The Anonymous Widower

London To Edinburgh In Four Hours

In the February edition of Modern Railways, details of the new Virgin Trains East Coast franchise are beginning to emerge.

One of the details is that there will be a half-hourly four-hour service between the two capitals.

Anybody with any marketing nous will reckon that this alone will give the service a tremendous boost.

As there are a considerable number of improvements that could be implemented in the next few years, I think that by the end of the decade several minutes under four hours will become the norm.

The new Hitachi Class 800 and 801 trains arriving from around the end of the decade, won’t be any faster than the twenty-five years old InterCity 225, that currently work the route.

In fact, Modern Railways says that these trains may live on as a Golden Stud on the flagship services between London and Edinburgh.

But by 2020, if all goes well with ERTMS, both the InterCity 225s and the new Hitachi trains will be cleared to run at their top speed of 225 kph.

Could we see times reduced between the capitals to around three and a half hours?

I certainly think that the train company will be looking to see how fast they can run a capital-to-capital service!.

The line is 632 kilometres long, so three hours would need an average speed of 210 kph, which the current and proposed trains could probably attain over a straight railway line with no other traffic for perhaps an hour or so.

This illustrates that although trains get all the headlines, the real improvements in timings over the next few years will come with improvements to track and signalling.

The engineers of the East Coast Main Line have plenty of work to do, but they may bring a bigger service improvement than those building the new Hitachi trains.

January 31, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

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