Why do people refer to the London - Brighton line as the 'BML'?

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Dunfanaghy Rd

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A pedant writes:
BML is the Engineer's Line Reference for Waterloo to Weymouth (the Bournemouth Main Line). Why is it so often applied to the Brighton Line?
Pat
 
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A pedant writes:
BML is the Engineer's Line Reference for Waterloo to Weymouth (the Bournemouth Main Line). Why is it so often applied to the Brighton Line?
Pat
Brighton Main Line. I can understand why non engineers use it, especially as the other one goes to Weymouth (except to engineers). :)
 

Bald Rick

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A pedant writes:
BML is the Engineer's Line Reference for Waterloo to Weymouth (the Bournemouth Main Line). Why is it so often applied to the Brighton Line?
Pat

I’m with you Pat. BML2 should be a proposal for to reopen the line from Alton to Winchester to create new capacity....
 

thelem

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A pedant writes:
BML is the Engineer's Line Reference for Waterloo to Weymouth (the Bournemouth Main Line). Why is it so often applied to the Brighton Line?

People aren't using BML as an engineer's line reference. They are using it as an easy abbreviation of Brighton Main Line.
 
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The London to Bournemouth line is often referred to as the SWML (south western main line) which causes confusion with the SWML (south Wales main line). I suppose it is roughly halfway between the BML and SWML.
I guess it could be called the Southampton and Waterloo mainline. Oh wait...
 

southern442

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Occasionally it is referred to as the South Central Mainline, but I have only ever seen that once, maybe twice. I don't think SCML is taken by anything else though, and I prefer that to VTB (getting rid of the 'mainline' bit makes it feel less important)
 

Andy1673

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Engineer's Line References refer Brighton Main Line as VTB (Victoria to Brighton via Streatham Common and Quarry line). BML is a Waterloo (Main lines) to Weymouth (Bournemouth Main line).
 
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When I were but a lad, we just had the WCML, the ECML and the NE/SW route. No such thing as the MML or the GWML then, let alone all the other upstarts...
 
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When I were but a lad, we just had the WCML, the ECML and the NE/SW route. No such thing as the MML or the GWML then, let alone all the other upstarts...
Yes, I remember those days, and those terms were used in Modern Railways when Roger Ford and Alan Williams were little more than lads. (They've been going a lot longer than some of these abbreviations!)
 
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D6975

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What about WHL? I've been using that one for many a year. GSW too, come to think of it.
 

NSE

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That makes a lot of sense! I’ve seen ‘BML’ on bridges and always wondered why not ‘SWML’. Nice!
 

pompeyfan

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I suppose the same could be said in regards to the Portsmouth line.

The official title is WPL, however it gets short handed frequently to the PDL or Pompey direct line. Where the “direct” came from is beyond me. I’m aware that the old route used to used to be along the coast using the LBSCR or London Brighton south coast railway.
 
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southern442

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I suppose the same could be said in regards to the Portsmouth line.

must official title is WPL, however it gets short handed frequently to the PDL or Pompey direct line. Where there “direct” came from is beyond me. I’m aware that the old route used to used to be along the coast using the LBSCR or London Brighton south coast railway.
Well I suppose it is the most direct route to Portsmouth?
 

Dunfanaghy Rd

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I believe the name of the company that promoted the Portsmouth Direct was that, or something similar. Prior to it's opening the Brighton ran to Pompey via Horsham and the South Western via Bishopstoke (Eastleigh). They shared the takings 1/3 to the Brighton and 2/3 to the South Western, as it was felt that the Brighton's route was longer (or slower) and generated lower receipts. The opening of the Direct caused serious ructions as the Brighton's directors accused the South Western of breaking the agreement. It all got physical at the Battle of Havant in 1859. It's a miracle that nobody was killed, as some managers were armed with pistols.
Pat
 

etr221

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The origianal route to Portsmouth was L&SWR toGosport (via Bishopstoke/Eastleigh); later the LBSC (as it become) 'West Coast' line was extended to Portsmouth (service via Brighton!) The LSWR had a branch from Woking to Godalming; the Portsmouth Railway (a seperate company) built (single track originally) between Godalming and Havant. As neither the LSWR or the LBSCR were rushing to upset the balance by taking it over, there were negotiations with the SER, with a south to east curve being built at Shalford... but eventually the LSWR took it on - and it was always known as the Portsmouth Direct (it was fairly - did reduce the distance by 20 miles)

The way ELRs do - and do not - reflect back to the originally built lines (and their names) is curious... a mix of the original lines, with some of the newer additions to make today's mainlines included: the original route to Brighton was from London Bridge, the modern route ('VTB') has four seperate additions...
 

pompeyfan

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Really interesting, thanks for the responses.

By bemoaning the direct title it was more a snipe at the fact of its twisty nature, in the fact it was built on the cheap and went round hills rather than through or over them. The SWML however is an example of a route built properly as there is limited curvature and speeds of 100 nearly all the way from Woking to Southampton, and then 80+ through the forest towards Bournemouth.

If the direct could be straightened out station to station you’d see higher speeds throughout but it’s all fantasy and speculation as it’ll never happen.
 

507020

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Occasionally it is referred to as the South Central Mainline, but I have only ever seen that once, maybe twice. I don't think SCML is taken by anything else though, and I prefer that to VTB (getting rid of the 'mainline' bit makes it feel less important)
I think NSE had it spot on south of the Thames with the South Western, South Eastern and South Central Main Lines (although referring to the Great Western as “Thames” and the West Coast and Midland both as “North” is less well thought out).

The City of Brighton and Hove (population 290,885) is of great importance, its proximity to London making it the default seaside resort for millions of people since at least the opening of the LB&SCR. Are you happy now? :D

Of course many seaside resorts completely lost all rail access and those that remain (Including Southport, Morecambe, Whitby and Cleethorpes, but I could just as easily have picked other examples at random) don’t tend to have a particularly comprehensive service, so Brighton is lucky to have remained so well connected, whatever the LB&SC line is called.
 
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stuu

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Brighton is only a little seaside town of no particular importance other than its proximity to London. There are plenty more famous seaside towns that can only dream of having a “Main Line” named after them (Southport, Morecambe, Whitby, Cleethorpes etc) and plenty more with no rail access left at all, so it can think itself lucky it remained so well connected, whatever the LB&SC line is called.
Brighton is the centre of an urban area with a population approaching 0.5m people, with a station that is the 7th busiest in the country outside London. I don't think anyone would sensibly consider Cleethorpes to be a comparitor
 
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