...because it's a Virgin.
Apologies, that was truly terrible. Anyway, on with the news:
Beardy billionaire Richard 'Dickie' Branson is trying to break the Glasgow to London rail speed record today. One of Virgin's tilting Pendolino trains left for Glasgow at 12:37pm, hoping to eclipse the 4 hours 14 minutes record set in 1981.
The journey is 401 miles. Two years ago a Pendolino set a record for the trip between Manchester and London. The journey took under two hours. Since then, a reduced service has been operating due to the wrong sort of lines on the line.
Even though the Italian-built Pendolino trains are able to run at 200 km per hour (compared with the average 177 kph of older inter-city trains), average speed is still around 125 (that's one mile every 25 minutes).
Is this in bad taste, considering poor little Richard 'Dickie' Hammond's Wednesday crash whilst attempting to break the land speed record? Should Virgin have delayed their attempt out of respect to 'the Hamster' Hammond's family, just in case he pops his clogs? Why are we so obsessed with speed? Is this bad for the environment? Couldn't he have cycled instead? Viewpoint, below.
(Did you know, they have to construct specially worn-down sections of track on the continent when testing trains destined for fair Albion shores, because our track is in such a state? Our national rail infrastructure is an international JOKE.)
Image from JohnConnell's Flickr photostream