Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
East Coast Main Line
- The main line between Kings Cross station in London and Waverley Station in Edinburgh, via Stevenage, Peterborough, Grantham, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne, Berwick-upon-Tweed and Dunbar;
- The line from Doncaster to Leeds, via Wakefield Westgate;
- The suburban branch line from North Berwick to Edinburgh, and
- The suburban branch line from London's Moorgate station to Stevenage, via Finsbury Park and the Hertford Loop through Hertford.
The line was originally built in piecemeal fashion by many small railway companies, but mergers and acquisitions led to only three companies controlling the route (north to south; the North British Railway, the North Eastern Railway and the Great Northern Railway). In 1860 the companies established the East Coast Joint Stock to run through services using common vehicles. In 1923 all three were grouped into the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER).
The ECML is one of the fastest railway lines in the UK, with most of the line rated at 125 mph (200 km/h). The InterCity 225 trains which serve the line would be capable of 225 km/h (140 mph) in normal service if the signalling were to be upgraded to handle the increased speed of traffic. They have even operated at speeds of up to 260 km/h in test runs. The high speeds are possible because the line goes through the flatter eastern areas of Great Britain, such as Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire which allow for a straight track. Most of the line is completely straight after Doncaster heading south. In contrast the West Coast Main Line has to traverse parts of the Peak District, the Trent Valley and the mountains of Cumbria, which means more bends, and a lower speed of 110 mph (178 km/h) (although this has been addressed in recent years by the introduction of Pendolino tilting trains).
The ECML has been the backdrop for a number of famous rail journeys and locomotives. The line was worked for many years by the famous steam locomotives "The Flying Scotsman", and "Mallard", the latter was officially declared the world's fastest steam locomotive on the Grantham - Peterborough stretch, a title it holds to this day. The steam locomotives disappeared in the early 1960s, being replaced by diesels, the most popular of these being the InterCity 125 or "HST" (High Speed Train), introduced in 1976.
GNER's services include regular services along the ECML from King's Cross to Leeds and Edinburgh. Other operators of passenger services on the line are:
- WAGN: suburban services between Kings Cross and Peterborough and between Moorgate and Stevenage through the Hertford Loop
- Hull Trains: between Kings Cross and Doncaster, before continuing to Hull
- Central Trains: between Grantham and Peterborough, part of the service that runs between Liverpool Lime Street and Norwich
- Virgin Trains: most cross-country services north of Sheffield are routed either via Leeds or Doncaster. Leeds trains use the ECML between Wakefield Westgate and Leeds and then again north of York. Doncaster trains use the ECML north of Doncaster. Services run to, and beyond, Edinburgh. Occasional services run from Doncaster to Leeds before rejoining the ECML at York
- Midland Mainline: between Doncaster and Leeds, part of services running to/from Sheffield, Leicester and London St Pancras
- TransPennine Express: between York and Newcastle and between York and Northallerton before they divert off the ECML to Middlesbrough
- Northern Rail: suburban services from Doncaster to Leeds and Morpeth to Newcastle and infrequent services between Newcastle and Darlington that continue to Middlesbrough and Saltburn
- First ScotRail: services between Edinburgh and North Berwick
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details