Least used electrified mainline

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With, at best, two electric trains each way an hour, is the line between Bristol Parkway and Cardiff one of the least used mainlines by electric trains?
 
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Dr Hoo

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Bedford to Kettering has four electrified tracks but only two electric trains per hour at the moment.
 

fishwomp

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Too many candidates here.. triangles out there with no workings, for example the actual mainline at Dinting - platform 1 is about 4 a day, do they count.

Just to get a Woodhead answer into every trivia question. They score double points.

Or the south curve at Carstairs. Less than hourly.

Actual multi-mile mainline?

The almost complete Church Fenton to Colton J. Only TPE's 802s can do it, and there is 1 or less an hour each way.

Even Edinburgh to Newcastle is mostly 1 an hour each way.
 

MrEd

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What about Haughley Junction-Norwich? Is that still one Class 745 each way per hour or are there now two Monday-Saturday?
 

Sean Emmett

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The line over the Garabit viaduct in France is lucky to see one train a day in each direction. Electrified at 1500v DC. But hardly a main line these days.

I gather the the Bournemouth main line was electrified on the third rail beyond Pirbright Jn to Sturt Lane Jn in the 1930s for a handful of Woking - Ascot trains each day. Chord closed with the wider electrication to Bournemouth in 1967.

The Nine Elns chord built for eurostar now sees only occasional traffic.

Not much left of the Woodhead electrifaction on the East side of the Pennines. The re-electrified West side sees a couple of local trains an hour to Hadfield.

The ECML main line north of Necastle was only expected to cope with a couple of electric trains an hour at most, which is now proving to be a bit of a problem, with some bi-modes running on diesel.
 

AlbertBeale

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The line over the Garabit viaduct in France is lucky to see one train a day in each direction. Electrified at 1500v DC. But hardly a main line these days.

Does the Garabit Viaduct even have any railway over it at all these days??
 

Sean Emmett

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Does the Garabit Viaduct even have any railway over it at all these days??
Doesn't look like there is currently a service, from posts on the international section of this forum. No idea if track has been taken up.

Cycled through Massif Central and under this bridge in 2017, on way from St Malo to Nice. Saw lots of scenic railways that will probably be closed before I get a chance to travel on them.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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There are plenty of 2tph electric routes:
- ECML north of Newcastle (until power upgrade completed)
- WCML Weaver Jn-Wigan
- Carstairs-Midcalder Jn (generally 1tph)

There have been times when wired routes were 1tph if that (mainly down to XC using Voyagers rather than electric locos and LHCS).
We still have some of that, until all those routes are wired or bi-moded (Norton Bridge-Stone is like that).
Carstairs-Edinburgh at one time only had a few tpd (the Highland sleeper and the odd ECML Mk4 and local service).
Wolverhampton-Stafford for several years only had a local 323 when Liverpool-Birmingham went through to Stansted with a DMU.
That also left Weaver Jn-Liverpool with 1tph electric VT.

Chat Moss (Earlestown-Ordsall Lane) was down to 1tph (319) until TPE got 802s and 397s going.
There are of course many 3rd rail routes with 2tph - Tonbridge-Redhill is only 1tph.
Some of these OHL routes carry freight of course, but only a fraction of it is electric, mainly on the WCML.
 

MarkRedon

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Concerning the line over the Garabit viaduct. Currently and since last December no service, but potential good news at https://www.ladepeche.fr/2021/05/14/un-pacte-etat-regions-pour-sauver-le-train-aubrac-9544412.php on 14/05/2021:

"
Depuis plusieurs années, la ligne de chemin de fer qui relie Béziers à Neussargues est régulièrement menacée. Le Train Aubrac, qui traverse l’Aveyron dans sa partie Sud, en passant notamment par Roquefort, Millau et Sévérac est soumis à de fréquents arrêts liés à l’état de la voie, fortement dégradée...

Mardi soir, dans un communiqué commun, l’État, et les deux régions ont scellé un engagement financier pour effectuer des travaux important de manière rapide. 11,47 M€ vont être engagés pour "permettre la réalisation des travaux d’urgence"...

Une première tranche de 3 M€ sera lancée cet été, avec le remplacement de 6 000 traverses bois, le relevage de la voie et du bourrage mécanique lourd. L’objectif de cette première phase sera une réouverture totale de la ligne en novembre prochain. Par ailleurs, une phase d’étude va être lancée pour le remplacement des rails les plus anciens à l’horizon 2021. Autre bonne nouvelle pour les usagers, les trois partenaires ont assuré vouloir lancer "un programme à long terme", en concertation avec les acteurs locaux, qui devrait assurer la pérennité de cette ligne.
"
This means that about 3 M€, funded by central government and the two regions concerned, will be spent this summer to get the line open in November. There appears also to be commitment to the much larger sums necessary to save the line as a whole. However, SNCF Réseau (cf. Network Rail) can close lines on safety grounds and there is no onerous formal closure procedure as in the UK.

For comparison, the much more trafficed line between Limoges and Angouleme has been closed on safety grounds for three years, although there is again hope here: https://www.lepopulaire.fr/limoges-...cf-limoges-angouleme-va-etre-lancee_13931066/

"
Courant 2021 une première étude sera réalisée sous la maîtrise d’ouvrage de SNCF réseau, pour un montant de 2 M€ cofinancé à parts égales, dont l’objectif est de préciser les conditions techniques et financières de réalisation d’une régénération de la ligne évaluée à plus de 100 M€
"

The sum of money required for the effective reconstruction of large parts of this line is testimony to the awful state into which it had fallen. But if rebuilding Limoges-Angouleme, a non-electrified line across gentle terrain, will cost 100 M€, then completely rehabilitating the Train Aubrac may well be unaffordable.
 

Beebman

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The first mile or so of the Crewe-Shrewsbury line was included in the original WCML electrification in the early 1960s, presumably to allow access to Gresty Lane Yard, but does anything electric ever go that way?
 

james60059

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What about the Colwich Junction - Stone line at the moment?. Many of the London - Manchester services are going via Crewe.

Also, the Aston - Stechford section of the WCML?
 

D6130

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The first mile or so of the Crewe-Shrewsbury line was included in the original WCML electrification in the early 1960s, presumably to allow access to Gresty Lane Yard, but does anything electric ever go that way?
Perhaps the occasional 88 to/from the DRS depot?
 

Snow1964

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Third rail used to extend from Northam to Southampton Terminus (the line across road to docks), so only got used by occasional boat trains.

Think it has been de-electrified (except approach to Northam depot)
 

zwk500

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I think the OP may need to clarify what he meant by 'main line', going by some of these suggestions.

I did watch a loco put its pantograph up in the up one a couple of years ago !
It was used for mileage accumulation on TPE Nova sets, and when West Coast change engines there the 86 can get sent into the platform.
Third rail used to extend from Northam to Southampton Terminus (the line across road to docks), so only got used by occasional boat trains.

Think it has been de-electrified (except approach to Northam depot)
It certainly doesn't get as far as Southampton Terminus, not sure how far down alongside the depot it goes.
 

D6130

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Carnforth Platforms. No booked use.
I suspect that the Furness line platforms at Carnforth - and the run round line behind the wall - were electrified to facilitate loco changes on such long gone services as Euston-Barrow (both daytime and sleepers) and the Euston-Workington TPO. In practice, I seem to remember that once Carnforth train crew depot had closed, these trains seemed to change locos at Preston. I do remember being at Carnforth one day (a Sunday?) in the mid-1970s when an LNER Society special from Euston, formed of Manchester Pullman stock, arrived behind a class 86/0 loco, which ran round and hauled the stock out into one of the reversible down loops. IIRC, the passengers had the choice of either wandering around the then open Steamtown museum, or a coach trip to the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway and a cruise on Lake Windermere.
 

Iskra

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I suspect that the Furness line platforms at Carnforth - and the run round line behind the wall - were electrified to facilitate loco changes on such long gone services as Euston-Barrow (both daytime and sleepers) and the Euston-Workington TPO. In practice, I seem to remember that once Carnforth train crew depot had closed, these trains seemed to change locos at Preston. I do remember being at Carnforth one day (a Sunday?) in the mid-1970s when an LNER Society special from Euston, formed of Manchester Pullman stock, arrived behind a class 86/0 loco, which ran round and hauled the stock out into one of the reversible down loops. IIRC, the passengers had the choice of either wandering around the then open Steamtown museum, or a coach trip to the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway and a cruise on Lake Windermere.
That does indeed seem a logical explanation, thank you for the information.

- - - - -

Not a mainline, but wasn’t the siding North of Wakefield Westgate electrified too and barely ever used by electric traction
 

D6975

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With, at best, two electric trains each way an hour, is the line between Bristol Parkway and Cardiff one of the least used mainlines by electric trains?
Hopefully, once Filton bank gets wired, we'll have electric power on some TM-Cardiff services. I don't expect it to happen any time soon though.
 

swt_passenger

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It certainly doesn't get as far as Southampton Terminus, not sure how far down alongside the depot it goes.
Seems the eastern docks branch single line has no third rail from a few yards beyond Northam Junction, after the road bridge only the facing points leading to the depot arrival/departure line are third rail fitted. The two depot roads (that run parallel but behind a fence almost as far as Chapel level crossing) are obviously powered.

But as you suggest it’s stretching things a lot to call it a mainline anyway…
 
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Taunton

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The first mile or so of the Crewe-Shrewsbury line was included in the original WCML electrification in the early 1960s, presumably to allow access to Gresty Lane Yard, but does anything electric ever go that way?
The original WCML electrification around Crewe, Liverpool, etc got very profligate in how far they wired down the various side lines. Runcorn Docks freight branch was another. The whole of Basford Hall marshalling yard at Crewe was wired, all tracks, yet all the shunting there was done by diesel shunters. Someone worked out there was sufficient unnecessary/unused wiring around Crewe to have done the Crewe-Kidsgrove link.

Dorking to Horsham is now down to one train per hour. Used to be the main line way from London to Bognor etc.
 

D6130

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Seems the docks branch single line has no third rail from a few yards beyond Northam Junction, after the road bridge only the facing points leading to the depot arrival/departure line are third rail fitted. The two depot roads (that run parallel but behind a fence almost as far as Chapel level crossing) are obviously powered.
IIRC, the Western Docks branch, which was originally the double track main line to/from Southampton Terminus, was at one time electrified for just over a train length from Northam Junction - primarily to enable the class 73 or 74 hauled boat trains to change power modes clear of the main line, thus avoiding blocking it in the event of a problem occurring (more common in the case of the 74s).
 

A0wen

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The ECML main line north of Necastle was only expected to cope with a couple of electric trains an hour at most, which is now proving to be a bit of a problem, with some bi-modes running on diesel.
Some 30 years later - to be fair when it was specced that was an eminently reasonable level of demand - and bi-modes, whilst they existed, weren't viable in the way they are now.
 

Dr Hoo

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IIRC, the Western [EDIT: 'Eastern'] Docks branch, which was originally the double track main line to/from Southampton Terminus, was at one time electrified for just over a train length from Northam Junction - primarily to enable the class 73 or 74 hauled boat trains to change power modes clear of the main line, thus avoiding blocking it in the event of a problem occurring (more common in the case of the 74s).
That was my understanding too. Southampton Terminus effectively closed to passengers at the time of the Bournemouth electrication. For a scheme that was authorised in the Marples/Beeching era (albeit not completed until 1966-67) it would have been a bit odd to electrify the whole distance. Boat trains (generally 'ocean liner terminal' specials) obviously had to be diesel-worked in the docks area anyway.
 

steamybrian

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What trains use the following lines once used by Eurostars between Waterloo- Paris/Brussels-
Nine Elms Jn - Linford Street Junction
Fawkham Jn- Sringhead Jn? (just south of Ebbsfleet)

I am ignoring the fact that the spurs of the CTRL serving Ashford International are not used as the CTRL services from that station are suspended.
Also at present there is only one train per day between St.Pancras and Paris
 

zwk500

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What trains use the following lines once used by Eurostars between Waterloo- Paris/Brussels-
Nine Elms Jn - Linford Street Junction
Fawkham Jn- Sringhead Jn? (just south of Ebbsfleet)
None at all, and so arguably doesn't count (Along with the Sheepcote lane spur, to Latchmere Jn)
 

David Dunning

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That was my understanding too. Southampton Terminus effectively closed to passengers at the time of the Bournemouth electrication. For a scheme that was authorised in the Marples/Beeching era (albeit not completed until 1966-67) it would have been a bit odd to electrify the whole distance. Boat trains (generally 'ocean liner terminal' specials) obviously had to be diesel-worked in the docks area anyway.
That is right. I lived in Southampton for 18 years and worked at South Western House (Terminus hotel, which was the home of BBC Radio Solent) for 8 of those years. The line between Chapel Level Crossing down into Eastern Docks and Ocean Terminal was never electrified during that time. I believe it was the plan though but didn’t actually happen during the 1967 Bournemouth scheme.
 
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