East Coast Main Line
Overview
The East Coast Main Line (ECML) is a 393 miles (632.5 km) long electrified high-speed railway link between London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Peterborough
Peterborough
Peterborough is a cathedral city and unitary authority area in the East of England, with an estimated population of in June 2007. For ceremonial purposes it is in the county of Cambridgeshire. Situated north of London, the city stands on the River Nene which flows into the North Sea...

, Doncaster
Doncaster
Doncaster is a town in South Yorkshire, England, and the principal settlement of the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster. The town is about from Sheffield and is popularly referred to as "Donny"...

, Wakefield
Wakefield
Wakefield is the main settlement and administrative centre of the City of Wakefield, a metropolitan district of West Yorkshire, England. Located by the River Calder on the eastern edge of the Pennines, the urban area is and had a population of 76,886 in 2001....

, Leeds
Leeds
Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

, York
York
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence...

, Darlington
Darlington
Darlington is a market town in the Borough of Darlington, part of the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It lies on the small River Skerne, a tributary of the River Tees, not far from the main river. It is the main population centre in the borough, with a population of 97,838 as of 2001...

, Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

 and Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

. It is classed as a high-speed railway because most of it meets the speed criterion of 125 mph (200 km/h).

The route forms a key artery on the eastern side of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 and is broadly paralleled by the A1 trunk road. It links London, the South East and East Anglia
East Anglia
East Anglia is a traditional name for a region of eastern England, named after an ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom, the Kingdom of the East Angles. The Angles took their name from their homeland Angeln, in northern Germany. East Anglia initially consisted of Norfolk and Suffolk, but upon the marriage of...

 with Yorkshire, the North East Regions and Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

.
Encyclopedia
The East Coast Main Line (ECML) is a 393 miles (632.5 km) long electrified high-speed railway link between London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Peterborough
Peterborough
Peterborough is a cathedral city and unitary authority area in the East of England, with an estimated population of in June 2007. For ceremonial purposes it is in the county of Cambridgeshire. Situated north of London, the city stands on the River Nene which flows into the North Sea...

, Doncaster
Doncaster
Doncaster is a town in South Yorkshire, England, and the principal settlement of the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster. The town is about from Sheffield and is popularly referred to as "Donny"...

, Wakefield
Wakefield
Wakefield is the main settlement and administrative centre of the City of Wakefield, a metropolitan district of West Yorkshire, England. Located by the River Calder on the eastern edge of the Pennines, the urban area is and had a population of 76,886 in 2001....

, Leeds
Leeds
Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

, York
York
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence...

, Darlington
Darlington
Darlington is a market town in the Borough of Darlington, part of the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It lies on the small River Skerne, a tributary of the River Tees, not far from the main river. It is the main population centre in the borough, with a population of 97,838 as of 2001...

, Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

 and Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

. It is classed as a high-speed railway because most of it meets the speed criterion of 125 mph (200 km/h).

The route forms a key artery on the eastern side of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 and is broadly paralleled by the A1 trunk road. It links London, the South East and East Anglia
East Anglia
East Anglia is a traditional name for a region of eastern England, named after an ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom, the Kingdom of the East Angles. The Angles took their name from their homeland Angeln, in northern Germany. East Anglia initially consisted of Norfolk and Suffolk, but upon the marriage of...

 with Yorkshire, the North East Regions and Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. It also carries key commuter flows for the north side of London. It is therefore important to the economic health of a number of areas of the country. It also handles cross-country, commuter and local passenger services, and carries heavy tonnages of freight traffic. The route has ELRs
Engineers line reference
An Engineers' line reference is a three or four-character code used in the British rail network to refer to a section of a track or route. These references are unique across the whole rail network, allowing identification of any part of the network...

 ECM1 - ECM9.

Route definition and description

The Network Rail
Network Rail
Network Rail is the government-created owner and operator of most of the rail infrastructure in Great Britain .; it is not responsible for railway infrastructure in Northern Ireland...

 definition of the ECML includes five separate lines:
  • The main line between London King's Cross and Edinburgh Waverley
    Edinburgh Waverley railway station
    Edinburgh Waverley railway station is the main railway station in the Scottish capital Edinburgh. Covering an area of over 25 acres in the centre of the city, it is the second-largest main line railway station in the United Kingdom in terms of area, the largest being...

     stations, via Stevenage
    Stevenage railway station
    Stevenage railway station serves the town of Stevenage in Hertfordshire, England. The station is 27¼ miles north of London Kings Cross on the East Coast Main Line. Stevenage is managed and served by First Capital Connect...

    , Peterborough
    Peterborough railway station
    Peterborough railway station serves the city of Peterborough, England. It is located approximately north of London Kings Cross on the East Coast Main Line...

    , Grantham
    Grantham railway station
    Grantham railway station serves the town of Grantham in Lincolnshire, England and lies on the East Coast Main Line north of London Kings Cross.-Description:Junctions near the town also connect to branches to Nottingham, and to Sleaford and Skegness...

    , Newark, Retford
    Retford railway station
    Retford railway station serves the town of Retford in Nottinghamshire, England. and is 223 km north of London Kings Cross and 28 km south of Doncaster on the East Coast Main Line...

    , Doncaster
    Doncaster railway station
    Doncaster railway station serves the town of Doncaster, in South Yorkshire, England. It is situated on the East Coast Main Line north of London Kings Cross, and is about five minutes walk from Doncaster town centre. The station is managed by East Coast...

    , York
    York railway station
    York railway station is a main-line railway station in the city of York, England. It lies on the East Coast Main Line north of London's King's Cross station towards Edinburgh's Waverley Station...

    , Darlington
    Darlington railway station
    Darlington railway station, also known as Darlington Bank Top, is the main railway station for the town of Darlington, in the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. The station is located on the East Coast Main Line north of London Kings Cross....

    , Durham
    Durham railway station
    Durham railway station serves the city of Durham on the East Coast Main Line. The railway station is managed by East Coast. Despite its small functional capacity the station is a principal stop on the East Coast Main Line and is called at by many intercity services travelling the route.The travel...

    , Newcastle
    Newcastle railway station
    Newcastle railway station , is the mainline station of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, England and is a principal stop on the East Coast Main Line. It opened in 1850 and is a Grade I listed building...

    , Berwick-upon-Tweed
    Berwick-upon-Tweed railway station
    Berwick-upon-Tweed railway station is a railway station which serves the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland. It is located on the East Coast Main Line, 335 miles north of London Kings Cross and 55 miles south of Edinburgh Waverley...

     and Dunbar
    Dunbar railway station
    Dunbar railway station serves the town of Dunbar in East Lothian, Scotland. It is located on the East Coast Main Line and is a single platform station...

    ;
  • The Doncaster branch of the Wakefield Line
    Wakefield Line
    The Wakefield line is the name given to one of the rail services in the West Yorkshire Metro/South Yorkshire P.T.E. area of northern England. The service connects Leeds and Wakefield with Sheffield and Doncaster. The section of the line between Leeds and Doncaster forms part of the East Coast Main...

    , between Doncaster and Leeds;
  • The North Berwick branch
    North Berwick Line
    The North Berwick Line is a railway line linking Edinburgh with North Berwick in Scotland. The route follows the East Coast Main Line as far as Drem where it then branches to the north....

     from Drem
    Drem railway station
    Drem railway station serves the village of Drem in East Lothian, from the seaside town of North Berwick in Scotland. It is located on the East Coast Main Line east of Edinburgh Waverley...

     to North Berwick
    North Berwick railway station
    North Berwick railway station is a railway station serving the seaside town of North Berwick in East Lothian, Scotland. It is the terminus of the Edinburgh to North Berwick Line, 36 km east of .- History :...

  • The Northern City Line
    Northern City Line
    The Northern City Line is a railway line from Moorgate to Finsbury Park in London, once part of the Great Northern Electrics line. It should not be confused with the City branch of the Northern line, nor with the North London Line...

     from Finsbury Park
    Finsbury Park station
    Finsbury Park Station is a busy transport interchange in North London. The interchange consists of an interconnected National Rail station, London Underground station and two bus stations. The main entrances are by the eastern bus station on Station Place...

     to Moorgate
    Moorgate station
    Moorgate station is a central London railway terminus and London Underground station on Moorgate in the City of London; it provides National Rail services by First Capital Connect for Hertford, Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth and also serves the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan Lines and...

  • The Hertford Loop
    Hertford Loop Line
    The Hertford Loop Line is a branch of the East Coast Main Line, providing a commuter route to London for Hertford and other Hertfordshire towns...

     from Alexandra Palace
    Alexandra Palace railway station
    Alexandra Palace railway station is in the London Borough of Haringey in north London, and is in Travelcard Zone 3. The station, and all trains serving it, are operated by First Capital Connect...

     to Stevenage


In addition to the formal Network Rail definition, the ECML is sometimes regarded as extending beyond Edinburgh Waverley to Aberdeen
Aberdeen railway station
Aberdeen railway station is the main railway station in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is the busiest railway station in Scotland north of the major cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.- History :...

, running mostly right on the east coast via Kirkcaldy
Kirkcaldy railway station
Kirkcaldy Railway Station is a railway station in the town of Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. The station is managed by First ScotRail and is on the Fife Circle Line and principal NXEC mainline, north east of . British Transport Police maintain a small office on Platform 1.The station is located on...

, Dundee
Dundee railway station
Dundee railway station serves the city of Dundee on the east coast of Scotland. The station has two through platforms and two terminal platforms...

 and Arbroath
Arbroath railway station
Arbroath railway station serves the town of Arbroath in Angus, Scotland. The station is east of Dundee on the line between Dundee and Aberdeen.- History :There have been three stations called "Arbroath", two of which closed in 1848...

. North of Edinburgh it includes the red cantilever
Cantilever
A cantilever is a beam anchored at only one end. The beam carries the load to the support where it is resisted by moment and shear stress. Cantilever construction allows for overhanging structures without external bracing. Cantilevers can also be constructed with trusses or slabs.This is in...

 Forth Bridge, and at Dundee the curved Tay Bridge
Tay Rail Bridge
The Tay Bridge is a railway bridge approximately two and a quarter miles long that spans the Firth of Tay in Scotland, between the city of Dundee and the suburb of Wormit in Fife ....

, both crossing wide river estuaries.

The Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Central
Glasgow Central station
Glasgow Central is the larger of the two present main-line railway terminals in Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland. The station was opened by the Caledonian Railway on 31 July 1879 and is currently managed by Network Rail...

 via Carstairs
Carstairs railway station
Carstairs railway station in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, is a major junction station on the West Coast Main Line , situated close to the point at which the lines from London Euston to Glasgow Central and Edinburgh diverge...

 and Motherwell
Motherwell railway station
Motherwell railway station serves Motherwell in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. It lies on the West Coast Main Line, and is served also by Argyle Line trains of the Glasgow suburban railway network. It is the penultimate stop on the northbound WCML before Glasgow. There are four platforms of various...

 line is officially part of the West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
The West Coast Main Line is the busiest mixed-traffic railway route in Britain, being the country's most important rail backbone in terms of population served. Fast, long-distance inter-city passenger services are provided between London, the West Midlands, the North West, North Wales and the...

 (WCML) route, but is often considered part of the ECML because several East Coast
East Coast (train operating company)
East Coast is a British train operating company running high-speed passenger services on the East Coast Main Line between London, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland...

 services from King's Cross to Glasgow Central use this section on a daily basis, although the WCML is the direct route from London to Glasgow.

History

The line was built by three railway companies, each serving their own area but with the intention of linking up to form the through route that became the East Coast Main Line. From north to south they were
  • the North British Railway
    North British Railway
    The North British Railway was a Scottish railway company that was absorbed into the London and North Eastern Railway at the Grouping in 1923.-History:...

    , from Edinburgh to Berwick-on-Tweed, completed in 1846,
  • the North Eastern Railway
    North Eastern Railway (UK)
    The North Eastern Railway , was an English railway company. It was incorporated in 1854, when four existing companies were combined, and was absorbed into the London and North Eastern Railway at the Grouping in 1923...

     from Berwick-on-Tweed to Shaftholme
    Shaftholme
    Shaftholme is a small hamlet in South Yorkshire, England that is located half a mile north of Bentley and two miles north of Doncaster....

    ; the North Eastern Railway was substantially complete in 1871 when the company combined parts of several local railways and built a section to form a direct through route, and
  • the Great Northern Railway
    Great Northern Railway (Great Britain)
    The Great Northern Railway was a British railway company established by the Great Northern Railway Act of 1846. On 1 January 1923 the company lost its identity as a constituent of the newly formed London and North Eastern Railway....

     from Shaftholme to Kings Cross, completed in 1850.


The boundary between the NER and the GNR was an end-on junction, famously described as in "a ploughed field" at Shaftholme, some way north of Doncaster.

Realising that through journeys were an important part of their business, the companies established special rolling stock in 1860 on a collaborative basis; it was called the "East Coast Joint Stock".

In 1923
1923 in rail transport
-January events:* January 1 – All major railways in Great Britain are amalgamated into the "Big Four" companies, the Great Western Railway, London and North Eastern Railway, London, Midland and Scottish Railway and Southern Railway, under terms of Railways Act 1921....

 the three companies were grouped into the London and North Eastern Railway
London and North Eastern Railway
The London and North Eastern Railway was the second-largest of the "Big Four" railway companies created by the Railways Act 1921 in Britain...

 (LNER).

Numerous alterations to short sections of the original route have taken place, the most notable being the opening of the King Edward VII Bridge
King Edward VII Bridge
The King Edward VII Bridge is a railway bridge spanning the River Tyne between Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead, in North East England.-History:...

 in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1906 and the Selby diversion, built to by-pass anticipated mining subsidence from the Selby coalfield and a bottleneck at Selby station. The Selby diversion was opened in 1983 and diverged from the original ECML at Temple Hirst, north of Doncaster, and joined the Leeds to York line at Colton Junction.
The ECML has been the backdrop for a number of famous rail journeys and locomotives. The line was worked for many years by Pacific
4-6-2
4-6-2, in the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, represents the wheel arrangement of four leading wheels on two axles , six powered and coupled driving wheels on three axles, and two trailing wheels on one axle .These locomotives are also known as Pacifics...

 locomotives designed by Gresley
Nigel Gresley
Sir Herbert Nigel Gresley was one of Britain's most famous steam locomotive engineers, who rose to become Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London and North Eastern Railway . He was the designer of some of the most famous steam locomotives in Britain, including the LNER Class A1 and LNER Class A4...

, including the famous steam locomotives "Flying Scotsman
LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman
The LNER Class A3 Pacific locomotive No. 4472 Flying Scotsman was built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway at Doncaster Works to a design of H.N. Gresley...

" and "Mallard
LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard
Number 4468 Mallard is a London and North Eastern Railway Class A4 4-6-2 Pacific steam locomotive built at Doncaster, England in 1938. While in other respects a relatively typical member of its class, it is historically significant for being the holder of the official world speed record for steam...

". Mallard achieved a world record speed for a steam locomotive, at 126 miles per hour (56.3 m/s) and this record was never beaten. It made the run on the Grantham-to-Peterborough section, on the descent of Stoke Bank.
Steam locomotives were replaced by Diesel electrics in the early 1960s, when the purpose-built Deltic locomotive was developed by English Electric
English Electric
English Electric was a British industrial manufacturer. Founded in 1918, it initially specialised in industrial electric motors and transformers...

. The prototype was successful and a fleet of 22 locomotives was built, to handle all the important express traffic. The Class 55
British Rail Class 55
The British Rail Class 55 is a class of diesel locomotive built in 1961 and 1962 by English Electric. They were designed for the high-speed express passenger services on the East Coast Main Line between and Edinburgh. They gained the name "Deltic" from the prototype locomotive, DP1 Deltic, which...

 were powered by two engines originally developed for fast torpedo boat purposes, and the configuration of the engines led to the Deltic name. Their characteristic throaty exhaust roar and chubby body outline made them unmistakable in service. The class 55 was for a time the most powerful diesel locomotive in service in Britain, at 3300 hp.

It was just after the Deltics were introduced that the first sections of the East Coast Main Line were upgraded to officially allow 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h) running. The first length to be cleared for the new higher speed was a 17 miles (27.4 km) stretch between Peterborough and Grantham on the 15 June 1965, the second was 12 miles (19.3 km) between Grantham and Newark.

As the demand for higher speed intensified, the Deltics were eventually superseded by the High Speed Train
InterCity 125
The InterCity 125 was the brand name of British Rail's High Speed Train fleet. The InterCity 125 train is made up of two power cars, one at each end of a fixed formation of Mark 3 carriages, and is capable of , making the train the fastest diesel-powered locomotive in regular service in the...

 (HST), introduced between 1976 and 1981.

A prototype of the HST, the British Rail Class 43 (HST)
British Rail Class 43 (HST)
The British Rail Class 43 is the TOPS classification used for the InterCity 125 High Speed Train power cars, built by BREL from 1975 to 1982....

 achieved 143 mph (63.9 m/s) on the line in 1973. Current UK legislation requires in-cab signalling
Cab signalling
Cab signalling is a railway safety system that communicates track status information to the cab, crew compartment or driver's compartment of a locomotive, railcar or multiple unit, where the train driver or engine driver can see the information....

 for speeds of over 125 mph which is the primary reason preventing the InterCity 225
InterCity 225
The InterCity 225 is a locomotive-hauled domestic train in the United Kingdom, comprising a Class 91 electric locomotive, nine Mark 4 coaches and a Driving Van Trailer...

 train-sets from operating at their design speed of 140 mph (225 km/h) in normal service.

A secondary factor was that the signalling technology of the time was insufficiently advanced to allow detection of two broken rails on the line on which the train was operating.

Before the present in-cab regulations came in, British Rail
British Rail
British Railways , which from 1965 traded as British Rail, was the operator of most of the rail transport in Great Britain between 1948 and 1997. It was formed from the nationalisation of the "Big Four" British railway companies and lasted until the gradual privatisation of British Rail, in stages...

 experimented with 140 mph running by introducing a fifth, flashing green signalling aspect
British railway signals
Modern British signalling is based on a two, three, and four aspect colour light system using non-permissive block rules. It is a basic progression of the original semaphore signalling that can still be found on many secondary lines...

 on track between New England North and Stoke Tunnel. The fifth aspect is not observable in normal service and appears when the next signal is showing a green (or another flashing green) aspect and the signal section is clear which ensures that there is sufficient braking distance
Braking distance
Braking distance refers to the distance a vehicle will travel from the point where its brakes are fully applied to when it comes to a complete stop...

 to bring a train to a stand from 140 mph. Locomotives have operated on the ECML at speeds of up to 161.7 mph (260.2 km/h) in test runs.

The ECML was electrified
Railway electrification in Great Britain
Railway electrification in Great Britain started towards of the 19th century. A great range of voltages have been used in the intervening period using both overhead lines and third rails, however the most common standard for mainline services is now 25 kV AC using overhead lines and the...

 in the late 1980s using state money. The electrification work began in 1985 and the initial section between King's Cross and Leeds went into operational trials in 1988. The full electrification was completed in late 1990, and the current InterCity 225
InterCity 225
The InterCity 225 is a locomotive-hauled domestic train in the United Kingdom, comprising a Class 91 electric locomotive, nine Mark 4 coaches and a Driving Van Trailer...

 rolling stock was introduced.

Infrastructure

The line is mainly four tracks
Quadruple track
Quadruple track railway consists of four parallel tracks. On a quad-track line, two tracks are used in each direction. It is also sometimes called four-track railway....

 from London to Stoke Tunnel, south of Grantham
Grantham
Grantham is a market town within the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England. It bestrides the East Coast Main Line railway , the historic A1 main north-south road, and the River Witham. Grantham is located approximately south of the city of Lincoln, and approximately east of Nottingham...

, except for two twin-track
Double track
A double track railway usually involves running one track in each direction, compared to a single track railway where trains in both directions share the same track.- Overview :...

 sections; the first of these is near Welwyn North Station as it crosses the Digswell Viaduct and passes through two tunnels, the second is between Huntingdon and Peterborough near 'Stilton Fen'. North of Grantham the route is twin track except for four-track sections at Retford
Retford railway station
Retford railway station serves the town of Retford in Nottinghamshire, England. and is 223 km north of London Kings Cross and 28 km south of Doncaster on the East Coast Main Line...

 around Doncaster, between Colton Junction (which is south of York), Thirsk
Thirsk railway station
Thirsk railway station serves the town of Thirsk in North Yorkshire, England. The station is north of York on the East Coast Main Line. The station is about outside the town centre and is actually on the edge of the village of Carlton Miniott....

 and Northallerton
Northallerton
Northallerton is an affluent market town and civil parish in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, England. It lies in the Vale of Mowbray and at the northern end of the Vale of York. It has a population of 15,741 according to the 2001 census...

, and another at Newcastle.

The main route is electrified along the full route and only the line between Leeds
Leeds
Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

 and York
York
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence...

 (Neville Hill Depot to Colton Junction) is non-electrified.

With most the of the line rated for 125 mph (55.9 m/s) operation, the ECML was the fastest main line in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 until the opening of High Speed 1. These relatively high speeds are possible because much of the ECML travels on fairly straight track on the flatter, eastern regions of England, through Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire is a county in the east of England. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders...

 and Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west...

, though there are significant speed restrictions (due to curvature) particularly North of Darlington and between Doncaster and Leeds. By contrast, the West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
The West Coast Main Line is the busiest mixed-traffic railway route in Britain, being the country's most important rail backbone in terms of population served. Fast, long-distance inter-city passenger services are provided between London, the West Midlands, the North West, North Wales and the...

 has to traverse the Trent Valley
Trent Valley line
The Trent Valley Line is a railway line between Rugby and Stafford in England, forming part of the West Coast Main Line.The line was electrified on 25 kV AC system during the 1960s, in the wake of the 1955 British Rail modernisation plan....

 and the mountains of Cumbria
Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...

, leading to many more curves and a lower general speed limit of 110 mph (177 km/h). Speeds on the WCML have been increased in recent years with the introduction of tilting Pendolino
British Rail Class 390
The Class 390 Pendolino is a type of train used in Great Britain. They are electric multiple units using Fiat's tilting train pendolino technology and built by Alstom. Fifty-three 9-car units were originally built for Virgin Trains from 2001 to 2004 for operation on the West Coast Main Line , with...

 trains and now match the 125 mph speeds available on the ECML.

Rolling stock

Most passenger services use the InterCity 225
InterCity 225
The InterCity 225 is a locomotive-hauled domestic train in the United Kingdom, comprising a Class 91 electric locomotive, nine Mark 4 coaches and a Driving Van Trailer...

 rolling stock. Some diesels still operate on line, including:
  • CrossCountry's Class 220 Voyagers
    British Rail Class 220
    The Class 220 Voyager are a class of diesel-electric high-speed multiple-unit trains built by Bombardier Transportation in 2000 and 2001....

    , Class 221 Super Voyagers
    British Rail Class 221
    The Class 221 Super Voyager is a class of British diesel-electric multiple-unit express trains built by Bombardier Transportation between 2001 and 2002, entering service on 12 April 2002....

     and occasionally, HST
    InterCity 125
    The InterCity 125 was the brand name of British Rail's High Speed Train fleet. The InterCity 125 train is made up of two power cars, one at each end of a fixed formation of Mark 3 carriages, and is capable of , making the train the fastest diesel-powered locomotive in regular service in the...

     sets that CrossCountry have inherited from Virgin CrossCountry.
  • First Hull Trains Class 180 Adelantes
    British Rail Class 180
    The Class 180 is a type of British diesel multiple unit train built by Alstom between 2000 and 2001 for use on then-new express services by First Great Western . They were built at Washwood Heath in Birmingham and are part of the Coradia 1000 family along with the Class 175. FGW stopped using the...

     (Kings Cross–Hull)
  • East Coast HST
    InterCity 125
    The InterCity 125 was the brand name of British Rail's High Speed Train fleet. The InterCity 125 train is made up of two power cars, one at each end of a fixed formation of Mark 3 carriages, and is capable of , making the train the fastest diesel-powered locomotive in regular service in the...

     sets work some services to Edinburgh, and all services that continue north of Edinburgh to Inverness
    Inverness
    Inverness is a city in the Scottish Highlands. It is the administrative centre for the Highland council area, and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland...

     and Aberdeen
    Aberdeen
    Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

    , as well as daily services to Hull
    Kingston upon Hull
    Kingston upon Hull , usually referred to as Hull, is a city and unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It stands on the River Hull at its junction with the Humber estuary, 25 miles inland from the North Sea. Hull has a resident population of...

    , Skipton
    Skipton
    Skipton is a market town and civil parish within the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. It is located along the course of both the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the River Aire, on the south side of the Yorkshire Dales, northwest of Bradford and west of York...

     and Lincoln.
  • East Midlands Trains
    East Midlands Trains
    East Midlands Trains is a British passenger train operating company. Based in Derby, it provides train services in the East Midlands, chiefly in the counties of Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire, and between the East Midlands and London...

     operates a limited service of HSTs over a portion of the route between Doncaster and Leeds, and a summer Saturday service with Class 222 Meridians
    British Rail Class 222
    The British Rail Class 222 is a diesel-electric multiple unit high-speed train capable of . Twenty-seven units have been built by Bombardier Transportation....

     from Doncaster and Scarborough to London St Pancras, and back.
  • Grand Central's HSTs
    InterCity 125
    The InterCity 125 was the brand name of British Rail's High Speed Train fleet. The InterCity 125 train is made up of two power cars, one at each end of a fixed formation of Mark 3 carriages, and is capable of , making the train the fastest diesel-powered locomotive in regular service in the...

     and Class 180 Zephyrs
    British Rail Class 180
    The Class 180 is a type of British diesel multiple unit train built by Alstom between 2000 and 2001 for use on then-new express services by First Great Western . They were built at Washwood Heath in Birmingham and are part of the Coradia 1000 family along with the Class 175. FGW stopped using the...

     (Kings Cross–Sunderland/Bradford)

Operators

The line's current principal operator is East Coast
East Coast (train operating company)
East Coast is a British train operating company running high-speed passenger services on the East Coast Main Line between London, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland...

, whose services include regular trains between King’s Cross, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East of England and Scotland. East Coast is subsidiary of Directly Operated Railways
Directly Operated Railways
Directly Operated Railways Ltd is the name given to a holding company set up by the Department for Transport in the United Kingdom. DOR took over the running of services on the East Coast franchise from 13 November 2009 and operates under the trading name of East Coast through its subsidiary East...

—a holding company owned by the Department for Transport
Department for Transport
In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which are not devolved...

—and took over from National Express East Coast
National Express East Coast
National Express East Coast was a train operating company in the United Kingdom, running high speed passenger services on the East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland, as part of the East Coast passenger franchise...

 on 14 November 2009. Other operators of passenger trains on the line are:
  • First Capital Connect
    First Capital Connect
    First Capital Connect is a passenger train operating company in England that began operations on the National Rail network on 1 April 2006...

    : commuter services between King's Cross, Peterborough, Cambridge and King's Lynn and between Moorgate and Stevenage via either Welwyn Garden City or the Hertford Loop
    Hertford Loop Line
    The Hertford Loop Line is a branch of the East Coast Main Line, providing a commuter route to London for Hertford and other Hertfordshire towns...

    .
  • First Hull Trains: between Kings Cross and Hull.
  • East Midlands Trains
    East Midlands Trains
    East Midlands Trains is a British passenger train operating company. Based in Derby, it provides train services in the East Midlands, chiefly in the counties of Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire, and between the East Midlands and London...

    : local services between Grantham and Peterborough, part of the service that runs between Liverpool Lime Street
    Liverpool Lime Street railway station
    Liverpool Lime Street is a railway station serving the city centre of Liverpool, England. The station lies on a branch of the West Coast Main Line from London Euston, and on the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail network...

     and Norwich
    Norwich railway station
    Norwich is a railway station serving the city of Norwich in the English county of Norfolk. The station is the northern terminus of the Great Eastern Main Line from London Liverpool Street. It is also the terminus of railway lines from Ely, Sheringham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.-History:At one...

    , as well as London services between Doncaster and York/Scarborough, extensions of services running to/from Sheffield, Leicester
    Leicester railway station
    Leicester railway station serves the City of Leicester in Leicestershire, England.As of late 2009 Leicester is a Penalty fare station, a valid ticket or Permit to travel must be shown when requested.-Background:...

     and London St Pancras.
  • CrossCountry
    CrossCountry
    CrossCountry is the brand name of XC Trains Ltd., a British train operating company owned by Arriva...

    : cross-country services north of Sheffield are routed via either 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.
  • First TransPennine Express
    First TransPennine Express
    First TransPennine Express is a British train operating company. It is a joint operation between First Group and Keolis . It operates regular passenger services in northern England, including services linking the west and east coasts across the Pennines...

    : between York and Newcastle and between York and Northallerton
    Northallerton railway station
    Northallerton railway station serves the town of Northallerton in North Yorkshire, England. The station lies on the East Coast Main Line north of York...

     before they divert off the ECML to Middlesbrough
    Middlesbrough railway station
    Middlesbrough railway station serves the large town of Middlesbrough in the borough of Middlesbrough and the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, England. The station is managed by First TransPennine Express and has two platforms...

     via Yarm
    Yarm railway station
    Yarm railway station serves the town of Yarm in the borough of Stockton-on-Tees and ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, England. The station is south west of Middlesbrough on the North TransPennine Express Line. It opened in 1996, replacing a former station further north that had closed in 1960...

    .
  • Northern Rail
    Northern Rail
    Northern Rail is a British train operating company that has operated local passenger services in Northern England since 2004. Northern Rail's owner, Serco-Abellio, is a consortium formed of Abellio and Serco, an international operator of public transport systems...

    : suburban services from Doncaster to Leeds and Chathill
    Chathill railway station
    Chathill railway station is a railway station that serves the village of Chathill in Northumberland, England, and the nearby villages of Seahouses, Embleton, Bamburgh and Belford....

     to Newcastle via Morpeth railway station
    Morpeth railway station
    Morpeth railway station is a railway station on the East Coast Main Line in Northumberland, northern England, serving the town of Morpeth.- History :The station was opened by the Newcastle and Berwick Railway on 1 March 1847...

     and infrequent services between Newcastle and Darlington that continue to Middlesbrough and Saltburn
    Saltburn railway station
    Saltburn Railway Station serves the town of Saltburn-by-the-Sea in the borough of Redcar and Cleveland and the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, England. It is the terminus of the Tees Valley Line and is operated by Northern Rail who provide all passenger train services...

    . Services between and also use the line from Hambleton Junction
    Hambleton Junction
    Hambleton Junction is a grade-separated railway junction near Selby, North Yorkshire, England, which connects the East Coast Main Line with the Leeds to Selby Line....

     to York.
  • First ScotRail
    First ScotRail
    ScotRail Railways Ltd. is the FirstGroup-owned train operating company running domestic passenger trains within Scotland, northern England and the cross-border Caledonian Sleeper service to London using the brand ScotRail which is the property of the Scottish Government...

    : services from to and . The overnight Caledonian Sleeper
    Caledonian Sleeper
    The Caledonian Sleeper is a sleeper train service operated by First ScotRail and one of only two remaining sleeper services running on the railways of Great Britain, the other being the Night Riviera....

     occasionally uses the ECML when engineering works prevent it from using its normal train path on the WCML.
  • Grand Central: intercity from Kings Cross to Sunderland
    Sunderland station
    Sunderland Station is a National Rail and Tyne and Wear Metro station in the city centre of Sunderland, North East England. It is the only station in the country where both heavy rail and light rail services use the same platforms...

    , branching off the main line at Northallerton and Bradford, branching off at Doncaster.


Eurostar
Eurostar
Eurostar is a high-speed railway service connecting London with Paris and Brussels. All its trains traverse the Channel Tunnel between England and France, owned and operated separately by Eurotunnel....

 previously held the rights to run five trains a day on the line for services from continental Europe to cities north of London, as part of the Regional Eurostar
Regional Eurostar
Regional Eurostar was the name given to plans to operate Eurostar train services from Paris and Brussels to locations in the United Kingdom beyond London...

 plan, although such services have never been run.

DB Schenker
DB Schenker Rail (UK)
DB Schenker Rail , before 2009 known as English, Welsh and Scottish Railway is a British rail freight company. EWS was established by a consortium led by Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation in 1996 by acquisition of five of the six freight companies created by the privatisation of British...

, FirstGBRf, Freightliner
Freightliner (UK)
Freightliner Group Limited is a rail freight and logistics company, founded in 1995 and now operating in the United Kingdom, Poland, and Australia. It is the second largest rail freight operator in the UK, after DB Schenker Rail .- History :...

, Freightliner Heavy Haul and Direct Rail Services
Direct Rail Services
Direct Rail Services is a freight operating company created by British Nuclear Fuels Limited. The company started rail operations in 1995 using five heavily refurbished Class 20/3 diesel locomotives. Since then it has expanded greatly, and has acquired many more locomotives, most bought...

 operate freight services.

Capacity problems

The ECML is one of the busiest lines on the British rail network and there is currently insufficient capacity on parts of the line to satisfy all the requirements of both passenger and freight operators.

There are bottlenecks at the following locations:
  • The section of twin track within a four-line section at Welwyn North over the Digswell Viaduct and through the Welwyn tunnels
  • At Hitchin where many trains from London using the Hitchin-Cambridge Line must cross three other tracks at grade
    Grade separation
    Grade separation is the method of aligning a junction of two or more transport axes at different heights so that they will not disrupt the traffic flow on other transit routes when they cross each other. The composition of such transport axes does not have to be uniform; it can consist of a...

     using a flat junction
    Level junction
    In U.S. railroad practice, a level junction is a railway junction that has a track configuration in which merging or crossing railroad lines provide track connections with each other that require trains to cross over in front of opposing traffic at grade In U.S. railroad practice, a level junction...

    .
  • Just north of Newark station at a flat crossing
    Level junction
    In U.S. railroad practice, a level junction is a railway junction that has a track configuration in which merging or crossing railroad lines provide track connections with each other that require trains to cross over in front of opposing traffic at grade In U.S. railroad practice, a level junction...

     with the Nottingham
    Nottingham
    Nottingham is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire and represents one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group...

    -Lincoln
    Lincoln, Lincolnshire
    Lincoln is a cathedral city and county town of Lincolnshire, England.The non-metropolitan district of Lincoln has a population of 85,595; the 2001 census gave the entire area of Lincoln a population of 120,779....

     line.
  • Doncaster station has limited facilities for terminating branch trains on the up side of the station.
  • South of Newcastle, leading to proposals to reopen the Leamside line to passenger and freight traffic.


Rail services are vulnerable during high winds and there have been several de-wirements over the years due to the unusually wide spacing between the supporting masts of the overhead lines
Overhead lines
Overhead lines or overhead wires are used to transmit electrical energy to trams, trolleybuses or trains at a distance from the energy supply point...

. The other cost-cutting measure was the use of headspan-type catenary systems over the quadruple tracked sections which are not as robust as the older gantry-type design used on the WCML. This was a result of extreme pressure from the Department for Transport
Department for Transport
In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which are not devolved...

 (as proxy for the taxpayer) to reduce avoidable costs when the line was originally electrified between 1985 and 1990.

Recent developments

The Allington Chord was constructed near Grantham
Grantham
Grantham is a market town within the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England. It bestrides the East Coast Main Line railway , the historic A1 main north-south road, and the River Witham. Grantham is located approximately south of the city of Lincoln, and approximately east of Nottingham...

 in 2006, allowing services between Nottingham
Nottingham
Nottingham is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire and represents one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group...

 and Skegness
Skegness
Skegness is a seaside town and civil parish in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. Located on the Lincolnshire coast of the North Sea, east of the city of Lincoln it has a total resident population of 18,910....

 to pass under the line, rather than crossing it at a flat junction. This provided sufficient extra capacity for National Express East Coast to run 12 additional services between Leeds and London each day.

Proposed developments

Over the years successive infrastructure managers have developed schemes for route improvements.

These include the following:
  • Linking the ECML to Thameslink
    Thameslink
    Thameslink is a fifty-station main-line route in the British railway system running north to south through London from Bedford to Brighton, serving both London Gatwick Airport and London Luton Airport. It opened as a through service in 1988 and by 1998 was severely overcrowded, carrying more than...

     as part of the Thameslink Programme
    Thameslink Programme
    The Thameslink Programme, originally Thameslink 2000, is a £6 billion project in south-east England to upgrade and expand the Thameslink rail network to provide new and longer trains between a wider range of stations to the north and to the south of London without requiring passengers to change...

     (for First Capital Connect commuter services to be extended to south London).
  • Quadrupling the Welwyn North section, involving probable double-decking of the viaduct and duplication of the two tunnels
  • Full reversible signalling over the Stilton Fen section
  • Power supply upgrades along the route, including some OLE
    Overhead lines
    Overhead lines or overhead wires are used to transmit electrical energy to trams, trolleybuses or trains at a distance from the energy supply point...

     support improvements and rewiring
  • Power supply enhancement on the diversionary Hertford Loop route
  • Provision of an extra platform at Kings Cross (the so-called "platform Y")
  • Provision of a grade-separated junction to the north of Hitchin
    Hitchin railway station
    Hitchin Railway Station serves the town of Hitchin in Hertfordshire. It is located approximately north east of the town centre and north of London Kings Cross on the East Coast Main Line....

     enabling down Cambridge trains to cross the main line
  • Provision of a new Up Bay platform at Doncaster
  • Enhanced passenger access to the platforms at Peterborough and Stevenage
  • Increasing maximum speeds on the fast lines to between 125 mph and 140 mph in conjunction with the introduction of the Intercity Express Programme
  • Replacement of the Newark Flat Crossing with a flyover
  • Major remodelling of Peterborough Station
  • A fourth track at Holgate Junction, south of , by January 2012
  • A new flyover
    Overpass
    An overpass is a bridge, road, railway or similar structure that crosses over another road or railway...

     at Shaftholme Junction in South Yorkshire
    South Yorkshire
    South Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England. It has a population of 1.29 million. It consists of four metropolitan boroughs: Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, and City of Sheffield...

    , near the former Joan Croft
    Joan Croft Halt railway station
    Joan Croft Halt railway station was a small halt on the East Coast Main Line situated by the level crossing at Joan Croft Junction in South Yorkshire, England...

     station, to allow freight trains from Immingham
    Immingham
    Immingham is a town in North East Lincolnshire, located on the south bank of the Humber Estuary...

     to pass over the line on their way to Eggborough
    Eggborough Power Station
    Eggborough Power Station is a large coal-fired power station in North Yorkshire, England, capable of co-firing biomass. It is siuated on the River Aire, between the towns of Knottingley and Snaith, deriving its name from the nearby village of Eggborough...

     and Drax power stations, due for completion by the end of 2013
  • Reopening of freight diversionary routes

Accidents

The ECML has been witness to a number of incidents resulting in death and serious injury:
Title Date Killed Injured Note
Hatfield rail crash (1870)
Hatfield rail crash (1870)
On a frosty Boxing day in 1870 the driver of the 16:25 from London King's Cross to Peterborough noticed an 'uneasy oscillation' as he passed over Marshmoor level crossing, 2 miles south of Hatfield station. He peered back and discovered he had lost his train and pulled up. He reversed back,...

8 3 Wheel disintegrated causing derailment killing six passengers and two bystanders
Abbots Ripton rail disaster
Abbots Ripton rail disaster
The Abbots Ripton rail disaster occurred on 21 January 1876 at Abbots Ripton, then in the county of Huntingdonshire, England, now in Cambridgeshire, on the Great Northern Railway main line, previously thought to be exemplary for railway safety...

13 59 Flying Scotsman
Flying Scotsman (train)
The Flying Scotsman is an express passenger train service that has been running between London and Edinburgh—the capitals of England and Scotland respectively—since 1862...

 crashed during a blizzard.
Morpeth rail crash (1877) 5 17 Derailment caused by faulty track.
Grantham rail accident
Grantham rail accident
The Grantham rail accident occurred on 19 September 1906. An evening sleeping-car and mail train from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley hauled by Ivatt 'Atlantic' No 276 derailed, killing 14...

14 17 Runaway or overspeed on curve - no definite cause established.
Welwyn Garden City rail crash
Welwyn Garden City rail crash
There were two rail crashes near Welwyn Garden City railway station in Hertfordshire, England. One in 1935 and another less serious accident in 1957.-1935 crash:The crash occurred on 15 June 1935...

14 29 Two trains collided due to a signaller's error.
King's Cross railway accident
King's Cross railway accident
The King's Cross railway accident occurred on 4 February 1945, at London King's Cross railway station on the East Coast Main Line of the London & North Eastern Railway. Two passengers were killed and 25 injured, as well as the train attendant.-The situation:...

 
2 26 Train slipped on gradient and slid back into station.
Potters Bar rail crash
Potters Bar rail crash
There have been at least three railway accidents in Potters Bar, a town in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, just north of Greater London. One occurred in 1898, one in 1946 and the last in 2002.-1898:...

2 17 Local train hit buffers fouling main line with wreckage hit by two further trains.
Goswick rail crash
Goswick rail crash
The Goswick rail crash occurred on 26 October 1947 near the village of Goswick, Northumberland, England. The Flying Scotsman express from Edinburgh Waverley to London Kings Cross failed to slow down for a diversion and derailed. 28 people were killed...

28 65 Edinburgh-London Flying Scotsman
Flying Scotsman (train)
The Flying Scotsman is an express passenger train service that has been running between London and Edinburgh—the capitals of England and Scotland respectively—since 1862...

 failed to slow down for a diversion and derailed. Signal passed at danger
Signal passed at danger
A Signal passed at danger , in British railway terminology, occurs when a train passes a stop signal without authority to do so. It is a term primarily used within the British Railway Industry, although it can be applied worldwide.-Categories of SPAD:...

Doncaster rail crash
Doncaster rail crash
The Doncaster rail crash was a railway accident that took place near to Doncaster, England.On 16 March 1951 the 10:04 Doncaster to London Kings Cross consisting of 14 coaches hauled by a LNER Thompson Class A2/2 No 60501 Cock o' the North locomotive left the station...

14 12 train derailed south the station and struck a bridge pier
Goswick Goods train derailment 0 1 'Glasgow to Colchester' Goods train was derailed at Goswick
Goswick
 Goswick is a hamlet in Northumberland, England, situated approximately south-east of Berwick-upon-Tweed, England, between the A1 and the North Sea coast.-Goswick station:...

.
Connington South rail crash
Connington South rail crash
The Connington South rail crash occurred on 5 March 1967 on the East Coast Main Line near the village of Conington, Huntingdonshire, England. Five passengers were killed and 18 were injured....

5 18 Express train was derailed.
Thirsk rail crash
Thirsk rail crash (1967)
The Thirsk rail crash occurred on 31 July 1967 at Thirsk, Yorkshire, England on the British Rail East Coast Main Line.-Events:The 1A26 express train from King's Cross to Edinburgh collided at speed with the wreckage of a de-railed freight train around 15:17 on that day. Seven people were killed and...

 
7 45 Cement train derailed and hit by North bound express hauled by prototype locomotive. DP2
British Rail DP2
DP2, meaning Diesel Prototype number 2, was a prototype Type 4 mainline diesel locomotive built in 1962 by English Electric at their Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows to demonstrate its wares to British Railways...

Morpeth rail crash (1969) 6 46 Excessive speed on curve.
Penmanshiel Tunnel collapse 2 Two workers killed when the tunnel collapsed during engineering works.
Morpeth rail crash (1984) 35 Excessive speed on curve.
Newcastle Central railway station collision 15 Two InterCity expresses collided.
Morpeth rail crash (1992) 1 Collision between two freight trains.
Morpeth rail crash (1994) 1 Excessive speed led to the locomotive and the majority of carriages overturning.
Hatfield rail crash
Hatfield rail crash
The Hatfield rail crash was a railway accident on 17 October 2000, at Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK. Although the accident killed fewer than other accidents, Hatfield exposed the major stewardship shortcomings of the privatised national railway infrastructure company Railtrack and the failings of...

4 70 InterCity 225 derailed due to a failure to replace a fractured rail. The accident highlighted poor management at Railtrack
Railtrack
Railtrack was a group of companies that owned the track, signalling, tunnels, bridges, level crossings and all but a handful of the stations of the British railway system from its formation in April 1994 until 2002...

 and led to its partial re-nationalisation.
Great Heck rail crash 10 82 A Land Rover Defender swerved down an embankment off the M62 motorway
M62 motorway
The M62 motorway is a west–east trans-Pennine motorway in Northern England, connecting the cities of Liverpool and Hull via Manchester and Leeds. The road also forms part of the unsigned Euroroutes E20 and E22...

 into the path of a southbound GNER Intercity 225.
Potters Bar rail crash (2002)
Potters Bar rail crash
There have been at least three railway accidents in Potters Bar, a town in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, just north of Greater London. One occurred in 1898, one in 1946 and the last in 2002.-1898:...

7 70 Derailment caused by a badly maintained set of points. Resulted in the end of the use of external contractors for routine maintenance.
Copmanthorpe rail crash
Copmanthorpe rail crash
The Copmanthorpe train accident occurred on 25 September 2006, at Moor Lane, Copmanthorpe, North Yorkshire, England, on the East Coast Main Line, south of York. A 55-year-old man died when 221 136, Yuri Gagarin, a British Rail Class 221 Virgin Super Voyager, on the 14:25 Virgin Trains service from...

1 A car crashed through a fence onto the line.

Popular culture

The cuttings and tunnel entrances just north of King's Cross make a memorable smoky appearance in the 1955 Ealing comedy film The Ladykillers
The Ladykillers
The Ladykillers is a 1955 British black comedy film made by Ealing Studios. Directed by Alexander Mackendrick, it stars Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green, Jack Warner and Katie Johnson...

. Also during the 1950s, the line featured in the 1954 documentary short Elizabethan Express
Elizabethan Express
Elizabethan Express is a 1954 British Transport Film that follows The Elizabethan, a non-stop British Railways service from London to Edinburgh along the East Coast Main Line...

. Later, the 1971 British gangster film Get Carter
Get Carter
Get Carter is a 1971 British crime film directed by Mike Hodges and starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter, a gangster who sets out to avenge the death of his brother in a series of unrelenting and brutal killings played out against the grim background of derelict urban housing in the city of...

features a journey from London Kings Cross to Newcastle in the opening credits
Opening credits
In a motion picture, television program, or video game, the opening credits are shown at the very beginning and list the most important members of the production. They are now usually shown as text superimposed on a blank screen or static pictures, or sometimes on top of action in the show. There...

. The motoring show Top Gear featured a race including LNER A1 60163 Tornado running up this line from London to Edinburgh.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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