Longest route on disused railways?

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D869

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Only one from me, which I cannot believe has not been mentioned before:

Malvern Wells - Tewkesbury - Ashchurch - Evesham - Bidford-on-Avon - Stratford Old Town - Kineton - Byfield - Towcester - Blisworth* - Northampton Bridge Street - Wellingborough London Road - Oundle - Wansford - Stamford East - Essendine* - Bourne - Sutton Bridge - South Lynn - Melton Constable - Potter Heigham - Caister-on-Sea

* New bridge crossing at WCML & ECML.

A vitally important route for future Malvern to Caister Spring Bank Holiday traffic!

This light-hearted post in another thread was a first failed attempt at a long reopening without using any existing tracks. I cheated with new bridges at a couple of locations and the extant Kineton - Fenny Compton.

Challenge:
What is the longest theoretical service possible along currently disused railways?

Rules:
1. No running along existing tracks allowed, except preserved railways and lines to military depots. Flat crossings of existing lines are permitted.
2. No new curves or connections, only tracks that once existed.
3. Reversals are allowed to change direction but otherwise no doubling back along lines already done.
.
 
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yorksrob

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I would have thought just North of Aylesbury to just North of Sheffield must be up there (assuming we're not including preserved.
 

backontrack

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Until recently you could have had Bankhead-connecting line-Dolphinton-Leadburn-Peebles-Galashiels-Riccarton Junction-Reedsmouth-connecting line-Bedlington-Seaton Delaval-Percy (Main); now that the line to Tweedbank has been reopened this no longer counts.
 

Bald Rick

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I would have thought just North of Aylesbury to just North of Sheffield must be up there (assuming we're not including preserved.

I would think Malvern to Caister is further than that. Besides, isn't part of the ex GC route used by part of the Robin Hood line? I may be wrong there.
 

backontrack

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There's also Moat Lane-Llanidloes-Rhyader-Builth Road LL-Builth Wells-Three Cocks-Brecon-Cyfartha Junction-Abernant-Hirwaun-Glynneath-Neath Riverside-Swansea Victoria-Swansea Bay-Pontarddulais.
 
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edwin_m

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isn't part of the ex GC route used by part of the Robin Hood line? I may be wrong there.

You might have to have a referee's decision on that one. It uses the same horizontal alignment for a short distance but at a different elevation.
 

A0wen

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Besides, isn't part of the ex GC route used by part of the Robin Hood line? I may be wrong there.

Nope - the Robin Hood line is a mix of ex GNR and MR

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Hood_Line

Amazingly through places like Newstead there were actually three competing lines - GNR, MR and GCR.

A quick look on an OS and you can see where the other lines were - and they were all close together.
 

PHILIPE

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What about the S & D, start at Bristol TM thence via Mangotsfield, Bath Green Park and so on to Poole. I thought of starting at Yate but oil trains run to a terminal at Westerleigh. There is a stretch used by the Biten Raiklway, but this is a Heritage Railway and not part of the Network.
 

HowardGWR

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What about the S & D, start at Bristol TM thence via Mangotsfield, Bath Green Park and so on to Poole. I thought of starting at Yate but oil trains run to a terminal at Westerleigh. There is a stretch used by the Biten Raiklway, but this is a Heritage Railway and not part of the Network.

There is a pedestrian and cycle path (the very first Sustrans effort) alongside the Bitton Railway (not S and D by the way, but I take your point here).

Good luck with fording the Stour River, south of Blandford (and ditto at Sturmilnster Newton, north of it in the Blackmoor Vale). Getting through Wincanton and crossing the A303 would be quite a challenge now. Oh, and the trajectory at Cole, near Bruton, is, er, difficult to envisage fighting one's way through. :D
 
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A possible contender from the 'Withered Arm' - Ilfracombe to Padstow via Barnstaple Jcn (rev), Torrington, Halwill Jcn (rev), Launceston and Wadebridge - 99.5 miles according to my 1959 Summer TT. Tracks at Barnstaple Jcn would avoid the Exeter line by running into the disused island platform. Vital for the 'Obby 'Oss excursion and Rick Stein fish traffic.

Connections from Lynton, Bude and Bere Alston (Meldon Jcn rev) and onwards to Bodmin North and Bodmin Parkway. Connections also possible from Minehead (Norton Fitzwarren rev), Tiverton Junction and Stoke Canon (via the Exe Valley) but they would require using a short section of existing track at Barnstaple Jcn from Victoria Road Jcn unfortunately!

Just a few obstacles, not least the Taw Bridge at Barnstaple and the inner relief road at Wadebridge!
 

infobleep

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I don't know how to work out the longest routes but I'm finding this fascinating.

Wonder how long the longest journey would have taken and how long would it take now by public transport, if public transport exists?

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Lankyline

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What about the remaining section of the Waverley line to Carlisle ? approx 67 miles I reckon
 
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D869

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Lines to former or existing military depots are permitted. Thus Honeybourne-Long Marston is allowed and Kineton-Fenny Compton, which should help you come up with some long routes.
.
 
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craigy68

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Sellafield Jnc to Moor Row 9 miles
Moor Row via Crossfield Goods to Birks Bridge Jnc 1 Mile
Birks Bridge Jnc to Cleator Moor Jnc 1 Mile
Cleator Moor Jnc to Distington South Jnc 7 Mile
Distington South Jnc to Rowrah 8 Mile
Rowrah to Ullock 4 mile
Ullock to Distington North Jnc 5 Mile
Distington North Jnc via Workington Central to Calva Jnc 5 Mile
Calva Jnc to Linefoot Jnc via RNAD Broughton Moor 8 mile
Linefoot Jnc to Brigham Jnc 2 Mile
Brigham Jnc via Keswick to Penrith 33 Mile

Approx 83 Miles

If it wasn't for the WCML I could have got onto the Eden Valley Line and continued to my hearts content :lol:

Maybe not the longest of routes on disused lines but what a fantastic trip it would make :D:D
 

backontrack

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Sellafield Jnc to Moor Row 9 miles
Moor Row via Crossfield Goods to Birks Bridge Jnc 1 Mile
Birks Bridge Jnc to Cleator Moor Jnc 1 Mile
Cleator Moor Jnc to Distington South Jnc 7 Mile
Distington South Jnc to Rowrah 8 Mile
Rowrah to Ullock 4 mile
Ullock to Distington North Jnc 5 Mile
Distington North Jnc via Workington Central to Calva Jnc 5 Mile
Calva Jnc to Linefoot Jnc via RNAD Broughton Moor 8 mile
Linefoot Jnc to Brigham Jnc 2 Mile
Brigham Jnc via Keswick to Penrith 33 Mile

Approx 83 Miles

If it wasn't for the WCML I could have got onto the Eden Valley Line and continued to my hearts content :lol:

Maybe not the longest of routes on disused lines but what a fantastic trip it would make :D:D

Agreed. What a beautiful journey.

If you went from Blencow to Yanwath, would that be any longer than to Penrith? Just a thought.
 

Calthrop

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If I might submit an idea from Ireland (featuring both parts thereof): how about, former Macfin Junction near Coleraine -- Magherafelt -- Cookstown -- Dungannon -- Omagh -- Enniskillen -- Manorhamilton -- Collooney -- Swinford -- Claremorris? I make this to be roughly 180 - 190 miles.
 

Helvellyn

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A possible contender from the 'Withered Arm' - Ilfracombe to Padstow via Barnstaple Jcn (rev), Torrington, Halwill Jcn (rev), Launceston and Wadebridge - 99.5 miles according to my 1959 Summer TT. Tracks at Barnstaple Jcn would avoid the Exeter line by running into the disused island platform. Vital for the 'Obby 'Oss excursion and Rick Stein fish traffic.

Connections from Lynton, Bude and Bere Alston (Meldon Jcn rev) and onwards to Bodmin North and Bodmin Parkway. Connections also possible from Minehead (Norton Fitzwarren rev), Tiverton Junction and Stoke Canon (via the Exe Valley) but they would require using a short section of existing track at Barnstaple Jcn from Victoria Road Jcn unfortunately!

Just a few obstacles, not least the Taw Bridge at Barnstaple and the inner relief road at Wadebridge!
Would it not be longer from Lynton rather than Ilfracombe?
Depending on a ref's decision for stations in red, you could also have: -

Bodmin Parkway - Wadebridge (reverse) - Launceston Southern - Halwill Junction (reverse) - Barnstaple Junction - Morebath Junction - Tiverton (reverse) - Hemyock ) or continue from Tiverton to Stoke Canon.

Probably too much running on GWR metals around Norton Fitzwarren to allow the above to Morebath Junction on to Norton Fitzwarren, reverse and go to Minehead.



St Philip's (Bristol) - Mangotsfield - Bath Green Park (Reverse) - Evercreech Junction (Reverse) - Glastonbury and Street (Reverse) - Priory Road (Reverse) - Congresbury - Yatton - Clevedon.


The New Adlestrop Railway Atlas is a great way to work out some of these routes! Shame it has never been finished as I find it fascinating.
 

Harbornite

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Lines to former or existing military depots are permitted. Thus Honeybourne-Long Marston is allowed and Kineton-Fenny Compton, which should help you come up with some long routes.
.

So in theory you could do Stratford to Cheltenham, as the route is either disused, or used by the GW heritage line and the Long Marston ex MOD line.
 

matchmaker

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Lots in rural Scotland. Dunblane to Crianlarich is about 41 miles. Cairnie Junction to Elgin via The Coast 39 miles. Keith - Boat of Garten 48 miles. Aberdeen to Ballater 43 miles.
 

Spartacus

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I would have thought just North of Aylesbury to just North of Sheffield must be up there (assuming we're not including preserved.

Afraid you'd only get as far as Loughborough, where the line to Hotchley Hill ruins it.
 

DT611

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If I might submit an idea from Ireland (featuring both parts thereof): how about, former Macfin Junction near Coleraine -- Magherafelt -- Cookstown -- Dungannon -- Omagh -- Enniskillen -- Manorhamilton -- Collooney -- Swinford -- Claremorris? I make this to be roughly 180 - 190 miles.

You can then add Claremorris - tuam - athenry, meaning you go. former Macfin Junction -- Magherafelt -- Cookstown -- Dungannon -- Omagh -- Enniskillen -- Manorhamilton -- Collooney -- Swinford -- Claremorris -- tuam -- athenry. I think Claremorris athenry is 73 miles, so your journey would be about 253/263 miles?
 
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craigy68

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Clifton to Kirkby Stephen East via Warcop 24 Mile
.. to West Auckland via Barnard Castle 34 Mile
.. to Bishop Auckland 3 Mile
.. to Bowden Close Colliery Junction 5 Mile
.. to Tow Law 8 Mile
.. to Burnhill Jnc 5 Mile
.. to Consett Hownsgill Jnc 6 Mile
.. to Scotswood 16 Mile
.. to Wylam 8 Mile

I've managed 109 miles ... If I had the energy left to work my way around Consett Yard & Steelworks I could have possibly added an extra 5 miles maybe

:lol::lol::lol:
 
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