Title: "Behind Time".
Anonymous 19th-Century English Engraving depicting a Stagecoach.
Charles Dickens mentions a Stagecoach,
called "The Cheltenham Flyer",
which travelled between Cheltenham and London,
in one of his novels.
Source: Own work. Own photo at an art auction.
Author: Georges Jansoone (JoJan).
The Cheltenham Flyer.
Circa 1935. Behind "Castle"-Class 4-6-0
No. 5009 "Shrewsbury Castle".
Image: JOHN SPELLER'S WEB PAGES
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.
One of the most popular Great Western Railway posters of all time,
The artist was Charles Mayo. The poster, produced in 1939, depicted The Cheltenham Flyer.
Image: THE GREAT WESTERN ARCHIVE
Maintaining this speed was easy on 'Brunel's Billiard Table' [Editor: The Western Railway Line running from Paddington to The West Country] especially as 'Castle'-Class Locomotives were employed for the 'Flyer'.
However, in 1931, Canadian Pacific Railways took the record for a few short months until the GWR raised the average speed to 69.2mph. As an extension of the speed theme, the artist Charles Mayo, in 1939, produced one of the most popular Great Western posters of all time (see, above), which depicts The Cheltenham Flyer.