a couple of years away, East Midlands Railway (EMR) has needed additional rolling stock to fill the gap. Whilst the introduction of class 360s on the new EMR Connect services has helped by freeing up some class 222 Meridian’s, four former Hull Trains class 180s have been sourced to fill that gap for a couple of years.
With the aim of ending up in Derby by the evening, my choices for episode 3 of ‘Exploring the East Coast’ were to head south and eventually get an EMR service from St. Pancras to the Midlands or head north and make my way back down to Derby from Yorkshire. In a way I chose both, as to head north to Retford and Doncaster, I first headed south to London to catch the second Hull Trains service of the day out of the capital.
Following my exploration of Peterborough and a handful of stations towards London in my first ‘Exploring the East Coast’ adventure, my original plan had been to visit the remaining 18 between Hitchin and King’s Cross over the course of a few days before beginning to go north from Peterborough. However, as with all plans, this one went awry and my end destination for day two of ‘Exploring the East Coast’ changed, resulting in me heading for Grantham and Newark as opposed to the stations between Hitchin and Hatfield.
Running 393 miles between King’s Cross station in London and Edinburgh’s Waverly station north of the border, the East Coast Mainline (ECML) is one of Britain’s key north-south arteries. Built during the 1840s, the line has 51 stations and has 16 passenger and freight operators running services along it.
Back during the depths of lockdown, in line with the guidance at the time, we decided to make use of the good weather and head from Cambridgeshire to the Norfolk coast and spend a socially distanced day by the seaside.
Back in June, for a combination of reasons, I was away from work for a few weeks and with options for things to do still limited, we took the opportunity to explore some more of England.