Four-train ECML plan

Brand new IEP, '91', HST and Fly­ing Scots­man to run side-by-side on East Coast Main Line next month

Rail (UK) - - Front Page - Richard Clin­nick As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor richard.clin­nick@bauer­me­dia.co.uk @Clin­nick1

FOUR gen­er­a­tions of iconic East Coast Main Line trains will travel side-by-side in the same di­rec­tion on April 23, in what Net­work Rail calls a world first.

This ‘once in a life­time’ op­por­tu­nity is the brain­child of Net­work Rail Route Man­ag­ing Direc­tor for Lon­don North East­ern and the East Mid­lands Rob McIn­tosh, who was also in­stru­men­tal in the re­cent ‘Plan­dampf’ op­er­a­tions on the Set­tle-Carlisle Line ( RAIL 821).

The Four Trains plan in­volves A3 60103 Fly­ing Scots­man, a Vir­gin Trains East Coast High Speed Train, a VTEC Class 91 and a new Vir­gin Azuma Class 800 (due to be in­tro­duced in 2018). Ad­di­tion­ally, a Class 55 Deltic will be used to haul the A3 into po­si­tion.

“I am de­lighted that we have been able to cre­ate such a pres­ti­gious and unique event for the peo­ple of York­shire,” said McIn­tosh.

“The area has a very proud rail her­itage, and by work­ing closely with our in­dus­try part­ners we’ve been able to turn what has been a lo­gis­ti­cally chal­leng­ing vi­sion - to cre­ate an iconic railway mo­ment on the East Coast Main Line with­out af­fect­ing reg­u­lar pas­sen­gers - into what will be a truly spe­cial oc­ca­sion.”

The four trains will run for six miles from Toller­ton Junc­tion to­wards York sta­tion in a stag­gered for­ma­tion at speeds of up to 25mph. No pas­sen­gers or me­dia will be al­lowed on the trains. NR spokesman Toby Hig­gins told RAIL that the trains will be op­er­at­ing dur­ing a pos­ses­sion that is al­ready in place on the ECML that day.

The event is de­signed to show­case the fu­ture of ECML travel (the Class 800). It has been or­gan­ised by VTEC, Wel­come to York­shire, NR and the Na­tional Railway Mu­seum.

“Just one year on from un­veil­ing our brand new Vir­gin Azuma trains, we’re de­lighted to present this unique event that show­cases the past, present and fu­ture of rail travel in the UK, with Azuma trav­el­ling along­side Fly­ing

Scots­man and trains from our cur­rent fleet,” said VTEC MD David Horne.

Na­tional Railway Mu­seum Direc­tor Paul Kirk­man said: “The East Coast Main Line has long been famed for speed and style. In the 19th cen­tury el­e­gant lo­co­mo­tives were de­signed to haul trains on this route, ce­ment­ing its rep­u­ta­tion as a railway rac­ing stretch op­er­ated by thor­ough­bred en­gines.

“The Na­tional Railway Mu­seum is proud that Fly­ing Scots­man -a

“With our new Azuma trains en­ter­ing ser­vice next year, this is an op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate the icons of the rail­ways and look for­ward to 2018, when we’ll usher in a new era for travel on the East Coast route.” David Horne, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Vir­gin Trains

“The four-train line-up epit­o­mises the evo­lu­tion of the later gen­er­a­tion of fast, el­e­gant and stylish trains - all with a shared blood­line - that epit­o­mise the his­tory of the route from the 1850s to to­day.” Paul Kirk­man, Direc­tor, Na­tional Railway Mu­seum

sym­bol of en­gi­neer­ing ex­cel­lence, the first steam lo­co­mo­tive to achieve an au­then­ti­cated speed of 100mph and the first to un­der­take a non-stop run be­tween Lon­don King’s Cross and Ed­in­burgh Waver­ley - is tak­ing its place along­side such wor­thy suc­ces­sors to its speed and style man­tle.”

Hi­tachi Rail Europe Man­ag­ing Direc­tor Karen Boswell said: “We be­lieve our new Bri­tish-built Azuma trains will in­spire the next gen­er­a­tion of rail en­thu­si­asts, and show how in­vest­ment in new trains will trans­form pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ences on this iconic route.”

Net­work Rail said the public will be able to wit­ness the event, but stressed that tres­passers “put at risk the com­ple­tion of both this event and any fu­ture plans to show­case the route and its iconic lo­co­mo­tives”. More de­tails will be re­vealed in

RAIL 824, pub­lished on April 12.

“This is a major event for York­shire and some­thing peo­ple will re­mem­ber for decades.” Sir Gary Ver­ity, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, Wel­come to York­shire

JOHN RUDD. JACK BOSKETT/ RAIL.

On March 10, Vir­gin Azuma 800101 passes Marholm with a test train. This is the first Vir­gin Trains East Coast Class 800 to be de­liv­ered, and was un­veiled at Lon­don King’s Cross in March 2016. It will en­ter traf­fic next year. Vir­gin Trains East Coast 43296 races through Fins­bury Park on Novem­ber 30 2016. The High Speed Trains were in­tro­duced onto the East Coast Main Line in 1978, and will be re­placed 40 years later by VTEC Azu­mas.

LES NIXON.

Vir­gin Trains East Coast 91118 leads the 1100 Lon­don King’s Cross-Ed­in­burgh Waver­ley through Northaller­ton on March 16. Class 91s were in­tro­duced from 1989 on­wards, and will be re­placed by Azu­mas.

JACK BOSKETT/ RAIL.

On May 10 2016, 60103 Fly­ingS­cots­man rolls through York. The steam lo­co­mo­tive is one of four East Coast Main Line icons par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Four Trains event on April 23.

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