Hi,


Our itinerary for this part:
Code:
NXEC = National Express East Coast
-------------------------------
Mo, 4/13/2009


Highcliffe, Spittal Hall Road dep ~12:20 Taxi

Berwick arr ~12:30
Berwick dep 12:39 NXEC 43 HST -> London Kings Cross

Newcastle arr 13:27
-------------------------------
The video for this part:


Easter Monday morning was finally more convenient, as we didn't have to leave early for the first time. We could go on a sunrise photo tour and then return for breakfast.

At 6:00 a.m. we left to catch the first trains of the day on the East Coast Mainline. Our backpackers hotel was situated right next to the oldest of three bridges across the mouth of the River Tweed, maybe you can recall my 2007 report about them. The moon still could be seen above the Old Bridge from 1634


We wanted to walk to the west side of the Royal Border Bridge, 659 meters long, built 1847-50, to take pictures with the sunrise behind it. On the way we heard some diesel in the distance and already we had a perfect start to a perfect day: DB Schenker 66041 and 66034 hauling a steel coil freight


Amazing morning mood at the River Tweed


The "Black Knight" crossing the town walls which extend to the river shore


Swans and other birds added to the scenery, as well as nice billows of fog forming on the water surface





"Did you find anything?" - "*Munch*!"


At 6:44 the first National Express East Coast IC225 Edinburgh - London Kings Cross disturbed the morning quiet, these class 91 electrics are quite noisy





The panorama in higher resolution (please click image link):
http://www.raildata.info/1B1T/1B1T090523.jpg




Soon a southbound CrossCountry HST was following





The first northbound passenger train at 7:12





The third standard class here is the CrossCountry Voyager








The three bridges with an IC225 at 7:42


The panorama in higher resolution (please click image link):
http://www.raildata.info/1B1T/1B1T090524.jpg










Now we had time for breakfast, not british, but in the kitchen they had everything you could wish for, you just had to prepare it and clean up yourself. Additionally, we got some Smarties-Eastereggs. After a short rest we looked outside for the next HST at 9:20.

"Do you often get fog like that?" - "Goodness, no, old chap! Only when it isn't raining."


The first NXEC HST of the day with the three brigdes





Now it was time to check out of the accomodation. A CrossCountry Super Voyager with flying swans viewed standing on the most modern of the bridges, the Royal Tweed Bridge


View towards the other shore of the River Tweed, that's where we wanted to catch the Great Britain II the first time today





A heron at the Tweed mouth with low tide taking over more and more


Now you couldn't row away from the rowing club anymore...


At least the birds had a chance to sit down for a change


Another northbound IC225





We followed the shoreline, however, not as far as I did two years ago, as we had to get to the station quickly after the special had passed





A small section of water and spring flowers at the beach





I explored the hillside, this spot next to the trailer park was a little too modern for the Great Britain, but a little further back it was perfect


But first we wanted to catch the special on the bridge, as foreground we discovered this view on a path along the camping site where you could get Spittal, a part of the town on this shore, also in the picture





We already know the three bridge view, how about four? The Great Britain II was approaching with the perfect loco for this line: 4488 (LNER 1946 No. 9 / BR No. 60009) "Union of South Africa" - LNER Class A4 4-6-2 (Doncaster No. 1853, built 1937)


The special took a scheduled water taking pause of 45 minutes at the abandoned station Tweedmouth. In the meantime we ordered a taxi, because to be able to overtake the special before it would reach Newcastle we had to catch the first train following it. Of course everything had to take place punctually for that to work.
A southbound HST passed the special


And the train really departed on time, the beautiful loco in this landscape was quite an experience (did "demodernize" the line a little )





Along the East Coast


Now we had to move on as well. Walking on the lawn we could already spot the taxi driving on the road next to it. We counted on it to wait a little, but it just went on without stopping. I sprinted to catch it, waving my arms in the street behind the taxi in despair, but he didn't see me. Luckily, he turned into a side street leading back into our direction, so I could intercept him at last. After we had gotten in, the driver told us that his mother-in-law lived in this street, if it weren't for us, he would have stopped by for a cup of tea! ;D
But that way we caught the punctual southbound HST without a problem


Arrived at the beautiful Newcastle central station


Northern class 142 railbusses dominate local traffic here


No local traffic at all, as this CrossCountry Voyager still has the long journey to Penzance ahead of itself


The namegiving castle keep of Newcastle sits enthroned above the eastern junction, which we will get to know closer in the next trip report part. A DB Schenker freight pulled by class 66 GM diesel passing through


Now we could already hear the steam train, but it didn't get closer. Instead, another HST entered the station...



In the next part we will continue our chase along the East Coast Mainline...