Sunday, July 06, 2014

APT nearly looked like this

With all the excitement about the Rapido APT-E, I thought you might like to see a photo of the very first design for the new train. The picture comes from the Railway Society Winter Handbook published by the Eastern Region Staff Railway Society in 1970.
At the time there was much enthusiasm for the future of rail with an opening article by GF Huskisson, Western Region Passenger Manager explaining how rail could counteract the motorway challenge from the soon to be completed M4 and M5. Wider carriage doors, electrification and faster trains were all to be part of the fight.
I've wondered in the past what happened to this model and now there is a RTR APT-E on the horizon, I wonder if I ought to think about building the earlier design study. It would certainly be different!


Andy in Germany said...

If you imagine it in Virgin livery it looks remarkably like the Pendolino...

And what I can't believe is the madnedd of the government, who owned the railways, building a motorway to compete with it, then making a train to go faster than the motorways. Wouldn't it have been simpler to keep cars to do one job and trains to do another?

Anonymous said...

We'll probably never know what the starting point was for the original design study - but it could be very interesting to find out.

I can't help wondering if some model aircraft kits might have been harmed in the making of the model.

It might be an optical illusion - I might just be mistaken - but the nose and coach bodysides remind me slightly of a De Havilland Comet 1.

Phil Parker said...

You might not be far from the truth. The coaches owe a lot to aircraft technology and quite a bit of the rest of the design takes its cues from there.