The first of a fleet of tilting trains being introduced on the London to
Glasgow line arrived in Scotland ahead of schedule.
The trains will not begin tilting until the autumn
Virgin Rail's Pendolino train arrived at Glasgow Central station eight minutes early, at 1358 GMT on Monday.
The company had claimed the £11m trains would offer faster and smoother
rail travel and reduce journey times on the West Coast Main Line.
Currently, the top speed of the Pendolinos is 110mph.
This should increase up to 125mph once modernisation to the West Coast line is completed.
The service managed to arrive in Glasgow ahead of schedule, despite the fact that the trains will not begin to tilt until the autumn.
Virgin said the delay in introducing the tilting mechanism, which will see speeds of up to 125mph, is because it wants to first ensure reliability.
Arriving in Glasgow on Monday, Virgin Trains' chief executive Chris Green described the
service as "tremendous" and said he hoped it would lure passengers from the
airlines back on to the railways.
The improvements to the West Coast Main Line will cut the 401-mile journey from London to Glasgow by about an hour to four hours and 50 minutes.
Additional work on the line between Glasgow and Crewe will further reduce journey
times in the December 2005 timetable, Virgin Rail said.
Passengers on Monday's London to Glasgow train said they were happy with the service.
Mark Jackson, 21, a student at Glasgow University who travelled from Preston
on the train, said: "It was more comfortable, there was more room and there is
more space for baggage. It's a definite improvement."
Alex Docherty, 40, from Port Glasgow, said he had not noticed much of a difference during his journey from Blackburn but added: "It
got me here on time - that's all that matters."
Mr Green said: "Today marks an important milestone in the introduction of the Pendolino.
"Twenty years ago we thought we had got the Advanced Passenger Train to tilt
but it was a technical failure - 20 years later we are back with a train that works."
Tilting trains were developed by British Rail in the 1970s and led to the
creation of the Advanced Passenger Train.
Prototypes of these operated on the West Coast line in the 1980s before
the project was abandoned in 1986.
The Pendolino trains will run on the 0830 weekday service from Euston and the
1535 return from Glasgow Central.
Virgin Rail has ordered 53 nine-car Pendolinos at a cost of £600m, with a further £600m paid to the manufacturers to maintain them.
The trains feature a shop instead of a buffet, video and audio entertainment,
visual passenger information systems and an advanced train protection warning system.