Another speed record for Great Western Railway

Speed record
Credit: Gloucester Live

Great Western Railway has announced that it recorded its second modern speed record within a fortnight as it celebrates the release of its new timetable.

GWR’s Intercity Express Train took just 44 minutes 22 seconds to travel 77 miles from Swindon to London Paddington.

This makes it an average speed of over a 100 mph!

It follows another modern speed record being posted on September 24, when an IET took just 72 minutes to travel between Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington.

The special train runs mark the new December timetable being made public for the first time.

Today’s special run left Cheltenham Spa at 1020, Gloucester at 1036 and Swindon at 1121, arriving into London Paddington at 1205.

Changes will mean typical journeys between Cheltenham Spa to London will be shortened by 10 minutes to 2 hours. The fastest journeys will come in at 1 hour 57 minutes.

The first train to Cheltenham from London will also leave earlier at 0533 compared to 0733 today, and the last departure will be at 2133, rather than 1948.

What did the officials say?

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood was accompanied on board the service by special guests and media. He said:

“Once again we have seen the capacity of these Intercity Express Trains.

“We have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare to implement the biggest timetable change on this network since the 1970s, enabling us to take advantage of the full benefits that new Intercity Express Trains are bringing.

“In providing more frequent and quicker journeys, our new timetable will for the vast majority of users quite literally mean ‘all change please’ and we are pleased the new timetable has now been published.”

Francis McGarry, Investment Director Wales and Western, Network Rail, said:

“We’re now able to fully realise the significant benefits from our investment in the rail infrastructure. Setting this new speed record shows what is possible, and we will continue to work with GWR to deliver timetable and journey time improvements in December.”

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    • ….because the North-Western main line is overloaded – if you go to Milton Keynes station, you will find ten trains go past you in ten minutes.
      Apart from the passenger traffic, there is hardly enough space for the goods trains that run between the passenger trains on the slow lines. When passenger trains belt past at 2 minute intervals (one does not wish to exaggerate and say ninety seconds, but I have seen it) at 120mph, there is an obvious need for two more lines.
      If, for political reasons, HS2 is put into a long and expensive tunnel beneath the better-heeled citizens of Buckinghamshire, that is not an argument against the plain necessity for extra capacity.
      With great respect, the Great Western main line goes in the wrong direction.
      And as a side comment, trains from Milton Keynes to Crewe cover the hundred miles in an hour and have done so for years without fuss. Sometimes they are early and have to wait outside….

  • Great Western Railway Class 800 and Class 802 IETs are one of the best newest trains and are the quickest, quietest and smoothest trains.

  • I look forward to the GWR speed-ups as a regular user of the Weston-s-Mare services, but am a little critical of the station overtime incurred at many intermediate stops. When it was possible to observe station activity from HST drop lights, there was often a lack of urgency in getting doors locked& blocked and indicating ‘RA’. A training team from Japan might improve things!