... Or is that route done with an HST ?
The 0820 Aberdeen to Penzance is normally operated by a Class 220/221 Voyager, capable of 125mph (200km/h). I believe a HST would be wasted on such a route to be honest!
Well that's "similar" to an HST IMO...
I was talking about things that is well-limited to around one and a half hour, like future Crossrail or Brighton to London...
Depends, would you want to stand for 60-90 minutes if you, for example, had a disability, or were travelling as a family with a small child, or were trying to get some work done on the way in (as many people in the UK do)?
It's what everyone here do anyway - as cramped as possible ! If you have a disability (to the point of requiring wheelchair or something) I suppose you won't even bother going on the train at peak cramped times ! In off-peak times however, those gangways seating gives more wheelchair space.
Also, there you go on the different ways to see trains - either as the only answer or as a better answer. Here, most users see it as the first, because of the massive convenience on travel times and resistance to delays and jams. Otherwise busses or personal vehicle fills the spot nicely.
Also, what about London Overground ?
That sort of journey time here (13 hours) would easily sums up as long distance and you'd get to be assigned to seats.
Whilst you CAN reserve a seat on a Long-distance train, it is not mandatory, and the unreserved seats are on a 'first come - first served' basis.
We don't have that system anymore ! The long-distance economy trains used to go that way, but since the massive overcrowding got a spotlight, an emergent ambition for better service (the difference between economy, bussiness and executive class now is only the level of aircon-ing, seat type and ofc price) and halting tje proliferation of "calo" (unofficial ticket "brockers") all long-distance train requires prior reservation (you almost can't just turn up, buy a ticket and board without prior reservation nowadays !) and true passenger identity (ID and ticket checks done on entering the platform on departure time, and occasionally onboard). Local trains always go with "however many tickets we can sell" and there are no prior reservation possible.
And to call this train '1 train' is a bit wrong I feel, as it is effectively about 5 services rolled into one.
For the record... Penzance-Aberdeen is 1256 route kilometres, and the journey takes 13h 23m; the average speed is 93.87km/h (58.33mph). This includes:
Pilot's right - this is effectively a number of services; XC has always taken a path of another railway (or region, under BR).
Well, that's one hell of a service then