It's funny how a person's opinion of something can change over the years… As an avid trainspotter in my teens whenever a High Speed Train (HST) turned up on a passenger train (instead of the much preferred 'Peak' or class 47) I'd be very disappointed and mutter under my breath 'tram!'
Fast forward 30-odd years though and things have changed… HSTs now make a very pleasant change from the passenger train norm of DMUs and EMUs and I go out of my way to photograph them and where possible travel on them too.
A brief trip to London recently gave me the opportunity to do both…
43049 Neville Hill stands at London St Pancras International, 7/1/15
I travelled down to London on the 08.32 East Midlands Trains (EMT) service from Nottingham, a train originating at Leeds that is 'booked' for an HST, in this case class 43 power cars 43049 Neville Hill (named after the Leeds depot where EMT's HSTs are serviced) and 43061 were in charge.
Having arrived at St Pancras International I crossed Pancras Road to pay a visit to King's Cross, a station I hadn't visited since 1988.
43302 stands at London King's Cross, 7/1/15
43302 (the former 43102) and 43310 (the former 43110) were waiting to depart with the 12.03 East Coast service to Leeds and I grabbed a quick photo of 43302 before going for a spot of lunch.
Fortified, I returned to the platforms to find 43465 (the former 43065) and 43423 (the former 43123) standing at platform 8 with the 12.53 Grand Central service to Sunderland. 43423 carries the name 'VALENTA' 1972-2010 which refers to the Paxman Valenta engines that were originally fitted to the HST power cars (since replaced by MTU 16V400 or Paxman VP185 engines, 43123 being one of the final two power cars to be refurbished in 2010).
43465 stands at London King's Cross, 7/1/15
So, no 'Peaks' at St Pancras, no 'Deltics' at King's Cross… but for the moment we've still got the venerable HSTs… I can live with that.