Journey times same as 1910!

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LET’S get our facts straight in reply to Mr Hooper’s letter.

Cardiff to London on Brunel’s billiard table level and straight rails from Swindon is 145.5 miles.

If electrified a journey time of 1 hour, 42 minutes at an average speed of 87mph is remarkable but not impossible.

Eastbourne to Victoria or London Bridge via Plumpton is almost 66 miles. The journey times have been about 1 hour 30 minutes since 1910, usually with stops at Lewes, Haywards Heath, and East Croydon only.

In the 1930s and 1940s electric trains were 12 coaches long of two six car units, one having a buffet or Pullman car.

In 1966 the fastest journeys took 1 hour, 26 minutes.

Now we have four car units, leaving Eastbourne as one or two units, and attaching another one or two units from Littlehampton at Haywards Heath. This all takes time, even more if one part is running late.

Most trains now stop at up to nine intermediate stations and take 1 hour, 30 minutes.

If they reverted to just three intermediate stations with no attachments the journey time might be reduced to 1 hour, 15 minutes, at an average speed of 50mph.

Patrick Attenborough

Grange Road