As we see the withdrawal and re-purposing of BR’s High Speed Trains, we can reflect on one of their glory days at least, now almost 35 years ago. Friends’ President Frank Paterson was BR Eastern Region General Manager at the time when he pulled the trigger for a great event. It was at Newcastle Central station and it was a starting pistol that was fired. This was on 27th September 1985 to start the record-breaking run of the re-launched “Tees-Tyne Pullman”. The attempt was almost thwarted by an overnight signalling cable theft at Chester-Le-Street but repairs were completed just in time. As the InterCity 125 train driven by Driver Bob McManners passed the NRM at York, it was greeted with a whistle salute from “Mallard” which was in steam and in mid-restoration in the Works at the time. The journey to Kings Cross, 268.6 miles, was completed in a record 2 hours, 19 minutes and 37 seconds. A top speed of 145 mph was achieved and the average for the run was 115.4 mph. The arrival at Kings Cross was greeted with champagne. The medallion pictured was presented to those who had a hand in this great achievement. An HST powercar is now part of the National Collection and can be seen, when the NRM reopens after the Covid shutdown, on the turntable in Great Hall.
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By Mike Peart