The Line and the Locos
The East Coast Main Line, formerly the InterCity East Coast
Division of British Rail, comprises the 393 mile electrified railway
between London King's Cross and Edinburgh with a spur from Doncaster to
The Edinburgh- London line was built in 1846 to 1850 by NBR, NER and
GNR . In 1923, these three companies all became part of LNER who
operated the line until Nationalisation of the railways under British
Railways in 1947.
Deltic locos took over from steam in the early-1960s and continued to
operate the service until 'High Speed Trains', took over, being
gradually introduced between 1978 and 1981
Franchises for ECML
In April 1996, following the privatisation of the railways, the
franchise to operate ECML was awarded to GNER. It was renewed for
two years in 2003, then for a further ten years, but revenue turned out
to be lower than expected and GNER had to gave up their franchise in
In December 2007, National Express took over the franchise, but it
also found that it was unable to meet the costs.
In November 2009, responsibility for ECML passed to the Department of
Trade subsidiary company, East Coast Main Line Co. They will
remain responsible for the service until a new franchise can be
negotiated, now expected to be some time in 2013.