Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The age of the train?

Back in those heady punk rock days of 1977, when the Barnett formula was just a glint in a Treasury Minister's eye, you could travel from Cardiff to Paddington by rail in one hour 45 minutes.

The same journey will take me slightly more than two hours later today. Even when new trains arrive in 2015, it's estimated the journey will still be slightly longer than more than thirty years ago.

But cheer up. The Guardian reports today, accurately as I understand it, that the Cardiff to London rail line will be electrified.

The paper focuses on the environmental benefits of the project although it also suggests quicker and more reliable services could result.

The downside is that the work could take place over 10 years and the Severn Tunnel, in particular, may present an engineering challenge. Weekend travellers should perhaps prepare for the scenic route option for the foreseeable future.


Anonymous said...

Geez, the scenic route for ten years will be sitting in a stuffy rail replacement bus on the M4. We'll be stuck in traffic, of course, because the M4 relief road won't be built. Time to take up hang-gliding...

Anonymous said...

That's if there are no problems on the line
The last twice I have done that journey, the train was delayed at Paddington due to an accident on the line (1.5 hrs.) and cows on the line - 40 minutes.
I think its time all rail in Wales and into Wales was sorted.
Try London to Pembrokeshire - you need a days supplies.

Pelagius said...

Please don't tout this as progress. What a bloody disgrace. The worst railways in Europe. Another 10 years to get as far west as Cardiff. What about Swansea, Fishguard or Holyhead? Have you forgotten there's another country to the west of us? Just another example of the failed British state.