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Author Topic: Rolls-Royce vs. the sleeper train: a race from London to Edinburgh  (Read 433 times)
grahame
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« on: April 08, 2020, 12:01:59 pm »

From Motoring Research

Quote
Rolls-Royce vs. the sleeper train: a race from London to Edinburgh

The Caledonian Sleeper is a reminder of the golden age of long-distance travel. A time before cheap flights and high-speed rail lines, when the journey was almost as important as the destination.

It all sounds so delightful, with the operator promising a nightcap in the onboard bar, a menu filled with fine Scottish produce, a cosy cabin and breakfast in bed as the sun rises over the Scottish countryside.

We arrived at the less evocative Euston Station and made our way to the platform where the train was ready for its 23:50 departure. Only we weren’t there to board the train, we were there to race it.

The challenge: to arrive at Edinburgh’s Waverley Station before the Caledonian Sleeper rolled into the platform. Sounds simple, but the photo finish highlights that it was anything but.

Our choice of wheels for this unlikely race was a Rolls-Royce Wraith, the most powerful Roller in history. We can think of few cars that offer such an enticing blend of pace, comfort and presence. It also meant that we could offer no excuses if we lost. We had the reputation of the motor car in our hands.

The article goes on to talk all about the trails and tribulations of their journey in the Roller

Spoiler alert - I am about to reveal the result ...

Quote
You bet it was. We had only gone and done it. Even taking into account the train’s early arrival time, we had beaten the train by a matter of seconds. The 413 miles and a night without sleep had been worth it. Rolls-Royce Wraith: one, Caledonian Sleeper: nil.

Victory could have gone either way. Had we ordered a coffee at Abington, we would have lost. Had we been delayed by the blanket of fog we encountered on the journey home, we would have lost. Had we not followed the world’s fastest cherry picker into Edinburgh, we would have lost. Had I not asked the second porter, we would have lost. It was nip and tuck stuff. All of our overnight decisions, no matter how small, had made a difference.

So - let me get this right. They beat the train by a few seconds. They ended up sleepless whereas people on the train would have been rested. The people on the train would have had that cup of coffee, washed and brushed up, and been ready for their day ...

The Roller was making all the speed it could ... the train is only scheduled to take as long as 7.5 hours to ensure a cooth (rather than uncooth) arrival time in Scotland - indeed the service under Coronavirus conditions is leaving London and 21:15 and arriving into Edinburgh at 03:52 - that's an hour faster. Daytime trains from King's Cross to Ediburgh - what - 5 hours or less?

Quote
We even managed to achieve a combined 22.2mpg over 1,400 miles of driving, which – while not exactly frugal – is perfectly respectable for a V12-engined car so adept at racing trains across the country.

I suspect the extra 1000 miles came from more road testing and racing around ... by the 400 London to Edinburgh miles would have been about 18 gallons of fuel.

Of course, if you need the speed ... for 400 miles, you could fly ... if you can find a flight at the moment. In practise, I would commend you to the East Coast main line, with a service calling at about 10 intermediate stations once we comet of lockdown and traffic builds up gently again, taking a smidgin under 5 hours.
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2020, 02:24:41 pm »

Was this ESSENTIAL travel Huh
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2020, 05:34:13 pm »

From Motoring Research

Quote
Rolls-Royce vs. the sleeper train: a race from London to Edinburgh

The Caledonian Sleeper is a reminder of the golden age of long-distance travel. A time before cheap flights and high-speed rail lines, when the journey was almost as important as the destination.

It all sounds so delightful, with the operator promising a nightcap in the onboard bar, a menu filled with fine Scottish produce, a cosy cabin and breakfast in bed as the sun rises over the Scottish countryside.

We arrived at the less evocative Euston Station and made our way to the platform where the train was ready for its 23:50 departure. Only we weren’t there to board the train, we were there to race it.

The challenge: to arrive at Edinburgh’s Waverley Station before the Caledonian Sleeper rolled into the platform. Sounds simple, but the photo finish highlights that it was anything but.

Our choice of wheels for this unlikely race was a Rolls-Royce Wraith, the most powerful Roller in history. We can think of few cars that offer such an enticing blend of pace, comfort and presence. It also meant that we could offer no excuses if we lost. We had the reputation of the motor car in our hands.

The article goes on to talk all about the trails and tribulations of their journey in the Roller

Spoiler alert - I am about to reveal the result ...

Quote
You bet it was. We had only gone and done it. Even taking into account the train’s early arrival time, we had beaten the train by a matter of seconds. The 413 miles and a night without sleep had been worth it. Rolls-Royce Wraith: one, Caledonian Sleeper: nil.

Victory could have gone either way. Had we ordered a coffee at Abington, we would have lost. Had we been delayed by the blanket of fog we encountered on the journey home, we would have lost. Had we not followed the world’s fastest cherry picker into Edinburgh, we would have lost. Had I not asked the second porter, we would have lost. It was nip and tuck stuff. All of our overnight decisions, no matter how small, had made a difference.

So - let me get this right. They beat the train by a few seconds. They ended up sleepless whereas people on the train would have been rested. The people on the train would have had that cup of coffee, washed and brushed up, and been ready for their day ...

The Roller was making all the speed it could ... the train is only scheduled to take as long as 7.5 hours to ensure a cooth (rather than uncooth) arrival time in Scotland - indeed the service under Coronavirus conditions is leaving London and 21:15 and arriving into Edinburgh at 03:52 - that's an hour faster. Daytime trains from King's Cross to Ediburgh - what - 5 hours or less?

Quote
We even managed to achieve a combined 22.2mpg over 1,400 miles of driving, which – while not exactly frugal – is perfectly respectable for a V12-engined car so adept at racing trains across the country.

I suspect the extra 1000 miles came from more road testing and racing around ... by the 400 London to Edinburgh miles would have been about 18 gallons of fuel.

Of course, if you need the speed ... for 400 miles, you could fly ... if you can find a flight at the moment. In practise, I would commend you to the East Coast main line, with a service calling at about 10 intermediate stations once we comet of lockdown and traffic builds up gently again, taking a smidgin under 5 hours.

Graham - I think you can probably relax- I don't think it's being seriously suggested that travelling through the night by Rolls Royce Wraith is going to be a competitor to the Caledonian Sleeper (for one thing it wouldn't be hugely subsidised by the taxpayer!), it's just one of those typically eccentric British contests!  (Maybe someone could do the same v the TransWilts in a Renault 4 from Swindon to Westbury?)  Smiley
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