ECML past service patterns

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ryan125hst

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Some of you may have seen my thread asking for historic timetables throughout the BR era which surprisingly don't seem to exist in PDF form on the web. I thought that an alternative would be to ask for the typical service pattern throughout the years.

I am now on the British Rail Coaching Stock Yahoo Group and on there is a great set of Carriage Working Books from the 1950's through to the mid 1980's. This gives details of each working but only gives the departure and arrival stations and times. It doesn't give the intermediate stations calls which I am interested in finding out about.

So first of all, what was the typical service pattern for the service on the ECML between London Kings Cross and Newcastle/Edinburgh (and maybe onto Aberdeen) as well as Leeds in the 1950's (including any services that worked on to, say Cleethorpes).

Did this then change when the Deltics arrived or did it stay largely the same for years afterwards?

Was there much change throughout the 70's before the HST's arrived? I've seen that Mark 2 air con stock arrived by the mid 70's and the Pullmans were being withdrawn, but was there anything else of significance?

Once the HST's arrived, were things kept largely the same until the 225's arrived, and did there introduction see many changes? I have a GNER timetable from 2007 (when I became a rail enthusiast) and I'm aware that until then, the basic pattern was a fast service to Edinburgh every hour (some extended to Glasgow/Aberdeen/Inverness), a service to Newcastle every hour and a stopping service to Leeds every hour. In 2007, the Allington Chord near Grantham opened allowing a second service an hour to Leeds. East Coast then altered the service pattern with the Eureka timetable in 2011, adding a fifth train an hour stopping at all EC stations to Newark and continuing to Retford, Doncaster and York every two hours, with the Leeds services sped up as a result.

If anyone could post a typical service pattern including calling points and maybe the class of loco used, I'd be very grateful. Don't worry about formations or catering provision as this is covered by the carriage working books. I don't really need every year, particularly if it remained largely the same over several consecutive years. Just a couple from each decade with a few years between would be fine.

Many thanks

Ryan
 
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Polarbear

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From memory, the early 1970's would have been something along these lines;

  • Hourly London-Newcastle with extensions to Edinburgh on alternate hours.
  • London-Leeds every 90 mins off peak with some extensions to Bradford & Harrogate
  • 3 services each way between London & Hull
  • 3 services each way between London & Cleethorpes (via Lincoln)
  • Early morning/late evening semi-fast services London-York
  • 2 train pairs per day London to Aberdeen
  • Tees-Tyne, Hull & Yorkshire Pullmans

There was also some portioned workings on the ECML up to around 1976-77, with trains splitting/combining at Doncaster for the likes of Hull & York.

The Tyne-Tees Pullman was withdrawn from May 1976 & the other two finished in May 1978.

During the 1970's, there were many incremental changes made to the ECML infrastructure , which resulted in timings being gradually improved throughout the decade. The result of this was a gradual increase in services on the main trunk to Edinburgh, often at the expense of more marginal workings to the likes of Bradford & Harrogate, which were steadily reduced over the same time frame.

The introduction of the HST's was the real turning point though. Hourly services to both Leeds & Edinburgh, and the start of additional services to Newcastle giving 30 min frequency at certain times of the day. The HST's proved so popular that relief trains often had to be run, with passengers shunning the Deltic & Mk2 services.

The 1970's was a decade of change, unlike current day ECML timetables which are basically unaltered since the last days of BR.
 

3270

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A few random thoughts....

A big infrastructure change was the opening of the Selby Diversion in 1983: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selby_Diversion

Likewise the rebuilding of Peterborough station in approx 1972 which allowed non-stop services to pass through at 100mph. Prior to the rebuild the maximum speed was something silly like 25mph, even for non-stop trains.

There were loads of track reallignments from the late 1960s onwards that gradually speeded things up e.g. at Newton Hall, Durham Station and Relly Mill (all in the Durham area). And Aycliffe curves north of Darlington.

There was the collapse of Penmanshiel Tunnel in 1979: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penmanshiel_Tunnel.

London trains used to use Leeds Central rather than the current station (Leeds City): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leeds_Central_railway_station
On this old map Leeds City is shown as 'New Station', just below Wellington Pass(enger) station: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leeds_Central_railway_station#/media/File:Leeds_RJD_40.jpg
The ECML comes in at the bottom left ('From Wakefield') and you can see it goes to Leeds Central. When Central closed a south-to-east curve was built just above the words 'FARNLEY & WORTLEY' to join the ECML to the red line that goes to Leeds City. This is sometimes called the Viaduct Line and itself closed in the late 1980s with electrification. Trains then took their current route. Also notice the Wortley Curve from Wortley South Jn to Wortley West Jn. This allowed trains to run direct to Bradford Exchange (now Interchange) and closed in the 1980s.

These 2 books from the 1990s will be of interest:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Speed-East-...UTF8&qid=1464733223&sr=8-4&keywords=p+semmens
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Electrifyin...UTF8&qid=1464733223&sr=8-6&keywords=p+semmens
 

ryan125hst

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That's a great summary Polarbear. The carriage working books give all the departures from Kings Cross but I haven't sat down and worked out the patterns.

And thanks 3270 for the details regarding the infrastructure changes over the years. I never knew that Peterborough had such a low PSR until the early 70's.

Does anyone know the typical calling patterns of the ECML services? So, looking at what Polarbear posted, which stations did the Newcastle/Edinburgh services call at? How about the Leeds services? Were these calls mostly the same throughout the day other than early morning/late night/peak time services or did they vary a lot?
 

Polarbear

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Whilst I can't recall the actual stopping patterns (it's a long time ago;)), I think it's fair to say that as there were significantly fewer services, the pattern would be more random.

In the 60's, long distance trains typically only ran a few times each day, and often had to cover a lot of different markets.

I'm reasonably sure the long distance services didn't call anywhere between Newcastle & Edinburgh (except Berwick). This was due to the existence of a local (loco hauled) service between the two points.
 

30907

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I've got a 1967 NER timetable which - just for the daytime expresses - gives this.

Via York
0745 Darlington Newcastle only
0800 Edinburgh: Hitchin Peterborough Grantham Doncaster York Darlington Newcastle Berwick (Talisman) (Stevenage replaced Hitchin a few years later)
0900 Newcastle: Peterborough Doncaster York Darlington Durham
1000 Aberdeen: first stop Newcastle (Scotsman)
1100 as 0900
1200 Aberdeen: Doncaster, as 0800 plus Dunbar
1300 as 0900
1400 Edinburgh: Peterborough Doncaster, as 1200 plus Alnmouth.(Heart of Midlothian)
1500 Newcastle: as 0900 plus Selby
1600 Edinburgh: Darlington Newcastle (Talisman)
1700 Newcastle: York Darlington (Tees Tyne Pullman)
1705 Newcastle via coast: Peterborough Grantham Doncaster York Stockton etc.
1800 Newcastle: Darlington Durham (The North Eastern)
1820 Newcastle: Doncaster and as 1500.
Then it was night trains - the first sleeper was at 1940

To Yorkshire
0745 Bradford Ex: Wakefield Leeds New Pudsey (very new!)
0820 Leeds: semifast incl Hitchin
1020 Leeds: semifast with Hull portion
1130 Harrogate: Leeds only.
1220 Hull semifast
1325 Bradford: Doncaster etc
1420 York semifast
1555 as 1130
1605 Bradford: Doncaster and via Wortley curve
1620 Bradford semifast
1730 Hull Pullman: Doncaster Goole Brough
1735 Bradford: Wakefield etc, Yorkshire Pullman
1825 Hull semifast
1853 Bradford: Peterborough Doncaster Wakefield Kirkgate (portion for Huddersfield and Halifax - in later years detached at Doncaster IIRC) Westgate etc
(the up equivalent attached at Westgate)

I haven't got the Cleethorpes times, but l would guess at 3 a day, as it later was.

This post- Beeching pattern was recognisably the same into the mid 70's.

Go back a few years and the Cleethorpes service ran via Spalding, Lincoln had nothing to speak of, but there was the twice daily Master Cutler Pullman via Retford to Sheffield Vic. And Bradford portions ran direct from Wakefield via Morley.
 

ryan125hst

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I've got a 1967 NER timetable which - just for the daytime expresses - gives this.

Via York
0745 Darlington Newcastle only
0800 Edinburgh: Hitchin Peterborough Grantham Doncaster York Darlington Newcastle Berwick (Talisman) (Stevenage replaced Hitchin a few years later)
0900 Newcastle: Peterborough Doncaster York Darlington Durham
1000 Aberdeen: first stop Newcastle (Scotsman)
1100 as 0900
1200 Aberdeen: Doncaster, as 0800 plus Dunbar
1300 as 0900
1400 Edinburgh: Peterborough Doncaster, as 1200 plus Alnmouth.(Heart of Midlothian)
1500 Newcastle: as 0900 plus Selby
1600 Edinburgh: Darlington Newcastle (Talisman)
1700 Newcastle: York Darlington (Tees Tyne Pullman)
1705 Newcastle via coast: Peterborough Grantham Doncaster York Stockton etc.
1800 Newcastle: Darlington Durham (The North Eastern)
1820 Newcastle: Doncaster and as 1500.
Then it was night trains - the first sleeper was at 1940

To Yorkshire
0745 Bradford Ex: Wakefield Leeds New Pudsey (very new!)
0820 Leeds: semifast incl Hitchin
1020 Leeds: semifast with Hull portion
1130 Harrogate: Leeds only.
1220 Hull semifast
1325 Bradford: Doncaster etc
1420 York semifast
1555 as 1130
1605 Bradford: Doncaster and via Wortley curve
1620 Bradford semifast
1730 Hull Pullman: Doncaster Goole Brough
1735 Bradford: Wakefield etc, Yorkshire Pullman
1825 Hull semifast
1853 Bradford: Peterborough Doncaster Wakefield Kirkgate (portion for Huddersfield and Halifax - in later years detached at Doncaster IIRC) Westgate etc
(the up equivalent attached at Westgate)

I haven't got the Cleethorpes times, but l would guess at 3 a day, as it later was.

This post- Beeching pattern was recognisably the same into the mid 70's.

Go back a few years and the Cleethorpes service ran via Spalding, Lincoln had nothing to speak of, but there was the twice daily Master Cutler Pullman via Retford to Sheffield Vic. And Bradford portions ran direct from Wakefield via Morley.

Very useful thank you 30907, exactly the kind of thing i'm after. I see that you haven't mention my home station of Retford there at all. The ones that you say were semifast, did they all typically call at Stevenage, Peterborough, Grantham, Newark, Retford and Doncaster?

Polarbear said:
Whilst I can't recall the actual stopping patterns (it's a long time ago), I think it's fair to say that as there were significantly fewer services, the pattern would be more random.

In the 60's, long distance trains typically only ran a few times each day, and often had to cover a lot of different markets.

I'm reasonably sure the long distance services didn't call anywhere between Newcastle & Edinburgh (except Berwick). This was due to the existence of a local (loco hauled) service between the two points.

Timetables certainly seem to be more frequent today, and clock-face timetables seem to be the preferred method these days. That said, the services do still seem reasonably frequent, albeit with fewer trains going to Edinburgh with trains terminating at Newcastle instead. But the ECML only had 3 trains per hour for most of the day until 2007 and there seemed to be around two or three long distance services an hour even in the 60's going by the carriage working books.
 

3270

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You could also pick up old copies of Modern Railways magazine on ebay. They used to have articles about forthcoming timetables explaining what the changes were and the reasons why.

e.g. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Modern-Ra...ba61fb4&pid=100005&rk=1&rkt=3&sd=262458795061 from 1972 has an article called 'East Coast speed-up',
and http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Modern-Ra...896460?hash=item2ee2c28ccc:g:weQAAOSw3ydVgWZA from 1977 for 'East Coast HST plans',
and http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MODERN-RA...hash=item4ab7e7f018:m:mrwTbOmKZAPAFfe16brbbkw from 1984 for 'The East Coast speeds up' which I'd guess is about the effect of the Selby Diversion opening,
and http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Back-issu...323685?hash=item1c67e7b8e5:g:u7wAAOSwq7JT5900 from 1972 has an article about the rebuilding of Peterborough station that I mentioned in my previous reply.
 

30907

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Very useful thank you 30907, exactly the kind of thing i'm after. I see that you haven't mention my home station of Retford there at all. The ones that you say were semifast, did they all typically call at Stevenage, Peterborough, Grantham, Newark, Retford and Doncaster?

Yes, except for Stevenage. The present station opened in 1973 (Wikipedia) and replaced Hitchin for Inter-City purposes.
However, as noted in my list, Hitchin only had a couple of morning trains.

Interestingly, Huntingdon doesn't feature at all - this was before the days of Deltic plus 8 York semifast.
In fact, there was nowhere particularly significant south of Doncaster:
Peterborough was much less important as a junction (there were still through trains on the Joint line including the Continental) and the overspill development hadn't begun.
Grantham had been more important in steam days as often locos were changed there.
Newark had only recently become the junction for Lincoln, and the GN was no longer competing for Sheffield via Retford.
 

bradford758

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A few random thoughts....

A big infrastructure change was the opening of the Selby Diversion in 1983: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selby_Diversion

Likewise the rebuilding of Peterborough station in approx 1972 which allowed non-stop services to pass through at 100mph. Prior to the rebuild the maximum speed was something silly like 25mph, even for non-stop trains.

There were loads of track reallignments from the late 1960s onwards that gradually speeded things up e.g. at Newton Hall, Durham Station and Relly Mill (all in the Durham area). And Aycliffe curves north of Darlington.

There was the collapse of Penmanshiel Tunnel in 1979: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penmanshiel_Tunnel.

London trains used to use Leeds Central rather than the current station (Leeds City): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leeds_Central_railway_station
On this old map Leeds City is shown as 'New Station', just below Wellington Pass(enger) station: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leeds_Central_railway_station#/media/File:Leeds_RJD_40.jpg
The ECML comes in at the bottom left ('From Wakefield') and you can see it goes to Leeds Central. When Central closed a south-to-east curve was built just above the words 'FARNLEY & WORTLEY' to join the ECML to the red line that goes to Leeds City. This is sometimes called the Viaduct Line and itself closed in the late 1980s with electrification. Trains then took their current route. Also notice the Wortley Curve from Wortley South Jn to Wortley West Jn. This allowed trains to run direct to Bradford Exchange (now Interchange) and closed in the 1980s.

These 2 books from the 1990s will be of interest:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Speed-East-...UTF8&qid=1464733223&sr=8-4&keywords=p+semmens
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Electrifyin...UTF8&qid=1464733223&sr=8-6&keywords=p+semmens
I'm not sure about the above information re: Leeds in 1967, just prior to closure of Leeds Central the London trains were already leaving from Leeds City (via the viaduct route). Passengers from Bradford Exchange could either catch the direct service along the Wortley curve, or have to change stations in Leeds, or travel from Bradford Forster Square to change directly.
The viaduct route was originally connected to the Huddersfield line, the routes swapped over at some point

Sent from my 4009X using Tapatalk
 

43074

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Once the HST's arrived, were things kept largely the same until the 225's arrived, and did there introduction see many changes? I have a GNER timetable from 2007 (when I became a rail enthusiast) and I'm aware that until then, the basic pattern was a fast service to Edinburgh every hour (some extended to Glasgow/Aberdeen/Inverness), a service to Newcastle every hour and a stopping service to Leeds every hour. In 2007, the Allington Chord near Grantham opened allowing a second service an hour to Leeds. East Coast then altered the service pattern with the Eureka timetable in 2011, adding a fifth train an hour stopping at all EC stations to Newark and continuing to Retford, Doncaster and York every two hours, with the Leeds services sped up as a result.

The most significant change between the introduction of the 91s and the 'Eureka' timetable was arguably the introduction of 2tph between Kings Cross and Leeds in 2007, allowing more frequent services to be provided at Grantham & Newark; otherwise there wasn't a huge amount of change.

You could also pick up old copies of Modern Railways magazine on ebay. They used to have articles about forthcoming timetables explaining what the changes were and the reasons why.

e.g. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Modern-Ra...ba61fb4&pid=100005&rk=1&rkt=3&sd=262458795061 from 1972 has an article called 'East Coast speed-up',
and http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Modern-Ra...896460?hash=item2ee2c28ccc:g:weQAAOSw3ydVgWZA from 1977 for 'East Coast HST plans',
and http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MODERN-RA...hash=item4ab7e7f018:m:mrwTbOmKZAPAFfe16brbbkw from 1984 for 'The East Coast speeds up' which I'd guess is about the effect of the Selby Diversion opening,
and http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Back-issu...323685?hash=item1c67e7b8e5:g:u7wAAOSwq7JT5900 from 1972 has an article about the rebuilding of Peterborough station that I mentioned in my previous reply.

Similarly - if you can find these anywhere - I'd recommend
- O.S.Nock's ''Two Miles a Minute'' - published c. 1980 - which provides details on the introduction of HSTs on the ECML
- Peter Semmens' ''Electrifying the East Coast Route'' provides information about the timetable introduced with the 91s; and
- John Glover's ''British Rail at work: InterCity'' (1987) which provides information about the Selby diversion and wider InterCity changes in West Yorkshire which were ongoing at the time.
 

Polarbear

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I certainly have two of those Modern Railways at home & possibly a couple of others as well. I also have the "Two miles a minute" book by OS Nock somewhere so I'll see what I can dig out when I get chance.
 

Taunton

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Back in diesel days one of the major changes was around 1970, shortly after the air-braked Mk 2a and up vehicles became more common, the old tradition of 11-12, or more, coach trains was broken down in one timetable change when a number of shorter, more frequent, 8-coach sets were introduced, still hauled by Deltics and known as "Deltic plus 8", or elsewhere the "High Speed" (which should really have been "Better Acceleration", as the 100mph limit remained). Obviously the higher running speeds and less accommodation per train, but more of them, needed a significant timetable recast. They didn't run through to Scotland, but did Leeds and Newcastle services.

There were only 22 Deltics, so plenty of Brush 4s had to join in the operation. One amusing rail magazine article of the time had the journalist ride down from Kings Cross to Doncaster on a Deltic, saying the timings could still be tightened a bit further, but waiting on Doncaster platform for the return trip, he, and doubtless his accompanying inspector, were gobsmacked when it ran in from Leeds, not even with a substitute Class 47, but with a Class 40! The poor old foreman at Holbeck must have been down to the dregs. It was apparently driven onward rather like the Class 27 used to be on the Edinburgh-Glasgow trains of the time, treating the controller just as an on/off switch between maximum (almost all the time) and off, did manage to get up to its rated 90mph, and lost some, but not a huge amount, of time back down the line.

I believe the speed limit for nonstop through Peterborough before the 1972 rebuild had always been 20mph, there was a reverse curve on the through lines at both ends of the platforms. Then one day after the reconstruction it was suddenly 100mph. Must have unnerved a few at first.

Grantham had been more important in steam days as often locos were changed there.
It's very roughly 100 miles for each of four stages in the 400 mile London to Edinburgh journey, and locos were changed at Grantham, York and Newcastle. The GNR did the first two, the NER on to Newcastle, and the NER and NBR shared operation for the last lap to Edinburgh. This is how relatively insignificant Grantham became a major loco changing point. It was halfway between Kings Cross and Leeds as well. 100 miles may not sound a lot nowadays before a loco change but crews more commonly stuck to their locos then, and did the round trip in a shift, so 200 miles out and back hard shovelling for the fireman was still a notable effort. There was extra pay I believe for steam loco crews for miles beyond about 120 in a shift, maybe an extra hour's pay for each extra 15 miles beyond this, in addition to the time they actually booked, so the crews were the elites of their depots.

Bear in mind that Mallard, when it did its record breaking run, was a Grantham engine (and for long afterwards). Gresley had personally selected it, after advice from his inspectors, as the absolute best of the A4s, and so it had to be specially worked up to Kings Cross to haul the special train.
 
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ryan125hst

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Thanks for the information about the Modern Railway magazines 3270 and 43074, as well as Polarbear if you manage to dig your magazines out. I'll have to purchase a few at some point. Some of them seem to be going quite cheap so it won't cost me much to get hold of interesting information.

43074 said:
The most significant change between the introduction of the 91s and the 'Eureka' timetable was arguably the introduction of 2tph between Kings Cross and Leeds in 2007, allowing more frequent services to be provided at Grantham & Newark; otherwise there wasn't a huge amount of change.

In that case, the timetable must have remained more or less the same for over 15 years! I guess why change it if it works!

30907 said:
Yes, except for Stevenage. The present station opened in 1973 (Wikipedia) and replaced Hitchin for Inter-City purposes.
However, as noted in my list, Hitchin only had a couple of morning trains.

Interestingly, Huntingdon doesn't feature at all - this was before the days of Deltic plus 8 York semifast.
In fact, there was nowhere particularly significant south of Doncaster:
Peterborough was much less important as a junction (there were still through trains on the Joint line including the Continental) and the overspill development hadn't begun.
Grantham had been more important in steam days as often locos were changed there.
Newark had only recently become the junction for Lincoln, and the GN was no longer competing for Sheffield via Retford.

Cheers 30907, I wasn't aware that Stevenage was as new as that.

Do you know how often Retford was served in those days? The service isn't great these days with a typically one train per two hours, or though Hull Trains do help to fill the gaps, particularly southbound (the timetable means the trains are quite close together in the northbound direction meaning there's a gap of an hour and a half between trains). Also, at weekends, it's impossible to get to/from Newark for most of the day. Was connectivity better in the 70's?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Back in diesel days one of the major changes was around 1970, shortly after the air-braked Mk 2a and up vehicles became more common, the old tradition of 11-12, or more, coach trains was broken down in one timetable change when a number of shorter, more frequent, 8-coach sets were introduced, still hauled by Deltics and known as "Deltic plus 8", or elsewhere the "High Speed" (which should really have been "Better Acceleration", as the 100mph limit remained). Obviously the higher running speeds and less accommodation per train, but more of them, needed a significant timetable recast. They didn't run through to Scotland, but did Leeds and Newcastle services.

There were only 22 Deltics, so plenty of Brush 4s had to join in the operation. One amusing rail magazine article of the time had the journalist ride down from Kings Cross to Doncaster on a Deltic, saying the timings could still be tightened a bit further, but waiting on Doncaster platform for the return trip, he, and doubtless his accompanying inspector, were gobsmacked when it ran in from Leeds, not even with a substitute Class 47, but with a Class 40! The poor old foreman at Holbeck must have been down to the dregs. It was apparently driven onward rather like the Class 27 used to be on the Edinburgh-Glasgow trains of the time, treating the controller just as an on/off switch between maximum (almost all the time) and off, did manage to get up to its rated 90mph, and lost some, but not a huge amount, of time back down the line.

I believe the speed limit for nonstop through Peterborough before the 1972 rebuild had always been 20mph, there was a reverse curve on the through lines at both ends of the platforms. Then one day after the reconstruction it was suddenly 100mph. Must have unnerved a few at first.


It's very roughly 100 miles for each of four stages in the 400 mile London to Edinburgh journey, and locos were changed at Grantham, York and Newcastle. The GNR did the first two, the NER on to Newcastle, and the NER and NBR shared operation for the last lap to Edinburgh. This is how relatively insignificant Grantham became a major loco changing point. It was halfway between Kings Cross and Leeds as well. 100 miles may not sound a lot nowadays before a loco change but crews more commonly stuck to their locos then, and did the round trip in a shift, so 200 miles out and back hard shovelling for the fireman was still a notable effort. There was extra pay I believe for steam loco crews for miles beyond about 120 in a shift, maybe an extra hour's pay for each extra 15 miles beyond this, in addition to the time they actually booked, so the crews were the elites of their depots.

Bear in mind that Mallard, when it did its record breaking run, was a Grantham engine (and for long afterwards). Gresley had personally selected it, after advice from his inspectors, as the absolute best of the A4s, and so it had to be specially worked up to Kings Cross to haul the special train.

Another great post, so thanks Taunton. :)

I didn't realise that A4's were based at Grantham. When did Grantham shed close? I was aware it existed but I thought it would have been used more in the earlier days and was maybe used for freight trains towards the end of steam. I always thought that the A4's and A3's etc. would have, if they weren't on a non stop train to Edinburgh, changed loco at York.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I believe the speed limit for nonstop through Peterborough before the 1972 rebuild had always been 20mph, there was a reverse curve on the through lines at both ends of the platforms. Then one day after the reconstruction it was suddenly 100mph. Must have unnerved a few at first.

It must have been very strange and definitely unsettling to see trains whizzing through at 100mph when everyone would have been used to seeing them crawl through at 20mph! Are there any other cases on the network that has seen such a large change in permanent speed restriction that you are aware of?
 

30907

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Cheers 30907, I wasn't aware that Stevenage was as new as that.

Do you know how often Retford was served in those days?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

Must have been very strange and definitely unsettling to see trains whizzing through at 100mph when everyone would have been used to seeing them crawl through at 20mph! Are there any other cases on the network that has seen such a large change in permanent speed restriction that you are aware of?

1. The two hourly semi fasts were just about it.

2. To clarify, the old Peterborough station is the two through platforms nearest the city - the through lines and the (first) down island were completely new. IIRC the LNER would have rebuilt the place sooner, but for the slump and war.

3. Grantham survived as an engine changing point into the 50s because the locos were run down and coal wasn't always good post war. But the other advantage of "country" sheds was that labour wasn't in such short supply. I don't know enough about the LNER to comment, but on the SR through Waterloo to Exeter engine workings were reintroduced in the early 1950s yet Salisbury still supplied top link locos.
 
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ryan125hst

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1. The two hourly semi fasts were just about it.

So about the same as now then! I wish they'd give Retford an hourly service as we seem to be the only station south of Newcastle on the ECML that isn't served hourly by either Virgin Trains or another TOC. The only other one I can think of is Chester-le-Street.

2. To clarify, the old Peterborough station is the two through platforms nearest the city - the through lines and the (first) down island were completely new. IIRC the LNER would have rebuilt the place sooner, but for the slump and war.

I didn't know about that! So it would have been just an up and a down platform originally? What were the through lines and the island platform built on? Was it a good yard?

3. Grantham survived as an engine changing point into the 50s because the locos were run down and coal wasn't always good post war. But the other advantage of "country" sheds was that labour wasn't in such short supply. I don't know enough about the LNER to comment, but on the SR through Waterloo to Exeter engine workings were reintroduced in the early 1950s yet Salisbury still supplied top link locos.

So from that, I guess that many engines did work through from London to Doncaster/York/Leeds or maybe beyond, but some did change at Grantham as well. Hopefully someone with more knowledge of the line will confirm for us.
 

43074

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So about the same as now then! I wish they'd give Retford an hourly service as we seem to be the only station south of Newcastle on the ECML that isn't served hourly by either Virgin Trains or another TOC. The only other one I can think of is Chester-le-Street.

Depends whether or not you count the Hull Trains service in that... Southbound departures are at 09:39 (HT), 10:39 (EC), 11:39 (HT), 12:40 (EC), 13:39 (HT), 14:41 (EC), then 16:19 and 16:41, whilst from Kings Cross you have 09:08, 09:48, 11:08, 11:48 etc so it is essentially an hourly service if you consider the Hull Trains service as well.
 
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