Cab picture: APT at 120 mph

By October, BR senior management was keeping the pot boiling pretty efficiently, albeit running out of big fireworks. Norman Fowler mouthed pro-rail platitudes that would be U-turned on pretty soon, as one expects considering the Tories had a new Transport Minister every reshuffle.

Norman Fowler tilts ...

SINGING round a left-hand curve with the speedometer registering 120 mph goes the Advanced Passenger Train.

To the driver up front and his passenger, Transport Minister Norman Fowler, the whole countryside appears to lean startlingly as the train's unique automatic tilt mechanism maintains the train's stability.

Digital read-out to the left of the speedomoeter teslls the driver the maximum permitted speed for the particular stretch of track over which he is travelling.

The minister went on a 300-mile trip from Euston to Crewe Basford Hall sidings and back with Euston drivers Les Aldridge and Frank Bolton.

"It was a superb ride, I enjoyed it very much," he said. "We averaged over 100 mph for the journey, which was very smooth.

Good ride

"I think passengers will find it a good ride. It certainly showed me the potential of the train."

Asked about reports of travel sickness from the action of the tilting mechanism, the Minister said: "I don't know where these stories come from. I certainly didn't feel sick."

Rail News, October 1980