Thanks for the interesting train check. Yes I suppose you get what you pay for. East Coast offers a professional service in first class but the fares are higher and then you would have to ‘downgrade’ yourself between York and Manchester.
Interesting to hear your comments on engine noise. The older trainsets used by East Coast date to the BR days and they have an engine at each end.
It means quieter travel for passengers but the TOC loses seating space in two carriages. Hence today’s trend for “distributed power” where the engine is placed under the carriage.