Four generations of trains lined up in Yorkshire on Sunday to make a historic journey marking more than 160 years of British rail history.
The four trains, representing the past, present, and future of Britain’s railway system, gathered on the East Coast Main Line at Tollerton, North Yorkshire, at 6 a.m. BST, before travelling to York. They journeyed in a staggered procession at a speed of up to 25 miles per hour (m.p.h.).
The four trains, from left to right in the photo above, were:
- The Flying Scotsman — the iconic British locomotive first built in 1923.
- The Virgin Azuma — Virgin’s new train on the East Coast Main Line, which launches in 2018. Built by Hitachi, it is billed as one of the most advanced trains in the UK and could reach speeds of 140 m.p.h.
- The HST (Class 43) and the InterCity 225 (Class 91) — both of which are part of Virgin’s existing fleet.
Hundreds gathered at York station to witness the procession, which was organised by Network Rail, Virgin Trains, Welcome to Yorkshire, the National Railway Museum, and Hitachi.
In a press release, Paul Kirkman, director of York’s National Railway Museum, which owns the Doncaster-built Flying Scotsman, said: “The East Coast Main Line has long been famed for speed and style.
“The four train lineup epitomises the evolution of the later generation of fast, elegant and stylish trains – all with a shared bloodline – that epitomise the history of the route from the 1850s to today.”