Friday 11th December saw the end of an era for the Midland Mainline with East Midlands Railway running their final Paxman VP185 HST passenger services.
What is a VP185?
The VP185s were created to be a more efficient version of Paxman’s Valenta engine and have been a great success in service.
Several Class 43s were fitted with these engines in 1995, and most HSTs on the MML were fitted with them replacing the Valentas.
From 1995 until 2020 the VP185 HSTs have been screaming along the MML making a fine and unforgettable sight indeed!
With the VP185 engines growing old and tired, EMR replaced the original blue power cars with the VP185 engines and buffered power cars with MTU engines with Ex-LNER HST power cars powered by MTU engines due to being more energy-efficient and more environmentally friendly.
The first red EMR HST set began service in June 2020 and now six months later in December 2020, they have fully replaced the iconic blue HST sets on the MML.
By Monday 14th December, East Midlands Railway’s new timetable changes will see less HST diagrams on the MML and eventually in the not distant future will see the Class 222 Meridians start to replace HSTs on diagrams alongside ex-Hull Trains Class 180 Adelantes which will replace all buffered power car HST services.
It is believed that all EMR HST will be fully replaced by mid-2021 and by 2023 all 180s & 222s will be replaced by the Hitachi Class 810 Aurora on all services.
The final VP185 services would also mark the end of Paxman engined HSTs on passenger service
The final VP185 HST services include:
- 1B23 06:34 Leeds to London St Pancras International via Nottingham
- 1D23 10:34 London St Pancras International to Nottingham
- 1B43 12:45 Nottingham to London St Pancras International
- 1D48 15:34 London St Pancras International to Nottingham
- 1B69 17:45 Nottingham to London St Pancras International
- 1F70 20:01 London St Pancras to Leeds via Derby
The last VP185 would run with Class 43 HST power cars 43047, the first HST power car to fitted with a Paxman VP185, carrying a special nameplate to celebrate 25 years of VP185 power car service on the MML ‘be Powered by Paxman VP185’ & 43049 Neville Hill.
The Final EMR VP185 passenger service would see the HST travel through places on it’s final journey such as St Albans City, Luton, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Long Eaton, Derby, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Meadowhall, & Wakefield Westgate.
The 11th December would see RailView capture this final run at:
- Chesterfield, Derbyshire arriving at 21:57 on time
- Tapton Bridge, Chesterfield, Derbyshire: Passing through at 11:01, 7 minutes late
- Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Derbyshire: Arriving at 11:27, 7 minutes late
Class 43 Locomotive info:
- Power type Diesel-electric
- Built by British Rail Engineering Limited at Crewe Works
- Built date, 1976-1982
- Total Produced, 197
- Wheel configuration, Bo-Bo
- Engine, Paxman Valenta, Paxman VP185 & MTU
- Power output ,2,250 HP
- Max Speed, 125MPH
- Nickname, HST
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