January/February/March 2019.

The East Coast Main Line (ECML) is a 393-mile long (632 km) major railway link between London and Edinburgh via Peterborough, Doncaster,
Wakefield, Leeds,York, Darlington and Newcastle, electrified along the whole route. Services north of Edinburgh to Aberdeen and Inverness use diesel trains.
 The main franchise on the line is operated by Virgin Trains East Coast.

The route forms a key artery on the eastern side of Great Britain and is broadly paralleled by the A1Trunk Road. It links London, the South East and
 East Anglia, with Yorkshire, the North East Regions and Scotland. It also carries key commuter flows for the north side of London.

 It is important to the economic health of several areas of England and Scotland.

 It also handles cross-country, commuter and local passenger services, and carries heavy tonnages of freight traffic.

 Roger Carvell is a rail enthusiast who contributes much of the local content to this website. He lives in Hitchin, on the ECML, but 
on this page he reports on news and movements on this historic line, close to his home and heart.



January 15th 2019.

With tongue in cheek I asked Roger, after noticing his bike in one of the shots below of Class 73/9 electro diesels, if he was starting a sequence of photos like
 Ivo Peters when he included his Bentley in some of his classic shots on the S&D. True to form Roger answered me in no uncertain terms with the shots below.

 THE bike!!!! Tucks in nicely on a Class 365, next to the wheelchair access loo.

It's that bike again!  A Bentley would be nice though.


January 15th 2019.

Tornado is booked off the Nene Valley tonight, with a twenty minute wait in Peterborough station before legging it north on a trial run up to 60mph and
 should end up at Barrow Hill in the small hours. He’s back, ready for first tour of 2019 in February!

 Just checked Real Time Trains (RTT) - 60163 is still a runner under revised ‘Very Short Term Plan’ or (VSTP). Schedules as original but just the loco and
 restricted to 59mph - and only to Doncaster.
 Original plan was overnight throughout northern England via Thirsk. Somebody must have thought, we can’t do all of this on a night turn!

Manage to get four shots at Peterborough shown below.


January 15th 2019.

Network Rail's heavily rebuilt Class 73/9 electro diesels 73951 and '952 head south through Biggleswade with a Network Rail test train from
Derby Railway Technical Centre, RTC, to Tonbridge in Kent on January 4, 2019.

The 600hp/1500hp (electric) Southern Region-designed Class 73 /0 Bo-Bo electro- diesel has had a long, reliable, career in third rail land and since
 privatisation, the type, after rebuilding, has spread its wings as far north as the West Highland line, with the overnight Caledonian
 Sleeper portion to Ft William from Glasgow.

These two pictured, 73951 leading, and 'tail lamp' 73952, followed a different, technical, rebuild path from their Scottish 73/9 sisters, being modernised at
 Derby in 2014 with a pair of 750hp Cummins diesel engines, similar to the Voyager class of dmu, giving 1500hp, over twice that of
 the original English Electric diesel engine when used off the electric third rail.
73951 started life in 1966 as the Southern Region's E6010 and 73952 as E6019. The first six Class 73/0s, beginning at E6001 were considered as a pilot batch and
 were originally known to SR drivers as the 'JA' Class while the main batch of 43 that followed, as the 'JB', owing to revised
 specifications, gained in the light of experience with the original six.

Ten of the original Class 73/0s have been scrapped but such is the 'do anything' versatility of the type, the remaining ones, not in preservation, can turn up anywhere!

The sharp-eyed will notice the Mk2 driving trailer coach in front of 73952. I understand it took the place of an NR Mk1 coach as that type is
 barred from working through the Thameslink core tunnels beneath central London.


January 2nd 2019.

 Today’s LNER Azuma Class 800 test run - it is not the usual trip but ‘5Q90’ Doncaster Carr Depot to King’s Cross and return.
 It is 800109 not '03', the usual suspect Seen here at Biggleswade. This must have been a shake down run as not seen this particular train before.