Trivia: Steepest Gradient?

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by 317663, 23 May 2015.

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  1. 317663

    317663 Member

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    Hi, Haven't been on here for a while, nice to be back :)

    Just wanted to ask a quick question; What's the Steepest Gradient in the UK's rail network? I doubt it'll be any more than 20 degrees, though that could be higher. I have no clue what it could be myself since I havent been out for ages.
    Thanks :)
     
  2. HilversumNS

    HilversumNS Member

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    I suspect it is Lickey Incline, which is always the one everyone talks about.
     
  3. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Do you have any idea how steep 20 degrees is? The steepest inclines of any length will be under 3 degrees. Have a play around with this calculator to see.
     
  4. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Somewhere on the Snowdon Mountain Railway?

    :D
     
  5. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Well, if we're not talking mainline, I vote for the Hastings East Cliff Railway. :D
     
  6. mph1977

    mph1977 Member

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    iirc 20 degrees is something like 36% gradient which 1 in 3 or something silly

    3 % is much more like it - one of the reasons trams are so overpowered compared to heavy rail is having to go up relatively modest grades to fit with normal town traffic
     
  7. David Goddard

    David Goddard Established Member

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    Wiki quotes: "The Lickey Incline, south of Birmingham, is the steepest sustained main-line railway incline in Great Britain. The climb is a gradient of 1-in-37.7 (2.65%) for a continuous distance of two miles (3.2 km)."
    If we include preserved operations, I think that the Ravenstor incline on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway is a good contendor, at 1 in 27
     
  8. philabos

    philabos Member

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    Just ran a coal train in open rails on the Woodhead line, sadly gone. Must have been quite a trip on those grades with unfitted loaded wagons.
     
  9. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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    I recently saw a figure for the gradient of the new Bermondsey diveunder for Thameslink and thought "doesn't that make it steeper than Lickey?". Unfortunately I can remember neither the figure given for the diveunder, nor whether I was correctly remembering the gradient of Lickey.
     
  10. NotATrainspott

    NotATrainspott Established Member

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    The Crossrail tunnels east of Paddington have a 1-in-32 descent down to go below the Central Line tunnels.
     
  11. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Somebody here recently stated that the climb from City Thameslink to Blackfriars is about 1:29 (3.45%) which although quite short, is taken by virtually every southbound train from a standing start.
     
  12. mbreckers

    mbreckers Member

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    What about the tunnel at Glasgow Queen Street.?
     
  13. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Exeter St Davids to Exeter Central?
     
  14. 12CSVT

    12CSVT Established Member

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    Fawley Hill railway has a section of 1 in 17.
     
  15. GrimsbyPacer

    GrimsbyPacer Established Member

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    Hasn't the Severn Rail Tunnel got steep gradients being the lowest point?
    The Channel Tunnel is steep too.

    But the steepest I've seen is the old abandoned railway near Cromford in North Derbyshire. Sadly not in use and has no track. Excluding cliff trams ofcourse.
     
  16. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Not particularly, it's only 1 in 100 and 1 in 90. Can't remember which side is which though.
     
  17. Juniper Driver

    Juniper Driver Established Member

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    What is Upway to Weymouth and Branksome to Poole?
     
  18. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    aka the Middleton Incline :)
     
  19. Ships

    Ships Member

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    It's actually the 1:27 on the climb up from
    River bed in the Mersey tunnel.
     
  20. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    The approach to Birmingham New Street South has a differential gradient from down to up and that is pretty steep
     
  21. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    78%?!?!?! Holy crap you could climb that as though the sleepers were the rungs of a ladder!
     
  22. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Another planet...
    There's some pretty steep hills on the Sheffield tramway...
     
  23. Tubeboy

    Tubeboy Member

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    1 in 29 from City Thameslnk to Blackfriars.
     
  24. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    As I said in post #12.

    That is of course on a heavily used main line and not some goods spur/tram line.
     
  25. Ships

    Ships Member

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    Neithers the Mersey tunnel which is steeper.......
     
  26. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Yes I agree that the Mersey Tunnel houses a busy metro line.
     
  27. nowananorack

    nowananorack Member

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    A lot of the Welsh Highland Railway is 1:40
    Beddgelert Station is 1:47.
    Trains do terminate there and locomotives run round.
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2015
  28. matchmaker

    matchmaker Member

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    Cowlairs incline is between 1 in 41.5 and 1 in 50. Not the steepest, but the first half is in tunnel and starts as soon as trains leave Queen Street. Not pleasant in steam days!
     
  29. Glenmutchkin

    Glenmutchkin Member

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    The Welshpool and Llanfair has that beat. Golfa bank is a mile of 1 in 29, still regularly worked by steam.
     
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