Trivia: Quietest stretch of railway with more than 2 tracks

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PTR 444

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The stretch of MML between Bedford and Kettering is four-tracked, yet it only sees six trains per hour in regular service, so essentially 1.5 trains for every track (not including freight). Is this the quietest stretch of railway with more than two tracks in the UK?
 
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cle

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The stretch of MML between Bedford and Kettering is four-tracked, yet it only sees six trains per hour in regular service, so essentially 1.5 trains for every track (not including freight). Is this the quietest stretch of railway with more than two tracks in the UK?
It's southern cousin, between Elephant and Denmark Hill / Loughborough Junction is similarly wide and underused. Reasons, but still a fact.
 

PTR 444

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It's southern cousin, between Elephant and Denmark Hill / Loughborough Junction is similarly wide and underused. Reasons, but still a fact.
Except that has 8 passenger trains per hour in each direction rather than 6. Not sure whether freight on the MML section described above trumps this though.
 
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How about Severn Tunnel Junction to Newport?
Also the bit just north of Oxford, after the Chiltern lines have diverged, usually has only 3 passenger trains an hour (and some freight). It really depends on how long the “more than two track” bit needs to be.
 

james60059

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You could probably argue Barnetby being 4 tracks plus however many sidings, but since freight has decreased dramatically over the last couple of years, maybe 4 tracks is now too much?
 

Anonymous10

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The stretch of MML between Bedford and Kettering is four-tracked, yet it only sees six trains per hour in regular service, so essentially 1.5 trains for every track (not including freight). Is this the quietest stretch of railway with more than two tracks in the UK?
i think the carmarthen - Swansea stretch sees 1 train per hour atm
 

The Planner

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The stretch of MML between Bedford and Kettering is four-tracked, yet it only sees six trains per hour in regular service, so essentially 1.5 trains for every track (not including freight). Is this the quietest stretch of railway with more than two tracks in the UK?
Ditton to Liverpool South Parkway.
 

Dr Hoo

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Is Oakham to Langham Junction still a block section with long freight loops - essentially four-track with typically only one passenger train each way per hour and (say) one freight?
 

DelW

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i think the carmarthen - Swansea stretch sees 1 train per hour atm
But that fails the "more than two tracks" condition, indeed over five miles of it was single tracked for many years.
 
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If you're not counting freight, the WCML between Springs Branch Jn and Golborne Jn is 4-track (6-track from Bamfurlong to Springs Branch) and carries 6 passenger trains per hour (3 each direction) for much of the day.

AFAIK all passenger trains are booked for the fast lines, the slow lines being freight only - not heavily used, but handy to have on regular occasions.
 
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Watershed

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The brief four track section from Horbury Jn to Wakefield Kirkgate might qualify. Pre-Covid it had 4 passenger tph in each direction, plus occasional GC services. Obviously also some freight but this is usually no more than about 1tph.
 

Bill57p9

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Erewash Valley?
4 tracks with 4 passenger trains per hour and a shadow of the former freight flows.

And south of Trowell Junction, no (regular?) passenger service, yet still 4 track.
 

Doctor Fegg

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How about Severn Tunnel Junction to Newport?
Also the bit just north of Oxford, after the Chiltern lines have diverged, usually has only 3 passenger trains an hour (and some freight). It really depends on how long the “more than two track” bit needs to be.
Covid service reductions aside, Oxford-Wolvercot would usually have 1tph Cotswolds (more in the peak), 2tph XC, and 1tp2h Banbury stopper, in each direction. So that’s 7 in total, not 3, plus plentiful freight.
 

edwin_m

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Erewash Valley?
4 tracks with 4 passenger trains per hour and a shadow of the former freight flows.

And south of Trowell Junction, no (regular?) passenger service, yet still 4 track.
Since the last re-signalling it's been three-track north of Trowell, with a couple of short four-track bits, and for many years before that one of the Goods lines was out of use. The 4 trains per hour is two in each direction.
 

Jamesrob637

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The Magistrale from Paris to Laroche-Migennes in France. Not much passenger since the advent of the TGV and less freight than days of yore.
 

james60059

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You could also include maybe the line from Heaton Norris Junction to just before Reddish South which is 3 tracks, although admittedly it does become single track.
 

Yindee8191

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Bristol Temple Meads to Parson Street has three tracks, admittedly with one that’s fairly rarely used. Only gets 1-2tph from CrossCountry, 1tph local and 1tph regional, plus occasional GWR intercity extensions. Will get an extra 1 and eventually 2tph when the Portishead line reopens.
 

tiptoptaff

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How about Severn Tunnel Junction to Newport?
Also the bit just north of Oxford, after the Chiltern lines have diverged, usually has only 3 passenger trains an hour (and some freight). It really depends on how long the “more than two track” bit needs to be.
In non-covid times, it sees 2tph GWR locals, 2tph GWR HSS, 1tph XC and 1tph TfW plus freights

The covid restrictions have only cost 1tph on GWR HSS. So it's a well used route
 

A Challenge

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Since the last re-signalling it's been three-track north of Trowell, with a couple of short four-track bits, and for many years before that one of the Goods lines was out of use. The 4 trains per hour is two in each direction.
Surely though, south of Trowell (four tracks to Toton Junction, maybe even Trent Junctions if you count both the High Level Goods and Erewash as the same alignment) must win this as it's almost entirely freight only, and that's surely going to less than anywhere else?
 

edwin_m

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Surely though, south of Trowell (four tracks to Toton Junction, maybe even Trent Junctions if you count both the High Level Goods and Erewash as the same alignment) must win this as it's almost entirely freight only, and that's surely going to less than anywhere else?
I was really setting the record straight on the previous post in case anyone thinks it's still four tracks north of Trowell.

It's at least the joint winner if only passenger trains are counted, as you can't get less than zero! Can't think of any other four-track freight-only lines off the top of my head.
 

willgreen

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Pelaw Junction in South Tyneside is four-tracked for a very short distance on the National Rail side. Think it gets 1tph on heavy rail though there's a fair bit of freight.
 

Watershed

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There's a brief four-track section to the east of Northwich station. It has 1 passenger tph in each direction. Based on the last few days' data, about 15-20 freight services a day seem to run. That makes for an average total of 3tph.
 

timj

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Bridlington also has 4 tracks for a bit to the South, which I believe is just about to be rationalised
 

Jamesrob637

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Some of us are getting a little pedantic with what constitutes "more than 2 tracks", citing examples that are literally metres long. At least my Magistrale example is around 70 miles!
 

norbitonflyer

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Not sure how long a stretch is required. certainly nowhere near the "Magistrale", but the section in Lincoln between West Holmes junction and the bridge over the River Witham has four tracks for about half a mile, and sees only three or four passenger trains an hour each way - one each to Nottingham, Sheffield, Kings Cross (every other hour, with some Newark Northgate shuttles in the gaps) and a handful to Doncaster
 

Falcon1200

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Covid service reductions aside, Oxford-Wolvercot would usually have 1tph Cotswolds (more in the peak), 2tph XC, and 1tp2h Banbury stopper, in each direction. So that’s 7 in total, not 3, plus plentiful freight.

And isn't the main benefit of the four tracks north of Oxford to allow the now very long container trains to be held clear of passenger traffic, rather than parallel running, which Down-wards would come to an abrupt halt at Wolvercote Jc anyway ! As an aside, it is a pity the new Down Relief could not have been extended slightly to join the Worcester single line without impinging on the Down Main towards Banbury, but IIRC there is a relay room in the way (and a missing bridge too ?)
 
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