TS18: Home of Legends
Coming soon to Train Simulator, from Partner Programme developer Creative Rail, the arterial East Coast Main Line from Peterborough to York!
A line linking London and Edinburgh was envisaged in the 1840s. When the ‘North British’, ‘North Eastern’ and ‘Great Northern’ railway companies built their own routes, they also joined up at certain locations to provide a seamless connection across the eastern face of England and Scotland.
The three companies worked in tandem to provide through services from London, out of King’s Cross which was built in 1852, and Edinburgh, where Waverley station first saw trains in 1866, replacing older stations in the capital of Scotland.
When British railway companies were grouped to form the “Big Four” in 1923, the NBR, NER and GNR of the East Coast Main Line became the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER), and it was in this era when the ECML would be propelled into fame.
The LNER got itself into something of an ongoing rivalry with the West Coast’s LMS, each competing to provide faster connections between London and Scotland. The LNER came out on top with the A4 Pacific ‘4468 Mallard’ which, on the ECML just south of Grantham, set the world speed record for steam at 126 mph.
The ECML is also home to LNER’s famed non-stop “Flying Scotsman” service, which still operates today, and plays host to the fastest British electric locomotive, the Class 91, which reached an impressive 161.7 mph, almost in the same location as Mallard’s record just over 50 years prior. Combined with the late 1980s 140mph speed trial tests in the Class 91 which took place, the track between Peterborough and York is some of Britain’s fastest.
Seeing dozens of trains daily and transporting millions of passengers every year, the East Coast Main Line provides a vital link between notable UK towns and cities; the ECML hits the high-speed spot, and the historic section between Peterborough and York is coming soon to Train Simulator! ■
Under a misty sky, an InterCity 125 set accelerates northbound out of Grantham on one of the many daily services that link London and Edinburgh. The Sun shines above the East Coast Main Line, as a service bound for Aberdeen races over a foot crossing; where a southbound Mk4 DVT, powered on the rear by a Class 91, makes an appearance, at a closing speed of 250mph (above and below).
Being one of two key routes between England and Scotland, the East Coast Main Line sees its fair share of freight traffic, demonstrated here by a Class 47 putting on a show north of Grantham. Introduced with the electrification of the “ECML”, the InterCity 225 sets were to revolutionise travel with 140mph (225 km/h) operation. While not permitted to do so, they are still a favourite among many, especially in their classic ‘InterCity Swallow’ livery (above). Of course, the HST was also loved (below), to the point where power car No. 43185 was repainted back into ‘ICS’ in 2016.
More passing action along the ECML, a moment of excitement as services fly past each other with hundreds of passengers on-board – Electras howling and Valentas screaming. The grandeur of York station and its historic train shed, re-created in detail with the East Coast Main Line: York – Peterborough route, coming soon!