Virgin Trains East Coast

HSTs have been in operation on the East Coast Main Line since their introduction into service. The current operator of this route, Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) operate a fleet of HSTs primarily based at their Craigentinny depot in Edinburgh. The VTEC HST fleet operates from London Kings Cross right through to Inverness whilst also serving Lincoln, Hull, Leeds, Skipton, Harrogate and Aberdeen.

43317 in East Coast livery with Virgin Train logo at Kings Cross on 1st March 2015 prior to working the 1700 to Edinburgh. (c) James Trebinski

VTEC were the successful bidders for the franchise taking over from the publicly owned in East Coast operation in March 2015. The fleet of HSTs had in turn been inherited from National Express when their operation of the East Coast Main Line franchise ended in 2009. Prior to that it was operated by GNER. The power cars have all received MTU engines, the same as First Great Western however East Coast also renumbered their power cars in a similar fashion to Cross Country by adding 200 to each number. For example 43039 became 43239 and 43108 became 43308 etc.

Liveries carried vary as the fleet is rebranded by VTEC.  Initially a red Virgin flash is being applied to cover the East Coast branding on the revised East Coast grey livery, however many power card are now wearing the full VTEC red livery. Likewise the coaching stock currently carries a mix of the new VTEC red vinyl colours, East Coast grey or National Express white/grey.

43296 is seen bringing up the rear of an East Coast working (c) Jack Needham

Download the latest diagrams for Virgin Trains East Coast HST services here.

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