John Speller's Web Pages Cheltenham Flyer

John Speller's Web Pages

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One of Sir Felix Pole's last actions as General Manager of the Great Western Railway was to introduce the "Cheltenham Flyer" (or the "Cheltenham Spa Express" as it appeared in the official timetables), which ran between Cheltenham St. James and London Paddington at an average speed of 71.4 m.p.h., making it the world's fastest train for several years. On 6 June 1932 the "Cheltenham Flyer" behind No. 5006 "Tregenna Castle" achieved an average speed of 81.6 m.p.h. over the Paddington to Swindon section of the route, which was the fastest average speed ever achieved by a train in normal passenger service.

The "Cheltenham Flyer" around 1935 behind "Castle" Class 4-6-0 No. 5009 "Shrewsbury Castle"
The "Cheltenham Flyer" in July 1935 behind experimentally streamlined "Castle" Class 4-6-0 No. 5005 "Manorbier Castle"
The "Cheltenham Flyer" in Sonning Cutting
One of the jigsaw puzzles marketed by the Great Western Publicity Department, showing the "Cheltenham Flyer" crossing Brunel's Maidenhead Bridge
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