Record Breakers - Virgin Trains - West Coast Main Line

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All Line Rover

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Yesterday (Sun 21 Feb 2016) had the fastest run I've seen in a long time, if ever, down the WCML: Warrington to Euston non-stop in 98 minutes (84 minutes between Crewe and Euston). It's exceedingly rare for a Manchester Pendolino to manage Euston to Crewe non-stop in 87 minutes. 86 minutes is unheard of. 84 minutes in the typically slower southbound direction and on a Sunday is very impressive. Has anything faster been achieved by a passenger service?

Screenshot attached from realtimetrains showing a breakdown of the journey.
 

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cambsy

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I have done similar times before, though its quite rare occurrence, just down to luck of getting clear run and spirited driving, fastest in recent times was the Heavens Angels run in just over 3hrs 55 mins non stop Glasgow-London in 2006, on old infrastructure before Trent Valley improvements, was on that run, good fun to be on, could be fairly easily beaten now if Virgin wanted to.
 

The Planner

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You had 9 minutes engineering time in that schedule, you got lucky with TSRs and engineering work and made that time back up.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I make that an average of 111.5mph. Not bad.
If you do it again after Easter (ie after Norton Bridge is finished) it could be a bit faster.
 

Groningen

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Just what i expected. That train departed WBQ 7 minutes late; in Milton Keynes is was on schedule. Milton Keynes - London Euston in 28 minutes. The fastest train from Euston to Milton Keynes (stopping there) is 30 minutes. So i think it is correct, but this was only possible because of the delay at the last stopping station.
 

Polarbear

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I had a similar run down to London last autumn. The 07:00 Lime St-Euston was 16 late off Runcorn, but only 8 late into Euston on what is already a fairly tight schedule. A clear path (amazing given this was a weekday morning) combined with some "enthusiastic" driving helped.

Prior to that, the fastest run i had experienced was 59 minutes from a start at Crewe to passing Milton Keynes Central.
 
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driver_m

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That is a very good run. There's three critical sections where you need greens. Crewe, Rugby and into Euston itself. I would say it should be doable even quicker than that but not by much. The 0700 Lime St (and the 0700 from Picc via Stoke) could do some seriously fast point to point timings if the 350 LM that goes fast line into Euston wasn't there.
 

Deepgreen

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Yesterday (Sun 21 Feb 2016) had the fastest run I've seen in a long time, if ever, down the WCML: Warrington to Euston non-stop in 98 minutes (84 minutes between Crewe and Euston). It's exceedingly rare for a Manchester Pendolino to manage Euston to Crewe non-stop in 87 minutes. 86 minutes is unheard of. 84 minutes in the typically slower southbound direction and on a Sunday is very impressive. Has anything faster been achieved by a passenger service?

Screenshot attached from realtimetrains showing a breakdown of the journey.

This sort of timing is probably only feasible on a Sunday, when all the slacks/padding are not needed owing to early finishing works, etc., and the service is thinner.
 

cle

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What will the final Norton Bridge time improvements be?

Are there any others scheduled on the WCML?
 

Polarbear

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I can also recall some fast runs on the WCML back in loco & stock days. On a good day, with a clear run, Euston to Crewe was possible in 1'50" & I've also experienced runs from London where Milton Keynes was passed in 30" flat.

It's somewhat different these days. Whilst the pendo's are fast, it's a much more congested network these days so arguably more difficult to achieve these very fast runs.
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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Norton Bridge wont get you much more than 30 seconds if that.

But the days of brakes going on at Cold Meece for a crawl through Norton Bridge should be over, so more chance of a fast run.
Should be a new record between Stafford and Stoke too, no more being stopped on the recess line.
 

The Planner

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That is because we could never get the TSR off the fixed diamond at the junction. XC will of course stand to make a nice time saving out of it.
 

adrock1976

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What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
I believe that the APT still holds the overall record for the Glasgow run, in which the northbound run from London to Glasgow was done in 3hours 52 minutes back in 1984.

This is 3 minutes faster than the 2006 southbound run in the Class 390.
 

SeanG

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It'd be nice to see a series of 'record breaking' runs next year when the latest round of engineering works are complete.
They could mark 15 years of the 390s and surely would be good PR for VT, especially with the Super Express Trains being introduced elsewhere
 

ainsworth74

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There are plenty of threads around for the perennial issue of '390s: Love them or hate them' and this is not one of them. I've edited a few posts and deleted a few more but if we could try and stick to the topic at hand from here on out that would be excellent :)
 

Groningen

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Virgin hopes the fastest train time from London to Glasgow will be able to do the journey in four hours 10 minutes by 2009 when more frequent trains will also be introduced.

Surely 2009 must be 2019 (or something else).
 

Chrisyd

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I remember being at Coventry on a Pendolino to London on a Saturday morning in May 2007, the Trent Valley line was shut for upgrade works and just as we were leaving someone jumped in front of a train into Coventry, we were therefore the first train in line to London when the line reopened, my then girlfriend, said she felt sick, ironically she loves roller coasters, I hate them and thought it was amazing, you were in no doubt we were moving! I seem to recall it was about the 50ish minute mark, at the time the standard journey was just over an hour.

Additional Edit:
Date was Saturday 19th May 2007 (It was the day of the first FA Cup Final at the 'new' Wembley)
 
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neilb62

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Be thankful that VT is one of the few TOC's that still allows some 'enthusiasm' of its Drivers. It's amazing what an 11 car in good nick with a Driver heading for home can manage, all this with the TASS (speed control) system keeping you within 3mph of line speed too....
 
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