HS2 a distant prospect as 'low-speed one' takes passengers on 11-hour road-rail journey from London to Edinburgh – Scotsman comment
As Rishi Sunak pondered lopping off yet another bit of the troubled HS2 high-speed rail link, Britain saw the inaugural journey of a whole new form of transport that might be described as ‘low-speed one’. This innovative train-taxi-coach hybrid saw passengers, including stand-up comedian James Nokise and 50 schoolchildren from Glasgow, spend about 11 hours travelling from London to Scotland, initially on an Avanti West Coast train.
After the train was cancelled – strangely while still moving with people inside – the passengers found themselves unexpectedly stopping off at Preston in Lancashire, where a replacement service turned out to be full and another was cancelled. Eventually, the school arranged a coach to get their mostly 12-year-old pupils home, while taxis drove through the night to bring Nokise and others to Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, where he discovered he had to get another cab home...
Rail has been seen as a competitor with air travel on some routes. But given a plane could have gone to Rio de Janeiro, Kathmandu or Johannesburg in about the same time, LS1’s inaugural journey will hopefully be its last.
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