Route/Track bashing in the dark can you really tick it off?

Mills444

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Good afternoon all I have a nice question for you all. For those of us that score routes do you count it if it as done in darkness (and as such you could not actually see the route) or only if done in day light?

For example say if you covered Tramlink from Wimbledon to East Croydon yet from Mitcham it was dark would you tick off the full route or just the Wimbledon to Mitcham part?
 
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VT 390

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As long as I have actually travelled along a route I count it whether it is light or dark as if it is dark to me it is not much different to not seeing a route if it is in a tunnel. Although I do always like to revisit the route when it is light in order to actually see it but if it is dark the first time I do still count it.
 

Mag_seven

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For those of us that score routes do you count it if it as done in darkness (and as such you could not actually see the route) or only if done in day light?
I can't imagine any serious track basher would discount it if they didn't do it in daylight.
 

causton

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What about if you're on a sleeper? If you arrived at your destination and found out you'd done some rare track, but didn't know at the time because you were asleep or because it was dark?!

(Similarly, I slept the entire way through Czechia on the Nightjet from Berlin to Vienna - would you say that counts as visiting CZ? :lol:)
 

xotGD

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Back in the day if you fell asleep and did some rare track on a diversion you would never get to find out.

Waking up and not having any idea where you are is part of the immersive experience.
 

Techniquest

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Of course it counts. I've never met anyone who doesn't count stuff done in the dark. Heard of it happening through posts on here, but the mind boggles as to the logic...

Of course, it's better to do it in the daylight but if that's not an option then so be it.
 

Iskra

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I initially started out by only counting daylight stuff, but soon realised it was ridiculous and going to add significant extra time and cost to do everything in daylight. Trekking back to the end of a Norfolk branchline to cover previously covered track to get the 4miles that I travelled after sunset just seems mad to me.

So now, I count everything.

However, it’s your hobby so it’s your rules.
 

Kite159

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Its like those overnight trips which Pathfinder and other tour operators sometimes run over branch lines where they can't get a path during the daytime. Using the overnight Pathfinder tour from last February which used several non-passenger bits around London (i.e. HEX depot, old oak flyover, Brentford Goods, Windsor & Eden central connection line), it would be silly not to count them, on grounds that it is unlikely you will be able to cover it in daylight.
 

Shaw S Hunter

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And just how would you do all of the Tube in daylight?!

The only realistic query arising from the subject is how you deal with overnight services over long distances with long non-stop runs offering no clue about the route where multiple options exist and sleep is inescapable. Nowadays the existence of RTT etc means that there is no such problem in this country but it could be an issue in larger foreign countries, eg Germany or Russia. Then again if you don't have a suitable rail map/atlas it's still possible to "lose your way" in daylight: I was once utterly bamboozled by an engineering diversion in the Katowice area.
 

VT 390

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More importantly: Can you tick off a line if you fall asleep for the whole journey?
You still would have travelled along the route wheather you are awake or not so I would count it as long you can check the actual route the train took. (Otherwise you could not count sleeper services).
 

talltim

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You can’t see the track you are on anyway, unless you are in the cab or an observation coach
 

Calthrop

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In my times of serious track-bashing (have over the decades, mellowed / experienced some diminution of zeal and interest), I was rigorous about considering a line to count, only if I had done it in daylight, thus seeing something of the scenes through which I was travelling -- even underwent some heart-searching, concerning foggy conditions. This was re rail travel in Britain: anywhere abroad, I've "counted" all stretches covered, whether in daylight or dark -- it seems a bit crazy to get "precious" about seen-or-not-seen, when one has no prospect anyway of ever adding all the lines in a country to one's collection.

I had, way-back, a line-bashing contemporary who was notionally as hard-line as myself, about "daylight only"; but he was a bit inclined to cheat -- in the case of a line which he desired, and its traversing being difficult to repeat: though he'd travelled over it in the dark, he would sometimes "decree it daylight" concerning that particular bit of trackage.

Some while back, I started a thread in the Railway History And Nostalgia sub-forum, touching on this general theme -- "Line-bashers -- unintended unconsciousness, and addressing of same", first post 18/8/2017; thinking there, more about the issue of "can you count track which you travel over while you've unintentionally dropped off to sleep?" (as in posts #11 and #12 above) -- which with my now being an elderly gent, is nowadays for me a considerable bugbear to reckon with as regards travel over desired new track.
 

Requeststop

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Mid to late 1970's travelling Paddington to Penzance seated as I was too poor to pay for a sleeper berth. Sunday night departure - midsummer. Expecting to travel Reading - Taunton. I woke up when the train came to a shuddering halt, looked out the window - Oxford! Suddenly wondering if I was on the wrong train. A fellow passenger assured me that I was and I drifted off again. Next stop to wake me up - Worcester Foregate Street. Thinking that this was very strange but inwardly satisfied that I have ridden over Didcot - Oxford - Worcester for the first time. Again, back to sleep thinking the train would reverse back down to Bristol and woke up to very early daylight passing Pontypool. Now really awake and realising that I'd done the line through Great Malvern to Hereford for the first time, though I had covered Newport - Hereford - Shrewsbury previously. As we approached Newport, we slowed down at Maindee North Junction and passed over the line to Maindee East Junction. Another triumph. We sped along to Severn Tunnel Junction and under the Tunnel to Bristol Temple Meads and then down to Taunton on the usual route. It seems that there was work both on the Berks/Hants and Didcot/Swindon hence the huge diversion.

Got home and eagerly covered my map with the newly covered lines. No qualms about being asleep or in the dark. Unusually. I didn't ride Hereford - Oxford - Hereford again until 2017.

By the way - to properly cover a line I consider that you have to travel in both directions. No full line coverage say on a loop in one direction say - Edinburgh - Aberdeen - Inverness - Edinburgh anticlockwise. Full line coverage has to be in the clockwise direction too. and on a single track line again in both directions. So Derby - Matlock: then a bus to Buxton and then Buxton - Manchester Piccadilly: sorry in my book you have to do the reverse on the lines to fully cover it.

Are there any hard and fast rules for line bashing?
 

Calthrop

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By the way - to properly cover a line I consider that you have to travel in both directions. No full line coverage say on a loop in one direction say - Edinburgh - Aberdeen - Inverness - Edinburgh anticlockwise. Full line coverage has to be in the clockwise direction too. and on a single track line again in both directions. So Derby - Matlock: then a bus to Buxton and then Buxton - Manchester Piccadilly: sorry in my book you have to do the reverse on the lines to fully cover it.
I reckon myself a stickler as regards doing a line in daylight; but it's never occurred to me, for myself, to insist on coverage in both directions, and I can't recall hearing of or from anyone other than yourself, who has made that stipulation. But, of course, if you require that for satisfaction in this business -- it's your choice ! Not wishing to seem to take a "you young whippersnappers, you've got no idea" position (and I deduce from date you give for your Paddington -- Penzance saga, that I -- born 1948 -- probably don't have a huge advantage over you birth-date-wise) -- but I feel that someone confronted with the passenger mileage that there was open in Great Britain a bit over half a century ago and earlier, and wishful of covering as much of that as possible; could probably just not have been able to afford your "must do each line in both directions" scruple.

Are there any hard and fast rules for line bashing?
With its not yet having attained the status, officially, of a sport; with duly-appointed regulators and "moderators" to lay down a set of rules and see to it that they're observed -- I'd reckon the line-bashing game to be a "free-for-all": all practitioners of it are free to make their own rules, with each individual's same, fully valid for that individual ! As @Iskra says upthread, "it's your hobby so it's your rules".


Thoughts on the "daylight only, or in darkness too?" question, have brought to my mind a character from the past, about whom I started a few years ago, a thread on these Forums. This being T.R. Perkins, who flourished in the late 19th / early 20th centuries -- reckoned Britain's "greatest line-basher of all time": reputedly over a period of something between forty and sixty years, finishing in 1932, he travelled over every rail line with a passenger service, in Great Britain and Ireland. (Wonder whether he managed to include the Isle of Man also?) I find that there seems to be frustratingly little detailed information available, about this splendid guy and his doings. In my abovementioned thread, I mused on whether he insisted on daylight and seeing what he was traversing; or whether he counted travel in the dark, when that had to be. Since he wasn't one of the idle rich; but worked for a living (in, effectively, just the one location), doing his railwaying at weekends and in his holidays -- given the sheer quantity which there was, of passenger rail mileage in these islands at "rail peak", I would think that he'd have to have considered a line "bagged" in darkness, equally valid with the same in daylight.
 

xotGD

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I thought that the only rule was that you must mark up your rail atlas using a yellow highlighter.

Otherwise, how can you say that you have yellow-penned a line?
 

Techniquest

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I thought that the only rule was that you must mark up your rail atlas using a yellow highlighter.

Otherwise, how can you say that you have yellow-penned a line?
Yellow?!

I used to use green, never even considered any other colour. I did many years ago also have a map for routes I'd covered in First Class, which did include those done in declassfied First Class. So I have done Hereford-Birmingham via Worcester and Bromsgrove in First Class, technically, thanks to the former MML 170/1s when Central Trains first had them. Those huge comfortable seats in the middle of the 3-car trains were amazing! That map was marked off in blue, a colour choice which just made sense.

Obviously I stopped bothering with that sort of thing a long time ago, route coverage and shack scoring really doesn't interest me these days.
 

Temple Meads

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The traditional colour for marking line coverage is red, hence the term 'red-penned'...

Personally I also use green, although it's only a wall map!
 

Techniquest

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The traditional colour for marking line coverage is red, hence the term 'red-penned'...

Personally I also use green, although it's only a wall map!
I thought red-penning was for new haulages. Certainly that's how the community on here, myself included, have viewed it for years.

My maps for loco haulage (or was it for HSTs, or both? I fail to remember) and for First Class coverage were wall maps too. Nostalgia alert here...:lol:
 

xotGD

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I thought red-penning was for new haulages. Certainly that's how the community on here, myself included, have viewed it for years.

My maps for loco haulage (or was it for HSTs, or both? I fail to remember) and for First Class coverage were wall maps too. Nostalgia alert here...:lol:
Yes - a red biro for underlining new haulages, i.e. getting 'a line in the book'.

I am truly shocked that anyone would use a highlighter colour other than yellow for "yellow-penning"!
 

Calthrop

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Back when -- decades ago -- I avidly pursued the activity, all my map-inking-in was in red only. (I suspect that those were the days before yellow highlighters were invented !)
 
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Cowley

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Yes - a red biro for underlining new haulages, i.e. getting 'a line in the book'.

I am truly shocked that anyone would use a highlighter colour other than yellow for "yellow-penning"!
I’m with you on red pen for haulage and yellow for routes.
 

Cowley

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You still would have travelled along the route wheather you are awake or not so I would count it as long you can check the actual route the train took. (Otherwise you could not count sleeper services).
I don’t count it if I’m asleep, or it’s dark. And I have to go back and do the bits I missed if I blinked or sneezed with my eyes shut...
 

Bevan Price

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Way back in the 1960s, there were some people who only considered they had "done a line" if the train had been steam-hauled.

Personally, I prefer to do lines in daylight, but will accept lines done at night. In some cases, that was the only option, e.g. the now closed line from Dalry to Kilmarnock was (at the time) only possible on the daily Glasgow to Euston sleeper that called at Paisley Gilmour Street.
If I still did railtours, I would not book on any tour that included long periods "in the dark", even to get a required bit of track. Much of my enjoyment of rail travel relates to being able to see where I am going.
By "done the line", I consider it to mean I have done "the route"; I do not consider it to mean that I have used every single track / siding / crossover / platform, etc. But - everyone to their own options.
 

Peter Mugridge

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I’m with you on red pen for haulage and yellow for routes.
*raises hand*

I use a red felt pen for my rail atlas for track coverage and a black biro for underlining sightings with suffix letters for haulages and cabbings etc. Green felt pen over the numbers for a photo.
 

Cowley

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*raises hand*

I use a red felt pen for my rail atlas for track coverage and a black biro for underlining sightings with suffix letters for haulages and cabbings etc. Green felt pen over the numbers for a photo.
Ya gotta have a system (stalagmites, stalactites). ;)
 

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