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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 1 (April 1, 1937)


Since the days of the historic “Race to Scotland,” fast passenger train running between London and Scottish centres has always been a feature of the train services. Two railways to-day are concerned in these services —the London, Midland & Scottish, and the London & North Eastern, operating respectively over the West and East Coast routes. Last month we recorded the early introduction of a new six-hour timing on the L. & N.E. line between London (King's Cross) and Edinburgh. Now, the L.M. & S. have stepped into the limelight in connection with experiments for speeding-up the London — Glasgow schedules.

With a view to ascertaining the potentialities of standard steam locomotives and carriages in long-distance, high-speed working, the L. M. & S. have been conducting special tests. In one London-Glasgow run, there was established a new world's record for sustained high speed with steam traction. The distance from Euston Station London, to Glasgow Central Station is 401½ miles, and this was covered in 5 hours 53 minutes an average overall speed of 68.2 m.p.h. On the return journey, 5 hours 44 minutes were occupied, an average speed of over 70 m.p.h. The load behind the “Princess Elizabeth” locomotive on the outward trip was 225 tons, and on the return 255 tons. These figures are all the more remarkable when one bears in mind the exceedingly difficult nature of certain stretches of the track, notably the Shap Fell and Beattock climbs (916 ft. and 1,014 ft. above sea level respectively). Ere long we may look for a regular daily timing of six or six-and-a-half hours for the daily run of the “Royal Scot,” or some light-weight counterpart of this famous train, between Euston and Glasgow.