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 South Eastern High Speed

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PostSubject: South Eastern High Speed   Sat Nov 14, 2009 7:31 pm

Had a trip on the South Eastern high speed line today, from Ashford to St Pancras and return. Strange how you become used to railway and road geography, and then something like this comes along and completely blows current understandings. I mean North of the River is North of the River isn't it - and South of the River is ..... you get the drift. And to go anywhere by rail from South of the River to North of the River means travelling through London - either by tube, Thameslink or bus/taxi. And railways north of the river are fast with dangly bits in the air, whereas south of the river they rely on extra rails and go slowly.

The Cl395s are understated trains. They have no first class. They have no catering. They have sliding doors for Pete's sake. And they have a front end that looks like a duck's bill. And they only go at 140mph, on a line designed for, and where all other trains run at, 186mph - thank the DfT for that one. Oh, they have dangly bits on the roof.

And they do go - a real kick in the back as they accelerate away. Makes the speeders on the M20 look as if they're in reverse (that bit must be very satisfying to drive) - and slices through Kent, up to Maidstone and across to Ebbsfleet in about 20 minutes. Ebbsfleet is Eurostar's Park and Ride facility - apart from filling up an old gravel pit, there is little else point in the place. Someone nicknamed it Blue Circle Parkway in the early days - I wonder why?........ Then from Ebbsfleet, a quick dive under the river, across the northern approaches to the Dartford crossing, Rainham marshes and past the Ford factory at Dagenham then it's underground from Barking. A high speed tube train which briefly pops up for air at the yet to be completed Stratford station (change for the Olympics and all stations to Norwich) and whoosh and then back in the tunnel for a few more moments until emerging into the sunlight as it crosses the approaches the Kings Cross. Final destination is St Pancras North (Eurostar actually gets into the trainshed at St Pancras - the domestic services from the Midlands and South Eastern get their own platforms outside!

Quite a ride though and at 37 minutes up and the return taking but 32 minutes, it shows what rail really can do.
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Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: South Eastern High Speed   Sat Nov 14, 2009 7:46 pm

good descriptive commentary! Reminded me of the london-Brighton film!

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Location : Kent,England

PostSubject: Re: South Eastern High Speed   Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:14 pm

As a comparison...
I had to go up to London today to take Dad shopping.
Journey home by road......3.5 hours. Very Happy
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Paul Stainz Holt


Location : North Wales

PostSubject: Re: South Eastern High Speed   Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:48 am

Laughing Laughing Laughing

Crikey.............sounds like the kind of service countries like France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Holland, Belguim and Italy have been giving for the last twenty years...........(The high speed line that is)

Excellent Austrian narrow gauge in North Wales.

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