Friday, 5 July 2013

East Coast tops greyhounds league

This from the late Sir Nigel Gresley...

In the week that we celebrate the setting of the world speed record for steam by my locomotive Mallard, how cheering to read that locomotive hauled trains on the East Coast Main Line still reign supreme on the UK rails.

According to the latest Railway Gazette International world speed survey in that eximious journal's July issue:

"Perhaps surprisingly, Britain’s two fastest runs are found on the conventional network, with East Coast’s 18.55 York to Stevenage pipping Virgin Trains’ 19.42 Stafford to Watford Junction to the top spot with an average of 109.7 mph (176.6 km/h) for 161 miles. 

"Southeastern’s fast commuter services on High Speed 1 take third place with a best timetabled booking of 107.6 mph (173.1 km/h)."

It is clear that Italian tilting EMUs and even Japanese EMUs running at 140 mile/h on high speed track are no match for British heavy metal on the incomparable racing ground that is the ECML.  

And, of course that is running at only 125 mile/h when the IC225 has a top speed of 140 mile/hour and achieved 162 mile/h down Stoke Bank - scene of Mallard's triumph - during a test run,

This should give the Department for Transport even more cause to reconsider its ludicrous proposal to force bidders for the East Coast franchise to replace IC225 with the Incredibly Expensive Procurement.