Government-owned train operator London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has unveiled a new livery for its InterCity 225 fleet, featuring the company’s trademark colours of red, oxblood, grey and white.
The new livery has been applied to the first locomotive and coaches at Wabtec’s Doncaster works as part of a scheduled essential maintenance programme.
The rest of the fleet, which is leased from Eversholt Rail, will receive both a full repaint and rebrand over the coming months as the trains come into the workshop for maintenance.
LNER engineering director John Doughty said: “The new livery is not only essential for the upkeep of the fleet but also brings it into the LNER family. It is the first time in many years that the fleet has been fully repainted.
“The livery was inspired in part by the popularity of the original InterCity 225 design, and we’ve kept the sharp lines and red and white stripes famously associated with the trains which have a place in the hearts of many people.”
The InterCity 225 fleet of Class 91 locomotives married with Mark 4 coaching stock first entered service in March 1989 and has spent most of its life working on the East Coast route carrying passengers between London and Scotland. Designed for a top speed of 140 miles per hour, a Class 91 locomotive with five Mark 4 coaches broke the British railway speed record, reaching 162 miles per hour on 17 September 1989 on a test run down Stoke Bank, just south of Little Bytham, with the DVT (driving van trailer) leading.
Now limited to 125mph, as the trains do not have the legally required in-cab signalling to be allowed to operate at higher speeds, and largely replaced by the Hitachi-built Azuma fleet, LNER still has 12 locos and eight sets of coaches on lease which operate services between London King’s Cross, Leeds and York, all of which will be branded in the new livery in the coming months.