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Thread: The Great Britain II - 9: Chase on the East Coast Mainline (50 p.)

  1. #1

    Smile The Great Britain II - 9: Chase on the East Coast Mainline (50 p.)


    Our itinerary for this part:
    Mo, 4/13/2009
    Newcastle dep 15:40 XC 221 -> Plymouth
    Darlington arr 16:10
    Darlington dep 16:39 TP 185 -> Manchester
    York arr 17:27
    York dep 18:28 NXEC 91 -> London Kings Cross
    London Kings Cross arr 20:32
    The video for this part:

    We are still in:

    The "Great Britain II" special waited to enter the station, and after an IC225 had passed through the station it was its turn to negotiate the historic east junction of Newcastle Central. Sadly it is almost completely lacking former glory as largest railway junction of the world.
    Comparison photos can be found here:

    It took me a week (a little now and then) to get rid of the catenary and extend the rails:

    the nostalgic variation:

    Of course it wasn't just the Easter weekend

    Because of its delay, the special was leaving Newcastle right away

    Newcastle is situated nicely at the River Tyne which is being crossed by several parallel bridges

    The station right next to it. In the meantime 47760 was departing, it was scheduled to take over the special from York

    Another NXEC HST to London Kings Cross

    We planned to take the next CrossCountry Voyager to Darlington as the "Great Britain II" had to take water at Tyne Yards shortly behind Newcastle, so we could overtake it easily. However, instead of the announced train we encountered this special, almost as if to confuse us on purpose, the "Great Briton" pulled by 67001 and 67030

    Soon afterwards our Voyager reached the nice shed of Darlington, recently awarded as station with the best service in the UK. We can confirm that, the nice personnel looked up where the steam train would come through and gave us a photo tip.

    "Great Briton" was being held back for quite a while until even the driver got out and used the phone at the signal - something I had previously only seen in Bosnia... and now on the East Coast Mainline! ;D

    Busy Darlington, the tracks in the centre are not electrified

    You could hear whistling in the distance, and the special came through at ECML-speed! Station virtually deelectrified

    Additionaly, we had a great Doppler-effect (see video), the steam is only originating from the whistle!

    Local traffic and interesting catch points

    By Transpennine Express, taking almost double the time to York on the slow tracks than an ECML-express (but still faster than the next connection), we reached the A4 in time during decoupling. Of course the platform got quite crammed. The photo was modified again a little for nostalgia's sake

    Image link to the large resolution version of the panorama:

    The southern end of York station

    Impressions of the magnificent engine

    Class 47 taking over

    60009 shunting to reverse and get back to the National Rail Museum

    Waiting in York

    A4 is coming!

    That way it was possible to get the shed and "Union of South Africa" shortly before departure

    This packed IC 225 took us to London Kings Cross, the special was overtaken along the way

    Terminal London Kings Cross

    HST-Triebkopf 43367 is carrying this plaque

    The "Great Britain II" on the last yards of its long roundtrip

    See ya!

    Classic ECML-vehicles

    A book against the rush

    After the long journey

    Class 91-cockpit

    As bonus 37706 was shunting the "Great Britain II" rake

    The train was thundering out of the old shed which will be refurbished over the next years. Goodbye, "Great Britain II"!

    The HSTs of Grand Central include some of the last ones with original engines, additionally they are carrying buffers. During departure, Kings Cross got properly smoked in (see video)

    After a short visit to platform 9 3/4 (displaced since December, but not by much), we walked tired after the day to the nearby hotel. The special was over, but our flight wouldn't depart until evening next day, so there will be at least another part of the essay...

    Up-to-date on Twitter: https://twitter.com/raildata_info @raildata_info
    Roni's trip reports and videos:


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Lincolnshire, England (recently Ptuj, Slovenia)


    Thanks for the unusual (unigue?) look at the ECML. It is certainly different than it was during my main spotting days during the 1960's.

    We have lost so much of our railway history. But we must progress.........

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