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Britain by Britrail

Britain by Britrail

Old Dec 2, 20, 1:47 pm
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Britain by Britrail

I regret that my memory has failed me on many points of this trip. To find out what year it was, I had to look up the Rodney King Riots (1992), because I remember descending from Maui into LA through clouds of smoke. We were on a DC-10, and then flew 767's LAX- JFK and JFK-LHR--business class all the way on standby tickets.

One of the high points of our trip came on our first day in London--when we went to pick up our rail passes, we stumbled on the Queen's opening Parliament. It was quite a procession--the dignitaries all passed in Rolls Royces, followed by Royals in carriages. The Sceptre and the Crown each had their own carriage. We couldn't see the Queen's face, so we asked and found out that she would be returning soon, so we crossed to the other side. We also learned that Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was going to be right across the street from our hotel later that afternoon!

We had first class rail passes, and started out by traveling from London to Penzance on their "Pullman" service. We ordered our dinner soon after boarding at Paddington Station, then I believe the meals were loaded aboard in Reading. The food was excellent. We took several local trips, mostly on DMU's. I believe we took one train (another InterCity 125) all the way from Penzance to Scotland, where we took several more trips by DMU. In the Highlands we also rode a scenic train with historic cars (and passed The Royal Scotsman), as well as taking a steam train from Fort William to Mallaig. We rode an InterCity 225 (140 mph max) from Edinburgh to York, and caught the businessman's morning first class service from Shipley to London. The breakfast served included multiple types of artery-clogging meat or animal extract.

By the end of our stay, the Guards had stopped marking off days on our rail passes (although we had carefully budgeted). On our last day, we made a trip to Wales just for the heck of it.


Queen Elizabeth II




Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother at the 75th anniversary of the YWCA




Passing a luxury tourist train in the Highlands




Steam train from Fort William to Mallaig




Intercity 225 interior




Locomotive "The Boys' Brigade" in Glasgow




Plymouth from an Intercity 125




Well-behaved dog
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Last edited by Maglev; Dec 2, 20 at 4:27 pm
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Old Dec 3, 20, 4:58 am
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Some really great memories there, thank you for sharing!

A few short years later, my earliest memories are my dad in particular taking us on huge long railway journies around the UK by train and some of these photographs really brought back memories for me as well as you! If you have more, it would be great to see them!

A most minor technical point: the IC225 have a theoretical maximum of 140mph. They cannot run at this speed due to signalling limitations, though initial efforts were made to enable this, it never came to anything.
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Old Dec 3, 20, 10:13 am
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That's pretty much all my train pictures, although I have quite a few photos of the Queen's procession! My first wife (who passed away in 2003) was a big fan of the Royal Family. We lived off-the-grid on Maui, and had to get a hotel room in Kahului for TV to watch Fergie's wedding. So it was a total surprise to see the Queen AND practically meet the Queen Mother!

Last edited by Maglev; Dec 3, 20 at 12:26 pm
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Old Dec 7, 20, 7:27 am
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Originally Posted by maastrichtmouse View Post
Some really great memories there, thank you for sharing!

A few short years later, my earliest memories are my dad in particular taking us on huge long railway journies around the UK by train and some of these photographs really brought back memories for me as well as you! If you have more, it would be great to see them!

A most minor technical point: the IC225 have a theoretical maximum of 140mph. They cannot run at this speed due to signalling limitations, though initial efforts were made to enable this, it never came to anything.
A most minor point of order: the "theoretical maximum" for the Class 91 is 160mph+, as they have been recorded running at this speed in tests. 140mph was going to be the service speed on certain stretches of the ECML, mainly due to a fourth-aspect being added to the signals. There are videos on YouTube (such as
) of both train and signal being tested.
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Old Dec 10, 20, 4:32 pm
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Thanks for great photos!

Originally Posted by Maglev View Post
we stumbled on the Queen's opening Parliament
LOL, I once stumbled on her too. Went to see St. Paul's cathedral, but it was closed due to some important event held inside. Cars with VIPs were arriving, so I went to the other side of the street and looked on, lots of Royals(?) arriving, some MPs(?) were there wearing sheepskin on their heads and other traditional-looking clothes, saw Prince Charles, and the last one to arrive was the Queen.
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