London North East Railway – which operates the London Kings Cross to Edinburgh route via the East Coast Main Line has unveiled a repaint for their Class 91 locomotives.
And if you’re not paying attention, you’d think you’ve gone back in time with the livery they’ve chosen.
LNER’s new livery for the Class 91 Locomotives – Image, LNER
The design features LNER’s trademark colours of red, oxblood, grey and white, along with its logo, bringing a new look to the trains while also giving a nod to its proud past, with the livery having more than a passing resemblance to Intercity “Swallow” livery that graced the fleet when they first entered service.
Locomotive 91227 is the first out of the fleet of 12 to get the treatment.
Work on the first locomotive and coaches to carry the new livery has been completed at Wabtec’s Doncaster works as part of a scheduled essential maintenance programme.
The fleet is comprised of Class 91 electric locomotives and Mark 4 coaching stock. LNER has 12 locos and eight sets of coaches on lease which operate services between London King’s Cross, Leeds and York, all of which will be branded in the new livery in the coming months.
They are leased from Eversholt Rail and will receive a full repaint and rebrand during the coming months as the rolling stock is brought in for maintenance.
John Doughty, Director of Engineering at LNER, said:
“The new livery is not only essential for the upkeep of the fleet but also brings it into the LNER family. It is the first time in many years that the fleet has been fully repainted. The livery was inspired in part by the popularity of the original InterCity 225 design, and we’ve kept the sharp lines and red and white stripes famously associated with the trains which have a place in the hearts of many people.”
Back to the future
The InterCity 225 (Class 91 with Mark 4 rolling stock) first entered service in March 1989 and has spent most of its life working on the East Coast route carrying passengers between London and Scotland at 125 miles per hour. These have mostly been displaced since the arrival of LNER’s Azuma fleet, with 12 locomotives with carriage sets remaining operating on the East Coast Main Line.
Some of the Class 91 fleet has been scrapped, some stored, whilst some of the coaching stock have found new homes elsewhere on the UK Rail network (notably in Wales).
For LNER’s Class 91, it will feel a little like they’ve been back to the future – but with the in-carriage upgrades they’ve had over the years, it should provide a good experience between Leeds and London.
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