Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Straight Dope on Straightest Track in the World

Learn something new every day: A friend came back from a visit to Saskatchewan with the news that the longest stretch of straight track in the world is between Regina and Stoughton, a small farming community in the southeast part of the province.
I knew he was wrong; the longest stretch of straight track in the world is in Australia—a 478 kilometre (279 mile) portion across the Nullarbor Plain between Port Augusta and Kalgoorie.

But what would make those good citizens of Saskatchewan think they were number one?
This is where the part about learning something new every day comes in; unbeknownst to me, the 132 kilometre (82 mile) stretch of track between Regina and Stoughton is the longest section of straight track in North America, and the second longest in the world. (Something proudly noted on the town's website.)
The line was originally owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway, which arrived in Stoughton in 1904. Today it is owned by Stewart Southern Railway, a shortline that bought it from the CPR in 2010. The line runs for a total of 140 kilometres (87 miles) from the Crecy, on the CPR’s Indian Head Sub, to Stoughton.

The longest stretch of straight track in the U.S., by-the-way, runs for 127 kilometres (78.9 miles) on the CSX between Laurel Hill and East Arcadia, North Carolina.

And that, as they say, is the “straight” dope on straight track.


  1. I drove that line, photographing elevators along the way, John. I'll be posting the photos on Trackside Treasure at some point. Let's just say it was easy to find the next town.

    Googlemaps shows the paralleling Sask road 39. Now, what was the longest section of double-track in Canada? It was in the Winnipeg area, I just can't remember right the east or to the west?


  2. Now that, that is out of the way. What about HO scale ?