Anorak News | Vive La Difference

Vive La Difference

by | 14th, July 2003

‘IT’S Monday, the sun is shining across the country and the Eurostar has just set a new speed record, reaching 169mph on a new stretch of track.

Eurostar unveil their latest prototype

Even that record, we are told, is unlikely to last long, with a company spokesman saying that trains would try for a 204mph record when track testing is complete at the end of the month.

Yes, you could almost be forgiven for thinking you were in France, were it not for the absence of stroppy waiters and men in strange coloured Lycra cycling everywhere.

But such dreams/nightmares* (* delete according to whether you supported the war in Iraq) quickly hit the buffers as we read the full story in the Times.

For, as Eurostar was patting itself on the back after breaking the 24-year-old rail speed record, passengers at Waterloo were climbing on a bus for an eight-hour journey to Paris.

All cross-channel services yesterday were cancelled for engineering work on the first section of the £5.2bn Channel Tunnel Rail Link, which opens in the autumn.

When it opens, trains are expected to run routinely at 186mph, thereby cutting 25 minutes off the current three-hour journey time to Paris.

However, for newly-weds Helen and Adrian Feeney, embarking on their Parisien honeymoon, a sweltering bus journey was hardly the dream start to their holiday.

And, in true British style, they were only too keen to vent their fury, telling the Times that they were ‘pretty fed-up’ about it.

To rub it in still further, the Times tells us that the British rail speed record is still considerably less than the world record of 320mph – set in France.

Posted: 14th, July 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink