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Longest stretch of uk level line

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2 hours ago, iands said:

Straight yes (about 18miles), but surprisingly not as level as you might think, although the gradients perhaps fall into the "reasonably gentle" category.

 

Most of the gradients being to cross watercourses, I think?  Bit disconcerting working on it as a Guard, to see the headlights of the following train appearing and disappearing as it crosses the bridges!  Also interesting to see how far away you can see the lights of the Humber Bridge from.

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3 hours ago, iands said:

Hi Edwin,

It's the bit before that, from just after the 189 milepost to the 200 milepost (roughly from Poppleton Jn to about a mile before Raskelf).

Yes you're right.  I think I missed that one because it's split between two pages! 

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3 hours ago, Stubby47 said:

Having grown up in North Wales, in the Vale of Clwyd, and married within sight of Snowdon, I guess my perspective is slightly skewed :)

I went to Switzerland once.  It hurt my neck...

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8 hours ago, iands said:

According to The Railway Magazine 'Gradients of the British Main Line Railways (1936)' it records a section of the Edinburgh (Inverkeithing) - Aberdeen line between milepost 61 and milepost 75 as being "level" - so 14 miles. How accurate this is I've no way of telling, but given what Bomag says about taking into account the curvature of the earth/crest curve etc., this "14 mile" bit of line may not actually be "dead level", to use an unscientific term.

Surely the curvature of the earth has to be a furphy? It isn't a gradient.

 

Unless you are a flat earther!

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7 hours ago, Clive Mortimore said:

Sorry everyone for going off topic but I must take issue with my mate Stu.

 

Not all of Lincolnshire is flat. When I shopping to Louth (capital of the Wolds) I get altitude sickness.

 

And let's not forget that Stoke Summit - the highest point on the ECML - is in Lincolnshire.....

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I guess we can discount the Cornish main line to save time. I’ve not formally checked but it doesn’t seem very flat.....

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Isn't the flattest marked (with a post) gradient somewhere near Hull 1 in 10364 (or something near that) ??

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1 hour ago, Southernman46 said:

Isn't the flattest marked (with a post) gradient somewhere near Hull 1 in 10364 (or something near that) ??

There are gradient posts in East Anglia that use the infinity symbol to denote level! 

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9 hours ago, nick_bastable said:

Marsh line Hastings to Ashford must be quite flat

 

Nick

 

Only between Appledore and Doleham really. 

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The SER main line from Tonbridge (at least) to Ashford is straight, but I'm not sure how level it is ? And the Paisley Canal line, as its name suggests, must be fairly level (unlike its former continuation to Greenock via Kilmacolm, which, as cycling over it showed, is definitely nowhere near level !)

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I am going to be an awkward sod and suggest that not one rail line in this country can actually be 'level', except for perhaps some lengths in a 'works' or maybe the new factory at Newton Aycliffe? I suggest this due to minute deviations from the level on any track, anywhere, even across the 'flattest' countryside. However I respect the OP's question as I get what he is talking about. If parameters are allowed for 'some deviation from the level' in railway engineering terms, for which I have zilch idea as I am no engineer in any way, then there must be some stretches that fall into the level category. Where they are I have no idea at all so I cannot give even a guess.

Ar$£ 

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I'm on a pretty flat straight stretch now. Outskirts of Boston to Firsby. Of course the line continued towards Louth in earlier days.

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12 hours ago, 31A said:

 

Most of the gradients being to cross watercourses, I think?  Bit disconcerting working on it as a Guard, to see the headlights of the following train appearing and disappearing as it crosses the bridges!  Also interesting to see how far away you can see the lights of the Humber Bridge from.

 

Sorry for the tangent but I think one of the most chilling opening sequences in a film is in Mississippi Burning, where our civil rights heroes are driving a car at night on a lonely road with masses of hidden dips, and you suddenly become aware of one, two or more cars following, their headlights ducking into and out of view in the rear mirror. Er... sorry for the tangent.

 

Parts of the Fen line towards King's Lynn are both very flat and arrow-straight. An other-worldly combination.

 

Paul

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37 minutes ago, Mallard60022 said:

 due to minute deviations from the level on any track, anywhere, even across the 'flattest' countryside. However I respect the OP's question as I get what he is talking about.

Speaking of 'minute' deviations, I recall watching a documentary about the preparations for one of the French high speed runs, either the 574Km/h one or the one previous to that, where they found a section of line that was 5mm high! This high spot had to be ground out, such were the speeds being attempted.

 

As the measuring ability increases and we can detect smaller and smaller differences, can we get so fine that it no longer really matters? If a drop of water or more likely, an unbraked vehicle, will not roll in either direction - then, surely that is "flat" or "level"?

Talk of the curvature of the earth affecting the "level" seems rather nonsensical to me!

If you think about the surface of a large body of water (a lake or a sea), is there any argument about whether or not its surface is flat and level? Assuming a lack of waves due to wind etc, naturally.

Yet it will follow the curvature of the earth.

Cheers,

John.

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The track across Halvergate marshes from Acle to Great Yarmouth must be fairly flat....

it's over there... about 100 yards away..

Capture.JPG

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Edwin_m said:

Curious.  I've just dug up the Ian Allan book and it only shows about 7 miles (between about MP205 1/4 and 212). 

 

  • Brean (140 1/2) to Bridgwater (151) 10.5 miles

Slightly odd to include Brean, which is not on the railway. Lympsham would be more appropriate. I don't know how much of the Somerset Central line is actually 'level',  despite running across the Somerset Levels, following the route of the Glastonbury Canal. It certainly felt level when travelling between Highbridge and Glastonbury. But that was 50+ years ago, so my recollections maybe somewhat woolly!

Edited by phil_sutters
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20 minutes ago, phil_sutters said:

Slightly odd to include Brean, which is not on the railway. Lympsham would be more appropriate. I don't know how much of the Somerset Central line is actually 'level',  despite running across the Somerset Levels, following the route of the Glastonbury Canal. It certainly felt level when travelling between Highbridge and Glastonbury. But that was 50+ years ago, so my recollections maybe somewhat woolly!

The gradient book shows Brean Road Platform as the nearest station (at the unknown date the charts were prepared). 

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19 hours ago, Clive Mortimore said:

Sorry everyone for going off topic but I must take issue with my mate Stu.

 

Not all of Lincolnshire is flat. When I shopping to Louth (capital of the Wolds) I get altitude sickness.

 

Louth has an altitude of 34m.  Get a grip, man !

 

We're less than 2 miles from the north Cornish coast (here at work) and are at an altitude of 85m  (https://routecalculator.co.uk/elevation)

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Stubby47 said:

 

Louth has an altitude of 34m.  Get a grip, man !

 

We're less than 2 miles from the north Cornish coast (here at work) and are at an altitude of 85m  (https://routecalculator.co.uk/elevation)

I too am less than two miles from the coast and an altitude of 2.5 meters according to Ordnance Survey, I am sure we are lower. And Louth is in the hills I can see from my front room.

 

The railway line which, had it still been open I would have been able to see from my front room, the Mablethorpe loop must have been pretty level from Mablethorpe to Grimoldby where it would have made its ascent into Louth.

Edited by Clive Mortimore
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1 hour ago, Clive Mortimore said:

........... to Grimoldby where it would have made its ascent into Louth.

No wonder they closed it .................... couldn't afford to maintain the rack 'n' pinion !

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20 hours ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

Like Shap?

 

They were only short so you just need a level section of a few hundred yards. Dillicar being a prime example. Take water just before hitting the gradient.

 

http://www.aidan.co.uk/photo9360.htm

 

 

Jason

Begs the question , I wonder what was the longest water trough?

 

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8 hours ago, TomJ said:

I guess we can discount the Cornish main line to save time. I’ve not formally checked but it doesn’t seem very flat.....

About the only flat bits are where it changes from going uphill to going down hill, or vice versa.

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