Re: Longest stretch of straight and level

On Sun, 29 Jul 2007 12:53:02 +0100, "Jim Hawkins"
<jimhawkins@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

I was assured by an Aussie acquaintance that the run across the Nullarbor
plain was the longest stretch of straight and level railway track in the
Is that in fact so?


297 miles.

This is dead straight.

There is an almost straight 400 miles stretch in Russia between Moscow
and St Petersburg (Leningrad).

Is there a list of the longest bits in other countries anywhere?

A page scanned using OCR from The Guinness railway book, without
permission. Beware of character recognition not getting things quite

The world's longest straight stretch, 478 km (297 miles),
is on the standard-gauge Transcontinental Railway of the
Commonwealth Railways of Australia, It crosses the
Nullarbor Plain from km 798 (mile 496) between Nurina
and Loongana, Western Australia, to km 1276 (mile 793)
between Ooldea and Watson, South Australia. It was
completed in 19 17. In one year 712 km (442 miles 44
chains) of track was laid, with a maximum for one day of
4 km (2 miles 40 chains), unballasted at the time. This is
a record in Australia. (For the world record see p, 35.)
The Buenos Aires & Pacific Railway, Argentina (Central
Region), is dead straight and almost level for 330 km
(205 mile) between Junin and MacKenna, on the
1676 mm (5 ft 6 in) gauge line from Buenos Aires to
Mendoza where it connects with the metre-gauge South
Transalpine line.
In the USA the longest straight is the 126.9 km (78.9
mileses) on the former Seaboard Air Line Railway between
Wilmington and Hamlet, North Carolina. ('Air Line' is an
American term meaning direct.) It is now part of the Seaboard
Coast line which also has a 92,4 km (5 7. 4 miles)
straight between Okeechobee and West Palm Beach,
Florida. Other long straights in the USA are:
Rock Island Railroad between Guymon, Oklahoma, and
Dalhart, Texas, 1 14.2 km (71.9 miles)
Conrail (formerly New York Central, later Penn Central)
between Air Line Junction (Wesr of Toledo) and Butler,
Indiana, 1 10 . 2 km ( 6 8 . 5 mi l e s)
Monon Railroad between Brookston and Westville
Indiana, 103.8 km (64.5 miles)
illinois Central Gulf between Edgewood and Akin
Junction, Illinois, 101.3 km (62,9 miles)
Atlantic Coast line between Waycross and Kinderlou,
Georgia, 96.7 km (60,1 miles)
There are, or were, five more lengths over 80 km (50
miles) .
In Zimbabwe there is a 113 km (70 mile) straight between
Sawmills and Dett on the Bulawayo-Waukie main line,
In Russia the Moscow & St Petersburg (Leningrad) Railway
is almost straight and level for 644 km (400 miles) , It
was begun in 1843 and opened on 13 November 1951. It
adopted the 1524 mm (5 ft) gauge, then standard in the
Southern States of the USA, and so established the
Russian standard gauge of 5 ft. (See G. W Whistler
The longest straight in England is 29 km (18 miles)
between Barlby and Brough on the 'down' line on the former
North Eastern Railway Selby-Hull line (opened by
the Hull & Selby Railway on 1 July 1840) .
Next is the 21.9 km (13.6 miles) on the former Great
Northern Railway Boston-Grimsby line between Boston
and the site of Firsby South Junction, Lincolnshire,
opened throughout on 1 October 1848. Originally it
extended to Burgh-le-Marsh, another 3.9 km (2.4 miles) .

Jim Hawkins


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