LIVE: London to Glasgow Central record-breaking attempt fails

An attempt to break the 36-year-old record for the fastest rail journey between London and Glasgow has failed.

Avanti West Coast and Network Rail , in association with The Railway Magazine, had teamed up today to attempt to break the record for the fastest journey from London to Glasgow.   

The intercity operator’s iconic Pendolino set No. 390044 departed London Euston at 10.36 for a non-stop journey to Glasgow Central, aiming to beat the current record of 3 hours 52 minutes and 40 seconds.

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Rail expert Mark Smith, who was on board, wrote on Twitter that a temporary speed limit on the track at Carstairs, South Lanarkshire, “cost us 90 seconds”.

At 11:46, the train passed Stafford dead on time to beat the record.

Rail expert Geoff Marshall, who was onboard Avanti West Coast’s Royal Scot train, said it arrived at Glasgow Central 21 seconds behind the record of three hours, 52 minutes and 40 seconds set by British Rail in December 1984.

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Why has the train been renamed Royal Scot?

That was the name of that great non-stop West Coast express that sped to the north. In a nice touch, signallers and controllers are tracking the train using the headcode “1Z57” – similar to that used once by the old Royal Scot.: “IS57”.

The Railway Performance Society is the official timekeeper for the record attempt.

Royal Scot is running at 125mph – the maximum permitted speed on Britain’s mainline railway – for as much of the 401-mile (645km) route as possible.

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Here’s a little more on why this journey is being done. The attempt celebrates the value of the UK’s railway industry, showcasing the ease of travelling between the home nations.

The train is also carrying rail industry VIPs and subscribers to The Railway Magazine who made a charitable donation.

The money raised will go towards Avanti West Coast’s charity partner, Action for Children, and the Railway Benefit Fund, which supports people involved in the railway and their families.

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We’ll be bring you live updates from the journey. Check out our Facebook page for videos and photos being put up throughout the day.

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Sam Hewitt

Let off some steam...