HS2 a distant prospect as 'low-speed one' takes passengers on 11-hour road-rail journey from London to Edinburgh – Scotsman comment

Passengers found their Avanti West Coast train was cancelled while it was still moving

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...

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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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