Class 390 Pendolino
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The Class 390 Pendodildo is a giant willy shaped tube that supposedly travels at high speeds between London and various less nice places in the United Kingdom, but really goes no faster than trains that were first designed when your Dad had hair.
The history of the willy-shaped train can be traced back to the early 1970s, when British Rail decided it would be a good idea to go very fast between London and various regional cities. Of course, given the cities that were looked at (Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow), the fact that the rail route between them was not built in a straight line should have told them that people really didn't want to get to them particularly quickly.
Nevertheless, British Rail thought "let's give it a go". However, they were constrained by the fact that everyone was pretty much broke during the 1970s, and so couldn't spend lots of money on such things as getting the economy moving. So, unlike the French, who thought to build nice new very straight railways, British Rail's wizard wheeze was a train that tilted, and was powered by gas, collected from all the hot air produced by politicians and trade union leaders.
The new train was the Not Quite So Advanced Passenger Train, which was designed to tilt. This had two benefits:
- It could negotiate the twisty route faster
- It allowed the train driver to feel like a fighter pilot (written into their new Conditions of Service)
Amazingly, not enough hot air could be collected from all the politicians and union leaders (even with imports), so it was decided that the NQSAPT would be powered by elastic-trickery.
The NQSAPT finally entered service, having gone through a lot of development work (made more difficult by the fact that the workers building it were usually on strike) in 1980, with a test run for members of the press. However, because members of the press tend to usually be drunk, and British Rail didn't provide enough food for the journey from Glasgow to London, most of them got ill and blamed the tilting train (rather than them quaffing too much of BR's free hospitality), so wrote that the great new achievement was rubbish. As a consequence, the NSQAPT lived up to its name, got cancelled, and the technology sold to Italy.
The tiliting train concept was revisited by Thames Water in the mid 1990s. Having restored the River Thames to an actual river rather than a dump for excrement, Thames Water needed to get rid of all the human waste, and decided it would be better off in the regions. Initially designed to operate as a with the intention of transporting London's effluent to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow, it quickly became clear that this idea was a little silly, and was abandoned in favour of a new sewer tunnel under Hammermsith. The rail design was taken over by Richard Branson's Virgin Trains operation, who decided that it would be a good idea to transport people rather than poo to the regions, and who had been given the right to run trains on the proviso that they buy new ones, instead of trying to screw people by charging ridiculous fares for ancient seats and sandwiches.
The Pendodildo is designed to travel very fast. However, because the government are cheapskates, it can only go quite fast. The sewer lineage can be detected by the disgusting smell that emanates from the toilets into the vestibules. The one redeeming feature of the Pendodildo is the fact that, owing to the route upon which it runs, it is designed to tilt in order to reach its high speed, allowing passengers to try and zone out the smell of festering poo by pretending to be fighter pilots. It is amazing however that, despite the tilt technology being a British design, on the Pendodildo it has been developed and built by the Italians; this is a surprise given that they aren't even allowed to design their own supercars anymore (see Bugatti, Maserati, Lamborghini).
Pendodildo trains are extremely well regarded by Tory supporters in the Chilterns, as they think the trains mean that even faster trains won't bomb through their back gardens. This opinion is of course total bollocks.