19

What can I find the oldest train in the UK still operating regularly, and the train(s) is/are operated for common service but not solely for tourist attraction?

And which route(s) are they serving?

  • 3
    @gmauch i mean trains used for normal service, not designated for tourist spot. – Him Jul 8 '15 at 11:34
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    I'm pretty sure they aren't actually the oldest, but travelling by Northern Rail often makes you feel like you're in a historic artefact. – CMaster Jul 8 '15 at 12:04
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    @CMaster I think those are escaped buses... They apparently date from the 80s, they're just well past their initial lifespan :/ – Gagravarr Jul 8 '15 at 12:56
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    @gmauch. Makes sense to me. If you're interested in trains (many people are!) and want a "real" experience, you want to know which old trains are running standard scheduled services, not tourist trails. – TRiG Jul 8 '15 at 15:41
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it needs to be word-smithed better to show a connection to travel – CGCampbell Jul 8 '15 at 16:02
31

I believe that the oldest ones in service right now are on the Island Line on the Isle of Wight, which is part of the South West Trains franchise. Not to be confused with the Isle of Wight Stream Railway, the Island Line is a regular part of the UK rail network run as normal services.

Because of the low ceiling of the Ryde Tunnel, the Island Line has a much smaller loading gauge than the rest of the UK mainline rail network, so has to use different trains. Today, those are the class 483, which are refurbished 1938 London Underground trains!

As explained in the wikipedia article on the trains

The stock is around 75 years old, making it the oldest type in Great Britain to remain in regular service

And they look like this, in their current (returned to historic) colour scheme:

cc-by photo from widnes_road from www.flickr.com/photos/widnes_road/16569159135

  • Why didn't you mention the Bakerloo Line? – Gayot Fow Jul 8 '15 at 15:25
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    The Bakerloo Line is all run with 1972 stock though, isn't it, so 40 years newer newer than the Island line trains? – Gagravarr Jul 8 '15 at 15:28
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    The Bakerloo line just seems like it's 70 years old ;) – Calchas Jul 8 '15 at 18:05
  • Those trains are spring chickens! They're only 43 years old... And older than the northern pacers which CMaster is such a fan of ;-) – Gagravarr Jul 8 '15 at 21:36
2

It may be touristy, but has regular scheduled operation: the Snaefell Mountain Railway on the Isle of Man.

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    If that counts, then the Hythe Pier train may be the oldest. The locomotives were built in 1917 (the carriages may be older), and are primarily used by commuters using the ferry, though I'm sure the odd tourist uses it too. – Richard Smith Jul 20 '15 at 19:50

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