During 2005-2006, the Voyager fleet was struggling with availability (due to defects with overhauled engines) so Bombardier was contracted to supply replacement trains. This was in the form of Class 90s and DVT’s supplied by EWS with Mk2 coaches supplied by Riviera. At the peak of the troubles there were 2 sets out working daily between Birmingham and Manchester with additionals formed of a full length West Coast Mk3 sets and 57s.
02 November 2005: (top) 90022 stands at New Street with the first set, (middle) 90020 at New Street with the second set waiting departure with 1Hand (bottom) 57305 stands at Derby with a full West Coast set having worked from New Street on 1D94.
10 November 2005: 90040 at Stafford 1H04 1748 Birmingham-Manchester.
17 November 2005: The DVTs weren’t exactly overly reliable and there was commonly TDM faults which resulted in the set being either top and tailed or having to run round at Manchester and being sent via Aston to turn the set. 90037 stands at New Street waiting to take the ECS back to Crewe LNWR via Aston.
25 November 2005: 90037 was back on the opposite end of the set, seen at Stafford with the 1248 Birmingham-Manchester. 90022 was on the second set.
10 January 2006: Still going strong but with 90039 in charge.
09 February 2006: Down to just the one set, and 90027 departs from Stafford for Manchester.
01 March 2006: 90031 at Wolverhampton for Manchester.
05 May 2006: 90028 at Stafford.
31 October 2006: TDM problems again saw 57301 called into action to bring the last trip of the day back to New Street. Seen here at Stafford on the 1954 Manchester-New Street.
13 Dec 2006: 90039 waits to leave New Street with the 1248 to Manchester.
26 Jan 2007: Voyager availability was particularly on its knees on this day as a Class 57 and Mk2 stock was summoned to work a Birmingham-Newcastle and return service. 57307 seen here departing Derby for Newcastle.
12 March 07: Following another TDM failure earlier in the day, 90019 was drafted in at short notice to complete the diagram that day, with 90027 on the other end of the set. Seen here at Stafford.
13 March 07: 90019 remained on the set for a second day running, again with 90027 on the other end. Quite what management thought of this, seeing as both Virgin and First were bidding for the CrossCountry franchise at the time…
14 March 07: …and the day after we found out! 90019 was removed from the set allegedly due to its livery and replaced with a Class 57. 57316 is started up at New Street prior to departure with the 1648 New Street-Manchester.