Watch: Train driver's poignant horn blast as retiring LNER locomotive leaves York for the final time

A train driver gave a farewell blast of his horn as his 30-year-old locomotive left York Station for the last time today.

An LNER service arriving into London
An LNER service arriving into London

The Class 91, registration number 91108, is being retired after its final journey from London to Edinburgh today.

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The electric locomotives have been serving the East Coast Main Line since 1989, when they were still run by British Rail under the InterCity 225 brand, and the model holds the current British speed record of 161.7mph. Since then they've been run by several private operators, and are currently in the hands of government-owned London North Eastern Railway, which took over the franchise from Virgin Trains.

91108, the first to be withdrawn from operational service, has covered over seven million miles during its operational life. It has previously been named Thomas Cook and City of Leeds, and has been immortalised by being made into a Hornby model.

The Class 91s are part of a phased replacement programme which will see brand-new Azuma trains introduced on the route. The first Azumas - which are assembled by Japanese manufacturer Hitachi at their plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham - went into service in May after a delayed launch, and have mainly been operating services on the London King's Cross - Leeds route.

The locomotive's penultimate journey was the flagship Flying Scotsman departure from Edinburgh at 5.40am today, and it then returned north.

Several other operators are believed to have expressed interest in leasing the retired Class 91s, so they are unlikely to be scrapped.