Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Going up north the quick way

Living in Poland where anywhere seems to be five hours from anywhere else by train, it is encouraging to see that a country with a really antiquated railway infrastructure can be linked by fast services. On Wednesday morning I travelled up from London Euston to Warrington Bank Quay for a seminar we were organising. The 182 mile (292 km) journey took 1hr 43mins - a blistering speed - just under three kilometers a minute average speed (over 170 kmh).

How is this done on a railway network soon to enter its third century? This is not new purpose-built high-speed track, French- or Spanish style.

The answer is tilting trains. Disconcerting at first to go rifling through curves at such high speeds (below). The train operator did what it promised - the train left on time and arrived on time.

London to Warrington Bank Quay in 1 minute 29 secs (and on to Glasgow in a further three and half minutes).

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