Template talk:Railway lines in South East England

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The problem with putting <br> into the template is that it makes assumptions about the user's text size and window width. Worse, if the user's text/window size means that line breaks are needed before the <br>, then using &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; as an item separator meant that the browser was forced to make the line break in the middle of a link. The only problem with my version is that we really need a "non-breaking hyphen" but HTML does not offer one.

Have you considered a | symbol as an item separator as in Template:Bridges of Central London or a • symbol? -- RHaworth 00:53, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Shepperton Branch Line[edit]

Great job on adding it back in. Poor job on the fact that there is NO ARTICLE on this branch line!! Not sure whether to praise you for your effort, or to take pity on you for not realizing that the reason it was removed was because there was no article. Now we have a template that has a "dead" link. Canterberry 21:17, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

It's far from being a "dead" link, when clicking on it could give birth to a whole new article...
More seriously, just think how many more people will see that the article is missing. Isn't it then more likely that someone will find the time to create it? Red links are not evil!
EdJogg 22:19, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I really hate smart people. Canterberry 22:21, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I think its something like WP:BOLD actually. Personally i strike red links form the template until we've got a page for it to point at. There is also List of railway lines in Great Britain if IMHO, people feel the need to list lines without articles. Pickle 23:16, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

New Layout[edit]

I'm all for being bold but should we not have some sort of discussion either here, Talk:List of railway lines in Great Britain or even Wikipedia talk:WikiProject UK Railways about a common layout for all these templates. Some have freight lines, the London ones are different from the rest of GB/UK, the current standard is "main, commuter and rural" which i don't necessarily agree with, but there should be some commonality. The division between the 3 divisions of the southern region is a valid one, but that assumes the template is for the "southern region of BR" rather than the South East region (ie Oxfordshire to Kent via Hampshire) which is how the page List of railway lines in Great Britain appears (to me) to be divided up by. Pickle 03:04, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I re-organised the template because it was getting (IMHO) too unwieldy and difficult to read. Yes I took a bit of a liberty and a dose of WP:BOLD, but hey ... thats just my style!. Almost all of the lines are part of what used to be the old "Southern Region", but the reality is that though the name has changed ... the association lives on. I guess it shows that you can reorganise the railway, sell it off and buy it back ... but history and tradition survive. IMHO, I think the template is better, but I accept you valid points about lines in London and on the GW etc. The problem lies with the vague and woolly title "Railway Lines in South-East England". If I were to be provocative, and put my Chris Green "Network SouthEast" hat upon my head, then I would start to add many of the lines in Anglia, the Great Northern, London onto the Template ... and then we really would have fun sorting it all out. Like I say, history lives on ... and the association with the old regions is still strong today, so I would probably keep the template as it is and "weed out" some of the infiltrators from the Great Western and make it a pure "Railways of the former Southern Region of England". Canterberry 08:28, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
If you created a "Railways of the former Southern Region of England" template, for consistency you would need to complete them for the other regions too. Then you run into other issues, like: what are the templates for? The current template lists the railways in a geographical area, which should be clear to non- railway enthusiasts, whereas arranging by former BR region or pre-grouping company, while valid, may be rather less accessible to the average user (looking for travel information rather than history). An extreme example is wherever two or more regions meet: the two Windsor lines would need both Southern and Western regional templates to ensure adequate geographical coverage.
There is also a problem with the current terminology. For example, there is no way that Waterloo to Reading Line should be considered as a branch line, any more than the North Downs Line is really a 'main line'. (That one rather amuses me. Since the list is A-Z sorted this one is the first of the 'main lines', apparently taking precedence over the South Western and West of England main lines!!)
I think the way forward may be tied to the answer of 'what the articles are for?', ie are they travel guides or historical articles. Answering that question may help decide whether the templates should be arranged geographically (for the former) or historically (for the latter).
EdJogg 10:46, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
An excellent analysis. As you rightly say, what are the templates for? I'll need time to "mull it over" and recollect my thoughts. I have to say that if we keep the current template names, then we need to do some serious work on sorting out inconsistencies between them! As a starter for 10, where is the boundary of "south east England"!? If it includes "Anglia", then I think you can see where my "Network SouthEast" argument will lead us ... to a rock and a hard place. Canterberry 11:20, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
If these templates are by the current regional split of the UK then the list at List of railway lines in Great Britain is by far from perfect "central England" and "northern england" covering for 2 and 2 "regions" respectively. Notably Template:Railway lines in South-West England has the title "Railway lines in South-West England and the "Great Western"" to explain it contents. Other than this geographical note, Canterberry raises the excellent point of classification, if one reads Network rail's Business plans [[1]] then they use the system of "main line", "secondary", "London and south east commuter", "rural" and "freight", which gives us a referable to source of classification, the current method (used on most of these templates) seams somewhat arbitrary. I'm very interested to hear other peoples ideas so we can establish some consensus on this. Pickle 16:42, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Adding intercity lines, many of the other main line could be classed as intercity lines so i think this is rather ambiguous. Simply south 20:09, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Hmmm good point, i think the fact that previously the big main lines (GWML, WCML, MML, ECML, CTRL and XC) were bold'ed so .... If many people thought it was superfluous then we can scrap it and go back to just "main lines", a somewhat arbitrary description. Pickle 23:25, 24 May 2007 (UTC)


Discussion effectively restarted at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject UK Railways#Standardisation of regional line templates. Simply south 21:34, 20 September 2007 (UTC)


This template, along with other similar templates, is currently within Category:Railway lines of England and Category:Rail transport in London. These are article categories, not template categories. If the intention is that articles that transclude this template should be in the category, then the category should be within <includeonly> tags. --Dr Greg 17:28, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Good question!
IMHO List of railway lines in Great Britain has (AFAIK) the most extensive list of railway line in Great Britain. All the regional templates (of which this is one) are listed there and *i think* the tempaltes and lists given on that page match.
Conversely, we've (WP:UK trains) have been bad at adding lines to the cat in question (Category:Railway lines of England, which should actually roll back to its parent Category:British railway lines) - in theory there should be so many that we would need subcats like the templates we have (at least).
In addition there are a plethora of closed and heritage lines not included on most of the templates and at List of railway lines in Great Britain, (but probably should be and is on the midland one, was once on the scottish one) - ie c/ref with Category:Heritage railways in the United Kingdom and Category:Closed British railway lines.
Now if that makes any sense about what i think we want, maybe you can direct me about what code needs changing, as i don't entirely understand what your on about! (i think your saying these templates should be in Category:Rail transport navigational boxes of the United Kingdom).
Pickle 01:59, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
The point I was making was that templates and articles should not both appear in the same category – any category should either contain no templates, or contain nothing but templates. Readers who are not editors shouldn't get to see any links to templates when they are browsing categories of articles. I held back from making any edit to this template because I wasn't sure of the intention of the person who originally categorised this template. It is possible to make a template have the property of putting any article that uses the template into a category. For example, if this template (Template:Railway lines in South-East England) contained within it the code <includeonly>[[Category:Railway lines of England]]</includeonly>, then any article which used this template would automatically be put into that category. That probably wasn't the intention, and probably is not a good idea. It is up for discussion as for what might be an appropriate template category instead. Have I made sense now? --Dr Greg 11:54, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Right, then these templates should be in Category:Rail transport navigational boxes of the United Kingdom.
we'll have to have a purge and populate Category:British railway lines, rather than cheat (or is that cheat you pointed out OK?).
Thanks Pickle 02:28, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
In my opinion, that "cheat" could be used if you are confident that all the articles which include this (or any similar) template genuinely deserve to be in the appropriate category. If there is a consensus view that this is a good thing (nobody else has commented on this, yet) such "stealth" categorisation needs to be clearly stated in each template's documentation, including advice that removal of the template from any article will also remove from the category unless manually added. (I've seen similar problems with {{UK Parish}}, which "steathily" adds to a "Parishes of county" category.)
This sort of blanket inclusion could also be a nuisance for subcategories of Category:Railway lines of England (say); you might want to remove some articles from a parent category to a subcategory, but the template would stop this, unless the template is intelligent enough to decide for itself the correct category. So any automatic categorisation would need some careful thought before implementation. You might decide it's not worth the effort. --Dr Greg 12:12, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Nah, its me trying to avoid some hard, long and arduous work. Its a cat we (Wikipedia:WikiProject UK Railways) haven't been good at using. What we need to do is a) use it (ie there are a lot of railway lines with no cats, or cats that bear no relation to rail transport, just the generic "transport in x". Then we've got to sort the cat further (Category:Railway lines of England). I had a play earlier and made Category:Railway lines of London as a sub cat, but there are a lot to do, and at the same time probably need to do the same with disused rail lines. We're been very good with our railway station cats but obviously not with railway lines. Panic not about the "cheat", thanks ;)
BTW to get some more thoughts try asking at Wikipedia:WikiProject UK Railways or WP:TWP
Pickle 12:57, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
The only category, if any, that this template should auto-include is Category:Railway lines in South-East England, since the qualifications for category membership are assured. Whether there is any point in doing this, as the category will (probably) contain exactly the same content as the template, is debatable.
EdJogg 13:18, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Freight and disused lines.[edit]

Freight lines are not technically disused. Would it be okay to split these into separate or would that make the templates overly complicated? Simply south 19:13, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Erm, not sure what you mean? Lets talk a specific example, the freight line to the Isle of Grain in Kent. Not used for passengers since (a long time ago), but still used for freight. If memory serves me, it was used to move the concrete linings for the Channel Tunnel from the fabrication plant to the Tunnel Construction site. Anyhow, still a "Railway Line in the South of England", does it need to be differentiated as a freight only line? I think not, else we ought to rename the article "Passenger Railway Lines" and "Freight Railway Lines" in the SE of England. But at the end of the day, a railway line is a railway line is a railway line, what it gets used for can be left to a specific article. Not sure if that answers your question, but it answers what I interpreted your question to mean. Want the short version. "No, I don't think you need to split them". Canterberry 20:44, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
The template is classed into those which are passenger\mixed (Intercity to Rural), those which are now solely for freight and disused together, and those which are heritage\tourist lines.

{{Railway lines in Central England}}

in the current layout (which i assumed was standard). Simply south 20:58, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for the belated reply
As you may gather form the above there is no standard/consensus on what we should do in these regional templates (as in how we cover the railways lines in each area). the Scots are probably the most advanced of anywhere, and got so many closed lines they have split their template into two. the central england one above, is perhaps the next most advanced.
the south eastern one (this one) is somewhat experimental in that it divided the old southern region of BR (its presumed scope) into its 3 subdivisions - no one moaned, but no one took the idea up elsewhere.
thus IMHO, i still have an issue with the idea of "primary", "secondary" and "minor/branch" as one can't point at something to classify them. network rail at least off a 5 point classification list (primary, secondary, London & south east commuter, rural and freight) - I'm not sure how we could do this but tis something to think about.
anyway as for this question, IIRC we haven't got many - as you say the Grain line (still big for aggregates and containers), Angerstein (sp?) Wharf (aggregates) and Dungeness (nuclear flaks) - all 3 are covered in other article, although i want to write an article on the grain line. elsewhere i think there is the Fawley line, Ardingly aggregates but I'm struggling on the rest (see this UK wide map, this London area map and of course each NR route plan pdf).
anyway my 2 cents is be bold, add an extra three lines on listing first freight lines where applicable, 2nd heritage lines and 3rd closed line - we'll just have to see how big it gets, and then think about splitting it.
Pickle 21:36, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I see what you mean now. Well, it looks okay. I still think that we can do better with some of the categories, but I am not about to stir things up too much (yet!). I still don't like "Commuter Lines", and I don't like "Main Lines" much either. I would add "Only" after freight to make it quite clear. Also, I thought that "disused" lines were on a separate template and had their own article too ... something like "List of CLOSED railway lines in Great Britian". I guess there is a "grey" area between "disused" and "closed" ... and I'm not sure I want to go too far down that road either. Canterberry 21:37, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
OK and whoops, i have just restarted the discussion on the project page at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject UK Railways#Standardisation of regional line templates. Simply south 21:40, 20 September 2007 (UTC)


Is there any reason why I shouldn't add a "Northern" to the template, accepting that it will only have Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire in it (specifically the West Coast Main Line, the Chiltern Line and the Marston Vale Line).
Is there a policy on defunct lines? Specifically the Varsity Line? --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 16:49, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Each template seems to have its own unique style. It has been discussed many times with standardising them but nothing of fruition. Go ahead. And no, there is no policy AFAIK. Simply south (talk) 19:14, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
And see the discussion above. Simply south (talk) 19:16, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Kent & Sussex ... and points north[edit]

I have spent the last couple of years, using spare hours, mapping the closed lines of the England and Wales, starting up north, onto satellite imagery. Recently, following a request, I did likewise for Kent, East Sussex and most of West Sussex, before returning to 'infilling' central and eastern England. Searching "Closed Railways UK" will find it.

You have done nothing of the sort. This is your first posting! If you are a sockpuppet, then I suggest you tread very carefully. Bhtpbank (talk) 07:46, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Don't shoot new editors! WP:Assume good faith. He did not say that he had done it on Wikipedia, only that he done it. His work may be useful, but unfortunately he has not really been clear on what he is proposing. But at least give him a chance! --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 11:29, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Doing this required some thought as to categorisation of lines. Google Earth already, supposedly, mapped the active railway of the UK, though several lines shown are known personally to be long gone and others, sometimes major (such as Calderdale in Yorkshire - now open for all traffic following a period as, merely, a major freight artery), completely overlooked. These I have assigned to its own posting as "Google's mapping of existing railways in England and Wales" showing both commission and ommission errors as found.

It seems after some consideration that lines fall into three major categories.

Firstly most active railway is dual purpose, i.e. passenger and freight, at least potentially.

Secondly a surprising length of other active lines are currently freight only. Naturally these provide the potential for relatively inexpensive restoration of passenger services. This has in fact been proposed recently by ATOC, for several routes, and actually implemented in the case of Corby, Northants earlier this year (2009). Other routes, such as the Amlwch branch in Anglesey, are effectively mothballed, with overgrown track in place, but needing considerable civil engineering prior to any re-use.

The third category is closed which includes thousands of miles of relatively intact infrastructure lacking lines to areas of complete redevelopment, open-cast mining etc. where all traces of the former railway has vanished.

Thus newly mapped lines have been shown as either closed or, effectively, freight only. Google Earth itself shows (NB comment above) the open lines (when queried, their stated aim is to show active lines, whatever the current use). Some sections of Heritage lines are actually shown, but not all.

Given the projects focus on closed lines and their history post-Beeching closures have been mapped using the former regional colours of the respective BR regional operators. Closures before that systematic "cull" of one third of the UK's railway mileage are shown in their own colour. Width then indicates, for the former, use upon final closure (general of freight only). Very wide semi-transparent regional colours indicate the freight only or mothballed "missing" routes.

Naturally consideration of urban areas, with both underground and light rail systems, gives rise to a further category, being entirely "passenger only" ... might I suggest metro.

Mikb01 (talk) 09:30, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Oxfordshire Ironstone Railway[edit]

I've added the Oxfordshire Ironstone Railway!--Wipsenade (talk) 17:07, 22 December 2010 (UTC)