Published: 4th November 2015
The National Railway Museum (NRM) at York has put on display a Eurostar power car which was designed to operate between Glasgow, Edinburgh and Paris via York and from Manchester to Paris via Birmingham.
These trains would have been the first direct services serving mainland operating from Scotland and north of London. This sub-fleet were named the North of London sets (NOLs) but never saw international revenue earning operation. They were used for a number of years between York and Kings Cross at 110mph, 76mph below their normal top speed.
The trains achieved safety accreditation but by the late 1990s, budget airlines had sprung up killing the rail market which is why the trains ran on the East Coast Main Line for GNER.
Power Car No. 3308 saw very little international use, and with the introduction of a new fleet of Eurostar trains imminent, the company has donated the unused Power Car to the NRM. It is now on display in the Great Hall of the NRM after being cosmetically refreshed in the NRM workshop.
The power car is a permanent addition to the National Collection adding to the rail story depicted at York with a new chapter of modern railway history. The exhibit is accompanied with a new informative display explaining the train’s history and how it revolutionised European high-speed rail travel between the UK and the continent started operations on 14 November 1994.
The normal cruising speed is 186 mph (300 kph) and is in the same class as the train that holds the current UK rail speed record of 208 mph /334.7kphmph on 30 July 2003 on High Speed 1 (HS1) the UK’s first high speed line in close to the Medway Valley in Kent.
Jane Sparkes, Interpretation Developer, National Railway Museum, said: “The acquisition of one of Eurostar’s iconic power cars is hugely exciting for the National Railway Museum. We’re delighted to see it displayed alongside the other high speed record breakers and history makers in our Great Hall. I’m sure visitors will enjoy learning more about Eurostar’s crucial role in modern railway history.”
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive Officer, Eurostar said: “Our new fleet of trains will start to enter service by the end of the year, allowing us to take more passengers further into Europe than ever before. Our new fleet means that we are well placed to serve growing demand as passengers increasingly opt for high speed rail over plane. The donation of one of our first generation power cars is a chance to acknowledge the historic role our service has played in connecting the UK and mainland Europe.
The Power Car was stored for three months at the Great Central Railway, Nottingham, free of charge while the NRM made arrangements to take on the gift.
The Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Preservation Trust (SNGLPT) has confirmed to its supporters that LNER ‘A4’ No. 60007, Sir Nigel Gresley will leave its operating base at Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) and go to the workshops of the National Railway Museum at York for its 10 year major overhaul.
This was expected to have been carried out, as before, at Grosmont but a series of avoidable incidents meant that the SNGPLT decided to make use of the NRM’s facilities for the two to three years overhaul to be carried out by 60007’s engineering team.
This location, just vacated by the Eurostar Power car offers a wide range of benefits but the Trust says the decision to work at the NRM was taken primarily because of the availability of excellent engineering facilities which are expected to speed the overhaul compared to the alternative options considered.
The Trust are at pains to say that the engine’s move to York does not preclude a return to the NYMR post overhaul, in fact that is the most likely option as well as visiting other preserved lines as well as operating on the main line again.
The engine’s final weekend in steam, 19-20th Sept and its static gala appearance at Grosmont the weekend should then have marked the start of the overhaul – but nothing really happened. This was because of ongoing confidential negotiations concerning the engine’s overhaul.
No. 60007 and the newly named Roger Barker Coach were due be moved to York by rail on 3rd November and be positioned in the NRM workshop shortly afterwards.
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