Which were the largest settlements in Great Britain never to have had a station on the national rail network?

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McRhu

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Dunoon gets my vote. Not vast but if it wasn't for the odd geographical inconvenience I'm sure it would've been a bustling hive of railway-ness. Same goes for Stornoway, and of course Campbeltown.
 

D6130

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Dunoon gets my vote. Not vast but if it wasn't for the odd geographical inconvenience I'm sure it would've been a bustling hive of railway-ness. Same goes for Stornoway, and of course Campbeltown.
Well-spotted McR! I think Dunoon must certainly take the biscuit as far a Scotland is concerned. Stornoway - and for that matter, Rothesay - don't really count as they are on islands, although I perhaps should have been more specific in the thread title. It has been suggested on another thread that West Bridgford, near Nottingham is the most likely candidate in England. Keep scouring those atlases folks!
 

robbeech

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I'd say West Bridgford will be a good example, although it's not too badly placed for Nottingham now, and wasn't too badly placed for Nottingham Midland, or London Road, and i guess those on the extremes might have been better suited to the racecourse or even Arkwright Street, which is now on the tram route (having been a road for some time). I'm not sure of how old some of the West Bridgford properties are, but i know a fair few of them have been built since the closure of many of the lines.
 

vlad

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Dunoon gets my vote. Not vast but if it wasn't for the odd geographical inconvenience I'm sure it would've been a bustling hive of railway-ness. Same goes for Stornoway, and of course Campbeltown.

Campbeltown had a station, on the short-lived narrow-gauge line to Machrihanish, although of course you can't say this was part of the national network.

The town was certainly accessible by rail, as visitors would be able to take the train to Glasgow where they changed onto the steamer. It's similar to Dartmouth, albeit the ferry took a lot longer!
 

geoffk

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South of the border Shaftesbury has been mentioned elsewhere, about half the size of Dunoon though. Houghton-le-Spring never had its own station but was served by Fencehouses one and a half miles away.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Waterlooville? May have had some form of tramway etc. but I don't think it ever had something which, had it survived, we'd call a 'national rail' service.
 

CJSwan

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Dunoon gets my vote. Not vast but if it wasn't for the odd geographical inconvenience I'm sure it would've been a bustling hive of railway-ness. Same goes for Stornoway, and of course Campbeltown.
There was a plan announced several years ago on the front page of the Dunoon Observer that there were plans to building line from Dunoon northwards along the shores of Loch Eck, taking the Rest and be Thankful and then connecting to the rest of the rail network. Redundant TGV sets were to used too!

Please note the date at the top of the page on the archive...

 

swt_passenger

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Waterlooville? May have had some form of tramway etc. but I don't think it ever had something which, had it survived, we'd call a 'national rail' service.
In the heyday of railway building Waterlooville as we know it today didn’t really exist.

I remember that coming up in a previous thread. But even if it had been bigger in the mid 1800s, the topology isn’t ideal. I suspect there were always going to be a few places on a “far too difficult” list...
 

Grumbler

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Dunwich was an important port in the Middle Ages, and had fallen into the sea long before the railways arrived, which is I suppose the reason it was never connected to the rail network.
 

DB

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I'd say West Bridgford will be a good example, although it's not too badly placed for Nottingham now, and wasn't too badly placed for Nottingham Midland, or London Road, and i guess those on the extremes might have been better suited to the racecourse or even Arkwright Street, which is now on the tram route (having been a road for some time). I'm not sure of how old some of the West Bridgford properties are, but i know a fair few of them have been built since the closure of many of the lines.

Not sure that what is basically a suburb of a city with a number of stations really counts! It's no great distance from Nottingham station either.

(and yes, I know that Nottingham is one like Manchester where the actual city boundaries exclude parts of the city, including West Bridgford, but not sure that administrative boundaries make much difference in practical terms).
 

30907

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Torpoint is a fair size.
Biggin Hill (came up on another thread!) is c. 2k bigger than Dunoon or Torpoint, and just over the borough boundary is New Addington, though at least it has Tramlink.... Selsdon and (old) Addington are poorly served too.
To be fair, none of those was significant in the railway-building area.
 

InOban

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I don't suppose that population of Dunoon was very large either. It's largely a creation of the Victorian tourist industry. It would be interesting to think of a old market town which fell on hard times because it wasn't possible to connect it to the new-fangled canal and then railway networks.
 

D6130

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Looks like West Bridgford has been beaten into second position by Waterlooville, Hampshire - a few miles North of Portsmouth on the old A3 - with a population of 64,350 according to the 2011 census.
I don't suppose that population of Dunoon was very large either. It's largely a creation of the Victorian tourist industry.
The estimated population of Dunoon in 2016 was 7,830, according to Wikipedia. I would be very surprised if there were a bigger place in Scotland that has never had a station on the national rail network. Glenrothes new town in Fife would have been a likely candidate, but it now has a new station called Glenrothes with Thornton.

Waterlooville? May have had some form of tramway etc. but I don't think it ever had something which, had it survived, we'd call a 'national rail' service.
Yes, apparently it was on the Portsdown and Horndean Light Railway - which was effectively an electric street tramway - until the 1930s.
 
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swt_passenger

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Looks like West Bridgford has been beaten into second position by Waterlooville, Hampshire - a few miles North of Portsmouth on the old A3 - with a population of 64,350 according to the 2011 census.
Waterlooville is part of Havant Borough, which has a station, although there are closer stations at Bedhampton and Rowlands Castle. How far away does a station have to be before it is disregarded for the purpose of this sort of question?
 

D6130

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My take on it is that the station would have to be in or very close to, the actual traditional township after which it is named. Modern day 'boroughs' cover a very wide area in many cases, often encompassing several different towns - as in this case. Keighley, Bingley and Shipley are all officially within Bradford Metropolitan Borough, but are still distinctive individual towns with their own stations.

Waterlooville is part of Havant Borough, which has a station, although there are closer stations at Bedhampton and Rowlands Castle. How far away does a station have to be before it is disregarded for the purpose of this sort of question?
On closer examination, I realise that the population figure quoted for Waterlooville is actually for the whole conurbation which is spread out along or near the old A3, including the adjoining villages of Purbrook, Cowplain, Horndean and Clanfield. The population of Waterlooville parish itself is only 9,549, therefore West Bridgford is back in pole position again.
 
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61653 HTAFC

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There's an argument that Skelmersdale (since it became a significant settlement) never had a station. Yes there was the old line from Ormskirk via Westhead, but that served what is now known as "Old Skem" which was little more than a village. As a town, the place has always been without a railway.
 

DB

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On closer examination, I realise that the population figure quoted for Waterlooville is actually for the whole conurbation which is spread out along or near the old A3, including the adjoining villages of Purbrook, Cowplain, Horndean and Clanfield. The population of Waterlooville parish itself is only 9,549, therefore West Bridgford is back in pole position again.

But given that West Bridgford to Nottingham station is no further than parts of Leeds to the nearest station, or parts of many other large cities, this is largely just theoretical due to administrative boundaries and doesn't have any practical implication.

What is the more meaningful question is where is the largest distinct town (as opposed to city suburb) without a station - Skelmersale, as mentioned above, is one I've sen quoted before.
 

BayPaul

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Although Dunoon has never had a station, it was (and is) well served by the railways - North British, Caledonian and Glasgow & South Western all operated steamers connecting the town to their respective stations and trains, and I'm pretty sure that through tickets, and most certainly through timetables were available. In many ways it was one of the best served mid-sized towns, with the choice of three rail operators and various routes, as well as independent companies such as David MacBrayne and Turbine Steamers.
 

Glenn1969

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Eastwood (Notts)?
Ullapool?
Was there ever a railway in either of these places or Brecon, Hay on Wye, Ross on Wye, Monmouth, Cinderford or Cirencester none of which currently have stations ?
 

DB

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The question was about settlememts which have never had a station on the main network:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skelmersdale_railway_station

But Skelmersdale in its present form is largely one of the 1960s new towns, and has not had a railway station since then.

Eastwood (Notts)?

That had one - and Langley Mill is very close by, where there is an existing station

Was there ever a railway in either of these places or Brecon, Hay on Wye, Ross on Wye, Monmouth, Cinderford or Cirencester none of which currently have stations ?

Yes to all of those.
 

30909

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Might I try Newport and Ryde Isle of Wight as although they had/have railways owned or operated by a mainland company since 1923 they have never been "connected" to the National Network :D
 

BayPaul

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Might I try Newport and Ryde Isle of Wight as although they had/have railways owned or operated by a mainland company since 1923 they have never been "connected" to the National Network :D
Not by rails, but by railway (until Sealink privatisation) steamers and through timetables / ticketing they have been connected to the national network throughout
 

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