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Forum Home > Carriages of Convenience. > Speed, speed, and more Speed.

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Now here's an interesting little article about the advantages of rather fast Trains. Highly topical at the moment of course, when the controversey of HS2 appears in the press almost daily. However, from the following item, non of it is actually new, and the items mentioned, were as relevant then, as there are today.

One Hundred Miles an Hour.........  It will scarcely be disputed that to possess the power of traversing long distances at a velocity of 100 miles an hour would be advantageous to a very large section of the community. The average speed on the best Mail Coach lines in 1829 and 1830 was a little over ten miles an hour; and many individuals possessing the power of thinking clearly and writing well, argued that no augmentation of mail coach speed was neccessary, desirable, or likely to produce  any benefit to the Nation. The advent of Railway speeds sufficed in a very short time to prove that all arguments of this kind were fallacious.

                     In 1830, sppeds of thirty miles an hour were regulary attained by Railway Trains, and the advantages to be derived from this rate of travelling were quickly and keenly appreciated by the public. In the same way, and for the same reasons, it is certain that the benefits to be gained by reaching Liverpool in two hours, or Vienna, for example, in twelve hours, would be quickly recognised by the Nation; and it is probable, that a sufficient number of of passengers, at conciderably higher fare than those which are now paid, would be obtained on any main line, to justify Directors in putting on one or two extra Trains in the day which would when running, an average velocity of 100 miles an hour. How much the public would be content to pay for such a privilege it is of course impossible to say with accuracy; but we believe there is a fair probability that Trains travelling at 100 miles an hour could be made to pay, provided the cost of running them not enormously in excess of the cost of running an ordinary Express Train - timed say, at forty-five miles an hour. In concidering the subject, this question of cost is one of the most important features to be dealt with. A more important question however is this: Is it possible to attain, or having attained, to maintain, at any price whatever, or under any conceivable conditions, a velocity of 100 miles per hour? This question must be settled first, as it would be absurd to attempt to calculate the cost  of an impossible undertaking.

This item was under discussion in a Magazine, " The Engineer ", and for those who have an interest, it was dated, 8th July, 1873. As I said, it's not the first time we encountered an argument about Costs and Benefits; it rages still.


A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

November 13, 2013 at 11:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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