Trivia: Elongated/Indirect Services

Iskra

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One of my favourite RailUk whine's is that the direct service from Chapeltown (South Yorkshire), centre of the universe, to Leeds takes a detour to serve Castleford thus slowing down passengers for Leeds from intermediate stations. What other examples are there of services that don't take the fastest route? And what's the biggest journey time-penalty anyone can find?

Please stick to routes that an ordinary 'reasonable' passenger would use; there are some circular services, so going the wrong way around the circle to head to the adjacent station would not count.

The following services all take routes that aren't the quickest;

1) The Hallam Line stopper, Leeds-Sheffield via Barnsley. Between Normanton and Woodlesford this train deviates to serve Castleford before continuing on to its destination.
2) Leeds-Morecambe. Services divert Southwards to serve Lancaster, when there is a direct route from Carnforth station to Bare Lane station on the Morecambe branch which would be quicker and avoid a reversal.
3) The Far North Line. Trains for Wick reverse at Georgemas junction to serve Thurso, before reversing again to return to Georgemas junction and then travel onwards to Wick.
 
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Mag_seven

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Paddington to Cheltenham services call in at Gloucester and reverse there. It's not so bad in the new GWR Dec 2019 timetable but prior to that 15 min reversal times were not uncommon.
 

TheSel

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Walsall to Wolverhampton - all via Birmingham New Street. Not quite true in reverse in that the 0542 SO Wolves - Walsall runs direct (in about a quarter of the time!)
 

43 302

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There's occasionally an early morning Pendolino to Euston that stops at Northhampton, and XC do a similar thing with some services going via Crewe from Piccadilly to new street and via Doncaster from new street to Newcastle.
 

Randomer

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In a similar situation some of the late night XC services that terminate at Leeds travel via Doncaster for route knowledge retention presumably. Not happening with the Conavirus timetable by the look of it but it normally adds about 15 minutes.

Has caught me out before when splitting tickets, the not via Doncaster open ticket is cheaper and a pretty common splitting point if you want to save money on XC.
 

Iskra

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Paddington to Cheltenham services call in at Gloucester and reverse there. It's not so bad in the new GWR Dec 2019 timetable but prior to that 15 min reversal times were not uncommon.
Good example. At least positive progress is being made on that one!

Walsall to Wolverhampton - all via Birmingham New Street. Not quite true in reverse in that the 0542 SO Wolves - Walsall runs direct (in about a quarter of the time!)
Another good one, that's quite a time saving!

There's occasionally an early morning Pendolino to Euston that stops at Northhampton, and XC do a similar thing with some services going via Crewe from Piccadilly to new street and via Doncaster from new street to Newcastle.
That's interestng, I think I'd quite like to try the Northampton Loop on a Pendo.

In a similar situation some of the late night XC services that terminate at Leeds travel via Doncaster for route knowledge retention presumably. Not happening with the Conavirus timetable by the look of it but it normally adds about 15 minutes.

Has caught me out before when splitting tickets, the not via Doncaster open ticket is cheaper and a pretty common splitting point if you want to save money on XC.
I've been on those XC services and they are annoying when you just want to get home, there was a time when some EMT/MML services used to go via Doncaster between Leeds and Sheffield too, I don't know if that still happens?

I suppose the EMR Leeds-London services could count for the purpose of this thread, especially the one that goes via Nottingham.
 

LowLevel

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EMR Skegness services popping in and out of Grantham bar a few that run around the Allington Curve. In practice much of the passenger loading is for Grantham anyway.

In a similar vein Liverpool to Norwich trains running into Sheffield and Ely.
 

Whistler40145

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EMR Skegness services popping in and out of Grantham bar a few that run around the Allington Curve. In practice much of the passenger loading is for Grantham anyway.

In a similar vein Liverpool to Norwich trains running into Sheffield and Ely.
Can’t really avoid Sheffield
 

Iskra

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EMR Skegness services popping in and out of Grantham bar a few that run around the Allington Curve. In practice much of the passenger loading is for Grantham anyway.

In a similar vein Liverpool to Norwich trains running into Sheffield and Ely.
Two good and under-looked examples there!
 

NoMorePacers

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Before December, there was also a Leeds-Harrogate-York-Selby-Hull service. They've since split it at York (although the same train still uses it - I assume it exists as a positioning move).
 

D6975

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There's an afternoon Glasgow-Inverness that runs via Aberdeen, adds around 100 mins to the journey time.

XC run Glasgow to the South West via the ECML. Journey time Glasgow-Brum is approx. 6 hours compared with the approx. 4 hours on VT via the WCML. The VT Glasgow-Birmingham is itself an offender as it now continues to Euston, adding considerably to the Glasgow-Euston journey time compared to via the Trent Valley.
 
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Mag_seven

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If you want to travel from Milton Keynes to Scotland without changing trains in most cases you have to travel on the Avanti WC Anglo- Scottish services which trundle round the West Midlands rather than via the faster Trent Valley route.
 
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Pre-May 2018 (Might have been before then) there was the Scunthorpe to Lincoln via Sheffield (Return journey went to Adwick). Made even worse by the fact that they called at both Retford and Doncaster - 20 minutes on the ECML, well over an hour via Sheffield.

Leeds to Lincoln via Barnsley and Sheffield nowadays is also a good contender, however, that and the prior service only exist to give Lincoln, Gainsborough, Retford, Worksop etc a direct service to Meadowhall.
 
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D6975

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Back in Virgin XC days, several services used to do Brum-Preston via Stoke and Piccadilly, another time consuming diversion.
 

Iskra

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Before December, there was also a Leeds-Harrogate-York-Selby-Hull service. They've since split it at York (although the same train still uses it - I assume it exists as a positioning move).
Good call, I feel sorry for anyone who boarded that at Leeds wanting Hull!

There's an afternoon Glasgow-Inverness that runs via Aberdeen, adds around 100 mins to the journey time.

XC run Glasgow to the South West via the ECML. Journey time Glasgow-Brum is approx. 6 hours compared with the approx. 4 hours on VT via the WCML. The VT Glasgow-Birmingham is itself an offender as it now continues to Euston, adding considerably to the Glasgow-Euston journey time compared to via the Trent Valley.
Good shouts there, some big ones. The XC one being so obvious that it's easy to miss!

If you want to travel from Milton Keynes to Scotland without changing trains in most cases you have to travel on the Avanti WC Anglo- Scottish services which trundle round the West Midlands rather than via the faster Trent Valley route.
A good call, again another one that is easy to overlook.
 

cactustwirly

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There's also the 1726 Leicester to Sleaford which runs via Lincoln. It's much faster to get the Nottingham - Skegness service which runs via Grantham.
 

Whistler40145

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You can, and sometimes services do in disruption. There might be some planned to as well for route knowledge purposes. There is a chord South of Dore that takes you from the MML to the Hope Valley line, avoiding Dore station (and Sheffield).
I sometimes wonder why the Norwich services reverse at Sheffield and don’t go via Beighton Junction, obviously paths and route knowledge could be a problem
 
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In a similar situation some of the late night XC services that terminate at Leeds travel via Doncaster for route knowledge retention presumably.
There are also a couple of Sunday early morning NE to SW services that go via both Leeds and Doncaster as the Newcastle to Reading services start a bit later in the day.
 

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