LNER Inter-City 125 final tour

Having worked for LNER (London North Eastern Railway) several times during 2019, filming their new Azuma trains as well as their Inter-City 125s & 225s, it was a real privilege to be invited to carry out all the drone filming for their last Inter-city 125’s final tour, as it travelled round the UK from London to Leeds, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, & back to Leeds & London.

I’ve travelled on Inter-City 125s on the East Coast Main Line since my time at Aberdeen University in the 1980s, & having effectively grown up with them, I’ve always loved the trains.

My job was somehow to follow the train by car, capturing drone footage of key moments over 3 days, & I enlisted the help of Matt Harmsworth, Pete Maughan & Kirk Watson – we filmed both single & dual operator to get as many shots as possible, under what’s always the added stress of filming a fast-moving vehicle which, unlike cars, can’t be turned round & reset if a shot is missed!

Pete & I filmed the train as it headed across the supremely iconic Forth Bridge, I captured footage of it nearing Aberdeen, Matt filmed the Culloden Viaduct outside Inverness, Kirk filmed the train leaving Aviemore, I took over for Kingussie & the Drumochter Pass, & Pete caught up with the train the following morning in East Lothian.

Having driven overnight from the Highlands to York, I stationed myself on the fastest stretch of the East Coast Main Line between York & Northallerton near Thirsk, & managed to capture the train as it headed south on its last leg to London.

By this point this final journey had become national news, & both the BBC & ITV required my footage within an hour of it being shot. I had great fun chasing 4G signal on the edge of the North Yorkshire moors, & then uploading the footage to news organisations’ servers from my laptop on my lap in my car, using my phone as personal hotspot.

The weather had been variable at best for all of us, to be expected of course in mid-December, but we each managed to get the shot we’d hoped for & the client was really happy with the results.

All of the filming was on DJI Inspire 2s using X7 cameras & mostly its 24mm lens.

CAA approved for aerial work, PFCO company number 532, FAA number 4242184

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