Anorak News | A Head Of Steam

A Head Of Steam

by | 31st, May 2005

‘THE recipe for the new Europe seems obvious: let the British run the shops, the French run the cafes and the Germans look after the trains.

”Ahhh! The light! My eyes!”

Sadly, right now we can only dream of a golden age of Teutonic efficiency on our railways.

So bad are our railways that the Times brings news that today’s trains are often slower than under British Rail in the 1980s, and some journeys now take longer than they did when the engine was powered by steam.

According to an analysis of timetables, trips on the Great Western Main Line now take longer than they did in 1980. Back then, it took 2 hours and 39 minutes to make the move from London to Swansea – it now takes 2 hours and 55 minutes.

Better yet is that while in 1900 it took 35 minutes to travel from Portsmouth to Southampton, the same journey can be undertaken today in 46 of your Earth minutes.

Why this is so is a mystery. But a spokesman for GNER, which operates time machines on the London to Edinburgh route, says: “People are more interested in their train arriving at the published time rather than shaving a few minutes off the journey.”

This is something only rail experts like those great minds at GNER can understand, and the rest of us numbskulls labour under the ludicrous notion that the faster you reach your destination, the better it is.

Our advice is when travelling by rail to go equipped with a copy of the timetable – and pass the hours working out how clever the rail operator is in avoiding a fine from the regulators for arriving late by arranging for the Tuesday morning service from London to Bath to arrive on December 16 2009.’

Posted: 31st, May 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink