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Train fails to beat 36-year-old London-Glasgow record by 21 seconds

Written by on 17 June 2021

An attempt to beat the record for the fastest train journey from London to Glasgow has failed by 21 seconds.

An Avanti West Coast service pulled into Glasgow Central fractionally behind the record of three hours, 52 minutes and 40 seconds set by British Rail in December 1984, the rail operator said.

The train had appeared to be on track to beat the record, according to on-board rail expert Mark Smith, known on Twitter as The Man in Seat 61.

As the train passed Preston, he tweeted they were “still half a minute ahead of schedule.”

But the effort hit the buffers around 30 miles from its destination when a temporary speed limit on the track at Carstairs, South Lanarkshire cost 90 seconds, Mr Smith said.

“It was a known risk but they thought we could still do it. But it’s still the fastest train I’ve ever taken from London to Scotland,” he said

“The really amazing thing is, this pendolino did it within the speed limit. APT was allowed to reach 140mph back then!”

A piper was there to greet train as it arrived at Glasgow Central Station Image: A piper greeted the train at Glasgow Central Station

The train, which was greeted by a bagpipes player on the platform, left London Euston at 10.36am on Thursday.

The aim of the record-breaking attempt was to highlight “the ease of travelling between the home nations”, said Avanti West Coast.

The firm collaborated with government-owned Network Rail, which manages rail infrastructure, to plot the train’s path around passenger and freight services on the West Coast Main Line.

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