Safety warning to Chesterfield railway enthusiasts as iconic train nears retirement

Railway bosses have urged enthusiasts in Chesterfield to be safe as an iconic train nears retirement.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 9:04 am

InterCity 125 High Speed Trains, known as HSTs, have been a staple of main line services in Britain for 40 years – but are now being replaced by new trains.

HST services on the Great Western Main Line, between London and the South-West, and East Coast Main Line, between London and Edinburgh, have already been withdrawn.

The Midland Main Line, between London and Sheffield, via Chesterfield, is now the final place enthusiasts can enjoy HSTs on long-distance, high-speed, main-line running.

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However, East Midlands Railway which operates the services, is soon to end its HST operation, sparking a surge in interest – but leading to fears enthusiasts may endanger their safety by leaning out of the train windows while travelling.

A British Transport Police Nottinghamshire spokesman said: “We have been made aware via social media of a person placing themselves and the railway at risk, by hanging out of a window of a moving HST.

“This offence has been crimed as endangering safety and we are investigating.

“This type of offence is taken extremely seriously.”

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Safety first

EMR has also issued a statement warning enthusiasts safety must come first, amid plans to mark the HSTs’ farewell, including repainting locomotive 43102, which holds the world record for the fastest diesel-powered train, reaching 148 miles per hour in Lincolnshire in 1987.

An EMR spokesman said: “We understand the retirement of our remaining HSTs from passenger service in May is an important milestone and one everyone at EMR is determined to recognise.

East Midlands Railway has repainted 43102, the world's fastest diesel locomotive, into the historic InterCity 'swallow' livery, which was introduced in 1987 to mark the InterCity brand's 21st anniversary, but phased out under the privatisation of the railways in the 1990s as the new operators introduced their own branding.

“However, we are living in unprecedented times and our absolute priority must always be to protect the safety of our colleagues and customers and operate within the Government's restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“In marking the retirement of our HSTs, we must balance both of these considerations.

“In the coming weeks, we will be unveiling more ways to mark this occasion and providing opportunities for our passengers, partners and fans to get involved too.

“However, we will not be advertising the final HST in passenger service.

“Our HSTs remain in passenger service up until the introduction of our new timetable. We are sure all of you will take the opportunity to ride on these iconic trains in the weeks to come.”

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