Speed dating in north devon

The train was named to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V, and the first four A4s Nos 2509-12 carried names with a silver theme and emerged from Doncaster 'Plant' in a startling silver-grey livery to match the train set.Still going strong, Class A4 60021 Wild Swan passes Holgate station with the northbound 'Flying Scotsman' in the late Fifties.

Some magnificent smoke affects were to be seen as engines tackled this bank out of Leeds.

Her Class A4 60013 Dominion of New Zealand makes a spirited departure with the up 'White Rose for Kings Cross Steam engine crews on the non-stop Anglo-Scottish turns changed by means of the corridor tenders fitted to most Gresley Class A4 Pacifics, but the non-stop record was discontinued at the commencement of the EE Deltics (Class 55s) reign when a Newcastle stop was introduced for changing crews.

The Eastern Region immediately recognised its full potential, for having been denied ECML electrification the operating department was in urgent need of a more powerful diesel to substitute its earlier and less powerful EE Co Type 4 fleet.

Here the prototype awaits departure from Kings Cross with the 08.50 'White Rose' to Leeds on 7th July 1959.

Past Copley Hill shed - with on a half mile breather just beyond Wortley South Box.

This was followed by a further climb through Beeston Junction and Tingley Tunnel to Ardsley.

The widespread use of alloy in its construction led to a comparatively lightweight high rpm diesel engine which could be mounted on a Co-Co wheelbase.

Following a spell of duty on the LMR's WCML service between Euston and Liverpool (see LMR section below) Deltic was transferred to the East Coast Main Line based at Hornsey.

I recall seeing the Class A4s romping through Thirsk station on countless occasions, and I'll never forget the titled trains they hauled: 'The Talisman'; 'The Heart of Midlothian'; 'The Norseman'; the 'Tees-Tyne Pullman'; 'The Aberdonian'; 'The Flying Scotsman' - and, of course, 'The longest scheduled non-stop railway journey in the world…but wait! Driver Mc Cloud has seen a signal check and applies the brakes. The film sequences by cinematographer Billy Williams of 60017 Silver Fox at speed captures the whole drama perfectly, a great film to lift the nation's spirits during the immediate post-war era.

The A4 slows to a crawl; the tension mounts, the guard glances anxiously at his watch, but the signalman gives the 'all clear'. This excellent film is included on the BFI British Transport Films DVD compilation 'On and Off the Rails'…click(Above-Below) The mid-morning departures of both up and down 'Elizabethan's' from London Kings Cross and Edinburgh Waverley meant a tea time arrival at both English and Scottish capitals; a 393-mile non-stop journey of 6 hours 30 minutes with an average speed of a mile per minute.

When the Deltic fleet replaced the Class A4s on the Anglo-Scottish expresses the times between Kings Cross and Edinburgh were speeded up to those of the pre-war 'Coronation' streamliner expresses - 6 hours including a stop at Newcastle.

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