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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