Brits celebrate new high speed train with historic side-by-side run

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YORK, England — Railroad enthusiasts in England got a rare opportunity to see and photograph four generations of motive power over the weekend run side-by-side to mark the arrival of the country’s newest high speed train.

On Sunday, Virgin Trains, Network Rail, Welcome to Yorkshire, the National Railway Museum, and Hitachi had four different locomotives, including the world-famous Flying Scotsman, run along each other on the East Coast Main Line near Tollerton, North Yorkshire. Along with the famous 4-6-2 was Virgin’s brand new Azuma train and two contemporary diesels, a Class 43 and Class 91, both of which are part of Virgin’s current fleet. The Virgin Azuma train set was built by Hitachi and will be put into service on the East Coast Main Line in 2018.

The four trains ran alongside each other for about 10 miles and ran at speeds up to 25 miles per hour in a staggered fashion. Paul Kirkman, director of the National Railway Museum, which owns the Flying Scotsman, says the East Coast Main Line is an ideal place for such a display of power.

“In the 19th Century, elegant locomotives were designed to haul trains on this route, cementing its reputation as a railway racing stretch operated by thoroughbred engines,” he says. “The four train lineup epitomizes the evolution of the later generation of fast, elegant and stylish trains — all with a shared bloodline — that epitomize the history of the route from the 1850s to today.”

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