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Ride the cab of an Exeter to Newcastle service five car Virgin Super Voyager from Bristol Temple Meads station via Bristol Parkway, the former Bristol and Gloucester Railway, Cheltenham Spa and non-stop to Birmingham New Street via the notorious Lickey Incline – the steepest bank on any main line in Great Britain – before rolling on to Derbyshire.
After leaving Temple Meads, The limited stop service calls next at Bristol Parkway before branching off the Great Western onto the former Bristol and Gloucester Railway. By-passing Gloucester by means of the south loop, the next stop is Cheltenham Spa.
Now we run non-stop all the way to Birmingham New Street via Bromsgrove and the notorious Lickey Incline. This is the two mile long ascent of the Lickey Hills at a gradient of 1 in 37 ¾. From Birmingham New Street our class 221 takes the former Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway running non-stop at up to 125 miles an hour through Tamworth and Burton on Trent to reach the county town of Derbyshire.
Much of the fascinating history of the route is related by Alan Hardwick, long-time anchor of Yorkshire ITV’s evening news programme ‘Calendar’.This driver’s eye view was filmed in the clear blue skies of a summer’s day from start to finish.