Hundreds turn out to watch High Speed Train in British Rail livery call at Leeds Station on farewell tour

Crowds of trainspotters said their final goodbyes to a workhorse of the East Coast Main Line at Leeds Station this weekend.

The HST's arrival at Leeds was greeted with delight

A High Speed Train painted in the original British Rail-era Intercity 125 livery called at the station as part of its farewell tour of the UK on Saturday.

The HST diesels - which were introduced in 1978 - were retired from service earlier this month, but one set was retained for the special tour, which saw fans buy tickets to travel the entire length of the East Coast route on board the train.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Passengers who had bought tickets for the special final journey to London boarded at Leeds

The fleet has been a fixture of London to Yorkshire services for 40 years, and they will be replaced by operator LNER's new Azuma trains.

The call was the departure point for the final leg of the tour, with the HST staying overnight at the Neville Hill depot in east Leeds before collecting passengers at Leeds Station. It then travelled to London King's Cross via Wakefield and Doncaster.

The previous legs had seen the train travel from Aberdeen to Inverness, a stretch that the HSTs had never previously operated in their working life.

There were also journeys from Edinburgh to Aberdeen and Edinburgh to Leeds via Newcastle and York as part of the four-day pageant.

HST fans snap a selfie of the train

Ticket sales will go towards LNER's partner charity Campaign Against Living Miserably, which works to prevent male suicide.

One of the HSTs has already gone on display at the National Railway Museum in York after being donated by the Great Western Railway, which also used the sets.

LNER managing director David Horne said:-

“This is an opportunity for us to express our appreciation for the decades of service from the iconic Intercity 125 on the East Coast route.

“We recognise the huge transformation these trains gave to rail travel when they were introduced in the 1970s, and want to show our appreciation by taking them around the route one last time.

“We’re particularly delighted that on its last service with LNER, we will take the HST on a route it’s never done with us before, from Aberdeen across to Inverness.

“Our HST farewell tour gives our customers and communities the opportunity to see the train in its original lively after serving the country so well over the years before being replaced by our new world-class Azuma trains."

One of the HST power cars endured a sad end to its operational life in November, when it was involved in a collision at the Neville Hill depot in Leeds. The locomotive was struck by an Azuma on a low-speed approach line and suffered damage that forced it into retirement earlier than planned.