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Electric Railway Museum to CLOSE

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by D6332found, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    If admission is free and bearing in mind the cheese butty brigade who tend to avoid the café, I don't see their revenue being anything to write home about. On WNXX forum, someone has said that they more than cover their costs with 2100 visitors last year from 9 open days. But didn't say that these "costs" were. Not enough revenue to operate a public railway or restore many of the carriages to allow visitors to go inside.
     
  2. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    Crich is an excellent museum offering a bit of 'olde worlde' charm, a high quality of exhibits kept under cover, and an opportunity to take an unlimited number of tram rides. The line might be short but it is great fun.

    i haven't been to the ERM, even though I now love just a few miles away, because the impression given of the centre is of lines of stored and partially restored stock which you can't generally go in and, of course, don't provide an opportunity to actually see them in action. Places without running lines will always require a very high quality of restoration and an excellent 'visitor experience' to drive people in.
     
  3. SERA01UK

    SERA01UK New Member

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    The costs referred to at the capital outlay that you would associate with running any business; namely,

    Rent for the premises
    Business Rates
    Energy & Telecoms Bills
    Retail stock purchases
    Public and employer liability insurance premiums

    Then you have the sundries such as site maintenance, admin costs associated with company registration and all the way down to small costs like HRA membership.

    Once all that is added up and you subtract it from revenue from open days which sees an average spend of around £4 per person the ERM are left with a small operating surplus. For the record the 'cheese butty brigade' as you put it don't exist and 99% of the visitors are families, grandparents, parents and children looking for a cheap way of spending a couple of hours outdoors on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

    This income is never going to pay for major restorations or infrastructure projects and that is the case with all the railway heritage sites across the U.K. With ticket sales and commercial revenue covering operating costs. Large projects require very specific fundraising, the issueing of new shares or taking out of loans. In many cases the restoration of locos etc is undertaken by owning groups or individuals and not the operating railway.
     
  4. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Part of the furniture

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    'Cheese butty brigade'? How patronising.

    I make a point of eating in cafés operated on heritage railways as it provides another revenue stream for them.
     
  5. DisusedBranch

    DisusedBranch Active Member

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    They get plenty of practice assiduously avoiding soap and social skills :D;):p
     
  6. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Part of the furniture

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  7. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    I would remind you that the EMR never received long term security as regards their tenure of the site - which automatically makes it hard to make any long term plans. Its been fairly obvious for a while now that while the site owners were quite happy to accept a regular cheque from the ERM, behind the scenes they always knew something bigger and better would turn up - which it has in the shape of Jaguar Land Rover's expansion plans.

    Also this is not the 1960s - any form of operating line having a gauge grater than 350mm has to comply with ROGS* legislation which is not exactly a trivial exercise for any small organisation, let alone one with relatively little spare capital once day to day costs have been covered.

    *http://www.orr.gov.uk/rail/health-and-safety/health-and-safety-laws/rogs
     
  8. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    But at least it still exsists!

    People griping about ERM need to remember that virtually every single vehicle in their collection (with the exception of the 4 SUB and the APT power care) would have been scrapped long ago if the organisation hadn't existed. Mind you, perhaps this would have suited the enthusiasts community better as they could spend more time griping about why XXX class was never preserved rather than facing up to the difficulties of preserving stuff that doesn't appeal to the wider public like"a steam train" does.

    The fact that ERM managed to survive as long as it has and been able to give some TLC to these EMU vehicles (when quite frankly nobody else in the Heritage community could care less about them) should be celebrated rather than derided - Particularly as they are looking for a new home, and one which if the vehicles are to have hope of surviving, must be publicly accessible and enable the ERM group to continue to generate modest revenues.
     
  9. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture

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    The real problem is that EMU preservation is the poor relation of the preservation world, both in its appeal and those who may want to visit such a site, And there is no easy solution, they are not suitable to be used as hauled stock because the units are not flexible being fixed rakes, the only ones that may be are 2 car units, then you need a suitable engine, either steam, or diesel normally to haul them, and as most are air braked, and electric heated, not all railways have air braked loco's, the only multiple units that have found favour in the preservation world are the DMMU, and DEMU sets.
    The problem with EMU preservation is that any unit will need somehow to be kept dry and ideally warm to keep condensation at bay, they rot very fast, most are suburban units so you have a multitude of doors to deal with also,
     
  10. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    I'm not deriding what they have done at all - they have achieved far more in preservation than I could ever hope to do. My point is that I am someone who loves railways of all types, who has been to dozens and dozens of different preserved railways and museums all over the country - many not providing steam - and yet I can't feel motivated to visit a site only 10 miles from my house.
     
  11. William Fletcher

    William Fletcher New Member

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    Then you don't know what you are missing. The welcome from the guys was better than amny longer established groups
     
  12. William Fletcher

    William Fletcher New Member

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    I tyhink the ERM needds to remain a separate entity. Becasue of the very nature of electric units and stock, they will be "in te way" on a traditional heritage line. The issues over lease aside, the Coventry site allowed the team to be masters of their destiny to be fair, without anyone telling them that their gear wasn't earning money or couldn't be dragged. They did great work in tidying the old Coventry Steam Railway Centre into a small but attractive specialist venue. Let's not forget they won an HRA award for small groups notso long ago.

    I'd be asking Mr Hosking what plans he has for Margate if I were them. The displays in the coaches of electric propulstion were really neat, and relavant. It's also of note that there were over 50 pages of comment on the NRM's loco disposal and very few comments here - shows how in the enthusiast world, steam still regins
     
    stuarttrains and Matt37401 like this.
  13. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    Whilst restoration may be in the hands of owning groups, on many heritage railways, the profit/revenue from tickets/food goes towards development of the operating line and infrastructure. I don't see much of this at ERM. No covered accommodation or trains to travel on. ERM looks like it's been treading water, rather than developing its facilities.
     
  14. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    There are several issues with preservation of EMUs. Unless they are main line certified, they can not run under their own power and this immediately affects their usefulness, unlike a DMU. They CAN be used as hauled stock, but will need modification as they are air braked and electrically heated and most steam/diesel locos are not.

    Also, many of them are 4 car so you then end up with 4 incompatible coaches, all needing maintenance and as they were mostly used on commuter trains, they have a lot of doors, again, maintenance. In general, the public don't find them interesting, as do quite a lot of enthusiasts. An exception is one which was peculiar to a certain route/area for quite a long time, such as the class 504 on the Manchester - Bury line which does have a bit of a local following. One of these is now being worked on at the ELR, but that had been allowed to deteriorate in the open air for several years before work started.

    I think the best option is to do what the Scottish group did with their 303, adapt them for push pull with an air braked diesel.
     
  15. hoffman

    hoffman New Member

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    Regarding where the items in the collection go, it doesn’t actually matter where they go in the short term – the priority is to secure somewhere for them to be, even if it isn’t permanent, although it would of course be preferable. It would be a shame if the collection had to be split up, but that’s better that scrapping.

    Let’s hope a new home can be found for the stock. As others have said being used as hauled stock is preferable to it standing in a siding and being neglected. Perhaps one day some of it may run under it’s own power – I have seen suggestions that it may be possible to do this using battery power as an alternative – not sure how practical it would be but in the same way it would better that just using it as hauled stock.

    With regards to the popularity of such items within (and indeed without) the enthusiast fraternity, most of the items there are relatively new and hence the nostalgia effect may not have fully kicked in yet – in 20-30 or so years people may look more favourably on such items.

    Those at the ERM have at least (hopefully) secured a future for what is a bit of a niche collection by giving it a home for a while and preventing it being scrapped before, so thanks should go to them for their persistence.

    Unfortunately there are too many people in this world who seem to like just the Flying Scotsman/Tornado “glamour” side of railways and not the other more interesting aspects. If only a small amount of the money spent on those two over-hyped and humdrum locos could be spent on such stock as the ERM has, it would go a long way to securing their future permanently. I am aware that locos like the Flying Scotsman do help to raise the profile of our railway heritage with both enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts, and I am not saying that those who invested in Tornado should have put their money in the ERM’s direction as I realise that the majority of them probably wouldn’t be interested and it’s their money anyway.
     
  16. ross

    ross New Member

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    Humdrum. Tornado is Humdrum. Unlike EMUs.

    That's a somewhat refined viewpoint....
     
  17. Phill S

    Phill S New Member

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    So when do they have to be gone? Are there any appeals to rehome at least some of the units?
     
  18. Railboy

    Railboy New Member

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  19. Phill S

    Phill S New Member

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    Cheers, I've bunged them £30. Hopefully something will get saved.
     
  20. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    I've added my contribution.
     

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