October/November/December 2018

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.



October 16th 2018.

Busy scene at King’s Cross today at 16.30. That’s my Great Northern train on the left, a twelve car Class 387 to Peterborough, first call at
 Biggleswade, my stop! Over 100mph required to keep ahead of following LNER and Grand Central services through the Welwyn bottleneck.

Windows washed while u wait! King’s Cross at 16.15 today. Nice little scene at the buffers!


October 9th 2018.

On the ECML last week, Hull Trains experienced two major failures of their tiny, four-strong Class 180 Adelante fleet.

On Oct 2nd, Tuesday evening, a northbound Class 180, had a failure near Sandy, blocking the down fast line. Passengers were transferred
to a following Thameslink service to Peterborough, which arrived alongside to transship passengers.

 The nearest rescue loco was a Class 37, which had to be summoned from Leicester, some distance away.
 However it arrived before midnight and dragged the expired Class
180 off the down fast and dumped the dmu in a siding at Sandy, where, as of
Tuesday, it remains.

 So Hull Trains, which advertises 92 daily services a week from Humberside to London King's Cross was down to
three serviceable ex-FGW Class 180s.

 Fate struck again on Friday night when another Class 180, 180113, caught fire and had to be stopped in Grantham station for passenger evacuation.

 With the overhead current switched off for firefighting, massive delays built up along the ECML and it wasn't until after
midnight that power was restored to the overhead lines.
 Damage to the Class 180 was confined, as in previous fire incidents with this type
of train, to the underside equipment. No injuries to report, I am pleased to say.

 These incidents have happened before to Hull Trains,voted the UK's most popular train company - an open access operator.

 Now Hull Trains is running an emergency timetable between Hull, Beverley and London King's Cross, with some services starting and finishing at Doncaster.

Management must be desperate for a robust solution and the continuing disruption has brought public criticism from Hull civic leaders.
present the new build fleet of five Hitachi Class 802 bi-modes are not due in service with HT until the end of 2019.

 When Hull Trains first started in 2000, a scratch set, (and very nice too), blue and grey MK2 aircon coaches were hired in to help start
services, with preserved Class 86, Bo-Bo, 86101 'Sir William Stanier FRS' and an ex-Virgin West Coast driving trailer providing the
traction as far as Doncaster.

 Hull Trains first ordered four Class 170 Turbostars, which were replaced in 2005  by a quartet of Class 222
Meridians, which in turn, as Hull Trains had become fully part of First Group, gave way to redundant FGW Class 180s in 2009.

Shown below are two pics of the Class 86 hire, taken in 2008 at Hitchin and more recently, a Hull Trains Class 180 in action near
Biggleswade in September and an earlier view of two HT 180s on arrival at King's Cross in May this year.

Hired in push - pull MK2 set with a DVT and a Class 86.

A Hull Trains Class 180 at Biggleswade in September 2018.

Two HT 180's on arrival at Kings Cross in May 2018.