Trivia - How fast in theory nonstop to/from London?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Intercity 225

Member
Joined
2 Mar 2014
Messages
288
I've been wondering how quickly it would be possible to travel between major UK cities and London nonstop in ideal conditions using the fastest rolling stock on the network. This question is based on there being no pathing constraints and that the train is able to travel at maximum line speed for every inch of the journey. All intermediate stations are passed regardless of any potential business case for stopping as this question is purely theoretical. Any UK rolling stock is able to be used even if it's outside of its usual operating zone however it goes without saying that electric traction can only be used on electrified routes. Please specify what rolling stock you've used.

Aberdeen
Route: ECML
Rolling stock: HST, Meridian, Super Voyager, Voyager, Adelante and/or other (please specify)

Birmingham
Route: WCML
Rolling stock: IC225, Pendolino and/or other (please specify)

Bristol
Route: GWML
Rolling stock: HST, Meridian, Super Voyager, Voyager, Adelante and/or other (please specify)

Cardiff
Route: GWML
Rolling stock: HST, Meridian, Super Voyager, Voyager, Adelante and/or other (please specify)

Edinburgh
Routes: Both ECML & WCML
Rolling stock: IC225, Pendolino and/or other (please specify)

Glasgow
Routes: Both ECML & WCML
Rolling stock: IC225, Pendolino and/or other (please specify)

Leeds
Route: ECML
Rolling stock: IC225, Pendolino and/or other (please specify)

Liverpool
Route: WCML
Rolling stock: IC225, Pendolino and/or other (please specify)

Manchester
Route: WCML
Rolling stock: IC225, Pendolino and/or other (please specify)

Newcastle
Route: ECML
Rolling stock: IC225, Pendolino and/or other (please specify)

Norwich
Route: GEML
Rolling stock: IC225, Pendolino and/or other (please specify)

Nottingham
Routes: Both via Nottingham-Grantham line + ECML & MML
Rolling stock: HST, Meridian, Super Voyager, Voyager, Adelante and/or other (please specify)

Plymouth
Routes: GWML
Rolling stock: HST, Meridian, Super Voyager, Voyager, Adelante and/or other (please specify)

Portsmouth
Route: SWML and/or other (please specify)
Rolling stock: Any (please specify)

Sheffield
Routes: Both via Erewash Valley Line & MML all the way
Rolling stock: HST, Meridian, Super Voyager, Voyager, Adelante and/or other (please specify)

Southampton
Route: SWML and/or other (please specify)
Rolling stock: Any (please specify)

Swansea
Routes: GWML
Rolling stock: HST, Meridian, Super Voyager, Voyager, Adelante and/or other (please specify)

I understand that some of the cites above already have a nonstop service to/from London but that allowance is built into the timetabling to account for potential small delays hence why they're included on the list above.

Cheers
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
53,285
Location
Yorkshire
Edinburgh
Routes: Both ECML & WCML
Rolling stock: IC225, Pendolino and/or other (please specify)
A Class 91 & 5 coaches did this in 3hours, 29minutes and 30seconds, though this was in the days of a sensible approach to Health & Safety, so 140mph was allowed in some places (such as between Peterborough & Grantham).
Glasgow
Routes: Both ECML & WCML
Rolling stock: IC225, Pendolino and/or other (please specify)


Glasgow-London was done in 3hours 55 minutes non-stop by Pendolino nearly 10 years ago, and I believe the train did have a clear run.
 

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
11,213
Only people that are likely to be able to do this are people with access to the base SRTs for all the traction (and it wouldnt be a quick job). Considering the routes you are asking for will not have running times for stock that doesnt already run on it you arent going to be able to get results for those either. You will need a train planner with plenty of spare time (so not me unless you pay me a consultants rate!) unless you take a punt off schedules off RTT and guess at the time gain for not stopping at stations.

Edit: One of the easiest to work out is New St to Euston on a Pendo, quickest timetabled run without any allowances at all (which you can't plan as it isn't compliant) is 68 minutes.
 
Last edited:

thenorthern

Established Member
Joined
27 May 2013
Messages
3,811
With Birmingham Virgin Trains (or Sir Richard Branson) claimed at the 2012 franchise round it was possible to reduce the London to Birmingham services to under an hour using the current infrastructure and current fleet of 390s. I am not sure if this is still an aim given the fiasco following the 2012 franchise round.

It makes you wonder though what the point of HS2 is with times like that.
 

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
11,213
Like to see where he is going to find 8 minutes on a non stop run, add in any stops and there is no chance.
 

Geezertronic

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2009
Messages
3,821
Location
Birmingham
Edit: One of the easiest to work out is New St to Euston on a Pendo, quickest timetabled run without any allowances at all (which you can't plan as it isn't compliant) is 68 minutes.

Quickest one I can find is the 0730 which is non-stop New Street to Euston at 73 minutes which could get in early with a decent run
 

neilb62

Member
Joined
11 Nov 2015
Messages
267
Location
Darwen.
Quickest one I can find is the 0730 which is non-stop New Street to Euston at 73 minutes which could get in early with a decent run

IIRC it was done in @ 68 mins a couple of years ago, our control always keep an eye on it for any 'record breaking'!
 

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
11,213
68 is the fastest is can be done on the SRTs as I first posted, so it should be achievable if no TSRs are on and you don't catch anything up.
 

Rob F

Member
Joined
17 Dec 2015
Messages
297
Location
Notts
Forgetting about traction, would it be simpler to work out the theoretical minimum times by assuming that you are running at linespeed every inch of the way?

ROB
 

adrock1976

Established Member
Joined
10 Dec 2013
Messages
3,355
Location
What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
The APT did the northbound run from London Euston to Glasgow Central in 3 hours 52 minutes back in 1984, making this the fastest non-stop run in this direction.

It might still be doable today, but perhaps this timing could only be achieved if done overnight?
 

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,393
Location
Between the parallel lines
Ah, happy days, before OTMR and TPWS.

You forget such records as 36mins 56secs between London Bridge and Brighton in 2005! ;) Even in relatively recent history, various dispensations and special measures have been arranged. I am not saying anything unsafe should be done, but there's probably potential for some quite interesting records with modern traction. But as we all know, the proliferation of even overnight traffic on certain routes does no doubt limit this sort of thing. For example, when would you try to set a record on the MML, or how would you cope with any combination of freight + Cally Sleeper + possessions on the WCML? Etc.

As an aside, it has always seemed a trifle odd to me that it would appear a pair of fairly normal 377s set the record land-based journey time between a central London terminal and Brighton, but there you are - they are prestigious in their own way!
 

notadriver

Established Member
Joined
1 Oct 2010
Messages
3,388
You forget such records as 36mins 56secs between London Bridge and Brighton in 2005! ;) Even in relatively recent history, various dispensations and special measures have been arranged. I am not saying anything unsafe should be done, but there's probably potential for some quite interesting records with modern traction. But as we all know, the proliferation of even overnight traffic on certain routes does no doubt limit this sort of thing. For example, when would you try to set a record on the MML, or how would you cope with any combination of freight + Cally Sleeper + possessions on the WCML? Etc.

As an aside, it has always seemed a trifle odd to me that it would appear a pair of fairly normal 377s set the record land-based journey time between a central London terminal and Brighton, but there you are - they are prestigious in their own way!

Interesting why odd that 377s should set that ?

Just as an aside I wonder if it would be possible for a high performance car to get from London to Paris as fast as a Eurostar train if the roads were specially closed for it. Would it be quicker for to car hop at designated points rather than stopping to refuel ?
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
24,031
Location
Scotland
Just as an aside I wonder if it would be possible for a high performance car to get from London to Paris as fast as a Eurostar train if the roads were specially closed for it.
With closed roads and the right car, I think it could be just about possible. But good luck arranging it.
Would it be quicker for to car hop at designated points rather than stopping to refuel?
It would be quicker, of course as the driver would be stationary for less time.
 

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,393
Location
Between the parallel lines
Interesting why odd that 377s should set that ?

I'm not sure really, it just seems a little unusual that units which are mainly used for mundane stop-start urban and suburban work should be chosen for this sort of run. However, being modern and safe units, I guess they are a good choice really. I'm not saying there's a specific unit that could do it better, but they're hardly dedicated express stock.

For all their quirks (and there are many), I've always liked 377s, both professionally and as a passenger. But they just don't seem especially prestigious! Maybe you'd expect something along the lines of a 444 to do a record-breaking run, as it's more of a regional express unit, though it would be very much frowned upon by the traditionalists around the Southern network, and there would be difficulties with gauging and traction knowledge. Another alternative a few years back would have been a 460, though I don't remember what their key characteristics such as acceleration were like.
 
Last edited:

notadriver

Established Member
Joined
1 Oct 2010
Messages
3,388
I'm not sure really, it just seems a little unusual that units which are mainly used for mundane stop-start urban and suburban work should be chosen for this sort of run. However, being modern and safe units, I guess they are a good choice really. I'm not saying there's a specific unit that could do it better, but they're hardly dedicated express stock.

For all their quirks (and there are many), I've always liked 377s, both professionally and as a passenger. But they just don't seem especially prestigious! Maybe you'd expect something along the lines of a 444 to do a record-breaking run, as it's more of a regional express unit, though it would be very much frowned upon by the traditionalists around the Southern network, and there would be difficulties with gauging and traction knowledge. Another alternative a few years back would have been a 460, though I don't remember what their key characteristics such as acceleration were like.

Agreed from a performance point of view I can't think of any current EMU that would be quicker and indeed as you say the interior is hardly that of an express unit (memories of the Brighton Belle). A Voyager would be a good candidate for the next attempt.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
With closed roads and the right car, I think it could be just about possible. But good luck arranging it.It would be quicker, of course as the driver would be stationary for less time.

In the past speed endurance records have been limited by the tyres heating up. This obviously doesn't happen on something like a Le Mans 24 hour race spec car. But I've been told that even at 'only' 300 kph a standard Veyron would exhaust it's fuel supply in under 30 minutes. Can anyone verify ?
 
Last edited:

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
53,285
Location
Yorkshire
Forgetting about traction, would it be simpler to work out the theoretical minimum times by assuming that you are running at linespeed every inch of the way?

ROB
If acceleration/deceleration were almost instant, yes... ;)

In reality, no.
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
24,031
Location
Scotland
But I've been told that even at 'only' 300 kph a standard Veyron would exhaust it's fuel supply in under 30 minutes. Can anyone verify ?
I know that at top speed it's about 13 minutes give or take, so 30 minutes while cruising at 300km/h is believable.
 

Busaholic

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
10,053
In either 1984 or 1985 an attempt was made by a 'special' HST to break the record for the fastest-ever train journey between Paddington and Bristol TM. I remember this as I was living in Bristol at the time, and I remember the furore because regular services were cancelled to make way for this train. The furore would have been even greater had the true character of the person making the journey with his entourage then been known - 'This is the Age of the Train' BR frontman Jimmy Savile.
 

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,393
Location
Between the parallel lines
In either 1984 or 1985 an attempt was made by a 'special' HST to break the record for the fastest-ever train journey between Paddington and Bristol TM. I remember this as I was living in Bristol at the time, and I remember the furore because regular services were cancelled to make way for this train. The furore would have been even greater had the true character of the person making the journey with his entourage then been known - 'This is the Age of the Train' BR frontman Jimmy Savile.

I have previously posted on this forum about night-time runs - as far as I know, totally unofficial ones, too - where experienced drivers took their HSTs to the very limit of their feasible top speeds. I believe at least one or two of these runs to or from the Paddington area would have been at the very least as fast as any record-breaker endorsed by that infamous Mr Savile. It's a shame if he proudly presented a daytime run to Bristol TM as the record, because unofficially it probably wasn't, in addition to his morbid history!

As everyone knows, I try to keep my postings as credible as I can, but sadly on this occasion I have been sworn to secrecy about the dates and exact timings of those unofficial HST runs. Suffice to say that they were perhaps notably in excess of the known speed record for the HST, and documentation was seen to have been drawn up, if only potentially for a very brief time.
 

Cherry_Picker

Established Member
Joined
18 Apr 2011
Messages
2,716
Location
Birmingham
I've done Moor Street to Marylebone in 89 minutes in a 168 on greens. That was the one which stopped at Solihull and Warwick Parkway only. I wonder how much more you could pinch non stop with a faster accelerating train like a 220.
 

notadriver

Established Member
Joined
1 Oct 2010
Messages
3,388
While there are official record times for key journeys such as Paddington to Bristol or London to Brighton, why are there no record times kept for road vehicles ? I reckon in the early 80s national express Rapide coaches may have set some very quick city to city times and in fact between say Exeter and Penzance the road journey time beats any possible rail time.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I've done Moor Street to Marylebone in 89 minutes in a 168 on greens. That was the one which stopped at Solihull and Warwick Parkway only. I wonder how much more you could pinch non stop with a faster accelerating train like a 220.

Interesting so the Chiltern route is about 20 minutes slower than the Virgin route. Is Marylebone arguably less accessibe than Euston?
 

Taunton

Established Member
Joined
1 Aug 2013
Messages
6,003
Quickest one I can find is the 0730 which is non-stop New Street to Euston at 73 minutes which could get in early with a decent run
In 1967 (half a century ago), when the electrification had just been completed, there were stories of runs from Euston to Coventry, with vacuum-braked stock and a Class 86, in less than 69 minutes for the 94 miles.
 

Cherry_Picker

Established Member
Joined
18 Apr 2011
Messages
2,716
Location
Birmingham
Interesting so the Chiltern route is about 20 minutes slower than the Virgin route. Is Marylebone arguably less accessibe than Euston?


The route is slower because the line speed is slower on the Chilterns. It's 50-60 for the three to five miles at either end on approach to the terminus (Marylebone and Moor Street) and 90-100 for most of the rest, with a few notable exceptions at stations. The West Coast Mainline has long stretches of 125mph once you are south of Coventry. It's a four track railway too so it's easier (relatively) to find paths for express trains than it is on the two track railway into Marylebone. The distances the two routes between Birmingham and London is fairly similar even though the diverge wildly in places, it's just over 112 miles to Euston from New Street and just under 112 miles to Marylebone from Moor Street.

Back to Marylebone though, I'm not entirely sure what you mean when you say 'less accessible'.
For trains? Almost certainly, it's got fewer platforms and approaching lines so it's capacity is always going to be lower.
For onward connections? Depends on where you are headed once you reach London. Marylebone Underground is only served by one line, the Bakerloo as opposed to two lines at Euston Underground but it's a similar distance to walk to Baker Street (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan & Jubilee) or Edgware Road (District) as Euston is from Euston Square.
 

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
11,213
In 1967 (half a century ago), when the electrification had just been completed, there were stories of runs from Euston to Coventry, with vacuum-braked stock and a Class 86, in less than 69 minutes for the 94 miles.

Quickest that can be done non stop is 54 minutes with no allowances.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top