This, a tribute to the final HST services on the East Coast Main Line after forty-one years. The last ever HST into King’s Cross arrived at 15.09pm on 21st December and large crowds are in attendance to see this historic moment. The train had come from Leeds where it had left at 11am, and this was the fourth and final day of a farewell tour that included Aberdeen, the line to Inverness outwards via Dyce and Huntly and back via the Highland main line.
This is more of a photographic record, I’m keeping the text to a minimum this time. There’s lot of photographs however! There was plenty of HST coverage earlier this year when the last Inter-City 125s departed from Paddington. I covered that here and here.
I might do a second post on this particular occasion at Kings Cross with some other stuff not covered in this one.
The train arriving at King’s Cross at 15.09pm on 21st December 2019.
Most people use smartphones now! I have one but its a 2012 model and its pretty useless! Strangely it does do a quite good video though!
The HST replacement service! The brand new LNER Azumas which were launched earlier this year – and the very reason the HSTs are being retired. The guy with grey hair on the platform is Sir Kenneth Grange.
And here he is in close up. Sir Kenneth Grange being interviewed. He is of course the person who designed the High Speed Trains.
The drivers from Neville Hill and Craigentinny who shared duties on today’s final run – in a line-up for the cameras.
Tim Dunn on board the train – looking very smart!
You might think I’ve not bothered with more pictures of the HST itself! I have! The next photograph is definitely one of those!
A view of the front of the HST showing its fleet number.
The inside of the standard class section, showing one of the many 1970s era posters throughout the train featuring the early days of Inter-City 125.
I was surprised to find the guards compartment had a nice photo mural along one side featuring the Scottish Highlands! The wires on the wall are the track clips.
There was lots of merchandise on offer ranging from badges to books to diaries and so on! A clothes range was also on offer in the form of these smart tops with the ‘Let’s Go Round Again’ motto used for this final series of HST trips.
See what I mean! Sweets, can openers, key rings, you name it they had it! I’ve included someone’s foot in the picture thus this scene can be described as footage – rather than a photograph!
I dont know how much money changed hands on this occasion, but a good bit of it was going to charity anyway and I’m sure they raised a lot.
By the way some things were free. Most of the Let’s Go Round Again stuff wasnt, but there was some stuff such as the paper cups and train destination labels which were given away free. I dont know why that was, perhaps it was these were the sort of perishable stuff, not being expected to last unlike the other stuff?
Enthusiast pleased with his free collection of paper cups with the Let’s Go Round Again logo!
Another enthusiast – looking pleased he got a bunch of free train window destination labels for free! Some of these featured The Flying Scotsman service.
And now for something completely different (well sort of!)
Here’s an alternative view of the front of the train!
And a low-slung shot of the front and the fleet number! So I have both ends taken in this particular style!
The drivers cab! The part of the train that makes it go! Its a modern style layout however it hasn’t changed that much since the HST was introduced in 1976. It has been very practical though and that’s why its been retained more or less in its original form.
More enthusiasts looking for their share of Let’s Go Round Again merchandise!
And of course there were photographs, thousands and thousands no doubt taken in this one hour the train stood at King’s Cross!
Some of the staff wore 1970s uniform and here’s one, looking down at the train’s Western region numbering and the plaque denoting the trains were refurbished in 2007 by Brush Traction.
The quality of the paintwork done on the train set was fantastic. Practically a perfect job! If you want to know who did this excellent work it was Heritage Painting of Blackburn. Their Twitter time-line currently describes some of the work and design that went into this original 1970s #InterCity125 livery.
Fantastic quality of paintwork! The lettering is exquisite and the gloss is so perfect its almost like a mirror!
The HST was adorned with these very nice Let’s Go Round Again posters.
It wasn’t just the posters, but everything – the tickets, the timetables, the menus, the tariffs, the napkins, the entire buffet even, was adorned with this motto!
Here’s the train’s buffet with all the Let’s Go Round Again motto. The top of the counter had a huge one but it cant be seen here because they were packing up everything. I however did see a photo of the counter on social media somewhere…
Tim Dunn certainly had brought along quite a few model HST’s with him for the journey! Here’s one of his sets – its the latest Hornby HST release! A very lucky man!
There is a competition to win a vintage Hornby 125 set and other memorabilia stuff related to HSTs. If you want to enter the draw and win the vintage HST set (it consists of two power cars and a Mk II carriage) here’s the link. The closing date is 31st January 2020.
And here’s Tim with Dr David Turner, who was just about to leave the station hence the handshake!
This guy is Richard, the LNER’s catering manager! He was responsible for the four days of rail trips and ensuring everyone was well fed, food supplies were maintained, the restaurant and buffet facilities running well and the rest of it! It of course meant he had to arrange for extra supplies at different stages along the routes taken by the train over the past four days.
This is Sherren, one of the platform staff at King’s Cross. I liked her Xmas lights hair! By the way she was the only one the whole afternoon who could communicate with me and understand everything I was saying. Fantastic!
The Inter-City 125 only stayed at King’s Cross for just over an hour. It left for Edinburgh at 16.15 and lots of people were on the platforms to see it depart.
One of the HST drivers walking along the platform with his manager as he proceeded to take up duties driving the last HST ever out of The Cross. We saw the driver in the line-up which I photographed and showed earlier.
There were two drivers on this final run of course, the other I didn’t get a very good photograph of! I didn’t get a photograph of the actual departure either – that was because I took a video instead. I may upload it sometime. But for now the next and last picture is the HST about a minute before it hooted and departed for the very last time.
Our Inter-City 125 about to depart for the last time. 16.15pm, 21st December 2019.