One hundred miles north of King’s Cross, Stoke Summit is woven into British railway folklore as the launching point for speed records set by Mallard and its successors.
But facing northwards, it’s also the point where the East Coast Main Line (ECML) narrows from a largely four-track railway into just two tracks.
The 55-mile section onwards to Doncaster is critical to the smooth operation of the ECML, and the effects of any disruption can be felt far and wide - not just south towards London, but as far away as Yorkshire, Merseyside, and the Highlands of Scotland.
Since April 1, Network Rail has been working with West Coast Railways to provide a standby diesel locomotive and crews based at Newark Northgate, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Strategically situated between Grantham and Doncaster, Newark is the ideal base for the operation, which is already making a difference to ECML passengers and freight.
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