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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 7 (November 1, 1929)

World Famous Trains

World Famous Trains.

Asked to name the most famous train in all the world, the American would probably give preference to the “Twentieth Century Limited” of the New York Central, while in England, the popular vote would doubtless be divided between the Flying Scotsman,” the “Southern Belle” and the “Cornish Riviera Limited.” The three latter trains are known the world over as representing the highest standard of passenger train efficiency, and this year the “Cornish Riviera Limited,” has celebrated its twenty-fifth birthday.

A Famous British Passenger Train. “Cornish Riviera Limited” near Teignmouth, South Devon.

A Famous British Passenger Train.
“Cornish Riviera Limited” near Teignmouth, South Devon.

The “Cornish Riviera Limited” pertormed its maiden run from Paddington Station, London, to Penzance, on July 1, 1904. For the 246 miles nonstop run from London to Plymouth, 4 hours 25 minutes were allowed. In 1906, the journey time was cut first to 4 hours 10 minutes, and later to 4 hours 7 minutes. These world-record non-stop runs were of necessity discontinued during the Great War, but in July, 1919, non-stop running to Plymouth again was resumed. In 1927, with the introduction of the “King” class of locomotives, a timing of 4 hours precisely was introduced for the 246 miles journey, giving an average speed of 56 ½ miles per hour. This timing is at present being worked to, and so popular is the train that the “Cornish Riviera Limited” has now been equipped with entirely new passenger stock, embodying many novel features of travel comfort. Thirteen coaches form the train. These are 60ft long and 9ft. 7in. wide. Seating accommodation is provided for 428 passengers and for 119 diners (24 first-class and 95 third-class at one sitting). The kitchen cars are lined with stainless steel sheets for cleanliness, and the passenger car windows are of Vita glass, which admits the health-giving ultra-violet rays from the sun, which the ordinary window glass excludes. Devon and Cornwall, which the “Cornish Riviera Limited” serves, are two of England's pleasantest counties, and the new trains recently introduced into this service are proving exceptionally popular.