The Anonymous Widower

Good News For Cornwall

Cornwall is not where you would go, if you want to drive there in an hour and it is unlikely you’ll ever be able to get an electric high speed train to the county. I drove back once at a very busy time in my Lotus and reported it here. It took six hours to Cambridge if I cut out the delay due to accidents. Why bother?

But today, it is reported on the BBC, that the government has announced a £146million package of measures to upgrade the rail system in Cornwall, by resignalling the Cornish Main Line from Totnes to Penzance and refurbishing the sleeper trains.

I’ve only taken the train as far as Plymouth a couple of times, but on one memorable trip, the train was several minutes late at Totnes and the driver had recovered most of the time by Plymouth, by showing how an Inter City 125 can perform, if it is needed.

The BBC article doesn’t say if Network Rail are going to raise the speed limits on the line, but surely when the signalling upgrade is complete, the current journey time of five and a half hours could be reduced and the frequency increased to half-hourly, even if they still run the same amazing trains designed in the 1960s. But I travel in these trains and Mark 3 coaches regularly and you rarely hear a complaint about the trains, as they ride so well on their air bag suspension. Read about the construction of the coaches here. It is true to say that they don’t build coaches like that any more.

As it currently takes two hours from Plymouth to Penzance and a couple of years ago, First Great Western did Plymouth to London in under three hours, it would seem to be a possibility, that when the updating is complete, we could see trains from Paddington to Penzance taking under five hours. The tourism business in Cornwall will be licking its lips in anticipation of a service like this.

So will we still be seeing these trains going at full speed to Cornwall in twenty or even thirty years time? With these trains you never say never, as clever engineers always find some way to prolong their lives for another few years.

July 3, 2014 - Posted by | News, Transport | , ,


  1. […] the announcement yesterday about investment in the rail route to Penzance, a story broke later yesterday about a large amount of money for infrastructure and City Deal […]

    Pingback by Glasgow Gets Money For Infrastructure « The Anonymous Widower | July 4, 2014 | Reply

  2. […] the last few days, there has been announcements concerning the Cornish Main Line and the Glasgow Airport Rail […]

    Pingback by Is George Osborne A Closet Trainspotter? « The Anonymous Widower | July 5, 2014 | Reply

  3. […] The article includes the improvements in Cornwall and Blackpool that I’ve already […]

    Pingback by Full Steam Ahead On The Railways « The Anonymous Widower | July 23, 2014 | Reply

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