Train operator East Coast made railway history yesterday (Monday 23 May) as it launched a new ‘Flying Scotsman’ express train between Edinburgh, Newcastle and London.
The new four-hour ‘Flying Scotsman’ is the flagship service in East Coast’s keenly-anticipated new timetable, which represents the biggest improvement to the route in 20 years – providing 19 new services per weekday, more than three million seats per year and many faster journeys.
The timetable will also see the introduction of services seven days per week from London to Harrogate and London to Lincoln – for the first time in 20 years.
Alongside the timetable, East Coast has launched major improvements for customers travelling First Class, including a new Quiet Coach and complimentary food and drinks, served at seat for no extra charge.
The ‘Flying Scotsman’ service will depart Edinburgh Waverley each weekday at 05.40 from this morning. It will only stop at Newcastle and will then take just two hours 37 minutes to arrive at London King’s Cross at 09.40.
East Coast has named a locomotive ‘Flying Scotsman’ to mark the revival of this historic service. It has branded the train in a unique, bold and contemporary style which respects the heritage of the route.
It uses the iconic Gill Sans font which was originally introduced by the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) in the 1920s and applied to its world-famous ‘4472 Flying Scotsman’ steam locomotive.
East Coast Managing Director Karen Boswell said:
“East Coast’s fantastic new locomotive and service writes an exciting new chapter in the 149-year history of the Flying Scotsman.
“It’s part of our policy of bringing back train names and restoring pride, passion and even a touch of glamour and romance back to the East Coast railway.
“It’s also about listening to what our customers want: many of them have asked us to bring back train naming and to provide an early morning fast express service from Edinburgh, the Borders and North East England to arrive into London well before 10.00. We’ll achieve both in style with our new Flying Scotsman.”
Recent evidence suggests that East Coast has been attracting more airline passengers to switch to its trains, particularly from Edinburgh and Newcastle.
Karen Boswell added: “The Flying Scotsman, improved First Class offer and timetable will help us to continue to grow our market share against the airlines. They represent the biggest improvements to the East Coast route for a generation and will bring more seats, more services and many faster journeys for millions of customers.
“We’ll have 117 extra services per week and plan to serve more than a million meals a year – a tenfold increase compared with the current provision – as we continue to grow and improve this great railway.”