Avid Railway Fan Rides Fastest English Train. Published 18 May 1956BRISTOL (Delayed) The fastest train in England is The Bristoilan, a non-stop train that coven the 128 miles between London and Bristol in one hour and forty-five minutes at a little under 70 miles an hour. I sat in the first class carriage today and watched the miles whizz by. Frankly, I took a look earlier, at the Castle Type 4-6-0 locomotive and wondered how so light an engine could do so big a Job. I needn't have worried. She was ahead of time at Bristol.
Plenty Of Interest.
Reading and Swindon went by the window quickly enough, and I had just settled down for a dull if swift run, when Bath came over the horizon. Here, where the Romans first bathed and where George IV swanked round during the Regency, and where Beau Nash was sent away in disgrace by the Regent, you find plenty to interest you even from the train. For the monotonous placidity of the English landscape is now interrupted by a series of pretty hills. On these hills in graceful semi circles, and in up and down architectural ellipses, you see what the Last of the Georges left as a legacy to England. A quick look at the cathedral, a half panorama of the city, and then it vanished.
Frankly I was prepared to be bored by Bristol but I quickly changed my view. Bristol rolls up and down the hills past jagged bomb ruins, along narrow streets and amid magnificent buildings. Best part of Bristol, perhaps, is out near the Suspension Bridge over the tidal river, where you get the suggestion of the George Washington Bridge at New York and the Ottawa Driveway near Mackay Lake. Residentially, Bristol is picturesquely impressive.
Bristol has at least two historic ties with Canada. For it was from Bristol in 1497 that Henry the Seventh sent John and Sebastian Cabot out to the New World to see what they could find. Only five years behind Columbus, the Cabots found Canada. The Cabot Tower in Bristol is a reminder of that event The second tie with Canada is well remembered by older Canadians. When those railway buccaneers, Mackenzie and Mann sought to give the Canadian Pacific some competition on the high seas, the Canadian Northern Railway ran the brand new Royal Edward and Royal George out of Bristol direct to Canada. Then came the war and after that the Meighen government. Exit Mackenzie and Mann and their ships.
So the run to Bristol turned out not only to be a delightful Rail Fan outing for myself, but a historic excursion into a beautiful city.