On Wednesday I got the train to London. When it arrived (2 minutes late) it wasn’t the usual Mk4 DVT leading but a blunt ended Class 91. The problem at Newcastle before departure had been sufficiently last minute that it was quicker to run the loco round than find another set (if they had one).
What did surprise me was that despite being on a fast service (where top speed matters) the 110mph limit was sufficient for it only to drop another minute over the route to London, much of which is cleared for 125mph running – although that might have been because the driver’s speedo wasn’t as accurate as mine.
It will be interesting to see, once the Hitachi IEP trains are in, how much the timetable can be accelerated.
As an endpiece, I always take a photo of something odd if I get a chance, on the grounds that at some point I’ll want it for railway modelling or need it for a report I’m writing for work, so here’s a photo of the end of the B carriage of an Intercity 225 set, and the view through the window when it’s not blocked by a 91 (although I couldn’t do anything about the filthy window!)