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Peter Kazmierczak

Shortest journey on National Rail

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Platform 9 to Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross???

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Slightly OT but this reminded me to check that at 2.75km (1.4 nm 1.7 miles) Westray-Papa Westray is still the world's shortest scheduled air route. It seems that it is and the actual flight (T/O to touchdown) takes about 90 seconds- the record seems to be 53 seconds.  The distance is between centres so, depending on the wind direction, the actual distance in the air will be rather different from that .Westray also has the shortest runway of any commercial airport in the world, 01/19 at 234m, though the main 09/27 runway is 527m. There are no landing fees either unless you need fire cover (which Loganair's scheduled flights presumably do) but neither airport has radio  and pilots are advised to make their calls to Kirkwall  about twenty miles away.

Edited by Pacific231G

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Penarth-Dingle Halt?  This may be the shortest run where the stations are out of sight of each other...

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5 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Penarth-Dingle Halt?  This may be the shortest run where the stations are out of sight of each other...

 

Queen street-Cathays? or Queen Street to Central. On the Southern, It might be Forest Hill-Honor Oak.  Thinking about it now, I'd contend that the shortest trip is Ryde Esplanade, to Ryde Pier Head. You can see both stations from the other. Slightly shorter might be Ryde Esplanade, to Ryde. Something less than 1/2 mile.

 

Edited by tomparryharry
Forgetfulness.

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15 hours ago, tomparryharry said:

 

Queen street-Cathays? or Queen Street to Central. On the Southern, It might be Forest Hill-Honor Oak.  Thinking about it now, I'd contend that the shortest trip is Ryde Esplanade, to Ryde Pier Head. You can see both stations from the other. Slightly shorter might be Ryde Esplanade, to Ryde. Something less than 1/2 mile.

 

Ryde Pier Head - Ryde Esplanade = 32 chains (but note that is measured from the buffer stops at Pier Head so the platform end to platform end distance will be less)

Ryde Esplanade - Ryde = 67 chains

 

Penarth - Dingle Road = 32 chains

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9 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

Ryde Pier Head - Ryde Esplanade = 32 chains (but note that is measured from the buffer stops at Pier Head so the platform end to platform end distance will be less)

Ryde Esplanade - Ryde = 67 chains

 

Penarth - Dingle Road = 32 chains

 Well, I never knew that. Thanks Mike. 

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Chatham to the old Rochester station is approx 27 chains, platform end to platform end. 

 

To to the new Rochester station it's a further 19.5 chains (so a whopping - comparatively - 46.5 chains now). 

 

Nearby, Rochester to Strood is about 55 chains. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, D9020 Nimbus said:

What about Newcastle Central—Manors?

Manors is 32 chains from Newcastle East Jcn and 46 chains from Newcastle Central (centre of the station)

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At one time it was possible to walk from Manchester Victoria to Manchester Exchange along the platform.   Not qualifying as the shortest distance between two stations but as the longest continuous platform in the UK you simply walked between stations.  

 

On London Underground which measures in metric units Northfields and South Ealing are officially 0.48km apart while the shortest spacing of all is shared between Covent Garden - Leicester Square and Charing Cross - Embankment (Northern Line) both at 0.26km.  

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11 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Ryde Pier Head - Ryde Esplanade = 32 chains (but note that is measured from the buffer stops at Pier Head so the platform end to platform end distance will be less)

Ryde Esplanade - Ryde = 67 chains

 

Penarth - Dingle Road = 32 chains

Thanks Mike. I'd not realised that Ryde Esplanade to St. Johns was quite that short but a lot happens between them. It's just a tad longer than the 61 chains (1200m) between Charing Cross and waterloo East. Compared with the shorter NR inter-station distances near me (if I can believe the mileages from Paddington given in Wiki), it's actually three chains shorter than West Ealing to Ealing Broadway and 9 chains longer that West Ealing to Hanwell but I'd have estimated even Pier Head to Esplanade as being longer than the 41 chains between W. Ealing and Drayton Green (effectively just the N.E. Chord of the triangular junction onto the Greenford Branch which still has some bullhead rail)

Apart from the datum being at or near the buffer stops of zero point termini (London in particular) is there a particular point on a through station to which its mileage is measured and is that marked on it in some way? 

 

Something that amuses me about the mileages on modern bridge plates, or at least those round here, is that the chains are  given to  two decimal places but those numbers are always nn,  nn.25, nn.5, or nn.75 chains- in other words it's chains and poles. Decimal places look so much more precise than 1/4 1/2 or 3/4 (or even 1, 2  or 3 poles) but I have noticed in other parts of the country that these plates seem to just show miles and chains,  miles and yards, or even just bridge numbers.  

 

When railway distances were being specified in things like Acts of Parliament were they just to the chain or to the quarter chain (pole)?

Edited by Pacific231G

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11 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

Thanks Mike. I'd not realised that Ryde Esplanade to St. Johns was quite that short but a lot happens between them. It's just a tad longer than the 61 chains (1200m) between Charing Cross and waterloo East. Compared with the shorter NR inter-station distances near me (if I can believe the mileages from Paddington given in Wiki), it's actually three chains shorter than West Ealing to Ealing Broadway and 9 chains longer that West Ealing to Hanwell but I'd have estimated even Pier Head to Esplanade as being longer than the 41 chains between W. Ealing and Drayton Green (effectively just the N.E. Chord of the triangular junction onto the Greenford Branch which still has some bullhead rail)

Apart from the datum being at or near the buffer stops of zero point termini (London in particular) is there a particular point on a through station to which its mileage is measured and is that marked on it in some way? 

 

Something that amuses me about the mileages on modern bridge plates, or at least those round here, is that the chains are  given to  two decimal places but those numbers are always nn,  nn.25, nn.5, or nn.75 chains- in other words it's chains and poles. Decimal places look so much more precise than 1/4 1/2 or 3/4 (or even 1, 2  or 3 poles) but I have noticed in other parts of the country that these plates seem to just show miles and chains,  miles and yards, or even just bridge numbers.  

 

When railway distances were being specified in things like Acts of Parliament were they just to the chain or to the quarter chain (pole)?

Most station distances tended in the past to be quoted to the centre of the platforms (not sure what happened with staggered platforms).  To ascertain of that is still the case I have just checked Twyford  (GWML) in Quail and that appears to still hold good as the station mileage is quoted as 31m01ch (and the branch connection is shown as 31m04ch)  despite the fact that the 31mile post is actually on the station (but is east of the platform centres as they were before the recent extension of three of them).  The same applies at Maidenhead which is shown as 24m19ch despite the the 24m20ch milepost being at the station.  Fascinatingly the mileage of reading has changed from 36m00 to 36m01ch since the station has been rebuilt and some platforms have been lengthened.   all these figures tre taken from Quail and if it's considered accurate enough for BR WR (and other) Civil engineers to use it in preference to some of their own records its good enough for me and I know a lot of care has gone into it at each revision.    I do know that on WR Civil Engineer's single line diagrams the station mileage was always shown as the centre of the platforms. 

 

As far as measuring distances are concerned the BR method on the WR (and presumably elsewhere) was to use miles, chains and yards and I have plenty of signalling drawings with show things that way.  To me 0.5ch is 11 yards but you then involve feet and inches if you use 0.25 etc.   Unless things have changed the official units of distance measurement on the 'old' network are still miles & chains but metric distance measurements have long been used (definitely since the 1960s) for ohle structure numbering and that has continued to be the case with GWML electrification.

Edited by The Stationmaster
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50 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

Most station distances tended in the past to be quoted to the centre of the platforms (not sure what happened with staggered platforms).  To ascertain of that is still the case I have just checked Twyford  (GWML) in Quail and that appears to still hold good as the station mileage is quoted as 31m01ch (and the branch connection is shown as 31m04ch)  despite the fact that the 31mile post is actually on the station (but is east of the platform centres as they were before the recent extension of three of them).  The same applies at Maidenhead which is shown as 24m19ch despite the the 24m20ch milepost being at the station.  Fascinatingly the mileage of reading has changed from 36m00 to 36m01ch since the station has been rebuilt and some platforms have been lengthened.   all these figures tre taken from Quail and if it's considered accurate enough for BR WR (and other)  Civil engineers to use it in preference to some of their own records its good enough for me and I know a lot of care has gone into it at each revision.    I do know that on WR Civil Engineer's single line diagrams the station mileage was always shown as the centre of the platforms. 

 

As far as measuring distances are concerned the BR method on the WR (and presumably elsewhere) was to use miles, chains and yards and I have plenty of signalling drawings with show things that way.  To me 0.5ch is 11 yards but you then involve feet and inches if you use 0.25 etc.   Unless things have changed the i official units of distance measurement on the 'i old' network are still miles & chains but metric distance measurements have long been used (definitely since the 1960s) for ohle structure numbering and that has continued to be the case with GWML electrification.

Thanks Mike. That's really informative.

On staggered platforms it would be interesting to know whether the distance was based on the up or down line. There are some lines - notably the GWR main line south of Princes Risborough- where the up and down lines diverge enough to affect that distance. Would they simply have taken the centre of the platform on whichever side they placed their mileposts. 

 

The bridge plates I'm most familiar with are on a couple of ex GWR/WR lines in West London. These are in miles and chains from Paddington and the chains do have decimal points .25, .5 and .75 (i.e. poles)  The plates are Rail Authority so post privatisation.

Edited by Pacific231G
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Windsor & Eton Central Station to Windsor & Eton Riverside Station. 0.4 miles walking, 86 miles by train (via Slough, Reading and Staines).

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West Jesmond to Ilford Road on the T&W Metro must be pretty short but of course it isn't part of National Rail—when the line was part of BR Ilford Road didn't exist.

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20 hours ago, Gwiwer said:

On London Underground which measures in metric units Northfields and South Ealing are officially 0.48km apart while the shortest spacing of all is shared between Covent Garden - Leicester Square and Charing Cross - Embankment (Northern Line) both at 0.26km.  

Official LUL list here, note the differences dependant upon direction.

Copy of Inter station database.xls

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7 hours ago, Ian Morgan said:

Windsor & Eton Central Station to Windsor & Eton Riverside Station. 0.4 miles walking, 86 miles by train (via Slough, Reading and Staines).

With something of an altitude difference in Windsor also.  Yet still considered a valid route for certain journeys which would be much longer otherwise such as Staines to Slough.  Also a valid route when disruption affects either the GWR or SWR routes and "any reasonable alternative" route is honoured.  That occurred today with the blockage of Wokingham - Reading.  All tickets normally valid via Bracknell were honoured via the Windsor stations.

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11 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Unless things have changed the official units of distance measurement on the 'old' network are still miles & chains but metric distance measurements have long been used (definitely since the 1960s) for ohle structure numbering and that has continued to be the case with GWML electrification.

Electrification is now fully metric. Even the Southern has joined the 20th century (21st is a bit ambitious for a 3rd rail system) by no longer measuring electrical section lengths in feet.

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Sundridge Park to Bromley North while probably not the shortest trip, £2.50 book in advance, does have the distinction of have the Bromley North home signal on the end of Sundridge Park's down platform.

In the old days you could stand on the up end of Blackfriars through platform and see Holborn Viaduct station with Ludgate hill in between and had you been able to see through the smoke Snow Hill as well. The area seems to have a thing about close stations.

 

CAT

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West Hampstead, West Hampstead Thameslink and West Hampstead Jubilee line are all very close.. maybe 200m max distance between all 3 stations, in a line along the same street.. but a bit difficult to travel by connecting rail service :-)

 

And just to add to the sprawl of tracks, Chilterns line runs either side of the jubilee line too.. but no station.

Edited by adb968008
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On 10/09/2019 at 11:20, Pacific231G said:

Thanks Mike. That's really informative.

On staggered platforms it would be interesting to know whether the distance was based on the up or down line. There are some lines - notably the GWR main line south of Princes Risborough- where the up and down lines diverge enough to affect that distance. Would they simply have taken the centre of the platform on whichever side they placed their mileposts. 

 

The bridge plates I'm most familiar with are on a couple of ex GWR/WR lines in West London. These are in miles and chains from Paddington and the chains do have decimal points .25, .5 and .75 (i.e. poles)  The plates are Rail Authority so post privatisation.

 I suspect Risborough would first have used the original route distances but it depends which way the milepost mileage is calculated because the station position would inevitably use the milepost mileage as its base.  And that appears to have been recalculated via the new Up Line (probably when the Bicester cut-off was opened?).

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