Train route more than twice as quick by road

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tornado

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hi,

i recently wanted to travel from ilkley [ilk] to whitehaven [wth]. It takes 2 hrs 24 mins by car, and 5 hrs 22 mins by train, that's well over twice as long!

are there any quicker routes, possibly involving cycle/bus/train combinations for this journey?

and why is it so slow by train? i've never had to plan another journey that was so much slower than by road.

cheers
 
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jonb

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Unfortunately it's a slow route with less frequent services on the majority of it. The quickest I could find is 4hr 36m, which involves the following:

1321 Ilkley - Shipley 1344

1403 Shipley - Carnforth 1534

1544 Carnforth - Whitehaven 1757

However if you have access to a car then it may be worth driving to Skipton, that gives you the below option at 3hr 28m:

1026 Skipton - Carlisle 1217

1247 Carlisle - Whitehaven 1354
 

GadgetMan

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Not checked the specifics, but generally when you go by car you travel point to point and cater for yourself only. The train travels along common routes and passengers have to change trains to get to their destination as public transport has to cater for a wider range of destinations.

A helicopter would be even quicker than car, why is that?



The shortest route between two points is a straight line. The chopper would be sticking to that more or less rigidly.

In a car, you would do your best to travel in as straighter line as possible.

By train you are more likely to be zig zagging which would cost time additional to connections etc.
 

Greenback

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The road route is more direct. From Ilkley you would have to travel towards either Leeds or Bradford, which is pretty much the opposite direction to Whitehaven.

In addition, you have to travel to either Carlisle or Lancaster in order to access the Cumbrian Coast line to Whitehaven. The conenction times at Carlisle also appear to be a bit longer than would be ideal.

It might have been a little bit quicker when there was a line through the middle of the Lake District to the coast, but a lot of the lines had to close because journey times were uncompetitive with the car even then.

I doubt it's much solace to tell you that the quickest rail journey on a weekday appears to be 4 hours and 33 minutes, rather than 5 hours 22 minutes!
 

calc7

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Compare with, say, York to London Zone 1 in which the train wins hands-down.
 

Greenback

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Compare with, say, York to London Zone 1 in which the train wins hands-down.
Not much consolation if you want to do a totally different journey!

Sometimes rail will be faster, sometimes not. Personally, I don't decide on whether to use rail solely on speed, other factors also come into play, such as cost, or convenient timings.
 

Clip

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The road route is more direct. From Ilkley you would have to travel towards either Leeds or Bradford, which is pretty much the opposite direction to Whitehaven.

In addition, you have to travel to either Carlisle or Lancaster in order to access the Cumbrian Coast line to Whitehaven. The conenction times at Carlisle also appear to be a bit longer than would be ideal.

It might have been a little bit quicker when there was a line through the middle of the Lake District to the coast, but a lot of the lines had to close because journey times were uncompetitive with the car even then.

I doubt it's much solace to tell you that the quickest rail journey on a weekday appears to be 4 hours and 33 minutes, rather than 5 hours 22 minutes!
Not only that but also factor in the stopping pattern also - they soon rack up the minutes if its all or most stops.

Not that i have looked yet but on the Cumbrian coast line i take that would be an all stops to Whitehaven wouldnt it? Even taking out half probably wouldnt speed it up that much
 

aformeruser

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The road route is more direct. From Ilkley you would have to travel towards either Leeds or Bradford, which is pretty much the opposite direction to Whitehaven.
I was thinking the same.

In my local area of Cheshire all train lines go to at least one of Manchester, Liverpool or Crewe (ignoring ones with only a parliamentary service.) If you don't have a direct line to one of those places from your local station then the train isn't usually quicker than the road.

As a comparison to the above - Knutsford to Manchester Airport is 20 minutes by road or 1 hr 15 by rail, simply because there isn't a direct rail route between the two points.
 

Zoe

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Sometimes rail will be faster, sometimes not. Personally, I don't decide on whether to use rail solely on speed, other factors also come into play, such as cost, or convenient timings.
And these days, how far in advance you can plan your journey.
 

Greenback

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Not only that but also factor in the stopping pattern also - they soon rack up the minutes if its all or most stops.

Not that i have looked yet but on the Cumbrian coast line i take that would be an all stops to Whitehaven wouldnt it? Even taking out half probably wouldnt speed it up that much
I would guess that to be the case, though I haven't looked either! Someone once said that the Cumbrain Coast was a bit like the Heart of Wales line in terms of speed and journey time. From Llanelli it is almost as quick to go to Shrewsbury via Cardiff as it is direct via Llandrindod!

I was thinking the same.

In my local area of Cheshire all train lines go to at least one of Manchester, Liverpool or Crewe (ignoring ones with only a parliamentary service.) If you don't have a direct line to one of those places from your local station then the train isn't usually quicker than the road.

As a comparison to the above - Knutsford to Manchester Airport is 20 minutes by road or 1 hr 15 by rail, simply because there isn't a direct rail route between the two points.
Indeed. For Ilkley, I would guess most travel would be towards Leeds and Bradford. I can't imagine that there is a huge market for travel to Whitehaven.

And these days, how far in advance you can plan your journey.
Yes, I consider different factors depending on the precise journey. A spur of the moment long distance journey is more likely to be done by car at the moment.
 

aformeruser

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Transport Direct suggests a bus and rail journey which takes 4 hours 27 at 09:30 tomorrow.

It involves bus to Steeton, Station Road, train from Steeton & Silsden to Skipton, train to Carlisle and then train to Whitehaven.
 

D1009

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The Cumbrian Coast is an extreme example, even from Carnforth the journey time saving going by road to Whitehaven is about 30 minutes. Most of this is because the trains have to serve Barrow-in-Furness, which adds quite a few miles to the journey.
 

tbtc

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There are bound to be examples where the car is faster, but this is an extreme one where you have to go south into Shipley/Leeds, north to Carlisle (most of the day) and then south to Whitehaven. With a car you'd just head in the direction of Whitehaven and not have to do much doubling back. But then the market for Ilkley - Whitehaven journeys won't be sufficient for anything to change.
 

wintonian

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IIRC there are quite a few 15/ 20 mph sections, it is a slow old line but a scenic one, so if you have an afternoon to just sit back and relax it can be pleasurable.

I think it was a 156 when I went round a few weeks ago so reasonably comfortable for the length of time, only 1 toilet on board which is a bit of a worry.
 

Mutant Lemming

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....best I can do is 9 hrs 49 mins

Ilkley 10:01 > Skipton 10:29

Skipton 11:30 > Lancaster 12:52

Lancaster 15:29 > Penrith 16:44

Penrith 16:55 > Whitehaven 19:50

.... and that is with a more direct route - although I was using a 1952 timetable.
So the journey time has halved over time - although over 3 and half hours were taken up with waiting for connections.
 

Lampshade

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The problem tends to be with rural all-stops lines with infrequent services - Preston - Colne is ~38 minutes by road, more than double that by rail.
 

HSTEd

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Settle and Carlisle is extremely slow thansk to the line being full of slow moving coal trains, which is why the RUS did not propose any speed improvements on the line.

Perhaps the elimination of coal electricity would improve things.... or just lead to the line being downgraded further.
 

Tim R-T-C

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Settle and Carlisle is extremely slow thansk to the line being full of slow moving coal trains, which is why the RUS did not propose any speed improvements on the line.

Perhaps the elimination of coal electricity would improve things.... or just lead to the line being downgraded further.
Without the coal traffic, the line might simply cease to exist.
 

Pen Mill

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I'm sure there are others but I think you'll find that the road / rail timings for this comparison are about as extreme as it gets.

Road mileage = 114 , time = 145 mins ,avg speed of 47 MPH

Best rail time = 4 hours 33 minutes
Why ?
The rail route is shaped somewhere between a question mark and an S because it has to skirt the entire Lake district.

The equivalent road mileage for this rail journey Ilkley-Shipley-Carlisle -Whitehaven is 154 miles so we're already 40 miles down and we haven't moved yet. The road timing for that route is 207 minutes so that accounts for an extra hour.
There are 2 train changes which add another 53 minutes and just for good luck , there are 30 intermediate stops.

As I say this is almost as extreme as it gets.

The closure of the Penrith to Cockermouth route in the 60s hasn't helped but even so the journey would always have been substantially longer.
 
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D1009

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I'm sure there are others but I think you'll find that the road / rail timings for this comparison are about as extreme as it gets.

Road mileage = 114 , time = 145 mins ,avg speed of 47 MPH

Best rail time = 4 hours 33 minutes
Why ?
The rail route is shaped somewhere between a question mark and an S because it has to skirt the entire Lake district.

The equivalent road mileage for this rail journey Ilkley-Shipley-Carlisle -Whitehaven is 154 miles so we're already 40 miles down and we haven't moved yet. The road timing for that route is 207 minutes so that accounts for an extra hour.
There are 2 train changes which add another 53 minutes and just for good luck , there are 30 intermediate stops.

As I say this is almost as extreme as it gets.

The closure of the Penrith to Cockermouth route in the 60s hasn't helped but even so the journey would always have been substantially longer.
Presumably though the rail mileage would be much shorter via Settle Jn -Carnforth - Dalton Jn, it's just the lack of services and the line speeds.
 

bluenoxid

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Add 30 minutes at least to your car journey. All but one of the occasions that I have done A65 Skipton to M6 I have been stuck behind a lorry or tractor. There is only one good overtaking section around Settle.

Get X84 or Keighley bus to Steeton. Keighley bus drops you above station. X84 drops you at bus station, approx 10 minutes walk to rail station.

I am sorry to say this but if anyone thinks Preston to Colne is Rural, they really haven't gone far in life.

Settle and Carlisle has been sped up and made more robust. I think it would be slower without the freight because they would get away with letting it deteriorate more.
 

Chris M

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There's one I can think of where the road journey is over 10 times quicker than the rail journey. Again it's a route where there isn't going to be much call for direct end to end journeys, so it's not likely to improve any time soon.

The journey is West Ruislip to Ickenham - 7 minutes by road or between 73 and 85 minutes using trains. Walking is 13-15 minutes depending on whether you believe Google or TfL.

There are probably similar technicalities elsewhere in the country - between the Warrington stations perhaps (I can't get National Rail to give me a rail journey between the two).
 

LE Greys

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Could be worse.

Kyle of Lochalsh to Mallaig by car = 1 hr 20
Kyle of Lochalsh to Mallaig by bus and ferry = 2 hrs 50
Kyle of Lochalsh to Mallaig by train alone = 11 hrs 34 (via Glasgow)

All times by Transport Direct and from the respective ferry terminals
 

snail

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IIRC there are quite a few 15/ 20 mph sections, it is a slow old line but a scenic one, so if you have an afternoon to just sit back and relax it can be pleasurable.

I think it was a 156 when I went round a few weeks ago so reasonably comfortable for the length of time, only 1 toilet on board which is a bit of a worry.
That's one more toilet than in the car!

I don't really get the point of comparing door to door car journeys away from major centres, with train journeys. As for this one, 2h25 sounds very optimistic given that it includes a busy section of the A65 plus the Kendal-Keswick stretch of the A591. Does that timing apply on a Bank Holiday Monday, for instance? :D

I'm en route from Preston to Paris. Less than 5 hours by train, excluding a pause in London. I reckon it would take longer than that today to drive to London, let alone cross the channel.
 

extendedpaul

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As a non driver/rail enthusiast I'd rather travel by train than any other form of transport but there are a few journeys where the bus wins hands down in terms of both time and cost.

Carmarthen to Aberystwyth takes under two hours each way by bus and costs £6 with a West Wales rover ticket. By rail it takes well over six hours and costs £58.50 return.

Is there a journey by public transport with an even bigger difference ?
 

Liam

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Livingston North to Livingston South.

10 minutes drive, less than an hour to walk, about 45 minutes by rail.
 

richw

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Any of the towns along the A30 or A38 corridor routes in Cornwall or Devon through to Exeter is quicker by Car if you are travelling from west of Newton Abbot due to the slow speed along from Newton abbot to Exeter.
 
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