Monday, 17 May 2010

Steam Dreams spins a rescue story...

Telegrammed by Our international Correspondent
Publicity hungry railtour operator Steam Dreams got itself into The Thunderer this morning, with this offer of help to air travellers becalmed by Icelandic volcanic ash:

Additional capacity was made available on alternative transport from Scotland to London, including an extra 7,000 seats on Virgin Trains. The tourist firm Steam Dreams, which runs steam train trips for enthusiasts between Edinburgh and London, also offered an extra 50 seats to passengers who were unable to fly this morning.

Steam Dreams Chairman Marcus Robertson is himself no slouch as a spin doctor and has a reputation for attending the opening of an envelope.

But a big bowler raspberry to Times hackette Joanna Sugden for not enquiring more deeply into what Marcus was peddling her.

The Steam Dreams train, 1Z31, was booked to leave Edinburgh at 09.34, and after two lengthy water stops and a change of kettles in York, arrives at Kings Cross at a convenient 20.00 tonight.

A lugubrious 10 hrs 26 mins for 394 miles, an average speed somewhere south of 40 mph - pretty much in line with Eurostar's special Christmas timings and rather worse than the booked time in 1938 of 7hrs 20 mins offered by the pre-war LNER. Even a National Express coach promises to do the trip in 10hrs 5 mins.

The 1955 Modernisation Plan? What's that, then?

UPDATE: This from Gresley the Younger...

Love the comment on the SD story about ash clouds, was on R5 Live too!

But factually incorrect, the 1938 timing for Edinburgh to London steam hauled was 6 hours.

Of course, that was at 90mph without all these electric new fangled thingys to get in your way, hence the ten hours schedule today, and no water troughs as the track-circuits don't like them!

Fastest in preservation was eight hours (April 2009) but that was Clarkson powered, snigger!