Four design icons of the East Coast Main Line came together to create history on Sunday 23 April.
Four generations of trains representing the past, present and future of passenger rail travel ran side by side, in the same direction on the East Coast main line in an incredible world first.
The event took place in the stunning Yorkshire countryside, leaving Tollerton, just north of York, shortly after 6am. It featured the famous Flying Scotsman alongside two trains from Virgin Trains’ revitalised fleet — an HST Intercity 125 (Class 43), an Intercity 225 (Class 91) — as well as the first new Virgin Azuma (Class 800), which is being built by Hitachi in the North East, and will come into service in 2018.
The once in a lifetime event was organised by Virgin Trains, National Railway Museum, Network Rail, Welcome to Yorkshire and Hitachi to celebrate the start of a new chapter for one of the country’s most iconic railway lines.
The journey though the Yorkshire countryside was enjoyed by crowds of rail fans who took advantage of viewing points along the route to marvel at the unique spectacle, which concluded at York station.
David Horne, Managing Director for Virgin Trains on the east coast, said “We’re delighted to have presented this unique event showcasing the past, present and future of express rail travel in the UK, with our first Azuma travelling alongside ‘Flying Scotsman’ and trains from our current fleet. With our new Azuma trains entering service next year, this has been 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.”
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Image credits: David Parry/PA Wire