London North Eastern Railway (LNER) have confirmed that they will be putting one of its famous class 43 HST sets back into its original livery. The engine chosen for this special moment will be 43302.
43302 is the Power car selected for the special livery (C) Geof Sheppard
43302 was the HST power car which set the diesel world record for a highest top speed of 148.5 MPH on the 1st of November 1987.
43302 along with one other power car and 7 MK3 carriages will receive the same livery as Great Western Railway (GWR) did with 43002 Sir Kenneth Grange.
However unlike GWR LNER will be doing a whole complete set to ensure that the livery is full and to the highest standard LNER is working with the National Railway Museum at York which is now the home of 43002.
The train once complete with its new livery will be embarking on a farewell tour from the 18th and 21st of December.
The tour will be benefitting two charities The Samaritans, and The Calm Zone dates are listed below but are however subject to change:
18th of December: Edinburgh to Aberdeen
19th of December: Aberdeen to Newcastle via Inverness
20th of December: Newcastle to Leeds via York
21st of December: Leeds to London Kings Cross
The HST sets have been in service now since 1976 and over the past year have been slowly retired from primary mainline services first with GWR and now with LNER both Train Operator Companies opted to go with much more modern Bi-mode class 80x trains called IET (GWR) and Azuma’s (LNER).
Scotrail HST in a hybrid livery after being transferred from GWR (C) Geof Sheppard
The HST’s meanwhile are going to be used in Scotland for local long distance stopping service where they will operate as shorter 2+4 sets (2 power cars and 4 MK3 carriages in between).
Some will also see usage down the south of England with GWR who are also using 2+4 sets but for marketing purposes call them castle sets. Just like with Scotrail these sets will be used for extended-distance stopping services between Cardiff and Penzance.
The new trains will prove cost-effective and also decrease journey times. However, railfans and members of the public alike have already expressed how much they will miss the HST and MK3 carriages which offer a more significant amount of room than on any modern train.