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

Long Distance Non-stop Runs

Long Distance Non-stop Runs.

While the Home railways take immense pride in fast passenger services such as those maintained by the “Flying Scotsman” and the “Royal Scot,” and short-distance runs like the 43-minute flight of the Darlington to York express (44 miles), the group railways of Britain recognise that across the Channel much remarkably fast running is accomplished, notably by the French railways, and in particular the Northern system. The Northern Railway of France has for long been famed for fast passenger operation. So long ago as 1888 this railway could lay claim to operating the longest run for a non-stop daily passenger train on the Continent of Europe. This was the 101 mile run of the Paris-Calais boat express between Amiens and Calais. At the present time the Northern Railway still holds the record for long-distance non-stop running, with its Paris-Brussels non-stop service (194 miles), while another outstanding run is the 94 minute dash of the “Rapide” from Paris to St. Quentin (96 miles).

Last summer the Northern Railway of France actually operated the twenty-seven fastest passenger trains in that country. These included such far-famed services as the “Golden Arrow” Pullmans between Paris and Calais, the “Nord Expresses” between Paris and Jeumont, the “Etoiles du Nord” between Feignies and Paris, and the Dunkirk-Paris “Rapides” covering the 191 miles between these points in 205 minutes. Recently the Midi (Southern) Railway has come to the front among French railways for fast running. The “Sud Express” of this undertaking covers the 91 1/2 miles from Bordeaux to Dax in exactly 89 minutes, a speed of more than 62 miles an hour.