After an enjoyable 36 hours in Newcastle (read about that next week), we were up relatively early to take the train on the first leg of our journey home, travelling from Newcastle to York with CrossCountry. With both Newcastle and York being major stops on the East Coast Mainline (ECML) there are numerous services that connect the two, with TransPennine Express, LNER and CrossCountry all proving regular services.
In the middle of May we were fortunate enough to get a couple of nights away from home and in true Flights and Times style I ensured this wasn’t just an ordinary trip away. Firstly, Beth didn’t know where we were going, other than it was three trains to get there and two to get back and, that our first change was at York. Having arrived there on an LNER service, we had a short wait before our next train arrived, a Grand Central service to Sunderland.
During my 90 minutes in Nottingham I hadn’t actually left the station and had managed to get some decent photos of both of East Midlands Railway’s (EMR) High Speed Trains (HSTs) in all their glory. Seemingly some enthusiasts were following the same schedule of me, as I noticed several of the same faces waiting to board the southbound service.
Lying between Euston, Midland and Pancras Roads, St. Pancras station once sat unloved with just a handful of services along the Midland Mainline (MML) using its impressive train shed. Seen as redundant by British Rail in the 1960s, the station was famously saved by a campaign by the late Sir John Betjeman whose statue now observes the magnificent roof inside the redeveloped station.
After a busy day of exploring the rails of Yorkshire, including a journey on one of TransPennine Express’ (TPE) new loco-hauled trains, I arrived back at York station about 20 minutes before my LNER service south. I had been slightly concerned about the risk of my last jaunt up to Yarm, however as my train back left Northallerton the LNER Azuma was still at Darlington, leaving me plenty of time to change.
With just eight minutes in York to buy my ticket and make my way to the remote platform four, I thought that my plan to undertake the East Yorkshire Round Robin was done for. Thankfully the excellent staff in the LNER Travel Centre sorted the ticket in just a couple of minutes and I just had time to grab a photo of my train before jumping on board.