number built: 30 (+7)
Built: 2008-14, 2017
Builder: General Electric
Engine: GE PowerHaul P616 diesel
Power: 3, 690 hp (2, 750 kW)

The Class 70 had a troublesome entry into service with a very poor availability rate in its early days on British metals. One locomotive was also very bad damaged during a mishap during unloading from a cargo ship at Newport Docks and had to be returned to the US. Nowadays the locomotives are much more reliable.

The original 20 Freightliner locomotives are known as the 70/0 with the 10 Colas Rail locomotives 70/8. Seven more Class 70s have been ordered for Colas and should be delivered in 2017.
Freightliner 70 020 powers through Tamworth

Colas Rail 70 808 at Leamington Spa
Close up of 70 020 at Tamworth

Class 220

Post-privatisation the Class 220 Voyagers DMUs (or to be more precise Diesel Electric Multiple Units DEMUs) were built to replace HSTs and locomotive hauled passenger trains on long-distance cross country routes. They were originally operated by Virgin Trains but nowadays are all operated by Cross Country.

Number built: 34 4-car sets
Built: 2000-01
Builder: Bombardier Bruges
Engine: Cummins QSK19 diesel per car
Power: 3, 000 hp (2, 440 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL)+Motor Standard (MS)+
Motor Standard Lavatory (MSL)+Driving Motor First Lavatory (DMFL)

The Voyagers are high speed units able to reach 125 mp/h, every car in the unit has an engine, though cannot tilt like the Class 221. Although generally reliable units which form the backbone of Cross Country, the Voyagers have had a few problems.

They are generally shorter (at 4 cars) than the trains they replaced like the HST though initial passenger capacity was increased slightly by getting rid of the buffet, however overcrowding remains a problem with them. An option which has been discussed is to lengthen the Class 220s with a pantograph equipped fifth car turning the units into electro-diesels or as is commonly referred to these days "bi-mode", however it does not look as if this will be carried out.

Another problem with the Voyagers is that they are vulnerable to sea water which can badly affect their electronics. They are barred from running where the line runs alongside the sea such as at Dawlish if sea conditions are rough there is a good chance of spray!
220 011 at Banbury

220 024 at Birmingham New Street

220 033 at Barnt Green