Crossing Countries

Written by: TrainSim-James

The Virgin Trains First Generation Pack is coming soon, and with it comes classic cross-border action and ‘dash of red’ operations aboard famed traction!

The fleet of BR Class 47s operated by Virgin CrossCountry were already a popular locomotive that helped usher in a new era of British Railway travel, as you can read about in our previous article “A Locomotive Type 4 You“.

The Virgin Class 47 fleet was quite different in its ability to go for miles upon miles without filling up. Long-distance routes have always required a lot of fuel, and in the steam days, that meant big tenders for coal and water troughs placed between rails for an added quench.

Diesel locomotives alleviated this issue by having suitably sized tanks laden with diesel to power the engines, and subsequently the electric traction motors. However, even the longest expresses needed extra range, and so a fleet of passenger-hauling Class 47/4s were retrofitted with extra tanks to extend their reach.

Used for InterCity Cross-Country services, the extended-range Class 47/4s were renumbered to the 47/8 subclass for easy identification, albeit still officially 47/4s. It was these locomotives which were inherited in operation by Virgin Trains, who won the CrossCountry franchise. Before long, the 47s would soon be given a fresh coat of paint, sporting the now defunct, classic Virgin Trains Black & Red livery.

Another form of traction which was utilised on the Cross-Country routes, by both InterCity and later Virgin, was the iconic High Speed Train.

After being introduced on the Great Western and East Coast Main Lines with operational success, being the first timetabled 125mph services in the country, the Class 43 ‘HST’ fleet also proved popular on long-distance routes, and dedicated sets worked across the length of England and Scotland. These HST sets were also soon operated by Virgin CrossCountry, who replaced the famed InterCity ‘Swallow’ and ‘Executive’ liveries with their own Black & Red guise. The Virgin 125s would become known as ‘The Red Arrows’.

The Class 47, and High Speed Train, would work for both the CrossCountry and West Coast divisions of Virgin Trains throughout their lifetime in red, making them perfect traction for a multitude of routes within Train Simulator; handy then that the Virgin Trains First Generation Pack is coming soon!

The Virgin Trains First Generation Pack will feature:

  • Completely Reworked BR Class 47 in Virgin Trains Livery
    • Brand new cab model
    • Updated exterior model
    • Black and Yellow Panel variants
    • Authentic Change-End Procedure, including AWS isolation
    • Overload Faults and Reset
    • Cycle-able head and tail light configurations, including tail lamps
    • And more!
  • BR Class 43 ‘HST’ in Virgin Trains Livery
    • Accurate classic ‘Red Arrows’ livery
    • Updated running sounds
    • Operable coupling hatch
    • Selectable headlight configuration
  • Mk2e TSO, FO, RFB & BSO Coaches in Virgin Trains Livery
  • Multiple Quick Drive consists
  • 3 Career scenarios for the West Coast Main Line North Route

The Virgin Trains First Generation Pack is right around the corner, keep an eye out for updates!

There are fewer liveries more striking than the original Virgin Trains black & red with white stripes, and for a locomotive built in the 1960s, the BR Class 47 wears the crimson colour scheme with pride (above and below).

The cab of the Class 47 is where you’ll most likely spend most of your time, so it is only fitting that it looks the part! Built from the ground up, the Virgin Train Class 47 cab will immerse you in turn-of-the-century passenger operations.

Busy scenes at Glasgow! As 47845 arrives at the city’s central station, with a passenger train in-tow, 43074 heads a long-distance express which is currently boarding (above). A short while later, and 43074 roars for the city limits shortly after departing (below).

Back on the platforms at Glasgow, and it’s a busy scene with no less than 3 Virgin-operated services present (above). The action is so good, that it is also captured from other perspectives a bit later on, but next is yet another 47 racing for Scotland under clearer skies (below).

More angles at Glasgow Central, a station which has seen many liveries and locomotives over its lifespan, and in Train Simulator, you will be able to populate with the Virgin Trains First Generation Pack, coming soon!

We’re always happy to receive your comments below but please ensure they are related to the subject of the article, we’ll remove any that appear to be unrelated.



  • I’m looking forward to this. Are there any plans to do the route from Rugby / Coventry/ Birmingham to Wolverhampton or Stafford on TS2018?

    • No plans currently, Mark, but you never know what the future might hold

  • Will the Class 47 have brand new sounds or the old kuju ones?

    • It won’t have brand new sounds Darren, though the ones we’re using are not Kuju sounds as those were replaced back in 2010 🙂

  • Will this come with scenarios for the WCML Over Sharp and WCML North?

    • Just for WCML North I believe Dean

  • When is this being released?

    • I don’t have any details to share with you Shawn, I would imagine as soon as it’s ready 🙂

  • This looks like this will be for the WCML North Route but would it also be for the WCML Over Shap?

    • You could use it wherever you wish Freightliner566

      • when is ts 18 update And New Routes happening and will there be a video to show us the new routes like years b4?? plus can’t wait for the new virgin trains are there other virgin train you be adding at a later date too.?? or any new routes that use the virgin trains?? like London To Birmingham???

        • TS2018 will go out later today, Arron, at around or just after 10:00 PST, 13:00 EST, 18:00 GMT and 19:00 CET. There certainly will be a video to go out at the same time. Yes on all the other points but I don’t have any details I can share with you 🙂

  • Looking good and really looking forward to see the new BR Class 47 cab and the other features on the Class 43 “HST”

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