Today, 17th June 2021, Avanti West Coast and Network Rail are teaming up to attempt to break the record for the fastest London to Glasgow journey
Pendolino 390044 will depart London Euston at 10:36 for a non-stop run to Glasgow Central, which is aiming to beat the current record, which stands at 3 hours 52 minutes and 40 seconds.
An industry effort means that the train has the best chance of passing the record, which was set 37 years ago by a BR Advanced Passenger Train, (APT). Although the APT trains never entered long-term service, some of the tilting technology found on those trains was further developed for use on the Pendolino trains seen today.
Network Rail controllers will be in regular contact with the Pendolino to allow the best chance of the train travelling at 125mph for most of its 400 mile trip.
The Railway Performance Society will be the official timekeeper of the attempt.
Before attempting the record, 390044 will be named Royal Scot, the iconic name for the flagship London to Glasgow Trains since the LMS days.
As a further nod to the heritage, the trains headcode, 1Z57, is also a similar one to the Royal Scot.
The Railway Magazine has offered readers a seat onboard the run, with proceeds going to Action for Children and The Railway Benefit Fund.
You can track the progress of the train via Realtime Trains.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “After almost 40 years, it’s time for this record to be broken, and I wish everyone the best of luck as they attempt this impressive feat.
“Our rail network binds our Union together, and today’s attempt underlines why our clean, green railways is a great way to see the UK.”
Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail, said: “Today marks a brilliant collaboration across the railway industry! I truly hope we are successful today in our record attempt. But, whether we are or not, it shows how the clean, green railway of today can cement economic growth, jobs, housing and social cohesion through better connectivity across the United Kingdom. There will be more on better connectivity by rail and faster journey times between England and Scotland when I publish my final Union Connectivity Report for the Prime Minister in the summer.”
Steve Montgomery, First Rail Managing Director, said: “As we begin to build back better from the pandemic, the essential role of rail services in connecting our major cities and driving economic growth whilst combating climate change, has never been clearer. This record attempt shows how effectively rail can deliver cross-border connectivity.
Phil Whittingham, Managing Director at Avanti West Coast said: “The West Coast Main Line has a proud history of delivering industry firsts. At Avanti West Coast we’re continuing that tradition, which is why we’re excited to be teaming up with Network Rail to attempt to break this record which has stood for nearly four decades.
Locks Farmer, Director of Fundraising & Marketing, Action for Children, said: “We are proud to work in partnership with Avanti West Coast, and wish all those involved the very best of luck with this exciting record attempt. It’s been an incredibly challenging time for all the families we support, and the money raised will help us give more children in the UK a safe and happy childhood.”
Pete Waterman, President of the Railway Benefit Fund, said: “It’s a real privilege for the Railway Benefit Fund to be involved in this Record Run attempt. Time is of the essence for us all and every seven minutes somebody in our railway family reaches out to the RBF for help and advice. We are so thankful for the support of Avanti West Coast and Railway Magazine, which ensures we can continue to meet the increase in demand for our services and help the Railway family through tough times.”
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