Trivia: Fewest stations you'd need to visit to see all TOCs.

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GrimsbyPacer

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Hi everyone.
Doncaster has East Midlands Trains, East Coast, Hull Trains, Northern, Trans-Pennine, Grand Central, Cross Country, that's quite alot, and got me thinking....

What's the minimum number of train stations you need to visit to see all passenger Train Companies? And which ones?
Thanks
 
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jopsuk

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One of them probably has to be Carlisle or in Scotland...
 

DasLunatic

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We can do...

Start at Stratford (C2c, AGA, LO)
LO to Clapham Junction, (SWT, GTR)
Southern to Victoria (Southeastern)
Circle Line to Paddington (GWR, Chiltern, Heathrow Connect, Heathrow Express)
H+C Line to Euston (Virgin WC, London Midland, Caledonian Sleeper)
Met Line to Kings Cross St Pancras (East Midlands Trains, GTR, Eurostar, Grand Central, Hull Trains, Virgin EC)
VTEC to Newcastle (XC, Scotrail, Northern, TPE)
By my reckoning, that's seven stations.
 
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jopsuk

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Does Newcastle actually count for Scotrail? Thought they're Northern-operated using Scotrail units?
 

yorkie

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Here's a list of domestic Train Companies operating on National Rail:

  • Abellio Greater Anglia
  • Arriva Trains Wales
  • c2c
  • Caledonian Sleeper
  • Chiltern Railways
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Trains
  • Hull Trains
  • Grand Central
  • Govia Thameslink Railway
  • Great Western Railway
  • Heathrow Express*
  • London Midland
  • London Overground
  • Merseyrail
  • Northern
  • Scotrail
  • Southeastern
  • South West Trains
  • TfL Rail
  • TransPennine Express
  • Virgin Trains
  • Virgin Trains East Coast
*Heathrow Express is a bit of an odd company as they do accept some National Rail products, but are not fully part of National Rail, but for the purposes of this thread, I'll assume they do count as a TOC, however perhaps the OP can clarify?

Heathrow Connect is a service provided by two companies: Heathrow Connect & GWR. So I don't think it counts, however it's immaterial as there is nowhere where you can see Heathrow Express without seeing Heathrow Connect branded trains.

I'm assuming that international services and charter services are both excluded.

I'm also assuming you need to see a train operated by the TOC in passenger service (not just empty coaching stock workings), and that it needs to be in the normal working timetable (not just a one-off). I can see WTT workings at Liverpool Street & Stratford for c2c on Saturdays, so I'll assume these stations count for c2c.

I'm also assuming you can't argue you can "see" GTR operated trains at Queenstown Road Battersea; as although you can see them from that location, it's the location of the train that matters. Many similar examples exist (perhaps someone may like to make a thread on that theme!)

And Waterloo/Waterloo East are separate stations!

What's the minimum number of train stations you need to visit to see all passenger Train Companies? And which ones?
Thanks
I got it down to 8, though it may be possible to get it down to 7, I can't see it going any lower than that.

Carlisle

  • Scotrail
  • Caledonian Sleeper
  • Northern
  • Virgin Trains
  • TransPennine Express

Stratford


  • Abellio Greater Anglia
  • c2c
  • London Overground
  • TfL Rail

Leamington Spa

  • Chiltern Railways
  • CrossCountry
  • London Midland


Paddington

  • Great Western Railway
  • Heathrow Express*
  • Chiltern Railways

Doncaster


  • East Midlands Trains
  • Hull Trains
  • Grand Central
  • Virgin Trains East Coast
  • Cross Country
  • Northern
  • TransPennine Express

Chester


  • Arriva Trains Wales
  • Merseyrail
  • Virgin Trains
  • Northern


Clapham Junction

  • Govia Thameslink Railway
  • South West Trains
  • London Overground

Peckham Rye


  • Southeastern
  • London Overground
  • Govia Thameslink Railway
 
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PHILIPE

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Another missed one:-
Any station on Isle of Wight to see Island Line.

No further and not listed by Yorkie as TOC operating on National Rail. Not sure who maintains the infrastructure, if it is Network Rail or not. However, it is listed as a TOC on NRE Website (Looked at Future Engineering Works as an example)
 

yorkie

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I do not think Island Line is a company; clicking the "about us" link takes you to the SWT about us page.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
However, it is listed as a TOC on NRE Website (Looked at Future Engineering Works as an example)
The NRE website appears to list services under the guise of 'companies' and is therefore not a reliable source. It also mentions London Underground and Eurostar. No-one tries to claim Stansted Express is a train company, yet the erroneous National Rail website suggests that it is. Clearly that page can be disregarded as inaccurate/misleading. The title should be re-named to make it clear it's showing route brands.
 

PHILIPE

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I do not think Island Line is a company; clicking the "about us" link takes you to the SWT about us page.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

The NRE website appears to list services under the guise of 'companies' and is therefore not a reliable source. It also mentions London Underground and Eurostar. No-one tries to claim Stansted Express is a train company, yet the erroneous National Rail website suggests that it is. Clearly that page can be disregarded as inaccurate/misleading. The title should be re-named to make it clear it's showing route brands.

I realise now that the Island Line is SWT. On SWT Website it is quoted as a subsidary.
 

greaterwest

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I can do it in 6 except for LM...
Paddington
GW
HX
HC
CH

Edinburgh
SR
CS
GR (VTEC)
XC
TP
VT

Chester
ME
NT
AW

Peterborough
HT
GC
GN
EM

Stratford
LO
LE (GA)
XR (TfL Rail)
CC
SE


Wimbledon
SW
SN
TL

Runcorn
LM
 
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DasLunatic

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I can do...
Manchester Piccadilly (Northern, ATW, TPE, EMT, VTWC, XC)
Edinburgh Haymarket (Scotrail, Caledonian Sleeper, VTEC)
Kings Cross (Great Northern, Hull Trains, Grand Central)
Ebbsfleet Intl. (Eurostar, Southeastern)
Paddington (Chiltern, GWR, Heathrow Connect, Heathrow Express)
Liverpool Street (AGA, C2c, LO, TfL Rail)
Clapham Junction (SWT, Southern)
Again, seven. Six may be possible during diversions when SE trains operate via Clapham.
 

GrimsbyPacer

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Okay, some clarification.
1, the trains seen have to call at or pass through the station, seeing a train bypass the station in the distance or from the roof doesn't count.
2, International and charter services are excluded.
3, Very rare services like Parliamentary and Summer only etc do count.
4, Island Line & Northern Ireland Railways aren't important for this list as all stations would be the same.
5, Heathrow Express counts but Heathrow Connect doesn't.
6, Train must be in passenger service.
7, North Yorkshire Moors Railway & any other 'heritage' railways are not included. Nottingham NET, Manchester Metrolink, London Underground/DLR, Tyne & Wear Metro, and other tram and metro systems are excluded, Merseyrail counts though and use Yorkie's nice list of TOCs.
8, Sub Brands can be counted as the parent TOC only.

You may add a note on your post for the excluded ones as a bonus.
This list is all about finding the best stations to see all passenger train companies with the fewest stations to visit afterall.
 
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yorkie

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DasLunatic - You missed a few, plus added some brand names that aren't TOCs.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
3, Very rare services like Parliamentary and Summer only etc do count.
What's the minimum service level you require?

The term "parliamentary" refers to the absolute minimum service level stipulated by parliament for a line/station to not have to go through closure procedures, which is one per week. So, in this case, the Chiltern service to Paddington is arguably not "parliamentary" as it runs daily, principally for crew route knowledge reasons.
 

najaB

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I'm starting to think that seven is the limit - no matter what I try, I get all but two TOCs with six stations.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It's the three 'limited area' TOCs (MerseyRail, Heathrow Express and TfL Rail) that make it difficult (impossible?) to get it down to six stations.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Okay, some clarification.
1, the trains seen have to call at or pass through the station, seeing a train bypass the station in the distance or from the roof doesn't count.

6, Train must be in passenger service.
Does it have to be operated by the TOC whose paint is on the outside (thinking Scotrail at Newcastle)?
 
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GrimsbyPacer

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najaB, The paint can't be used here, Virgin East Coast are running an East Midlands Train at the moment for example. I think the staff are irrelevent too as my local Northern service is operated by TPE staff. So I think the easiest thing is to pretend the train changes TOCs at Carlisle, sorry.
You can try the station list again without the limited area ones if you wish.

Yorkie, What I meant was that a TOC can be counted even if it's only a one train a week service or a Summer Sundays service etc. If it's timetabled, it counts.
 

najaB

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You can try the station list again without the limited area ones if you wish.
My best so far:

Doncaster
Hull Trains
Grand Central
East Midlands Trains

Edinburgh
Scotrail
Caledonian Sleeper
TransPennine Express
Virgin Trains
CrossCountry
Virgin Trains East Coast

London Liverpool Street
TfL Rail
Abellio Greater Anglia
c2c
London Overground

Any station on their route
Southeastern

Chester
Northern
Merseyrail
Arriva Trains Wales

Portsmouth
South West Trains
Great Western Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (Southern)

Smethwick
London Midland
Chiltern Railways

Left out: Heathrow Express (since they're the smallest of the mini-TOCs)

Hopefully I haven't made any obvious mistakes or omissions, but still can't get it down to six!
 

greaterwest

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My best so far:

Doncaster
Hull Trains
Grand Central
East Midlands Trains

Edinburgh
Scotrail
Caledonian Sleeper
TransPennine Express
Virgin Trains
CrossCountry
Virgin Trains East Coast

London Liverpool Street
TfL Rail
Abellio Greater Anglia
c2c
London Overground

Any station on their route
Southeastern

Chester
Northern
Merseyrail
Arriva Trains Wales

Portsmouth
South West Trains
Great Western Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (Southern)

Smethwick
London Midland
Chiltern Railways

Left out: Heathrow Express (since they're the smallest of the mini-TOCs)

Hopefully I haven't made any obvious mistakes or omissions, but still can't get it down to six!

Quite similar to mine on the previous page, though my odd one out was LM which caused a 7th station.
 

greaterwest

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Yeah, no matter what combination I try there's always an odd one out.

Interesting to see that you grouped GTR as one though (Southern) instead of split them (GN, TL, SN, didn't count the GX as it was technically SN)
 

najaB

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I'd never appreciated though how little interaction Southeastern has with other TOCs.
 

greaterwest

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I'd never appreciated though how little interaction Southeastern has with other TOCs.

Or other routes in the country (there are no regional trains from anywhere in the South East, except Brighton, and that's only 2 trains per day)
 

yorkie

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Yorkie, What I meant was that a TOC can be counted even if it's only a one train a week service or a Summer Sundays service etc. If it's timetabled, it counts.
That makes sense, I misread your post earlier!
Interesting to see that you grouped GTR as one though (Southern) instead of split them (GN, TL, SN, didn't count the GX as it was technically SN)
GTR is a train company.
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is a dynamic and progressive company...


We operate trains on the Thameslink Route (which runs between Bedford, Luton, Sevenoaks, Gatwick and Brighton); Great Northern route (which connects King’s Lynn, Cambridge and Peterborough) Southern Route (which connects London, Gatwick and Brighton) and the Gatwick Express (London direct Gatwick).



We are the largest train operating company in the UK...
Source: https://gtrailwaycareers.com/templa...C53486739706F5042394D7875305474646333534C624A

It's exactly the same situation as Stansted Express; that's not a train company either.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I can do it in 6 except for LM...
Paddington
GW
HX
HC
CH

Edinburgh
SR
CS
GR (VTEC)
XC
TP
VT

Chester
ME
NT
AW

Peterborough
HT
GC
GN
EM

Stratford
LO
LE (GA)
XR (TfL Rail)
CC
SE


Wimbledon
SW
SN
TL

Runcorn
LM
That's 8, as Southeastern call at Stratford International ;)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
as a minimum you need:
- one in Scotland (or Carlisle)
- one on the southern part of the ECML between DON & KGX (for GC/HT)
- one in Merseyside
- Paddington (as you need HEX)
- one in c2c territory (Stratford appears to count, at least in the current normal WTT)
- one in Southeastern territory
- one in SWT territory

So, in theory, you might only need 7. However, I always end up with 1 TOC left over, so end up needing 8.
 

jopsuk

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I'd never appreciated though how little interaction Southeastern has with other TOCs.

It's got far more interaction than C2C, which until the removal of the inner suburban services from AGA interacted with only AGA and only on weekends or disruption. SE serves stations also served by LO, three out of four GTR brands, Eurostar and EMT. And crosses over SWT services.
 

greaterwest

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That makes sense, I misread your post earlier!

GTR is a train company.
Source: https://gtrailwaycareers.com/templa...C53486739706F5042394D7875305474646333534C624A

It's exactly the same situation as Stansted Express; that's not a train company either.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

That's 8, as Southeastern call at Stratford International ;)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
as a minimum you need:
- one in Scotland (or Carlisle)
- one on the southern part of the ECML between DON & KGX (for GC/HT)
- one in Merseyside
- Paddington (as you need HEX)
- one in c2c territory (Stratford appears to count, at least in the current normal WTT)
- one in Southeastern territory
- one in SWT territory

So, in theory, you might only need 7. However, I always end up with 1 TOC left over, so end up needing 8.

I counted Stratford & International as one station (as they're the same building), though I suppose that's technically cheating.

I never thought of GTR as one train operating company, though they are I suppose.
 
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