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Longest direct journey between 2 close stations.


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This morning I have spent some time looking at an old time table and saw a journey that a snail* could have completed faster than the train.

 

In the 1953 time table for the Western Region there was a train that travelled from Tavistock (North) (dep. 1:22) to Tavistock (South) (arr. 3:00) via Plymouth. Now obviously this was not designed for passengers travelling between the two stations but it was possible. 

 

Any other possible crazy journeys that are or were possible without changes between two very close stations. 

 

* Other slow animals are available for entertainment purposes. 

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You've scuppered my attempts with the no change rule.  I was going to say Gravesend Central to Gravesend West (or the reverse) but that involved travelling towards London and changing trains to come back.  Similar for any other towns served by two separate railway companies (e.g. Rugby, Leicester, etc.).

 

In the old days you could go the wrong way around the Circle Line and you could still go the wrong way around Glasgow's underground (how long is a complete loop of that?).

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How about a return from Teesside Airport to Dinsdale, a distance of 2,1 miles that would take 7 days to complete and involve going through the station in the wrong direction to Eaglescliffe to catch the one train a week that serves the station?

 

Being me I was never one for rules

Edited by Boris
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Don't know if they still do it as such but there used to be services (officially designated/announced as) from Edinburgh Waverley to Newcraighall (South of Edinburgh, near Millerhill) via the Fife Circle! 

So instead of a 10 min direct journey the train headed over the Forth Bridge, around the Fife Circle and back to Waverley before then heading to Newcraighall, with a journey time of at least 1½ hours.

(And Fife Circle trains stop at every station.)

 

Edited by keefer
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Mansion House to Cannon Street is a good starter for ten. 880 feet or thereabouts (less than 300 metres), and it would take about 45 minutes if you began from the wrong platform. Or it would have done in the old days before the Circle Line stopped running in a circle, and I am not sure whether you can do it now without changing.

 

I always used to like Victoria to London Bridge via the South London line, but they're nearly 3 miles apart and the journey wasn't that long, so I am sure there are better examples.

 

Exmouth to Starcross is surely worth a mention, though. 1.5 miles for the crows, it takes up to about 50 minutes, and it's a journey someone might actually want to make.

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20 minutes ago, Wickham Green too said:

Charing Cross to Victoria ( the London ones ) via Ramsgate ...... I'm not sure that's available now 'cos so much in that end of Kent runs to St.Pancreas.

I assume (dangerous, I know) that the shortest way to do that would be something like a change at Lewisham or Dartford?

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1 hour ago, Jeremy C said:

Mansion House to Cannon Street is a good starter for ten. 880 feet or thereabouts (less than 300 metres), and it would take about 45 minutes if you began from the wrong platform. Or it would have done in the old days before the Circle Line stopped running in a circle, and I am not sure whether you can do it now without changing.

 

I always used to like Victoria to London Bridge via the South London line, but they're nearly 3 miles apart and the journey wasn't that long, so I am sure there are better examples.

 

Exmouth to Starcross is surely worth a mention, though. 1.5 miles for the crows, it takes up to about 50 minutes, and it's a journey someone might actually want to make.

You could still do Royal Oak to Bayswater, both on the circle line - 0.5 miles, 11 mins walk...

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2 hours ago, Jeremy C said:

Mansion House to Cannon Street is a good starter for ten. 880 feet or thereabouts (less than 300 metres), and it would take about 45 minutes if you began from the wrong platform. Or it would have done in the old days before the Circle Line stopped running in a circle, and I am not sure whether you can do it now without changing.

Paddington (H&C) to Paddington (Praed St) via Aldgate is possible.

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3 hours ago, Michael Hodgson said:

Holborn to Chancery Lane?

And how does that work? No, can't see it myself, and I used to travel through Holborn daily on my way to Chancery Lane for many years back in the 1970s. So I'd love to hear your solution.

 

Even if you set off towards West Ruislip from Holborn, or from Chancery Lane towards Epping and sat in your seat at the train at West Ruislip or Epping until it started back towards Central London you'd still have to pass through your departure station before reaching the other station which invalidates the challenge.

 

You might be able to manage it on the Metropolitan Line between Moor Park and Northwood if there was a Fast City train from Moor Park to Aldgate that used the fast lines bypassing Northwood on its way to Aldgate. At Aldgate you'd stay in your seat and it returned via the slow lines between Wembley Park and Moor Park to Northwood.  Transit time would be around 90 minutes I think, if there was a train diagrammed like this. There are no platforms on the fast lines between Moor Park and Harrow so the station after Moor Park on them is Harrow, not Northwood so it's not cheating. Nowadays the maps in the Met Line carriages show the fast lines as a separate line so that folks don't get confused - More dumbing down - It never confused me when I started using the Met aged 9. 

 

EDIT But the best one of all on the Underground must be Leicester Square to Covent Garden. By the time you get down the escalator at Leicester Square, wait for a train, get on, get off at Covent Garden, wait for the lift and get back to street level, you could have walked it quicker. 

Edited by GoingUnderground
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In the Summer of 1985 there was a 2A25 0650 Cardiff Central to Reading working which was a DMU and ran via Hereford and Oxford. No idea of the timings but I would imagine travelling from Newport to Reading on this train would probably have taken about three times longer than on an HST using the conventional route. 
The OP’s mention of slow animals reminded me that my first purchase from a well-known Cornish retailer* this year in the post-Brexit postal chaos took over a month to reach me at an average speed of about 1.5mph.

 

* I know that some people get annoyed when posters refer to certain shops or websites in this way. What I would say to those people is, “build a bridge and get over it”. :rolleyes:

Edited by Western Aviator
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4 hours ago, johnlambert said:

In the old days you could go the wrong way around the Circle Line

 

The current version of The Circle permits Paddington (Praed Street) to Paddington (Bishop's Road) via Liverpool Street, although possibly that amounts to getting back to the same station, now that both are called Paddington, which might not count, so get off at Edgware Road or Royal Oak.

 

Another way to spend a dull afternoon might be from one side of Clapham Junction to the other, via the Kingston Roundabout, but again, that's back to the same station, so possibly doesn't count, and the next stations aren't all that close.

 

I'm pretty sure that some "motor train" diagrams on the Southern (Hants/Dorset ones and East Sussex ones) went effectively in circles, although the trains weren't shown as "through" in public timetables, so you could stay in the same seat and get back or close to back after a long time. east Grinsted High Level to Low Level might repay study.

 

Tramps traditionally used to be good at this game, because such routes effectively provided a bed in a moving hotel for a small fare.

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What about Northern Line trains that go round the Kennington Loop? Were there any diagrams that went south via the City and north via the West End, allowing Camden Town to Mornington Crescent (which seems the perfect place to finish) via Kennington? Must have been.

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The Outer Circle of yore? Broad Street to Mansion House (less than a mile walk) via most of NW London, and was one train every quarter of an hour until shortly after the Circle was electrified and it all became too complicated.

 

There was also a long-rambling service that I think achieved much the same going via the line that ran across the concourse at Waterloo, then into the City at, I think, Holborn Viaduct or Blackfriars, but it only lasted about five minutes.

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1 hour ago, Nearholmer said:

What about Northern Line trains that go round the Kennington Loop? Were there any diagrams that went south via the City and north via the West End, allowing Camden Town to Mornington Crescent (which seems the perfect place to finish) via Kennington? Must have been.

It can't be done. Kennington loop only runs between the Charing Cross platforms, and in any case is not (officially) a public service.

 

Will the loop be used at all when Battersea Power Station opens, I wonder. Less than a week to go, so you'd better get in quick if you want a ride round the loop.

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If you interpret "without changing trains" to mean that you can sit on the same train while it reverses, becoming a different service in the timetable, then the Liverpool loop on the Wirral Line is what you're after. Trains only run round it in one direction, arriving through the tunnel under the river and running James Street-Moorfields-Lime Street-Central-James Street and back under the river again. So a journey from Central to Lime Street (which takes a couple of minutes in the opposite direction, and which you can walk in five minutes) could involve a trip to Chester and back.

Edited by Jim Martin
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There are a few of these on the old SR.  Some that spring to mind:

 

Gravesend to Ebbsfleet via Rochester, Ramsgate, Dover and Ashford (or vice-versa)

Streatham to Tooting via Sutton and Wimbledon (or vv)

Streatham to Mitcham Eastfields via Wimbledon and Sutton (or vv)

Clapham Jn to Earlsfield via Richmond and Kingston (or vv)

Clapham Jn to Wandsworth Town via Wimbledon and Kingston (or vv)

 

In short pretty much any route with a loop back with at least one common station on the out and back legs so that would also include the Hounslow loop, the Cannon St rounders that go via Slade Green and Crayford and vv, and probably others I can't think of at the moment.

 

Edited by DY444
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