Alan Williams

Back, way back, in January 1976 when penned the very first of these columns, the Mk 3 coaches for the first production HSTs were being built in Derby. Before the year was out, the first trains were in squadron service. As a result, a decade after the nadir of Beeching, British Rail was back in business with, at the new higher speed of 125mph, the fastest diesel train in the world, with only the Japanese bullet trains going faster. The Mk 3 coaches proved to be a winner with passengers, too. It became the ‘Gold Standard’ against which others were compared, not only in Britain, but elsewhere.

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