British Rail InterCity 225

The InterCity 225 can be thought of as the much younger, electric, cousin of the diesel-electric InterCity 125. It is the spin-off of the failed Advanced Passenger Train project. Unlike the InterCity 125, which has a top revenue speed of 125 mph (201 km/h), the number 225 indicates her top design speed of 225 km/h (140 mph). In revenue service, due to the lack of in-cab signalling on the British Rail system (except for High Speed One), the top revenue speed of any train is restricted to 125 mph to guarantee stopping distance between two signals in case of emergency.

InterCity 225 at York Station in British Rail livery

InterCity 225 in GNER livery after Privatisation

Thirty-one sets of the InterCity 225 were manufactured between 1988 and 1991 (refurbished between 2001 and 2006). They consist of one BREL (British Rail Engineering Limited) Class 91 electric locomotive on one end producing 6,300 horsepower (4,700 kW), 9 intermediate Alstom Mk 4 carriages, and a BREL DVT (Driving Van Trailer, British version of the Amtrak cabbages) on the other end. Earlier British Rail rules prohibited trains that travel at more than 100 mph (161 km/h) to carry passengers in end-car. This rule was scrapped with the introduction of high-speed multiple units on Britain's railways, in the likes of the Coradia, Voyager, and Pendolino, which are designed to carry passengers in the entire trainset.

GNER InterCity 225 passing through Alexandra Palace at speed

The InterCity 225 are operated on the East Coast Main Line and a small portion of the West Coast Main Line between Glasgow and Carstairs. After the privatisation of British Rail, the InterCity 225 are owned by HSBC Rail, who now leases them to the government-owned train operator East Coast (National Express East Coast and GNER prior to East Coast).


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