Thursday, June 16, 2011

Class 43, World's Fastest Diesel Locomotive

British Rail Class 43 diesel locomotive with Mark 3 carriages at Bath Spa Station
On the third day of my vacation in the UK, I visited Bath, Somerset in the south west of England. Bath City is famous for its spa in the Roman era and was proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1987. It’s twinned with Beppu City, Oita Prefecture, Japan, which is also well known for its hot springs.

I took a train from London Paddington Station, operated by First Great Western. It was a push-pull train with high power Class 43 diesel locomotives and Mark 3 carriages. Class 43 locomotives were manufactured in the Crewe Works of British Rail Engine Limited from 1976 to 1982. Its power output is 2,250hp with a maximum speed of 200km/h, the fastest diesel locomotive in the world. The train travels a distance of 180 kilometers in only 1 hour and a half.

After arriving at Bath, I saw the Roman baths with an audio guide in Japanese (another five languages are also available) at no extra charge. It’s a very good service for foreign visitors. The most impressive site was the source of the hot spring. It was giving off steam and bubbling up ... a real “onsen (hot spring in Japanese)”! As you know, Japanese people are fond of bathing. I also wanted to enjoy bathing … but it’s prohibited unfortunately.

Traveling on the world's fastest diesel locomotive and enjoying the Roman baths… I had a great day today.
A bright and clear day in Bath Spa Station, Somerset, the southwest of England