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UK’s tiniest train line – with a three-minute journey that costs £1.50

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THE shortest train journey in the UK takes just three minutes each way, with tickets costing less than £2.

There are some pretty breathtaking stretches of track running through the UK, making it a great country to travel through by rail.

The Stourbridge Branch Line runs between Stourbridge Town and Stourbridge Junction

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The Stourbridge Branch Line runs between Stourbridge Town and Stourbridge JunctionCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk
Two tiny one-carriage Class 139 'Parry People Movers' ferry passengers along the short 0.8mile track

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Two tiny one-carriage Class 139 ‘Parry People Movers’ ferry passengers along the short 0.8mile trackCredit: Alamy
The route has been attracting rail enthusiasts in recent years

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The route has been attracting rail enthusiasts in recent yearsCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk

While train journeys that run through the UK countryside are often heralded as bucket-list worthy, a handful of other railway routes in more built-up parts of the country are also proving attractive.

One of those routes is the Stourbridge Branch Line, which runs between Stourbridge Town and Stourbridge Junction.

The railway line stretches for a mere 0.8miles, making it the shortest in the UK.

And if that accolade wasn’t enough, it also claims to be the shortest railway line in Europe.

The three-minute route has been operating since 1879, and it was built to connect Stourbridge’s canal basin to the main railway network.

Two tiny one-carriage Class 139 ‘Parry People Movers’ trundle along the 145-year-old train line every 10 minutes.

Operated by Pre Metro and West Midlands Railway, the duo of Class 139 carriages are the only ones currently in service in the UK.

According to the Stourbridge Shuttle Website, the quirky carriages are also regarded as “one also one of the most reliable and eco-friendly vehicles operating on the UK’s railways today”.

This is apparently because of their lightweight frames and hybrid flywheels.

The hybrid flywheel enables the tiny carriage to perform regenerative braking.

The UK’s tiniest train line that takes just 3 minutes and tickets cost just £1.50

This is where the vehicle’s kinetic energy is collected as it brakes and is later stored and reused as it accelerates.

While the line was originally built to ferry goods, it has become a must-visit for many railway enthusiasts, including Neil Hughes, a retired air traffic controller.

The 62-year-old boarded the tiny train carriage after travelling from his home in Scotland to Stourbridge.

He said: “I didn’t really have high expectations, I just wanted to do it and now I have. My only regret is that I didn’t meet the station cat called George but maybe next time I will.”

Trains between Stourbridge Town and Stourbridge Junction operate every 10 minutes, with tickets costing just £1.50.

There are plenty of things to to in Stourbridge, including the Stourbridge Glass Museum where visitors can learn about the history of glass making.

There’s also The Red House Glass Cone, a 100ft tall building that was used to manufacture glass in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The cone-shaped building now operates as a visitor attraction, with free entry.

Other local attractions include Hagley Hall and Park and Ruskin Glass Centre.

There are plenty of other urban train routes in the UK that have their own quirks, including the Docklands Light Railway in London.

Docklands Light Railway

Anyone who has taken a ride on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) line will know the joy of sitting right at the front and pretending to drive.

The trains are driverless, so passengers are able to perch on seats right at the front and look out upon the tracks as if they were in charge.

For those who like to imagine that they’re driving the trains, a new instalment could make it feel even more realistic.

Several of the trains running on the DLR lines could soon be fitted with cardboard steering wheels, allowing kids – and adults too – to act as driver.

Transport for London (TfL) is first trialling vinyl stickers in the front carriages, with a view to potentially adding cardboard ones in the future.

Meanwhile, this London underground station secretly protected Sir Winston Churchill during World War II.

And these tourists found a forgotten but perfectly preserved station in London that hadn’t been touched for decades.

Three scenic train journeys you can take in the UK

The UK is full of great train journeys, including some with scenic views.

  1. The West Highland Line in Scotland has previously been dubbed the best rail journey in the world, thanks to its breathtaking views overlooking mountain landscapes, serene lochs and wistful moors. Tickets start from £19.50.
  2. The East Coast Main Line from Durham to Edinburgh is another popular railway route. Passengers on this train will be treated to views of Durham Cathedral, the Angel of the North, and the King Edward VII Railway Bridge. Tickets start from £24.50.
  3. The train from St Erth to St Ives only has one stop on its route, which is complete with sea views. Tickets start from £3.
Tickets cost just £1.50

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Tickets cost just £1.50Credit: Alamy
The quirky carriages are also regarded as "one also one of the most reliable and eco-friendly vehicles" in the UK

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The quirky carriages are also regarded as “one also one of the most reliable and eco-friendly vehicles” in the UKCredit: National Rail
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