Matt Harrison | Mar 15, 2021 | 3
EMR and Porterbrook salute iconic HSTs with this retro repaint
East Midlands Railway and Porterbrook are paying tribute to the iconic HSTs by painting power car 43302 into Intercity Swallow livery and reinstating its original number, 43102.
Operated by East Midlands Railway (EMR) and owned by Porterbrook, these much-loved trains will be retiring after 39 years of service on the Midland Mainline, making way for newer fleets to join EMR in time for the May 2021 timetable change.
Power Car 43102 famously broke the Intercity World Speed Record in November 1987 when it reached 148.5mph between Northallerton and York during a test a run. Although it was formally renumbered to 43302 by its previous operator, today it regains its original number 43102 and the livery it carried when it broke the record.
To this day the HST remains an iconic piece of British engineering and a much-loved part of the railway while continuing to serve passengers on the Midland Main Line. It remains a true testament to TCB Miller and his design team at the BR Railway Technical Centre in Derby, who took the train from concept to working prototype in 2 years.
Upon its retirement in May, after 43 years’ service, this Power Car will be donated by Porterbrook to the National Railway Museum in York, joining power car 43002 which carries the name ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’.
Neil Bamford, Fleet Director for EMR said: “The team at our Neville Hill depot in Leeds have been working hard behind the scenes to strip unit 43302 of its current livery, repaint it in its legacy colours and reinstate its original number in homage to the ‘end of the HST’ era.”
“What an incredible way to pay tribute to the HSTs and the magnificent efforts from all our staff, who have operated and maintained the fleet over the years.
“I personally remember as a 19-year-old, way back in 1980, going on HST commissioning runs from Derby to Darlington, putting the trains through their paces and doing various tests before they entered into service, such happy memories.
“This is a fitting way to recognise the end for this iconic machine; a massive slice of railway heritage and history.”
Neil Foster, Fleet Services Director for Porterbrook said: “EMR and Porterbrook have worked closely together for many years to collaboratively manage the iconic HST fleet, these trains are much loved by the millions of passengers they have carried over the decades.
“Today’s event was a great way to mark the role played by HSTs in transforming the Midland Main Line into one of Britain’s premier rail routes. With their reputation for comfort and speed these icons of British engineering re-invigorated rail travel between Yorkshire, the East Midlands and London.
“Celebrity power-car 43102 will proudly display its original livery whilst it continues to serve EMR passengers, before undertaking its next journey to a new home at the National Railway Museum to be reunited with Sir Kenneth Grange.”