I abhor Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains. I also realize that they are necessary on some lines, but that does not mean that I have to like them. Maybe I am one of the few people: but I really dislike the Virgin Trains Class 221 DMUs. It is not surprising therefore that I am a big fan of electric traction. Third rail or overhead, I don't care. I just think that it is an all around better way to propel trains.
I find the Class 221 uncomfortable for long hauls, they are noisy and do not ride all that well. To me this is symptomatic of most of the DMU units in service in the UK. By no means are the Class 221 the worst. Not all that long ago a friend of mine and I went from Fort William to Glasgow by train. This service was run by a ScotRail Class 156.
I obviously love trains, but even I was beginning to have very dark thoughts about 2 hours into the 4 and 1/2 hour run. The scenery was stunning, but the ride itself...
So it was with great interest that I read an article linked from the macfilos blog. It seems that the UK government has seen the error of their ways and given the green light to finally electrify the remaining mainlines. Click here for the article.