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Travel On Train Avanti Super Voyager (UK)

Avanti Super Voyager (UK)

Welcome to the guide featuring the key things worth knowing when travelling by these trains which connect London and the West Midlands to North Wales.

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At a Glance

Travel Pass Supplement

Rail Pass Reservation Fees
Reservations

Available
Time of Day

Day
Catering

Food services available

Bistro (bar food and take away meals)
Accessibility

Accessing the train

Wheelchair Spaces
Bikes Allowed
Train Specification

Attributes of the train

Has a Conductor
Country

Which country these trains operate in.

Great Britain
Travel Passes
Eurail

On Board

First

Perks
WiFi

A complimentary WiFi portal is available throughout this train.

At Seat Catering

According to the time of day of travel, passengers will be able to choose from a menu of catering options, which will then be served at their seats.

Power Socket (UK)

The power sockets on this train are compatible with the standard 3-point plugs as typically used in the UK.

The First Class coach on an Avanti Super Voyager train - the Virgin branding has now been removed The First Class coach on an Avanti Super Voyager train - the Virgin branding has now been removed

If you won’t be making a short-distance journey* complimentary food and drink is served to first class passengers at their seats.
*=this service is always available when traveling to/from London.

The service can be excellent value for money, although what you’ll receive depends on the day of the week - and on Mon-Friday, it also matters at which time you’ll be travelling.
On early morning Mon-Friday departures breakfast is available, but later in the mornings the 'Rest Of The Day' menu becomes available along with a selection of sandwiches and snacks.
The switch over between these two menus seems to occur between 08:30 and 09:00.

The departure time and not the length of journey will dictate what you will be provided with, because the menu is usually served between 30 mins and an hour after departure.

The Weekend is similar to what’s available from the Standard Class catering trolley, but with the key difference being that what you are offered in First Class will be complimentary.
This weekend menu is also available when Mondays and Fridays are national holidays.

Standard

Perks
WiFi

A complimentary WiFi portal is available throughout this train.

Trolley Service:

A catering trolley with hot and cold drinks and snacks should be taken through the train at some point during its journey.

Power Socket (UK)

The power sockets on this train are compatible with the standard 3-point plugs as typically used in the UK.

...so the images will be updated once they have the new colour scheme applied ...so the images will be updated once they have the new colour scheme applied
Avanti now operates these Super Voyager trains... Avanti now operates these Super Voyager trains...

These Super Voyager trains are diesel powered so Avanti West Coast uses them for services which operated beyond the boundaries of the electrified lines.

Virgin Trains had been the previous operator, hence the images which show its branding, but they'll be updated as soon as the Avanti designs are applied to the trains.

Routes:

These Super Voyager trains are used on these three routes:

  • London Euston <> Shrewsbury via Birmingham and Telford,
  • London Euston <> Chester,
  • London Euston <> Holyhead via Chester, Llandudno Junction and Bangor.

They can also be used on other Avanti West Coast routes at weekends, when the services are having to be diverted from the usual route, due to works on the railway line.

Reservations:

Seat reservations are available, but not mandatory when travelling on Avanti Super Voyager services:

When booking tickets, including any journey using Advance tickets, reservations will also be issued which show specific coach and seat numbers.

Rail pass users can either opt to board without reservations, or arrange reservations prior to boarding, either at an Advance Travel desk in a station at least 3 hours before departure, or by contacting Avanti's social media channels.
There is no charge to rail pass users for booking an optional reservation.

Worth knowing is that for your travel ticket to be valid, you don’t have to occupy the seat(s) you will be assigned* when booking online.
So if for any reason you want to travel in a different seat, you can do so.
As long as you check that the alternative seat(s) you want to move to haven’t been reserved, so will be available for your journey.

*= Advance tickets can only be used on the departure selected when booking, but the departure info is on the reservation, so it shows the conductor that you are in fact traveling by the departure you selected.

Boarding:

If you have a seat reservation:

At London Euston the number of the platform (track) that a specific departure will be leaving from, normally appears on the information screens 10 -15 minutes prior to departure.
This will signal the start of a race to board the train, join the throng if you have luggage, the space for storing luggage isn’t particularly generous, especially in Standard Class.
However, if you don’t have luggage, but do have a reservation, you can take your time as your seat(s) will be waiting for you to occupy them.

If you will be boarding at a large station, where the train will be calling during a journey, there are now usually signs on the platform (track), which will show you where to wait for easy boarding into each coach/carriage.

Don’t just check the coach/carriage numbers by the doors, also check the seat number info that’s on the outside of the train.
Look out for the coach numbers on these electronic displays
All coaches will have two doors, one at each end, and the other door may be nearer to your seat.

You don’t have to occupy the seat(s) you will assigned when booking online, so if for any reason you want to travel in a different seat, you can do so.
Though you'll need to use the on board info to check that the alternative seat(s) you want to move to, haven’t been reserved, so will be available for your journey.

If you don’t have heavy luggage, after departure it can be worth having a walk through the train, to see what seats are available in other coaches.
It’s not unknown for some of the coaches on the train to relatively busy, while others will be comparatively empty.

If you don’t have a seat reservation:

Two Super Voyager trains can be joined together on departure, particularly when heading north from London.
On arrival at one of the stations the train will call at, often Chester or Wolverhampton, the train at the front can leave the other behind, in order to travel on to more distant and therefore less popular destinations.

So take care when boarding, although the on board information and train conductor will help ensure that you’re travelling in the correct part of the train.

Coach C is usually set aside for travellers who haven’t made seat reservations, but there is something else worth being aware of if you don’t have reservations.
On the departure screens at Birmingham New Street and Euston at the foot of the information for each train (below its list of calling points), you should be able to see something which resembles a table/chart.
This info will show which of the coaches on the train will be busy, because most of its seats have been reserved, and which will be relatively empty.
So if you don’t have a reservation, you can board into the coach in which you’ll be most likely to find available seats.

Catering:

Standard Class:

On virtually all departures at some point during the journey a catering trolley will be taken through the train, from which you can order hot/cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches at your seat.

There is also an on-board café from which you can order hot food and a more extensive range of food/drink items.
When two trains are joined together for a departure, the café service is usually provided on both of the trains.

First Class:

If you won’t be making a short-distance journey* complimentary food and drink is served to first class passengers at their seats – *this service is always available when traveling to/from London

The service can be excellent value for money, although what you’ll receive depends on the day of the week - and on Mon-Friday, it also matters at which time you’ll be travelling.
On early morning Mon-Friday departures breakfast is available, but later in the mornings the brunch menu is served.
The switch over between these two menus seems to occur between 08:30 and 09:00.

A lunch menu is available in the middle of the day, while a more extensive choice of multiple hot food options is available in the evenings.

The departure time and not the length of journey will dictate what you will be provided with, because the menu is usually served between 30 mins and an hour after departure.

The Weekend menu is similar to what’s available from the Standard Class catering trolley, but with the key difference being that what you are offered in First Class will be complimentary.
This weekend menu is also available when Mondays and Fridays are national holidays.

On Board:

Each First and Standard Class coach on the train offers a mix of table seats and airline style seats - and you can specify a preference for being sat at a table seat(s) when booking tickets.

Particularly if you will be travelling long-distance, prior to making a booking, ShowMeTheJourney recommends looking at the seating plans, which can be downloaded from the Avanti West Coast website.
You can use these plans to check which seats have a limited view, because not all seats in First or Standard class line up with the windows - or to check which seats do have power sockets.

Power sockets are only available at all WINDOW seats in both First and Standard Class.

Quiet Coach

Quiet Coaches are available on Virgin Super Voyager trains, passengers travelling within them are requested not to make or receive calls during the journey - and to use headphones when accessing audio or video.
Seats within this Quiet Coach can be requested when making a reservation,

Wi-Fi

Complimentary Wi-Fi access is available throughout the train.

Once your logged on to the Wi-Fi, you can access a complimentary entertainment portal.
Though what you can access via this portal is more limited than on the Pendolino trains - the movies and TV shows aren't available on a Super Voyager, but you can access news, online magazines and games.

Luggage

The maximum size of suitcase that can be taken on board is 30cm x 70 cm x 90 cm; more information is available here.

Travelling with dogs

Up to two dogs can travel for free with an individual, or group of travellers.

Bicycles:

Spaces for non-folding bikes must be reserved ahead of travel, but these bike spaces can now be booked online as you book your journey tickets.
A bike reservation facility is built into the booking path on the Avanti West Coast website - and it shows how many bike spaces are still available on each departure.

Or if you want to subsequently book a bike reservation after you have booked your travel ticket, you can do so by calling 0345 528 0253

Though before doing so it's worth looking up the departure you will be travelling by, to check whether bike spaces are available
Also if you have booked Advance tickets, don't leave your bike reservation to the last minute.
Your bike will have to travel with you on the specific departure that you're booked on to, but you won't be able to exchange your travel tickets to a different departure if you subsequently discover that no bike spaces are available on that train.

Assisted Travel:

Avanti Super Voyager trains have both wheelchair spaces and seats with additional leg-room, the Assisted Travel page on the Avanti West Coast website includes the booking information.

ShowMeTheJourney

This is one of more than 150 train guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.