The Anonymous Widower

Edinburgh to Inverness in the Cab of an HST

Part of the reason for the trip north was to travel in the cab of a diesel  High Speed Train from Edinburgh to Inverness.  This was organised by East Coast and I don’t think they’d be too happy, if you used this page as an excuse to try to do the same. But thanks to everyone at the company, for giving me the trip of a lifetime!

I travelled with their Driver Manager, who himself had spent years driving trains, and an experienced driver from Newcastle, so if anybody thinks that having me in the cab compromised anything, then there was no way I could.

The first thing that struck me about the journey was how quiet it was in the cab of the HST, despite having a 2,250 horse power diesel engine in the next room.  Compare this with the engine in a typical heavy truck and it’s about five times as powerful, but then it has to pull nine full coaches, with the help of the other power car at the back of the train and a total of 4,500 horses. Compare it too with the 3,300 horse power of the Deltic of the 160s and 1970s.  But that was a 100 mph train, as opposed to the 125 mph of the HST.

It should also be said that the noise and vibration was much less than that I experienced as a passenger on one of the dreaded Pacers on my way to Scunthorpe.

Before you watch the video, note that the occasional screeches are the signal warnings, which must be cancelled by the driver.

As they say, enjoy the film! The video has now been shortened, by cutting out some of the repetitive bits!

Incidentally, my typing and vision has improved a bit, since the trip.

Was that improvement caused by travelling in a HST? If it is, then it’s a very unusual cure and something you won’t get on the NHS!

To say the least it was a train journey of a lifetime, usually at 90 mph on a line that rises to 1,400 feet above sea level. How many trains in the world do that sort of speed on a line that was opened in the last century.  Remember too, that the youngest HST is 27 years old!

Some journey! Some train!  But then good engineering is absolutely timeless!

Some of my friends, think that I didn’t take this film.  So here’s a picture of me in the cab.

I actually didn’t realise I looked that scruffy, but then I was travelling to be warm!  Hence the Ipswich Town woolly hat! Was it the first time, such a hat had been worn on an HST?

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September 30, 2010 - Posted by | Travel | , ,

15 Comments »

  1. Sounds like it was everything you hoped it would be …

    Comment by Nick Comfort | September 30, 2010 | Reply

  2. [...] I rode out of Edinburgh towards Inverness, I was impressed to see that electrification has started to link Edinburgh and Glasgow.  As it is [...]

    Pingback by Reflections on My Journey to Scotland « The Anonymous Widower | October 1, 2010 | Reply

  3. [...] Hitched a Lift in the cab of a High Speed Train from Edinburgh to Inverness. More… [...]

    Pingback by Things I Have Never Done « The Anonymous Widower | December 27, 2010 | Reply

  4. [...] as complicated as an Underground train. Remember, I’ve seen at first hand, what it takes to drive a train.  But that was on a much more complicated line, at twice the speed and without the same degree of [...]

    Pingback by Boris Talks Sense « The Anonymous Widower | January 14, 2011 | Reply

  5. [...] on a clear day from the DVT on the front of the train. It would hopefully be as spectacular as the video, I took from the High Speed Train on the way to Inverness. 52.245212 [...]

    Pingback by From the Match Factory to Eastfield « The Anonymous Widower | February 27, 2011 | Reply

  6. [...] workhorses of the line are High Speed Diesel Trains, like the one where I rode in the cab from Edinburgh to Inverness. 52.245212 0.403362 On the PopPressed Radar Vanity Fair Really Is Made of One-Third [...]

    Pingback by By God’s Wonderful Railway to Bristol « The Anonymous Widower | April 17, 2011 | Reply

  7. [...] full video of my cab trip from Edinburgh to Inverness is just too long, so here’s a shortened version [...]

    Pingback by An Exhilirating Ride « The Anonymous Widower | April 24, 2011 | Reply

  8. [...] work on say London to Inverness?  I’ve travelled the northermost part of this line in the driver’s cab and it is a truly spectacular line, but it is unlikely that it will ever be able to be electrified [...]

    Pingback by The Future of Very Long Distance Trains in the UK « The Anonymous Widower | July 31, 2011 | Reply

  9. [...] if you want the best view, you’ll have to be up front with the driver. I’ve done this once and it’s the only way to [...]

    Pingback by The Man In Seat 28 « The Anonymous Widower | August 13, 2011 | Reply

  10. [...] The nearest I got to seeing it in the UK, was on my trip north from Edinburgh to Inverness on the InterCity 125. [...]

    Pingback by The Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis « The Anonymous Widower | September 21, 2011 | Reply

  11. [...] But if the day did prove one thing, it was that the stopgap Intercity 125 is a superb train.  But then I know that, having been through the Highlands at 90 mph. [...]

    Pingback by 92 Clubs – Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth « The Anonymous Widower | October 30, 2011 | Reply

  12. [...] to one of the best places to see the aurora in the UK. And that is in the cab of a train going from Edinburgh to Inverness in the evening. The night I did the journey, the time was wrong and anyway it was cloudy.  But the [...]

    Pingback by Aurora Borealis « The Anonymous Widower | January 24, 2012 | Reply

  13. [...] I used to love driving and now all my cars have gone. But then I have no intention of driving again. But then too many idiots can drive, but how many have taken a train all the way to Nice and back as I have. And how many have wangled their way into the cab of an HST between Edinburgh and Inverness. [...]

    Pingback by How Little Possessions Matter! « The Anonymous Widower | August 11, 2012 | Reply

  14. [...] I’m reminded of the tale I heard when I shared the driver’s cab in a High Speed Diesel Train from Edinburgh to Inverness. [...]

    Pingback by Otters Will Be Otters « The Anonymous Widower | February 26, 2013 | Reply

  15. […] It’ll be a bit like your mini-cab company saying we couldn’t send the new Nissan, so we sent this immaculate 1970s Jaguar instead. Although the lines wouldn’t be high speed ones, they wouldn’t be slow and mountainous ones, like those through the North of Scotland, where these trains show how good they are. […]

    Pingback by What Will A Reopened March And Wisbech Railway Mean? « The Anonymous Widower | July 23, 2014 | Reply


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