With just days to go before Cupid starts firing his romantically-charged arrows into the February air, LNER has taken a shot at hearing from love-struck passengers on the East Coast Main Line.
Seeking out a story which could be the basis for the sequel to ‘Brief Encounter', the train operator wants to hear from those travelling between the Scottish Highlands, North East England, Yorkshire, the East Midlands and London King's Cross. What really sets that heart a-flutter? Was it a chance meeting on a station platform? Could it have been a brief glance across the aisle of a railway carriage? Did the love of your life come to sit next to you? Perhaps, more importantly, what part did the railway play in your particular story?
There's little doubt that there is a great deal of romance linked to railway travel. Whether it's the drama of the steam days, the mystery of far-off destinations, the allure of speed – railways have long played a central role in many love stories and LNER data shows that Edinburgh, York and London are the most popular romantic cities for visitors along the East Coast route.
There are other places which are, possibly, not riding quite so high in the romantic stakes, but include North Yorkshire's elegant spa-town Harrogate, Berwick-upon-Tweed which is bursting with history, as well as the cathedral city of Lincoln.
In order to hear a little more about railway romances, LNER is inviting both customers and colleagues to email their stories to [email protected].
Some have already done just that. Ewan and Erin met while ordering a drink on board an LNER service from Edinburgh to Aberdeen four years ago. Robin and Clara were forced to live apart in Sheffield and Edinburgh, but LNER helped keep them together. And Alex and Graeme simply had a mutual love of the railway.
Stuart Thomas, Communications Director at LNER, said: “Thousands of customers travel with LNER every day, and I suspect many eyes must have met across an Azuma or one of our platforms. We're keen to hear about some of the love stories we've helped to write and with four of the UK's most romantic hotspots being on the LNER route, many people will have happy memories and memorable moments to share.