Fastest train journey from London to Glasgow attempted

West Coast Avanti Train

An attempt to break the 36-year record for the fastest train journey between London and Glasgow will be made on Thursday.

Avanti West Coast has said it will offer non-stop service from London Euston to Glasgow Central to highlight “the ease of traveling between countries of origin”.

The private operator is working with Network Rail, a public company, which manages the rail infrastructure, to trace the train‘s route around passenger and freight services on the West Coast Main Line.

The existing record for the fastest train trip between the two cities is three hours, 52 minutes and 40 seconds.

This was fixed by British Rail in December 1984 using an advanced passenger train prototype.

The fastest modern scheduled services on the route take around four and a half hours.

The attempt to set a new record will be made by a nine-car Pendolino train named Royal Scot.

Glasgow Central Station
Avanti West Coast will operate non-stop service from London Euston to Glasgow Central on Thursday morning (PA)

It will operate at 125 mph – the maximum speed allowed on Britain’s main rail line – for as much of the 401 mile route as possible.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said: “After almost 40 years, it is time for this record to be broken, and I wish everyone the best of luck as they attempt this impressive feat.

“Our rail network binds our Union, and today’s attempt underlines why our clean, green railways are a great way to see the UK.”

Network Rail President Sir Peter Hendy said the event will be a “brilliant collaboration across the rail industry”.

He added: “It shows how today’s clean and green railway can cement economic growth, jobs, housing and social cohesion through better connectivity across the UK.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked Sir Peter to consider how to improve UK transport links and will release his final report this summer.

Steve Montgomery, managing director of First Rail, the parent company of Avanti West Coast, said the record attempt “shows how efficiently rail can provide cross-border connectivity.”

He added that trains have a “vital role” in connecting big cities, economic growth and the fight against climate change.

The Railway Performance Society will be the official timekeeper for the record attempt.

Regular train tickets will not be valid for the service, which departs at 10:36 a.m. on Thursday.

The train will carry personalities from the railway industry and subscribers to The Railway Magazine who have made a charitable donation.

The money raised will go to Action for Children, a charitable partner of Avanti West Coast and the Railway Benefit Fund, which support those involved in the railway and their families.


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