ON May 4, 1970, Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Donald Liddle, waved off the inaugural British Railways Royal Scot journey from Glasgow Central to London Euston.

The Lord Provost, accompanied by Sir Henry Johnson, chairman of the B.R. board, flagged the train and its 400 passengers off at 10am. It arrived in London seven-and-a-half minutes before its scheduled arrival time of 4pm. The journey was 35 minutes shorter than had been normal until then.

Two 2750 h.p. diesel engines pulled the 650-ton train, enabling it to reach a speed of 100 m.p.h., with an average of 70 m.p.h. on the run.

The new B.R. schedule was designed to increase the number of trains travelling between Glasgow and London each day from four to five, and shortens the journey by between 15 and 35 minutes.

One passenger on board that day caught the eye of reporters: Joseph Miller, a railwayman at Sighthill works, had missed his night train to London on the first stage of his journey to Milan to see Celtic play Feyenoord in the European Cup final, and thus was now on the Royal Scot.

His fare to Milan was only costing him his landing fees, because he was travelling on a B.R. concessionary fare.

His other expenses, he explained, were being met by a bookmaker. “I took a notion to go to Milan”, he said, “when I won £47 16s after backing the horse, ‘I Believe’.”

Read more: Herald Diary