TRIVIA- Most comprehensive route knowledge

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adc82140

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A long trip on XC today got me thinking- which drivers' depot has the most comprehensive route knowledge requirement, ie the maximum amount of miles covered?

XC drivers must be pretty high

or does a complicated suburban operation with plenty of branches like SWT inners have more?

or is it more likely to be a FOC?
 
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trentside

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I think on passenger TOCs then the Lodge link at Newcastle VTEC might be contenders.

If I recall correctly they sign Inverness/Aberdeen to Kings Cross.
 

HLE

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Norwich?

Not got the longest singular route, but the routes they do sign must add up to a fair few miles.
 

sprinterguy

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Saltley depot was always the traditional answer, with all of the usual attendant jokes to that effect. :D

Sadly, Saltley has been no more for some time now. :(
 
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61653 HTAFC

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Following a discussion on the Sowerby Bridge meet, I suspect that it'll be a FOC base, or an operator that specialises in such expertise such as ROG or (dare I say it) WCRC.
 

Shaggy

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I think the poster mentioning VTEC's Newcastle depot may well be right.

If it's actual route miles then Exeter HSS may well be in with a shout of coming second. They sign Paddington to Penzance via the B&H, Box and Hullavington. They also sign the Melksham line and Bath to Westbury via Trowbridge as well as the Southern route via Yeovil. Not forgetting the Exmouth branch and the line to Paignton (all adds up!).

Suspect it still won't be very near Newcastle though.
 
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Minilad

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The last time this question came up on here I did a rough calculation of my route knowledge and it came out at about 730 route miles. And there is only one other link at XC BHM that signs more than that. They would add around 90 miles on top
 

ComUtoR

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This came up recently and I also added up my mileage and certainly came up pretty short in comparison to others. That is, in terms of mileage.

Suburban routes can be pretty comprehensive and high intensity. Signals and junctions can be a total nightmare and the number of diversionaries to remember can be complex.

I also sign AC and DC routes and I used to also go through Semaphore routes too. My TCB's are 2,3 and 4 aspect, Chuck in single lines, simbids, level crossings, wrong side doors, DOO, Guards, CD/RA, partridge, multi traction, and a pear tree. you get a very comprehensive view of route knowledge.

Still 700 miles. Holy jebus.
 
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craigybagel

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VT at Preston is one of the better ones. Top link signs Glasgow and Edinburgh to London, including via the West Midlands and Manchester as well as mainline. I believe they used to also sign via Chester and Hellifield\S&C but not sure if they still do them now.

Makes me feel rather pathetic with my ~350 miles of route knowledge :lol: Though I reckon that's not bad for a regional TOC. That's as a guard mind, the drivers at my depot are on about 300, they sign one route fewer.
 
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AndrewE

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Saltley depot was always the traditional answer, with all of the usual jokes that it typically entailed. :D

Sadly, Saltley has been no more for some time now. :(

You beat me to it! For those not in the know, the depot logo was (or was alleged to be) a Seagull and the motto "Coast to coast and..."
 

theageofthetra

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I was thinking of one of the freight operators who provide drivers or pilots for railtours?
 

the sniper

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You beat me to it! For those not in the know, the depot logo was (or was alleged to be) a Seagull and the motto "Coast to coast and..."

Certainly was!



https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3428455837

After the buildings in the background were demolished the Seagull seen here was the only thing that survived... I'm not sure if it still stands. It was there a few years ago when I last had access to the site.

The spirit still lives on. In the LM train crew depot at New Street a picture of a Seagull proudly adorns the wall of the 'Saltley end' of the mess room. It confuses a few new age managers and new starters! Not too many ex-Saltley men left now... LM New Street don't have the route knowledge to match though!
 
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LowLevel

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Some Nottingham drivers and many guards have the following on their route cards which has to be among the best for a local/regional TOC for variety - everything from the East Coast mainline to the 90mph semaphore signalled Hope Valley to the no signalman token worked Matlock branch.

Liverpool to Manchester via Warrington C or Earlestown
Manchester to Sheffield via Stockport or Romiley
Sheffield to Chesterfield via Dore or Barrow Hill
Chesterfield to Nottingham via Alfreton, Radford Jn or Toton, or Derby
Nottingham to Norwich via Grantham or Melton Mowbray and Ely or the avoiding line
Nottingham to Worksop via Hucknall or Pinxton (and on to Manton Wood colliery siding for drivers)
Nottingham to Skegness
Nottingham to Lincoln via Newark Castle and Northgate
Nottingham to Leicester
Derby to Matlock
Derby to Crewe via Stoke (and Crewe Carriage Sidings for drivers)
Lincoln to Peterborough via Sleaford
Some also sign Toton to Trent via Long Eaton Town or High Level Goods and a tiny number via Castle Donington.

Not the biggest route mileage but must be one of biggest variety of routes.
 

Cherry_Picker

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Saltley depot was always the traditional answer, with all of the usual attendant jokes to that effect. :D

Sadly, Saltley has been no more for some time now. :(

When Neil Armstrong's rocket ship landed on the moon in 1969, a Saltley man was waiting there to relieve him.
 

westcoaster

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At bedford TL depot we sign;

Core routes are
Bedford to Brighton via crystal palace 102m43ch
Blackfriars to sutton via Wimbledon or mitcham junction 21m20ch
Blackfriars to sevenoaks via the catford loop and swanley 27m52ch
London Bridge to East Croydon 10m28ch

Diversionary routes are
Kentish Town to St Pancras high level
Blackfriars to sevenoaks via kent house and Orpington 23m25ch
London victoria to herne hill inc Stewart's lane 3m73ch
London Bridge to Tulsa hill via Peckham rye 7m50ch
Streatham to East croydon via Norbury 4m27ch
Norwood junction/selhurst to sutton via west Croydon 6m26ch

Depots
Bedford Cauldwell TMD
Cricklewood
Selhurst TRS&md
Around 200 route miles of knowledge but with fast and slow lines, and multi lines into terminus, sim-bids, bi-di working 2/3/4 aspect signalling, more likely double the miles. Plus POSA signals in the core and streatham area.
 
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adc82140

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Interesting. My journey on XC (Southampton to Manchester and back) had a change of TM at Birmingham New St. I presume there would have been a driver change as well? Do all XC links (see I'm getting there with the terminology :D ) cover all XC routes, or are there specific (for example) south of Birmingham links etc.?
 

swt_passenger

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Interesting. My journey on XC (Southampton to Manchester and back) had a change of TM at Birmingham New St. I presume there would have been a driver change as well? Do all XC links (see I'm getting there with the terminology :D ) cover all XC routes, or are there specific (for example) south of Birmingham links etc.?

AIUI most of the Bournemouth drivers don't ever go beyond Birmingham. Full crew changes often take place on XC at Reading, suggesting that might be the limit for some drivers from further north. Logically you'd expect the widest knowledge would be held by Birmingham crews, and less by those based at the extremities of the network.
 

John1975

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At bedford TL depot we sign;

Core routes are
Bedford to Brighton via crystal palace 102m43ch
Blackfriars to sutton via Wimbledon or mitcham junction 21m20ch
Blackfriars to sevenoaks via the catford loop and swanley 27m52ch
London Bridge to East Croydon 10m28ch

Diversionary routes are
Kentish Town to St Pancras high level
Blackfriars to sevenoaks via kent house and Orpington 23m25ch
London victoria to herne hill inc Stewart's lane 3m73ch
London Bridge to Tulsa hill via Peckham rye 7m50ch
Streatham to East croydon via Norbury 4m27ch
Norwood junction/selhurst to sutton via west Croydon 6m26ch

Depots
Bedford Cauldwell TMD
Cricklewood
Selhurst TRS&md
Around 200 route miles of knowledge but with fast and slow lines, and multi lines into terminus, sim-bids, bi-di working 2/3/4 aspect signalling, more likely double the miles. Plus POSA signals in the core and streatham area.

And if we could only get you boys and girls signing via Clapham Jn we'd be in a lot less bother every time Thurlow Park Road bridge gets hit.

Chances of that happening are practically zero though, unfortunately...
 

craigybagel

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AIUI most of the Bournemouth drivers don't ever go beyond Birmingham. Full crew changes often take place on XC at Reading, suggesting that might be the limit for some drivers from further north. Logically you'd expect the widest knowledge would be held by Birmingham crews, and less by those based at the extremities of the network.

Manchester crews sign as far as Reading. It wouldn't surprise me if Birmingham and Bournemouth crews sometimes swap over at Reading even though they each sign through to the other station. They may well do 2 trips in one day to the half way point on some days if that's what makes a diagram efficient
 

Mintona

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How do you find out the mileage of routes? I guess I could check the sectional appendix but was wondering if there was an easier way online. Just wondering how many miles of route I sign.
 

driver_m

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As craigybagel said. Preston VT drivers sign a huge amount of track. The diversions and the regular routes via the West Midlands, Manchester and into Glasgow must add up to about 700-800m easily. My own route card at a guess is over 500 miles.

They do still have a link sign Chester and not sure about S&C. I think it's being dropped. When they did you probably have a clear winner in TOC route miles.
 
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westcoaster

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How do you find out the mileage of routes? I guess I could check the sectional appendix but was wondering if there was an easier way online. Just wondering how many miles of route I sign.

Railmiles.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
And if we could only get you boys and girls signing via Clapham Jn we'd be in a lot less bother every time Thurlow Park Road bridge gets hit.

Chances of that happening are practically zero though, unfortunately...

Only brighton drivers sign via clapham junction.
 

David57

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As craigybagel posts, my mate is a VT instructor at Preston, signs Glasgow/Edinburgh, London, plus WM and Northampton, and S&C, pretty impressive..
 

6Gman

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Some Nottingham drivers and many guards have the following on their route cards which has to be among the best for a local/regional TOC for variety - everything from the East Coast mainline to the 90mph semaphore signalled Hope Valley to the no signalman token worked Matlock branch.

Liverpool to Manchester via Warrington C or Earlestown
Manchester to Sheffield via Stockport or Romiley
Sheffield to Chesterfield via Dore or Barrow Hill
Chesterfield to Nottingham via Alfreton, Radford Jn or Toton, or Derby
Nottingham to Norwich via Grantham or Melton Mowbray and Ely or the avoiding line
Nottingham to Worksop via Hucknall or Pinxton (and on to Manton Wood colliery siding for drivers)
Nottingham to Skegness
Nottingham to Lincoln via Newark Castle and Northgate
Nottingham to Leicester
Derby to MatlockDerby to Crewe via Stoke (and Crewe Carriage Sidings for drivers)
Lincoln to Peterborough via Sleaford
Some also sign Toton to Trent via Long Eaton Town or High Level Goods and a tiny number via Castle Donington.

Not the biggest route mileage but must be one of biggest variety of routes.

Back in my day the NM men who signed Skegness didn't sign Matlock and vice versa. Has that changed?
 

LowLevel

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The current way round is folk who sign Norwich don't sign Skegness. However there's a spare link who sign everywhere within reason so some sign the lot.
 

John1975

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Only brighton drivers sign via clapham junction.

As I'm only too painfully aware.

A valuable diversionary route signed by only a handful of drivers.

If anything serious happens at Herne Hill or Tulse Hill, it's all over.
 

Legzr1

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Following a discussion on the Sowerby Bridge meet, I suspect that it'll be a FOC base, or an operator that specialises in such expertise such as ROG or (dare I say it) WCRC.

I know a FOC driver with current route knowledge of Inverness - London via East and West coasts and just about every power station and siding in between!
 

craigybagel

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Railmiles.

Makes me feel rather pathetic with my ~350 miles of route knowledge :lol: Though I reckon that's not bad for a regional TOC. That's as a guard mind, the drivers at my depot are on about 300, they sign one route fewer.

Apparently I'd sold my depot short! I'd never heard of railmiles before but after playing with it apparently guards at my depot sign 482 miles and drivers about 410.
 

tsr

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Following our Caledonian Sleeper discussion, surely the Train Managers on those are fairly high on the list?

ECML/WCML plus any relevant diversions, IIRC. They must spend half their duties route learning if there's any unusual engineering work coming up!
 
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