West Coast Main Line
The West Coast Main Line is a major railway in the United Kingdom, connecting London to Glasgow. The line's origins can be traced back to the opening of the London to Birmingham railway in the early 19th century. In addition to the trunk route from London to Scotland, the name 'West Coast Main Line' can also be applied to a number of branch routes, namely those serving Northampton, Birmingham and Liverpool. Presently, inter-city services on the line are provided by Virgin Trains, with local services south of Crewe provided by London Midland and those further north by Northern Rail and First ScotRail.
List of Places Served
The below is a list of the principal destinations of the line, from south to north:
- Hemel Hempstead
- Milton Keynes
During the era of the "Big Four" railway companies, the WCML was operated by the LMS. They used a variety of express steam locomotives, most notably the originally streamlined Coronation Class. After nationalisation, British Railways used the ex-LMS locomotives alongside newer designs such as the 9F freight locomotive. Between the 1960s and 1970s the line was progressively electrified. Before this was completed, the line was operated by Class 40 and Class 50 diesel locomotives. After electrification the line was worked by the purpose-built class 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86 and 87 locomotives. In the 1990s the 81-85s were withdrawn and replaced by new class 90 locos. The entire locomotive fleet was progressively withdrawn and displaced with the introduction of the new Pendolino electric multiple units in the first decade of the 21st century.