Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ever heard of global warming Rog? Or trains?

Anonymous said "Ever heard of global warming Rog? Or trains?"

Ah trains. I used to use them a lot when they went fast - Bristol Parkway to London was great - it's slower now than when I used it 25 years ago.

About 12 years ago I used to travel from Bristol to Sheffield - about 180 miles - should be an hour and three-quarters on a fast train - twice as fast as a car. In fact, it was hard to do the journey by train in twice that time, about the same time as it took by car. And the car was door to door. And the car didn't take an hour longer if I was five minutes late.

Now traveling from Bristol to Newcastle - 300 miles. By train it's five hours or over, rather than the two and half it ought to be. If I want to be in Newcastle first thing in the morning I'd have to leave Bristol the evening before, let's assume I can't get away from the office until 5:30 - I'll be hard pressed to get an 18:30 train and that won't get to Newcastle until way after midnight. If I'm prepared to leave Newcastle in the middle of the afternoon I can get back with about a five hour journey. However, if I want to spend most of the day there I can't get back until gone midnight. Flying I can do the journey - door to door (my house to hotel in Newcastle) in four hours - I can leave in the evening at get to bed in Newcastle before midnight. I can wake up in Newcastle and spent the morning and afternoon there and still get to bed in Bristol before midnight.

Now if we had a french-like high-speed rail-service maybe I'd use the train but it's just not fast enough.

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