26 October 2011

Cardiff-London record

Today a new record was broken by rail. First Great Western operated a 5-carriage HST between Cardiff and London in 1:36. While this was an improvement of just 1 minute on the current record, it was done to demonstrate the advantages that electrification would bring to Wales, as a similar end-to-end journey time would become the norm.

The train departed Cardiff Central at 1221 and arrived in London Paddington at 1357.

This is not the first record-breaking run that First Great Western has undertaken recently. A Plymouth-London record was broken a year ago.

Once again, another record was broken by a stalwart of Britain's railways, the High Speed Train, known to many outside the industry as the InterCity 125. These workhorses really have proved their worth, operating many years beyond their intended use. Some are being considered for their second mid-life refurbishments.



It is likely that once electrification comes to the Great Western Main Line, they will be all but retired, with new bi-modal trains considered as their replacement.

I've read reports that some may be retained for Penzance/Plymouth-London services.

The Class 43 High Speed Train should be congratulated in equal measure with the people at First Great Western and Network Rail for today's record run.


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

How will electrification benefit 'Wales' - it will benefit Newport/Cardiff and their hinterland, but how do you think the good folk of Pwllheli or Aberystwyth will benefit?

Anonymous said...

Oh for heaven's sake ... full length HSTs were making the journey from Paddington to Cardiff Central in 1hr 43mins back in 1978! They also stopped at Newport. (0915, 1115, 1315 & 1515 from PAD for those who will surely check this statement!) A 7 minute acceleration on a reduced sized set running non-stop is hardly something to boast about.
When will people stop falling for this government and privatised railway spin?

Anonymous said...

There's a lot more speed restrictions around now :(

LEYTR said...

Anon 11:11 - I think we'd have been criticised if we hadn't put 'Wales'. The population of Cardiff, Newport and hinterland is very sizeable indeed.

Anon 01:55 - There are a number of faster journey times with BR - Edinburgh-London being one, faster than the 4:00 of today, but it is a new record nonetheless. I find it surprising that private companies have the motivation to do 'stunts' like this.

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