Why no Deltic?
As soon as the line-up for Four Trains was announced, there was criticism that a Deltic was absent.
The plans involved the trains that the Class 55s replaced (steam), and the trains that replaced the Deltics (High Speed Trains). But the 17 years during which the twin-engine 100mph diesels formed the main express traction were alleged by many on social media to have been forgotten. RAIL’s Twitter and Facebook pages were both inundated with calls for the Class 55 to be included.
Network Rail’s Managing Director on the London North Eastern and East Midlands route, Rob McIntosh, understood the calls. Speaking to RAIL, he said: “The Deltic is part of the East Coast Main Line story. When I discussed it [idea of Four Trains] the National Railway Museum said it [D9002] had to be there.”
The locomotive (D9002 The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is main line-registered and so could be used. The decision was made for it to be on the rear of the rake of Mk 1s hauled by A3 60103 Flying Scotsman, but this still didn’t appease many on social media.
McIntosh acknowledged the decision, but said: “I only have four tracks.” He added that Deltics have a “precious place in the heart of Yorkshire”.
D9002 was able to be part of a line-up at York station, when the Four Trains and the Deltic were showcased at the south end of the station. McIntosh praised his staff for that: “That was magic from signallers on the day. Crowd management was a concern, but we thought ‘let’s get them to the station’ - which was an idea we came up with three weeks ago.”
From left to right: D9002 The King’s OwnYorkshireLightInfantry, A3 60103 FlyingScotsman, Virgin Trains East Coast 43238 National Railway Museum40Years1975-2015, VTEC Mk 4 Driving Van Trailer 82205 and Hitachi Rail Europe 800101.