87s on the WCML!!!

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Techniquest

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Pizza Hut Express Expands

As of Saturday 1st April, after months of delays due to overhauling of MK3s and locomotives, Pizza Hut Express is proud to release its first Class 87-hauled dining train to Glasgow Central. The train calls at Milton Keynes Central, Crewe, Preston, Carlisle, Motherwell and Glasgow Central, where it then travels out of the terminus for cleaning and prepping, including turning the set to have the 87 back at the front for the return to London Euston. The return trip will see the train calling at Motherwell, Lockerbie, Lancaster, Crewe, Rugby and London Euston under normal conditions.

However, as the WCRM continues at weekends, and the Settle and Carlisle is re-opened, the train will be dragged by a diesel locomotive (unknown class at this time) in both directions between the aforementioned stations. Preston is, in both directions, set-down only, whilst the train will call at Carlisle heading south to pick-up, whilst heading north it shall set-down only. Due to the reversal required at Preston, the DVT on the train shall be leading from Carlisle to Glasgow. Once the WCRM allows services via Lancaster again, we shall run to the pattern mentioned earlier.

Times for tomorrow's run are subject to last-minute alternation and bus replacement schemes should the engineering company in charge of the route deem it necessary, but the departure times are as follows:

1205d London Euston
1745a Glasgow Central

1845d Glasgow Central
2345a London Euston

Arrival times are packed with a good amount of slack, so early arrivals can be expected. On arrival back in London, the train will run ECS to Wembley for servicing and what have you.

As for tomorrow's menu, we shall have a very special menu for passengers to choose from to celebrate our new service.

Drivers for the service have been refreshed on the 87s for the last couple of months, with some practise runs using back-up coaching stock stored in Wembley between Euston and Glasgow at night, where paths are much more freely available. One driver had this to say about the new service:

"This is an awesome experience. An 87 on the WCML in 2006, hardly seems real sometimes to walk down the concourse at Euston to see an 87, MK3s and a DVT lined up in your platform. The 390s may be packed with computers, but ask any driver which they'd prefer, an 87 with character and atmosphere or a 390 with the feeling of driving something out of a mould. Most of them, if not all, will say they prefer the 87. Our crews here certainly prefer to be back in MK3s. I'm highly looking forward to a drive in the 87 tomorrow!"

Locomotives to be used are the recently refurbished 87004 and 87034.

But that's not all!

You may recall our HSTs we use on Euston to Crewe and Holyhead. These are still going amazingly well, proving to be as popular as ever. HST fans will be pleased to know that we are considering running one of our HSTs on another route, again using the WCML in part. This will be revealed in due course, as it is still subject to confirmation and pathing from the network bosses. We think passengers will welcome our services and HSTs on the route though!

That's all of our news for now. Tomorrow will mark the start of a new era for rail catering. We will look forward to welcoming you on board at either London Euston or Glasgow Central, or even one of the intermediate stations. Final timetables and posters will be available at stations in the morning. Or, if you are on our e-mail alert service, you'll get them by 0600.

Julian Whitby
CEO Pizza Hut Express
 
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Dennis

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What a great idea - pizza hut buffet lunch onboard an HST instead of some overpriced microwaved limp excuse for a bacon roll. To misquote WSXFan, Bring it out.
 

Techniquest

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ROFL! What hilarious re-wording of one of my favourite sayings!

I was dying to get this out yesterday, hence why it didn't appear this morning as originally planned. I've been waiting to chuck this up on the forum since mid-2005, when I posted the original PHE HST thread. Which actually made some people on t'internet forums think it was real! Which led me to inspiration, to get it expanded for April Fools 2006 (having missed 2005's one). Back when I originally wrote out the first draft it was on a HST between Swansea and Cardiff, originally involving the purchase of a 37/4 and coaching stock to be used on a diesel-only route in the West, having all the stock overhauled at Crewe Works and much more. I even had the intention to rename the company with a new livery, but I really couldn't get the livery decided on or done, so I gave up. Got to say an 87 looks quite good in the PHE colours! Got to do a MK3 in the new colour scheme next.

Oh, and of course the driver quoted in the post was me, in case it wasn't obvious.

Hope anyone who read this had the sensibility to take this light-heartedly, not as a serious company running high-speed services up the WCML. The whole PHE idea came about when I was still working with Pizza Hut last year. Now I'm not working with them, it's not such an interesting idea, but I would love to see it done. Pity there's no chance on this Earth of it ever happening, would be nice to have something freshly cooked (the fact Pizza Hut pizzas are as close to tasting processed as possible will be overlooked here) rather than pre-packed junk heated in a microwave.

Oh, and Dennis, buffet lunches would, IMO, be restricted too, as the idea in my original thread on EUS - CRE non-stop services served lunch in the following manner:

Passengers for lunch board and order food by 1155 (there would be some HSE ruling involved to get them all sat at their tables by then)
Depart Euston 1200
Starters served by Watford Junction
Main courses arriving, in general, just after passing Rugby
Desserts served by Stafford
Train slows down and stops by Basford Hall to allow Marches line trains out into Crewe, as well as allowing passengers to finish dessert and complete transactions before the HST terminates at Crewe.

I'd love to explain why this would be the case, quite simply it's a long reasoning behind it, but this then allows the kitchen crews in the multiple kitchens to get everything out quickly and stuff. Also, having buffet lunch on a HST at 125mph up the WCML, although this speed would not be reached for long, would mean passengers moving up and down the carriages a lot along restricted gangways, as well as staff. It would be rather difficult to get everyone along the gangways at the same, even with the modified seating layout, so in my eyes it wouldn't be terribly safe, especially with many hot pans and stuff. The HSE would have a fit! Plus, buffet lunches are enough work as it is in a restaurant, I can't imagine the amount of problems that would be encountered running one successfully on a HST.

I'm rambling on here, so I'll finish by hoping that everyone enjoyed the little joke that is PHE.
 
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