One of East Midlands Railway’s HST power cars has been repainted into InterCity Swallow livery as a tribute to the type ahead of their withdrawal from Midland main line services in May.
EMR and owner Porterbrook have led the project, which has seen power car No 43302 repainted and its original number, No 43102, reinstated. Bearing this original number, the power car broke the world speed record in November 1987 when it reached 148.5mph on the East Coast main line between Northallerton and York while on a test run, and this achievement still represents the world speed record for a diesel train. It was carrying the Swallow livery when it broke the record. Repainting was undertaken at Neville Hill depot in Leeds, where EMR’s HSTs are maintained.
When it is retired in May, the power car will be donated by Porterbrook to the National Railway Museum, where it will join No 43002, a former Great Western Railway power car which carries the name Sir Kenneth Grange.
EMR has reduced the size of its HST fleet in recent weeks, sending power cars and Mk 3 carriages off lease, after it reduced services during January amid the latest coronavirus lockdown. It now only has three 2+6 HSTs to cover two daily diagrams. The HSTs will be withdrawn in May when the electric services between London and Corby operated by Class 360 EMUs are due to begin, at which point Class 180s and Class 222s will cover all other Midland main line services.