BRITISH DAIRY GOLD CUP

TYRONE FARMERS IN FINAL FOR BRITISH DAIRY GOLD CUP

 Michael Fisher  Northern Standard Thursday 9th June 2016 p.9

Two Tyrone farmers will be in contention for the prestigious Gold Cup at this year’s British Dairy Farmers Livestock Event in Birmingham. It’s the premier UK national dairy herds competition, recognising efficiency in commercial milk production. Entry to the event on July 6th and 7th at the National Exhibition Centre outside Birmingham is free for all visitors.

David Irwin and his father Alan run a herd of 170 redhouse Holsteins at their farm near Benburb. The farm is located near the River Blackwater in the townland of Derrycreevy. The other family members involved in the enterprise are William Irwin, Ida, Sylvia, and Jayne.

Their land comprises approximately 240 acres of grassland and cereals. A lot of it is too steep or too wet for cutting silage or growing cereals. Most of the land is heavy soil over red clay.

Approximately 120 acres of silage is made in each of three cuts to supply the stock with forage all year round. Fifty acres of spring barley is grown each year to supply whole grain cereals and straw for feeding to stock.

The farm was initially a mixed dairy, beef and arable farm. The cows were lost to brucellosis in 1974. The present herd started in 1979 with bought in heifer calves in 1977. No stock has been purchased since 1979. The dairy herd was increased and beef gradually phased out, until the present day herd of cows and replacements.

The cows are milked three times a day and the milk is sold to Fane Valley Co-op. All the work is carried out on the farm by the Irwin family and two full-time employees. The work undertaken includes all silage making, slurry spreading and cereal making.

The second Tyrone farmer to compete in the Gold Cup final is Adrian McFarland from Omagh. The two Northern Ireland entrants will be up against two competitors from Scotland, one from Wales and one from England.

The annual event is organised by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers and attracts more than 400 exhibitors covering thirteen unique product zones. Exhibitors are on hand during the two-day event to demonstrate all-new equipment, products and services to over 17,000 UK and International livestock farmers.

The Gold Cup is the top award in British dairy farming and is open to all dairy herds with official milk records and meeting the criteria of at least 100 cows in the herd,  an annual average cell count of 200,000/ml or less and a £PLI value which is breed specific. Entrants complete a detailed questionnaire giving herd performance data, including production, feed, health and fertility information.

Finalists are selected and visited by the team of judges, and each finalist is judged on factors such as physical and management performance, environmental schemes and their future plans for the dairy business. The winner will be announced and presented with the Gold Cup at the Livestock Event.

The main focus of the event is to share information, ideas and practical advice to help farm businesses survive the next eighteen months. The RABDF Chief Executive Nick Everington told journalists in Belfast: “Times are tough. We are conscious that falling incomes in the livestock sector are continuing to have a severe impact, particularly in dairying. Consequently as a charity representing farmers, the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers is attempting to support the future of farming businesses, where it can.”

“That’s why we have organised this year’s focus at the Livestock Event to be all about helping farmers drive resilience into their businesses. What’s more we have agreed to offer free entry to all visitors; they will have an opportunity to think outside the box and collect a day’s worth of ideas, information and advice to take home from under one roof, and all without charge.”

“Whilst the event has attracted over 350 trade stands, including some companies from Ireland, we are also proud to launch several new technical features, demonstrations and presentations and to have redeveloped new ones. Visitors will be able to find out about relevant products and concepts that will save money and keep on track, and investigate the latest new products and innovation – future investment, staying ahead of the game. We’re expecting over 100 new products to be available, including more than thirty to be launched at the event.”

British Agriculture Minister George Eustice MP will officially open the event on the first day, and will be responding to visitors’ queries on the outcome of the Brexit referendum and its implications for the industry’s future. The Association itself has adopted a neutral stand on the issue.

Mr Everington adds: “We are looking forward to welcoming farmers, stockmen, students, vets, consultants and suppliers, arriving with an open mind and being prepared to embrace change. The future is in their hands.” To pre-register for a free ticket see www.livestockevent.co.uk.

Flights from Belfast and Dublin to Birmingham arrive at the international airport, which is within walking distance of the National Exhibition Centre. TravelSolutions of Belfast (tel. 048-90455030) can provide a booking service for individuals or groups.

Among the key features of this year’s event are:

Forage Field: designed to help all livestock farmers learn more about how to exploit the massive potential of home grown forage, in particular grass, the most cost efficient feed. Forage Field is a hands on practical area that will be split in to two; making more from grass and forage options, and saving silage costs by reducing dry matter losses and improving clamp consolidation.

Calf rearing demonstrations: showcasing a variety of feeding and housing systems including live calves in igloos, conventional and specialist buildings, all of which are designed to improve rearing efficiency of both dairy and beef calves. The feature will be complemented by a series of knowledge sharing seminars delivered by leading youngstock specialists discussing the latest in nutrition and management.

Machinery Demonstration Arena: a new working demonstration featuring mixer wagons, loaders, bedders and straw choppers – essential kit for most intensive dairy and beef farms. Visitors will be able to observe and compare models and weigh up the cost saving opportunities as they are put through their paces.

Foot trimming / Healthy Feet: return of one of the most popular demonstrations. Foot trimming will feature the Dutch Five Step method using both a knife and grinder repeated four times each day, and supported with independent commentary and additional information on locomotion. Healthy Feet is a practical workshop, supported by AHDB, designed to help farmers understand more clearly what causes lameness, its impact and how to reduce incidences. Each session will focus on how to recognise lameness in the early stages, followed by prompt and effective treatment.

Livestock Learning: a new conference theatre designed to offer all dairy, beef and sheep farmers practical advice delivered by specialists and covering a comprehensive range of topics from health to grassland livestock systems. There will also be an opportunity to ‘ask the farmer’, with some of the UK’s award winning farmers taking to the platform.

RABDF Presentations Forum: an opportunity for livestock farmers to glean useful information on a wide range of subjects affecting their businesses including; Decisions4Dairy, tools for survival, how to sell milk at £2 per litre (a niche market for unpasteurised milk), controlling Johne’s and dealing with farm safety issues. It’s estimated that 60% of British dairy farmers do not know the rolling costs of their milk production.

 Beef Arena: another new feature focused on measuring and monitoring to help all rearers and finishers improve their management systems. The arena will feature live EID demonstrations of leading equipment; livestock specialist Miriam Parker will talk through handling systems whilst the central area will be dedicated to weigh crates, cells and accompanying software.

Livestock showing: dairy, beef and sheep will all feature in the show ring: six different breeds within the National Dairy Show including Ayrshire, Brown Swiss and British Friesian cattle societies each staging their national shows, along with British Charolais Cattle Society, the South Devon Herd Book Society will be holdings its second performance championship. The Lleyn Sheep Society will be highlighting what this commercial sheep breed has to offer. 

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SPAGHETTI JUNCTION

'Spaghetti Junction' on M6, Birmingham Photo: Heritage Explorer

‘Spaghetti Junction’ on M6, Birmingham Photo: Heritage Explorer

‘Spaghetti Junction’ or to give it the proper title, the Gravelly Hill Interchange (Junction 6) on the M6 was still quite new when I arrived in Birmingham in 1975. I could not drive a car at that stage so the only time I came near it was when I travelled by train in the direction of Wolverhampton, as it is close to the railway and the canals.

Later, when I passed my driving test, I was able to access the interchange via the Aston Expressway from Birmingham city centre. From the Expressway you always got a good view of Villa Park, the home of Aston Villa F.C.

The term ‘Spaghetti Junction’ is believed to have been first used by a journalist at the Birmingham Evening Mail in the 1970s. It is the junction where the M6, A38 and A5127 meet. It was opened on May 24th 1972 by the then UK Environment Secretary, Peter Walker. It cost £10m to build and is held up by nearly 600 concrete columns. It was the last piece of this part of the 1960s motorway network to be completed.

The junction and the section of the M6 through Birmingham is carried on a three and a half mile long viaduct. It also carries the motorway over a number of canals and railway lines. The coming of the motorway transformed the local area.

What made me reflect on it was a BBC4 documentary, the second part of which is being shown tonight. It’s called ‘The Secret Life of the Motorway‘. It showed the growth of the motorways in Britain and featured the role played by Irish navvies in their construction. The M62 route across the Pennines was particularly difficult, according to the first programme in the three-part series.

LED LIGHTS CUT ENERGY BILLS

COUNCIL ENGINEER SAYS LED LIGHTS CAN CUT ENERGY BILLS BY ONE THIRD  Michael Fisher

Carrickmacross News  The Northern Standard  Thursday 2nd April p.20

An Amey-installed LED light in England Photo:  @Ameyplc  "We think LED street lights will lead to greener, safer cities"

            An Amey-installed LED light in England Photo: @Ameyplc
           “We think LED street lights will lead to greener, safer cities”

The installation of LED road lighting in parts of Carrickmacross and other areas is helping to reduce significantly Monaghan County Council’s energy bills. The head of a special unit in the Council set up to achieve energy efficiencies told Councillors in the Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Municipal District that the Council intends to reduce its energy use by one-third by 2020. Senior Executive Engineer Alan Hall said the digital LED lights were now the first preference for new public projects, unless there was no advantage. He said they could provide energy savings of between 50% and 60% and the cost of their installation could be paid back through savings within two years.

Since 2011, a number of councils in Britain in cities such as Birmingham and Glasgow have already made the switch to LED lights. They were chosen because they use less energy, and are cheaper to operate and more environmentally friendly than conventional sodium bulbs. The sodium street lamps light up when an electric current is passed through lithium gas, making it glow. Lamps powered by LEDs — light-emitting diodes — glow when current passes through a solid material, known as a semiconductor.

New LED Street Light in England  Photo: www.suttoncoldfieldlocal.co.uk

New LED Street Light in England Photo: http://www.suttoncoldfieldlocal.co.uk

They use up to 60 per cent less energy than sodium lamps and are said to last up to eight times longer, reducing maintenance costs and halving electricity bills. The LED lights are also easy to operate as they produce light immediately when they are switched on rather than taking time to heat up, and can be controlled remotely via digital sensors. It is claimed that their bright ‘floodlight-style’ beams help to deter criminals. But in some housing estates in England, where LED lights have been installed, they have proved to be unpopular with residents, who believe their brightness can interrupt sleep patterns.

Following Mr Hall’s presentation, a motion was proposed by Fianna Fáil Councillor PJ O’Hanlon, seconded by his party colleague Councillor Padraig McNally: “That this Council calls on the Minister for Energy Alex White that additional funding be given to Monaghan County Council as a result of a new section (being) set up, i.e. Corporate Assets and Energy Unit, as in our area we only have €45,000 per year for Public Lighting and the projected saving for our area is approx. €130,000 per year”. The motion was passed unanimously. Another motion on alternative energy put forward by the two Sinn Féin members, Councillor Colm Carthy and Councillor Noel Keelan was also agreed:

“That the Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Municipal District writes to Alex White T.D. (Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources) to request information on any future plans to introduce rebates for consumers to sell energy back to the Grid using PV solar panels. This will allow for cheaper and cleaner energy usage throughout the state if implemented”.

IRISH IN BIRMINGHAM

Greetings from Birmingham for Saint Patrick’s Day. A crowd of around 60,000 attended the parade in the city centre on Sunday. But how Irish is England’s second city now? The numbers seem to be lower than they were when I came here forty years ago in 1975 as a BBC journalist. This report is from the BBC Birmingham website.

The Irish Post: September 27th 1975 Words & Photo: Brendan Farrell

The Irish Post: September 27th 1975 Words & Photo: Brendan Farrell

Are the Irish Still Big in Birmingham? BBC News Birmingham & Black Country

They once made up 4% of Birmingham’s population and were its biggest minority group – but official figures say the number of Irish in the city has declined.

Yet 80,000 people are expected to attend the city’s annual St Patrick’s Day parade – believed to be the third biggest in the world after New York and Dublin – on Sunday. Are the Birmingham Irish really disappearing? Or has the definition simply changed?

The city’s Irish connection is plain to see; passengers arriving at Birmingham’s coach station are greeted by a sign reading “one hundred thousand welcomes” – a translation of the Gaelic greeting “cead mile failte”.

Its placement – in “Irish Quarter” Digbeth – is no accident.

The storied Dubliner pub – restored after it was gutted by a fire in 2006 – sits next door while Birmingham’s Irish Centre is a few hundred yards down the road.

‘No work here’

Regarded by some as a spiritual home of the Irish in Birmingham, Digbeth is also the terminus for the St Patrick’s Day parade.

But statistics say the number of Irish-born in the city has shrunk.

The 2001 census counted 22,828 Republic of Ireland-born and 6,086 Northern Irish Birmingham residents in 2001, whereas those numbers had dropped to 16,085 and 4,623 in 2011.

Two other cities in Britain noted for their Irish populations – Liverpool and Manchester – showed a more modest decrease in the same period, and, in fact, Merseyside’s ROI-born contingent fell by just three.

However, 50,900 Irish nationals emigrated from the Republic of Ireland in 2013, and a survey found almost 60% of respondents did so to find work.

The same report, from University College Cork, found New Zealand, Australia and Canada were drawing increasing numbers but the UK remained the most popular destination.

Paddy Foy, chairman of the Midlands Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporters Club, believes young Irish – many of them equipped with degrees – are heading for London instead of Birmingham.

He said the stereotype of the Irish “navvy” – manual workers employed in the construction industry – often no longer applies.

“When my mum and dad moved over in the 1950s the Irish did the jobs the English didn’t want to do,” he said.

“My dad helped to build [Birmingham landmarks] Spaghetti Junction and the Rotunda.

“Now the Irish are going to London to join big corporations because that’s where the jobs are seen to be.”

Maurice Long, of the Kerry Association, said Irish people were still coming to Birmingham to find work, but the flow was “slowing down”.

“The call to Birmingham is not like it used to be, work availability is not here, the cash is not here,” he said.

“A lot of people are choosing New Zealand and Australia – those places don’t seem so far any more.

“When I used to go home to Ireland the journey from New Street station took 23 hours.”

Mr Long, who emigrated to Birmingham 50 years ago, added young people who do look for work in the Midlands often stay for a short time.

“They’ve found Birmingham wasn’t as good as they thought and they’ve come from one recession into another,” he said.

‘Strong Irish culture’

But do the numbers tell the whole story? While the official statistics suggest just over 20,000 Irish-born in Birmingham, they don’t take children – or grandchildren – of immigrants into account.

Organisations such as the charity Irish in Birmingham have said counting second and third-generation descendants in the city’s Irish community would put the numbers closer to 100,000.

Anne Tighe, head of Birmingham’s St Patrick’s Day Parade board, said while the older generation may be fading, their offspring were keeping Birmingham’s Irish tradition alive. Born in the city to Irish parents herself, she said there was still evidence of a thriving community.

“I think it’s a very strong Irish culture in Birmingham,” she said.

“We have Gaelic football teams, a fantastic Irish dancing scene, there are places you can learn Irish instruments and there’s a great music scene for both traditional and more modern artists. There are still  a lot of Irish traditions and Irish family values, those are all very strong in the Irish community in Birmingham.”

Siobhan Mohan, editor of community newspaper The Harp, agreed Birmingham’s Irish-born population was ageing.

“The demographic seems to be changing, on the parade day you used to see lots of first-generation Irish in the crowd but the numbers seem to be dwindling these days,” she said.

Ms Tighe said she felt the St Patrick’s Day parade was a chance to not only celebrate Irishness, but the “unique” Irish culture in Birmingham.

“I think of myself as British but I regard my Irish roots as very strong and I’m also proud of being a Brummie,” she said.

“From my point of view organising the parade is important because I want Birmingham to be proud of and celebrate its history.

“A lot of other cities are much better at recognising that and I think we should be too.”sh traditions and Irish family values, those are all very strong in the Irish

A short history of the Irish in Birmingham

  • Many of the buildings which contributed to Birmingham’s expansion in the 1820s were worked on by Irish labourers
  • Journalist John Frederick Feeney arrived in 1835 and would go on to launch the Birmingham Daily Post. A charitable trust set up in his name to support arts projects still continues today
  • The 19th Century Irish community peaked at 11,322, accounting for 3.8% of the city’s population
  • Born in Belfast, Sir Charles Haughton Rafter became head of Birmingham’s police force in 1899, a post he held for 36 years
  • Anti-Irish sentiment in Birmingham rose after IRA bombs in the city killed 21 people in 1974. The Irish Centre was attacked
  • The St Patrick’s Day Parade – launched in the 1950s – was stopped after the bombings and did not make a comeback until 1996.

IRISH POST 45th BIRTHDAY

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In order to celebrate the 45th birthday of the Irish Post newspaper in Britain I have republished this article and photo from Birmingham. The picture was taken by fellow Dubliner and photojournalist Brendan Farrell outside the beautiful headquarters of BBC in the Midlands at Pebble Mill. I had just started working in 1975 for BBC Radio Birmingham as a reporter (News Producer was the official title as it covered a multitude of roles).

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Brendan Farrell also persuaded me to become involved with the local Rose of Tralee selection. On a number of occasions I performed the same role as Gay Byrne, asking the prospective Roses all sorts of questions about themselves! But no-one offered to perform a jig or a reel for me!

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Congratulations to the Irish Post on your 45th Birthday and Many Happy Returns!

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HOWARD WALDRON 1949-2013

Howard and Marie at a wedding in Ambleside 2009

Howard and Marie at a wedding in Ambleside 2009

This afternoon we are saying farewell in Birmingham to a dear friend who my wife and I have known for nearly forty years. Howard Waldron passed away peacefully at St Mary’s Hospice just after Christmas, aged 64. He had been ill for a few months. To his wife Marie (Toner) and family (Catherine and Michael) our deep sympathy. Marie is from Carlingford, Co.Louth where her mother is living. Her nephew is the Ireland international and Leinster rugby player Devin Toner. I reproduce here the order of service at the Robin Hood crematorium and I am publishing part of the tribute I gave during the ceremony.

Howard Waldron & Evelyn Fisher, Malham Tarn May 2011 Photo: © Michael Fisher

Howard Waldron & Evelyn Fisher, Malham Tarn May 2011 Photo: © Michael Fisher

Howard was a lecturer in economics for many years in Birmingham, Coventry and at the time of his retirement, in Stratford-upon-Avon College, where he was very involved in latter years with the recruitment of international students from China. He will be greatly missed. I never met anyone who could analyse the economic situation or the state of the £ with such a gift for making it understandable to the ordinary citizen (let alone students!). Rest in peace dear friend and may you find the path to heavenly eternity. Your common sense approach to everything will be sorely missed by all. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dilís.

Order of Service: Howard Waldron RIP

Order of Service: Howard Waldron RIP

ORDER OF SERVICE

Entrance Music Benedictus (The Armed Man) by Karl Jenkins

Welcome and Opening Prayer by Reverend Chris Turner

A Young Howard

A Young Howard

Tribute by Peter Toner, brother of Marie

Tribute by Lynn Nuttall, Stratford College

Music: The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles

The long and winding road/That leads to your door/Will never disappear,/I’ve seen that road before.

It always leads me here,/Leads me to you door.

The wild and windy night/That the rain washed away/Has left a pool of tears/Crying for the day.

Why leave me standing here?/Let me know the way.

Many times I’ve been alone/And many times I’ve cried,/Anyway you’ll never know/The many ways I’ve tried.

But still they lead me back/To the long and winding road,/You left me waiting here/A long, long time ago.

Don’t leave me standing here,/Lead me to your door.

But still they lead me back/To the long and winding road,/You left me waiting here/A long, long time ago.

Don’t leave me standing here,/Lead me to your door.

Marie & Howard Waldron

Marie & Howard Waldron

Poem: Epitaph On A Friend read by Catherine Waldron

An honest man lies here at rest,/The friend of man, the friend of truth;

The friend of age, and guide of youth:/Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,

Few heads with knowledge so inform’d;/If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;

If there is none, he made the best of this.

Tribute by Jim (Matthew Boulton College, Birmingham)

Music: The Parting Glass sung by Eoin Gaffney (Malahide)

Of all the money that e’er I had, I’ve spent it in good company

And all the harm that e’er I’ve done, Alas it was to none but me.

And all I’ve done for want of wit/ To memory now I can’t recall.

So fill to me the parting glass, Goodnight and joy be with you all.

A man may drink and not be drunk, A man may fight and not be slain.

A man may court a pretty girl/ And perhaps be welcomed back again.

But since it has so ought to be/ By a time to rise and a time to fall,

Come fill to me the parting glass, Goodnight and joy be with you all.

Of all the comrades that e’er I had, They are sorry for my going away,

And all the sweethearts that e’er I had, They would wish me one more day to stay.

But since it falls unto my lot/ That I should rise and you should not,

I’ll gently rise and I’ll softly call, Goodnight and joy be with you all. Goodnight and joy be with you all.

Howard Waldron RIP

Howard Waldron RIP

Tribute by Michael Fisher in memory of our many walks together:

A Little Poddle (leisurely amble) by Ann Bristow from the Alfred Wainwright Society Poetry Competition 2011

It’s just a little poddle/ To the left then round that bend/ Up to the top/ Then down/ Then up/

Til we come back down again

***********************************************

It’s just a small leg stretcher/ To break us in/ And then/ Tomorrow we’ll do a big walk/

And sort boys out from the men

****************************************************

We’ll stop just in a minute/ And then we’ll have a rest

Come on now keep on going/ The view’s just past this crest

********************************************************

We’ll lunch upon the summit/ With a panoramic view

Then down we’ll go to have a pint/ And maybe a crisp or two

****************************************************

It’s just a little poddle/ A nice round walk with views

And somehow all the better/ For having good friends go with you!

Judge’s comment: ‘Brings back memories of family walking and persuading others there’s not far to go. Read it with a big smile.’

Bolton Abbey by William Wordsworth

From Bolton’s old monastic tower
The bells ring loud with gladsome power;
The sun shines bright; the fields are gay
With people in their best array
Of stole and doublet, hood and scarf,
Along the banks of crystal Wharf,
Through the vale retired and lowly.
Trooping to that summons holy.
And, up among the moorlands, see
What sprinklings of blithe company!
Of lasses and of shepherd grooms,
That down the steep hills force their way
Like cattle through the budding brooms;
Path, or no path, what care they?
And thus in joyous mood they hie
To Bolton’s mouldering Priory.

So in reflecting on Bolton Abbey, Malham, Ambleside, Keswick, Powerscourt, York and all those joyful expeditions in England and Ireland and in the family’s case much further afield, I hope that even in the face of death, my words this afternoon can be those of thanksgiving.

Howard & Marie (middle) at Powerscourt May 2010 Photo: © Michael Fisher

Howard & Marie (middle) at Powerscourt May 2010 Photo: © Michael Fisher

We are thankful for Howard, who shared his life with us. A dear friend, for whom love and family were so important. A wanderer, whose life was lived with vigour. We give thanks for the struggles of life and for the triumph of character over trial, of courage over difficulty, and of belief over sorrow.

May God grant us such strength in the memory of Howard that we may be thankful for the gift of life given to each of us. In our hearts, may the loss of Howard be balanced by thanksgiving for a life that in our case was shared with us, ever since we first met here in Birmingham nearly forty years ago. Amen.

Howard, Marie, Evelyn & myself at a wedding in Ambleside 2009

Howard, Marie, Evelyn & myself at a wedding in Ambleside 2009

Quiet Reflection:  Music: In Paradisum by Fauré

Marie & Howard at Windermere 2009

Marie & Howard at Windermere 2009

Prayers and Commendation and Exit Music 

Albatross by Fleetwood Mac

Donations, if desired, can be made directly to St Mary’s Hospice

Howard Waldron with friend in the Galápagos Islands   Photo: © Marie Waldron

Howard Waldron with friend in the Galápagos Islands Photo: © Marie Waldron

HIGH SPEED2 RAIL

Shinkansen: Japanese Bullet Train at NRM York Photo: © Michael Fisher

Shinkansen: Japanese Bullet Train at NRM York Photo: © Michael Fisher

Looking at the Shinkansen Japanese Bullet Train during a visit to the National Railway Museum in York in June, I wondered if such a high-speed service was any nearer in England. The new version of the train runs at speeds of up to 200mph in Japan. The original track opened in 1964 between Tokyo and Osaka and is the world’s busiest high-speed line.

Interior Japanese Bullet Train at NRM York Photo: © Michael Fisher

Interior Japanese Bullet Train at NRM York Photo: © Michael Fisher

This is a “series O” train – serial number 22-141 – and was the first vehicle built and run outside the UK to be part of the museum’s collection. It began service in 1976 and was mothballed in October 2000 after more than 20 years of service on the 320-mile Tokyo to Osaka route. It was delivered to the NRM in June 2001.

HS2 Route Map: BBC News

HS2 Route Map: BBC News

Now the British government is planning a high-speed line in England HS2 which will initially run from London to Birmingham in a journey tie of less than 50 minutes, compared to the 75 minutes it currently takes from London Euston to Birmingham International on a Pendelino inter city express run by Virgin Trains. The initial plan is for a new line between London and the West Midlands, carrying 400m-long (1,300ft) trains, with up to 1,100 seats per train. They would operate at speeds of up to 250mph – faster than any current operating speed in Europe – and would travel up to fourteen times per hour in each direction.

There would be a second phase: a V-shaped route taking services from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds. Intermediate stations in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire are also planned (BBC News).

A new report by accountants KPMG says the HS2 rail project could boost the British economy by £15bn a year, with regions outside the capital being the biggest beneficiaries. But it says the economic boost will not be felt until 2037. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin presented the findings as he made the case for the new rail line.