Trivia: TOC minimum/maximum train lengths

IanXC

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I've been pondering which TOC has the longest (number of carriages) shortest (shortest formation they operate) train.

For example, TPE's longest shortest train would be a 185 at 3 carriages, whereas LNER's would be a 5 car Azuma.

Is there any operator whose shortest train is longer than 5 cars?

Equally, which TOCs operate the shortest longest train? As in, ranking TOCs by their longest train operated.

For example, London Overground operate maximum 5 car services, but Northern operate maximum 6 car services.

I believe its only TfW left who operate single 153s on their own so that question is easily put to bed!
 
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greatkingrat

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c2c are very close to being all 8+ cars, but there are still a handful of services booked as 4-car in the late evening.

TfL Rail are all minimum 7 cars now.
 

yrreb

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Thameslink and Crossrail with their 8/12 and 7/9 car trains respectively. In regards to short formations, let's not forget the 139 fleet!
 

yorkie

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Thameslink and Crossrail with their 8/12 and 7/9 car trains respectively. In regards to short formations, let's not forget the 139 fleet!
GTR operates some 4 car trains on their GN and SN routes, though.
 

Gathursty

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I'll assume WMR has a minimum of 1 because of the Stourbridge Shuttle.
 

yorkie

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I'll assume WMR has a minimum of 1 because of the Stourbridge Shuttle.
Yes, West Midlands Trains must operate the shortest trains on the entire National Rail network (only 8.7m in length).

And at the other end of the scale operating trains up to 12 cars (approx 250m in length) on their LNR route out of Euston.
 

nickw1

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SWR has 2-car 158s on the Salisbury-Romsey-Southampton-Eastleigh-Romsey services, and many 12-cars in the peak (thinking of pre-Covid timetables)
 

185143

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Caledonian Sleeper usually run 16 carriage trains.

Which then split:
Lowlander into 2x8 carriage trains at Carstairs for Edinburgh/Glasgow.

Highlander into 3 portions at Edinburgh. 8 carriages to Inverness. Minimum of 4 carriages to Aberdeen and whatever's left+2 extra carriages to Fort William. So their trains can be between 4 and 16 coaches long.
 

Watershed

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Yes, West Midlands Trains must operate the shortest trains on the entire National Rail network (only 8.7m in length).

And at the other end of the scale operating trains up to 12 cars (approx 250m in length) on their LNR route out of Euston.
Although technically the Stourbridge shuttle is operated by Pre Metro Operations...
 

Kite159

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GTR operates some 4 car trains on their GN and SN routes, though.

You could reduce that to 3 coaches regularly (313s on the coastways). Maybe even 2 coaches if a 2 coach 171 runs on its own on a quieter Uckfield service (or pre Covid all the time on Ashford - Eastbourne)

------

London Overground operate 8 coach services from Liverpool Street towards Hackney & beyond.
 

London Trains

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GTR - Southern 3 4 5 6 8 10 12 (2 7 9 11 occasionally seen)
GTR - Thameslink 8 12
GTR - Great Northern 4 6 8 12
London Overground 4 5 8
SWR 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 12
Avanti 5 9 10 11 (15 during blockades in the past)
WMT 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 12
LNER 5 9 10
C2C 4 8 12
 

nickw1

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SWR 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 12
Any 7s? (159+158+158) or 11s (159+159+159+158)? Thinking of timetables before Covid cuts, in particular.

For 9 - as well as 3x159, the 444+450 combination can exist in theory; not sure if any services have actually been diagrammed, though I have seen it on occasion. CIG/VEP combos were as common as muck in the 80s and 90s so one would think there might be more diagrammed 444+450 combos.
 

Kite159

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Any 7s? (159+158+158) or 11s (159+159+159+158)? Thinking of timetables before Covid cuts, in particular.

For 9 - as well as 3x159, the 444+450 combination can exist in theory; not sure if any services have actually been diagrammed, though I have seen it on occasion. CIG/VEP combos were as common as muck in the 80s and 90s so one would think there might be more diagrammed 444+450 combos.

0851 London Waterloo to Salisbury is normally a 7 coach set (plus the inbound
0541 Yeovil Pen Mill to London Waterloo from Salisbury)

Pre Covid I did see a couple 444+450 combos but they were quite rare
 

London Trains

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Any 7s? (159+158+158) or 11s (159+159+159+158)? Thinking of timetables before Covid cuts, in particular.

11 coaches would be very unlikely as the platforms at the non electrified stations arent long enough, and there would be no reason to use a formation like that on the electrified lines.
 

Grecian 1998

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Do TfW operate any services longer than 4 coaches? There are quite a few 4 coach services e.g. most Birmingham - Machynlleth trains, the Premier Service, some Valleys services and presumably some Marches services, but not sure if any trains run with 5 or more coaches normally.

XC operate services composed of 4,5,7,8, 9 or 10 coaches, though the latter is very rare. Sounds alright until you realise pre-COVID that the majority were 4 coaches with only 2.5 coaches' worth of standard seating.
 

greyman42

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Did Southern used to operate the occasional 16 car EMU out of Victoria?
 

zwk500

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Did Southern used to operate the occasional 16 car EMU out of Victoria?
I wouldn't have thought they'd plan to do that, although it's possible it's happened in an emergency. On the Brighton Side, 16 cars won't fit behind any signals so it won't be happening unless it's the absolute last resort. (Not sure if you can get 16 cars on Platform 2, which is the only one that would stand a chance).

More than 12 cars would basically be operationally impossible, as there's too many pinch points that are limited to 12-car by the junctions at either end.
 

Qwerty133

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Do TfW operate any services longer than 4 coaches? There are quite a few 4 coach services e.g. most Birmingham - Machynlleth trains, the Premier Service, some Valleys services and presumably some Marches services, but not sure if any trains run with 5 or more coaches normally.

XC operate services composed of 4,5,7,8, 9 or 10 coaches, though the latter is very rare. Sounds alright until you realise pre-COVID that the majority were 4 coaches with only 2.5 coaches' worth of standard seating.
XC also operate 2,3 and occasionally 6 coach services.
 

jamieP

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GTR operates some 4 car trains on their GN and SN routes, though.

There has not been any booked 4 car workings on the GN for a few years now. Obviously it does happen now and again if the partner unit fails.
 
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zwk500

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There has been no booked 4 car workings on the GN for a few years now. Obviously it does happen now and again if the partner unit fails.
Although Southern make up for it with 3-Car 313s and I think there's a few 2-Car Marshlink turbostar services.
 

43096

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11 coaches would be very unlikely as the platforms at the non electrified stations arent long enough, and there would be no reason to use a formation like that on the electrified lines.
SWR do not operate 11 car services. Platform lengths at Waterloo are restricted to a maximum of 10 x 23m stock (158/159/444) or 12 x 20m stock (450/455/456/458/707).
 

sd0733

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Do TfW operate any services longer than 4 coaches? There are quite a few 4 coach services e.g. most Birmingham - Machynlleth trains, the Premier Service, some Valleys services and presumably some Marches services, but not sure if any trains run with 5 or more coaches normally.
Yes, theres a Sunday Manchester service booked a 5 car 15x (150+3x153) and an evening Cardiff to Chester which is booked 6 car although its effectively a stock move and one unit is locked out.
 
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So, for a (I think) complete list:

GWR: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (rare), 8, 9, 10, 12
SWR: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12
XC: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Southern: 2 (rare), 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (rare), 8, 9 (rare), 10, 11 (rare), 12
Great Northern: 4, 6, 8, 12
Thameslink: 8, 12
LO: 4, 5, 8
Southeastern: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7?, 8, 9?, 10?, 11?, 12
C2C: 4, 8, 12
tfl rail: 7, 8?, 9
GA: 3, 4, 5, 6?, 7?, 8, 10?, 12
LNER: 5, 9, 10
Hull trains: 5
Grand Central: 5
EMR: 1?, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12
AWC: 5, 9, 10, 11
Chiltern: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
WMT: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12
TfW: 1?, 2, 3, 4, 5?, 6?
Northern: 2, 3, 4, 5 (rare), 6
TPE: 3, 5, 6
Merseyrail: 3, 6
Scotrail: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7? 8
Caledonian sleeper: 4, 5?, 6, 8, 16
Eurostar: 16, 18
 

D6975

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13 was possible on the BR era boat trains, with the Motor Luggage Vans on one end.
Actually they used to run with 14 until the trailer luggage vans were withdrawn. Even after that they occasionally used 2 MLVs on a train.
 

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