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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1 (May 1, 1928)

Record-breaking Schedules

Record-breaking Schedules.

Prior to 1888 the journey by the East Coast route, from King's Cross station (London) to Edinburgh occupied just nine hours, with a halt of thirty minutes for lunch at the mid-way station of York. In June, 1888, the West Coast authorities reduced the journey time of the 10 a.m. train from Euston station (London) to Edinburgh from ten to nine hours, thus equalling the time of their rivals. July saw a cut on the East Coast route from 9 to 8 1/2 hours, to which the Euston people replied by announcing that from August 1st they also would make the run in 8 1/2 hours. Nothing daunted, the King's Cross officials immediately instituted an 8-hour timing, and again the West Coast fell into line with a similar speedy booking. By the middle of August, 1888, both routes were operating 7 3/4-hour trains between the two capitals. On August 13th the West Coast set up a new record with a run of 7 hours 38 minutes, while the following day the East Coast made the journey in exactly 7 hours 32 minutes. A truce was then called, it being agreed that the East Coast should retain its timing of 7 3/4 hours until August 31st, and the West Coast revert to 8 hours. On August 31st, however, the East Coast train ran from London to Edinburgh (393 miles) with a train of seven loaded carriages in 7 hours 27 minutes, with a 26 1/2 minute halt at York. This trip constitutes the record for the London-Edinburgh run, and it marked the termination of the historic race to Scotland. To-day both the East and West Coast routes occupy 8 1/4 hours on the London-Edinburgh run.