Some say the train had been refitted in Japan, others that superconducting low friction wheels had been added by BMW. All we know………. is that it won (but only for a bit until a last ditch Steward’s Enquiry revealed timekeeping issues) and then it lost!
On Saturday 20 Aug, five Tattenhallers hightailed it to wet and windy western Wales to Race the Train as it tackled the round trip from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn Station. With horizontal rain and a wind which, some said, helped push it uphill faster than entitled, or downhill, or both, the train completed the round trip in what the official website originally stated was 1hr 45 mins. This was some 2 mins faster than anticipated throwing the carefully cultured plans of some runners into disarray. With an anticipated time required to beat the train of 1hr 47, expectations of success were high. With thoughts of Tokyo 2020 and Olympic qualifying times forefront in Tattenhallers’ minds, appeals were quickly launched. Surely the train went too fast, the wind was too strong, there weren’t enough passengers on it thus making it lighter, quite apart from its novel design characteristics; and so on and so forth. Legal challenges were submitted and rejected until finally one last chance remained…… The website time was wrong! The train arrived at 1hr 48 min and thus the leading Tattenhaller had beaten it by a puff of steam! And so it was that five weary souls turned east for home, a hug and a warm glass of beer. Tokyo here we come!
Tattenhall times this year were:
Robert Chambers – 1:46:25
Martin Durrant – 2:05:57
Sharon Eaton – 2:27:08
Robert Webster 2:31:19
Laura Ashford – 2:38:12