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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 6 (September 1, 1936)

Some Fast Running Trains

Some Fast Running Trains.

There are probably few more famous railway routes the world over than those running between London and Scotland, operated respectively by the London, Midland and Scottish, and London and North Eastern Companies. Speedy running has always been a feature on these tracks, and this season some exceptionally fine locomotive performances are being put up in the Anglo-Scottish services. Our old friend, the “Flying Scotsman,” again runs nonstop between King's Cross and Edinburgh; while on the L.M. and S. route out of Euston terminus, London, a noteworthy acceleration has been effected in the running of the “Mid-day Scot,” which, leaving London at 2.0 p.m. daily, now reaches Glasgow (Central) at 9.35—a cut of half-an-hour over the old timings. This saving of thirty minutes involves an overall average speed of 52.9 m.p.h., including four stops of a total duration of 19 minutes, and the ascent of two mountain summits at Shap and Beattock.

For hauling the “Mid-day Scot,” there are utilised giant 158-ton locomotives of the “Princess Royal” class. A single locomotive works through from London to Glasgow (401 1/2 miles), locomotive crews being changed at Crewe, 158 miles from Euston. Because of relatively slow running up steep gradients, over favourable portions of the route the scheduled speeds of the “Mid-day Scot” are necessarily high. Between Tring and Bletchley, for example, the 75 m.p.h. figure is touched.

Altogether, 747 passenger trains in various parts of the L.M. and S. system have been speeded up by a total of 2,016 minutes per day. The effect of these accelerations has been to bring into the table of trains running at start-to-stop speeds of over 60 m.p.h., two additional expresses, the more interesting being the “Merseyside Express,” covering the 189.7 miles between Mossley Hill, Liverpool, and Euston in 189 minutes. Since May last, the Company has had 29 trains covering a total of 2,632.2 miles per day at average start-to-stop speeds of over 60 m.p.h.