Is the 07:10 Leeds > Aberdeen the longest continually running train in the book?

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4SRKT

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As far back as I can remember there has been an HST running in this path or something very like it. The oldest timetable in which I can prove its existence is the 1985 book, where it departs Leeds at 07:30. I used this train regularly throughout my teens and early 20s, and was amazed to find that it still exists when I started travelling by train with work a couple years ago.

It's an anomoly now and always was: it's EC's only northbound working starting at Leeds, and was the only ECML HST working doing likewise in the 1980s. It has survived at least 56 timetable changes (and changes from one book to the next under BR were much more dramatic than they are now: so much for the 'innovation' of private enterprise ;)), the electrification and complete rehashing of the ECML, and privatisation. Maybe EC retain it as a sort of keepsake.

Whatever, it's a great train, especially for those of us travelling from WY to Scotland who would otherwise be suffering in a Vomiter or changing at York. Long may it continue!
 
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theblackwatch

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I recall discussing this with one or two people a while back and, as you mention, apart from the slight changes to the time, it has run for years! I'll dig out some pre 1985 timetables and see what I can find.
 

Welshman

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During part of its history it was called the "North Briton"

In my 1962 timetable it's shown as departing York at 9.46am, and going to Glasgow, and conveying a restaurant car.

At some stage it was started back from Leeds at the earlier time, diverted to Aberdeen and lost its Title. I can't remember when these things happened, but I seem to recall it was still called the "North Briton" during the early part of the period of its originating at Leeds, when the departure time of 9.15am seems to stick in my memory.
 

43106

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I've just looked in a copy of the May '74 - May '75 PTT I have, and it's not there. The nearest train is one starting from York, as follows...
York (d) 0715
Thirsk (d) 0742
Northallerton (d) 0754
Darlington (a) 0810
Darlington (d) 0814
Durham (a) 0834
Durham (d) 0836
Newcastle (a) 0854
Newcastle (d) 0900
Morpeth (d) 0919
Alnmouth (a) 0936
Alnmouth (d) 0937
Berwick-u-Tweed (a) 1003
Berwick-u-Tweed (d) 1005
Dunbar (d) 1035
Drem (d) 1048
Edinburgh (a) 1113
Edinburgh (d) 1140
Haymarket (d) 1144
Inverkeithing (a) 1159
Inverkeithing (d) 1200
Kirkcaldy (a) 1219
Kirkcaldy (d) 1219
Leuchars (a) 1248
Leuchars (d) 1248
Dundee (a) 1308
Dundee (d) 1309
Arbroath (a) 1329
Arbroath (d) 1329
Montrose (a) 1346
Montrose (d) 1346
Stonehaven (a) 1412
Stonehaven (d) 1412
Aberdeen (a) 1437

I believe that the Leeds service in question first came into existance when the HSTs were introduced (whenever that was), and has something to do with getting an HST to the right place at the right time. The first HST FROM LONDON to Aberdeen arrives at 1709. Before then, 2 HSTs have left Aberdeen for London, so the train from Leeds (arriving at A'deen at 1305) leaves for London at 1450. I believe that there are 2 HST workings from Kings Cross to Leeds. One of them forms the solitary Harrogate - Kings Cross service (there isn't a corresponding Kings Cross - Harrogate run - dunno why), and the other does the Leeds - Aberdeen run. Some lucky so-an-so with a relevant WTT should confirm and elaborate on my ramblings!
 

ainsworth74

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I believe that the Leeds service in question first came into existance when the HSTs were introduced

That would be logical as, of course, there is an HST depot at Neville Hill so if you're running York - Aberdeen with the set coming from Neville Hill you might as well start from Leeds!
 

rail-britain

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Can you check the early afternoon southbound Aberdeen - Kings Cross
From memory this was 13:55, but was pushed back to 14:55 when electrification was completed on the ECML
At the same time the three early morning departures were reduced to two
 

richw

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How long has the Penzance paddington and reverse night rivieras been running for? Likewise the London Scotland ones, don't believe there to be much change in their timetables as long as I remember.


****edit, just remembered the Cornish night riviera used to run to waterloo.
 

rail-britain

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Likewise the London Scotland ones, don't believe there to be much change in their timetables as long as I remember
There have been quite a few changes since the 1980s (the major one being the swap from Kings Cross to Euston) and then two further changes in the 1990s
In 1990 there used to be two Aberdeen sleepers, they were merged together
By 1999 all the Scottish sleepers were merged together to what operates now
 

Masboroughlad

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As far back as I can remember there has been an HST running in this path or something very like it. The oldest timetable in which I can prove its existence is the 1985 book, where it departs Leeds at 07:30. I used this train regularly throughout my teens and early 20s, and was amazed to find that it still exists when I started travelling by train with work a couple years ago.

It's an anomoly now and always was: it's EC's only northbound working starting at Leeds, and was the only ECML HST working doing likewise in the 1980s. It has survived at least 56 timetable changes (and changes from one book to the next under BR were much more dramatic than they are now: so much for the 'innovation' of private enterprise ;)), the electrification and complete rehashing of the ECML, and privatisation. Maybe EC retain it as a sort of keepsake.

Whatever, it's a great train, especially for those of us travelling from WY to Scotland who would otherwise be suffering in a Vomiter or changing at York. Long may it continue!

In the early days of privatisation, Virgin XC started running a cheeky Leeds to Edinburgh service literally a few minutes ahead of it. Don't think that lasted long!
 

Blindtraveler

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Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
In the early days of privatisation, Virgin XC started running a cheeky Leeds to Edinburgh service literally a few minutes ahead of it. Don't think that lasted long!



quite possibly because you could get a full restaurant breakfast on the origional run, something VT didnt do and this I think continued til the end of GNER. For added interest this train from memory has one of the longest daily booked diagrams for an EC HST set. Sure there round somewhere but from memory this set ends up back at LDS in the small hours having left for Scotland the morning before and then done a full ABD - KGX run.


Also of interest for Scottish travelers on a budget, if booked far enough ahead the AP's on this train can be similarly priced to another run to Scotland used by many on here which at short notice wins hands down on price.

The HST, owing to the calling patern at time of day is often full and standing from Berwick and Dunbar to waverley and is always so on its return again due to its running in the evening peek.
 

4SRKT

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Just checked the 1982-83 'bible', back then, it was the 07.45 Leeds-Edinburgh.

But as that predated my 1985 book, it's still been running for at least 27 years. Was it an HST in the 1982 book?

The Scottish sleepers now bear no resemblance at all to the service in 1985, or even a decade or so later. There have been so many route changes within Scotland that aren't always obvious from the timetable that continual running over the same route in [roughly] the same schedule and formations probably lasts no more than a few years. The Night Riviera is a good shout though, although the temporary diversion to Waterloo (of which I was unaware) disqualifies it.

The Flying Scotsman is out as it has sometimes terminated at Aberdeen and sometimes Edinburgh. How about the Irish Mail? This must be a contender running in roughly the same path for ever, and with no alternative terminating point than Holyhead.
 
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D6975

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I travelled on the 'North Briton' donkeys years ago, must have been just before HSTs took over. It was a Peak on Mk2s and was Leeds-Dundee at the time.
 

steamybrian

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I will nominate the 0005 Victoria- Brighton and Eastbourne.

For as long as I can remember into the 1960s the last train from London to the Sussex Coast was the midnight train splitting at Haywards Heath. Until the late 1980s the next train was the newspaper train with passenger coaches at around 0320 before the service restarted around 0500.
In the last 20 (plus?) years there have been additional overnight trains between London-Brighton but this semi fast train still runs just 5 minutes later still making the same stops.
 

theblackwatch

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Can you check the early afternoon southbound Aberdeen - Kings Cross
From memory this was 13:55, but was pushed back to 14:55 when electrification was completed on the ECML
At the same time the three early morning departures were reduced to two

The Winter 90/91 timetable lists the train as 13.55. In July/September 91 (when the full Electric service was introduced) it is shown as 14.55.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
But as that predated my 1985 book, it's still been running for at least 27 years. Was it an HST in the 1982 book?

The 1982 timetable didn't show motive power.

Incidentally, I've also dug out the Summer 89 timetable now, and back then the train was 07.05 Leeds-*Edinburgh*. The first through ECML train to Aberdeen was the 06.00 ex King's Cross (arriving Aberdeen 13.50) which returned on pretty much the current path (14.55 ex Aberdeen). Despite all the claims of a faster rail network, it took 7 minutes less to London back then that what the 14.50 departure does now. Progress? :|
 

yorkie

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One of them forms the solitary Harrogate - Kings Cross service (there isn't a corresponding Kings Cross - Harrogate run - dunno why)
There is a Kings Cross - Harrogate service departing at 1733.
Long gone are the days when we used to have HSTs pick up there to take us North!
It happens occasionally, for example I got a HST calling there in 2006, and I think more recently than that, due to engineering works resulting in a limited FCC service.
 

12CSVT

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Another timetable survivor from 1985 is the 20 minute frequency on the Euston - Watford DC lines departing Euston at 17, 37, and 57 minutes past the hour, despite two changes in rolling stock during this time (ie class 501s until 1986, 313s from 1986 to 2010 and 378s from 2010 onwards).
 

calc7

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Another timetable survivor from 1985 is the 20 minute frequency on the Euston - Watford DC lines departing Euston at 17, 37, and 57 minutes past the hour, despite two changes in rolling stock during this time (ie class 501s until 1986, 313s from 1986 to 2010 and 378s from 2010 onwards).

Have the end-to-end journey times changed much over the period?
 

rail-britain

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I am going to suggest the 09:00 Glasgow QS to Edinburgh, one of the few ScotRail Express services that has not been changed (some of the earlier ones were extended to Kings Cross, then back to Edinburgh)
 

4SRKT

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The 01:50 Fishguard Harbour > London Paddington HST ran for many years, AFAIK continuously until it ended. Its route wasn't consistent down the years though, sometimes reversing at Swansea, sometimes non-stop Llanelli - Cardiff, sometimes via Landore, sometimes via the District line.

Good to see the tradition of the boat train carrying on in that the replacement Sprinter to Swansea still leaves at 01:50.
 

LE Greys

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quite possibly because you could get a full restaurant breakfast on the origional run, something VT didnt do and this I think continued til the end of GNER. For added interest this train from memory has one of the longest daily booked diagrams for an EC HST set. Sure there round somewhere but from memory this set ends up back at LDS in the small hours having left for Scotland the morning before and then done a full ABD - KGX run.

Also of interest for Scottish travelers on a budget, if booked far enough ahead the AP's on this train can be similarly priced to another run to Scotland used by many on here which at short notice wins hands down on price.

The HST, owing to the calling patern at time of day is often full and standing from Berwick and Dunbar to waverley and is always so on its return again due to its running in the evening peek.

I've been on-board for the southbound leg many times, and will be again in a couple of weeks.

I think the North Briton was a steam-worked run originally, but I'm certain from yet another Peter Semmens book (Speed on the East Coast Main Line) that they tried to put the prototype HST on it, but decided against it because of some of the non-standard features of the power cars and the fact that there was not a spare. The set was broken up and re-used instead.
 
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quite possibly because you could get a full restaurant breakfast on the origional run, something VT didnt do and this I think continued til the end of GNER. For added interest this train from memory has one of the longest daily booked diagrams for an EC HST set. Sure there round somewhere but from memory this set ends up back at LDS in the small hours having left for Scotland the morning before and then done a full ABD - KGX run.



GNER withdrew the restaurant on this service a couple of years before they went. This train is actually the busiest service to leave Leeds as far as first class breakfast covers go, you can expect the train to be full in FC leaving Newcastle. A couple of years back, the same set was booked to work the service every day of the week (mon-fri) however that i believe is no longer the case.
 

4SRKT

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Although I used to ride this train in first class in BRdays I never used the restaurant. Second class only with the plebs for me these days!
 

jamesr

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Pretty sure the first train from Penzance to London Paddington has been fundamentally the same since I took an interest in railways in 1988. It's always had the same stopping pattern through Cornwall (always missed Camborne and Par, rare nowadays). If I remember rightly, it used to be 0521 from PZ, into Paddington at 0959. A stop at Taunton and the "post privatisation padding" has slowly eased it back to 0505 from PZ, with an extra stop at Reading.
 

Techniquest

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Blindtraveller: Unless it's changed in more modern times, it always used to be:

0710 Leeds to Aberdeen
1450 Aberdeen to Kings Cross
2330 Kings Cross to Leeds

Was a diagram I always fancied doing at the time of being mad on HSTs, these days I doubt I could survive it! Over 18 hours on that diagram for just 3 moves, crikey that would be nuts. I've done worse than that but with more moves before, but it was an effort...
 
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