YP Letters: East Coast rail route is going backwards in journey times

Are trains getting slower on the East Coast Main Line?
Are trains getting slower on the East Coast Main Line?
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From: Paul Rouse, Main Street, Sutton upon Derwent, York.

SINCE Virgin took over the East Coast rail franchise, we are seeing their TV ads promoting days out in the capital, with journey times of around two hours 10 minutes from York to London.

Before retirement in 1998, I was a regular user of the East Coast line, when some trains could do the same journey in one hour 45 minutes. That existing North-South rail link is going backwards in terms of journey times, and so I wonder how we can justify the cost of HS2, just to get us back to where we were 20 years ago. Incidentally, Virgin did exactly the same thing when taking over the Cross Country routes, extending the ‘official’ journey time from York to Southampton, for example, by an hour, and I read that Southern Rail have messed up the journey times on the once very efficient London-Brighton line. So, how many other journey times are longer than they were 20 years ago, and what do we think will happen when a private company eventually takes over the HS2 line?

There are vast swathes of England and Wales waiting to be opened up with a decent road network – North Yorkshire’s coast, Lincolnshire, West Cumbria, East Anglia, etc. That’s what we should be spending our infrastructure money on, not the George Osborne vanity project.