HDL English Electric Echo railtour

Saturday 18 September 2010

This article was closed on Saturday 23 October 2010.

[PHOTO: Train approaching under wires: 68kB]

Above: The English Electric Echo railtour passing Holme, between Huntingdon and Peterborough on the East Coast Main Line. Photo by Ian McDonald.

Hastings Diesels Limited’s 45th public railtour was from Hastings to Skegness in Lincolnshire.

The tour picked up at stations from Hastings via Tonbridge, Bromley South, Kensington Olympia and Finsbury Park; it was routed up the East Coast Main Line as far as Peterborough, then via Spalding to Sleaford. The destinations offered were Boston (for Boston Stump), Wainfleet (home to the Batemans Brewery and its visitor’s centre, and the seaside resort of Skegness. The return leg joined the East Coast Main Line at Grantham.

The train ran fault-free and largely to time; it was 10 minutes early at Boston on the outward leg, and at one point about 8 minutes down on the return leg after awaiting clear signals at a junction. The train’s maximum speed of 75mph was attained and held for long periods on the East Coast, but as per GPS readings this was not exceeded.

Historical data

The train was formed thus: 60118-60501-69337-70262-60529-60116, with motor coach 60118 Tunbridge Wells leading on departure from Hastings. Because of a reversal at Sleaford on the outward journey but not on the return, the train was turned round in the course of the day’s outing and returned south with 60118 still leading.

The publicity leaflet, final timings, and map of the railtour route which is optimised for printing on A4 paper, remain available.

Cab video footage

Video footage from a forward-facing camera mounted in the cab has been made available in a separate news-article.


[PHOTO: Train and station in morning sunlight: 59kB]

Above: Motor coach Tunbridge Wells catches the early morning sunshine at Tonbridge station.

[PHOTO: Train entering station beneath bridge: 57kB]

Above: The railtour arriving at Bromley South. Photo by Neil Walkling.

[PHOTO: Train approaching in urban setting: 69kB]

Above: At around 10am, our train is seen powering along under the wires on the East Coast Main Line past Welwyn Garden City station. Photograph by Greg Beecroft.

[PHOTO: Train approaching in countryside: 58kB]

Above: In this fine view, 1001 is seen about 2 miles prior to passing Spalding; the location is an occupation crossing just south of South Drove LC, and one of the Deeping St. Nicholas wind-farm turbines can be seen at far right. The jointed 60-foot rail lengths are apparent in this photograph by David Pond.

[PHOTO: Train approaching station over level crossing: 77kB]

Above: Our train approaches Boston station. It is passing Boston West Street Junction signal-box and passing over the level crossing of the same name. A trailing crossover is provided for trains turning back towards Nottingham. Photo by Michael Thomas.

[PHOTO: Train with tower in distance: 49kB]

Above: Our 53-year-old train meets the 500-year-old tower of Boston Stump. Photo by Neil Walkling.

[PHOTO: Train in picturesque view of station: 44kB]

Above: The weather behaved perfectly for the many folk visiting the seaside town of Skegness.

[PHOTO: side elevation of motor-coach: 61kB]

Above & below: Motor coach 60116 Mountfield nearest the buffers at Skegness, shortly after arrival. Photos by Neil Walkling.

[PHOTO: Train at station: 65kB]

[PHOTO: Trains arrived at station: 44kB]

Above & below: 1001 and a Sprinter at Skegness. Photos by Andy Armitage.

[PHOTO: Train at picturesque station: 48kB]

[PHOTO: Train and semaphore signals: 46kB]

Above: Boston’s upper-quadrant Up Starting sempaphore signal is raised to route our train onto the 3½-mile single-track section on the way back towards Hubberts Bridge.

[PHOTO: Train approaching at dusk under wires: 59kB]

Above & below: As dusk set in, Ian McDonald captured our train roaring through Arlesey on the East Coast Main Line.

[PHOTO: Train receding at dusk under wires: 63kB]

[PHOTO: Train at lit station by night: 61kB]

Above: At Bromley South on the return leg of the trip. Photo by Neil Walkling.