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£15m GCR reunification plan announced

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by railway, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. dace83

    dace83 New Member

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    Bit of a stupid comment tbh, and Loughborough is being tidied up with the canopy appeal. Looks really good!
     
  2. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Member

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    Right - and all the decrepit rolling stock in the Up sidings creates a good impression does it?
     
  3. martyn63601

    martyn63601 New Member

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    At the end of the day it will be brilliant if the GCR can connect up and become a premier line, it will have a viaduct, a long section of bridges by brush, a tunnel a number of hubs of shunting activites at both loughborough, quorn, rothley and swithland and it now has the ability to attract the best of the best of locos to the railway! If it connects then the railway will attract greater interest from loco owners to see their locos working hard and long lengths to run in. At the end of the day it wont better the NYMR, svr or wsr but it will compete with them as it will be a different experience and the GCR is more enthusiast attracted anyway, hence why so manu events and this is where it generates its income from.

    Overall good luck, plus i lineside at the GC and would like more places to take pics from.
     
  4. INSPIRATION

    INSPIRATION New Member

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    I believe they are, if you read the mainline magazine I think the company’s financial status was explained by the General Manager.
    As 45581 has already said, the majority of what you have listed has not been funded by the GCR plc.
    The cafe at Quorn has been largely paid for by the Leicester Railway Society, The canopy is relying on voluntary contributions to fund the work, the GCR has no operational engines of its own, either on the national network or at its home base (they are all owned and funded by their respective groups or on loan from other railways) The SIX coach Pullman set was a sponsored by Cromwell Tools, the Mountsorrel Branch is not the GCR, it is leased by RVP and under restoration by the Mounsorrel Railway team who are also finding their own funds. The goods offices were largly bought and refurbiushed by yet more contributions. The Ellis cafe was refurbished by a similer scheme as was the L North canopy.

    and the two recent gala's are said to have been poorly attended.

    So there isnt a lot in your statement that the plc actually has achieved.

    You say that the company made a profit? They made a 12k operating profit a couple of years ago, but just think, for example; if 12K+ had been spent on repainting several of the carriages for instance, they would’ve made a loss. If you takje a look at ceratin areas, the so-called "profit" is meaningless as it seems to have been made at the expense of the maintenance and I can’t see how that trend could continue.
     
  5. INSPIRATION

    INSPIRATION New Member

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    Im sure it is, shame it was allowed to get into that state before GCR thought of doing anything about it, (perhaps too busy thinking about the gap! or the next special event... lol) it does look very nice though and will be a vast improvement when its done. but in ten years time will it get repainted ;) lol
     
  6. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Which post was that directed at? Mine by any chance?

    Enthusiasm for one's own railway is great, but uncritical examination of what one knows can often miss the point - a realisation that comes with age and experience! I do find it heart-warmning when there is great enthusiasm for what is being achieved and clearly things are moving "forward" in a number of areas on the GCR, as hopefully they are on most lines - when one works on a Railway, it is too easy to see the faults that may not even be apparant to the paying visitor, and forget that what they will notice is the improvements and progress since their last visit.

    Steven
     
  7. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    Woh lads! Some of you need to calm down before stress yourself's out (unless you have already). What is with these threads getting out of control, off topic and even personal (and not in a good way) at times!

    Beside... We should be all concentrating our hatred and critisms at the real enemies, like those people who dislike the heritage railway movement in general, gggggrrrrrrr... And lets not forget those annoying people on the lineside who get in the way when your trying to get a good photo!

    Thew... Sorry about that... I had to get that off my chest... No offence to anyone, but sometimes when I go on this forum... I come off it feeling a bit depressed, and I wasn't beforehand.

    Anyway... On to the topic! I've been observing this thread for some time and I've noticed that people seem to be critical about the GCR and it's future schemes, particulary when come to it's surrounding scenery, but I don't think it's that straightforward; The NYMR for example.

    I've visited the railway several times (a great railway, would recomend it to anyone) and while it is in a beutiful area, the actual scenery that you mostly see on the train is (in my opinion) trees; The scenary does open up ocasionally and you see the valleys, but not very often. There is stretch of line on NYMR which I think is the most scenic, it's the line between Grosmont and Whitby (outside of the Moors boundary!)

    As for the scenery along the GCR, I'll concede the views are not exactly spectacular but their not rubbish either. The views along that line are certainly better then the views I get in lincolnshire being it's mostly flat. The views along the GCR are quite pleasant, paticualarly (so I hear) along the GCR's Loughborough-Ruddington section.

    It ultimately though, has to come down to these facts:-

    Heritage railways need as many sources of income as possible.

    Yes, the scenery is a big factor in some ways, but it can't and won't be the say all and end all.

    A large portion of people who visit heritage railways visit for one main reason, to see and ride behind a steam engine.

    The overall experience for people when visiting a heritage railway will include the scenery but (mostly) will include many other things (such as watching a train rush by with a mail drop).

    As for the critisms involving the GCR's engineering and financial state, let me put like this...

    42 years ago, when preservationists came to Loughborough Central begining on work to save a section of the once great and glamorus main line that was the Great Central Railway, most people back then probably thought "their wasting their time, they won't succeed..."

    But yet here we are 42 years later and their still here, they've had to struggle and work hard to exist, develop and exspand to where they are now (very much like several other heritage railway i.e. Swanage Railway , Gloustishire Warwickshire Railway, etc), but the end result is a very fine railway indeed that has made good reputation for itself.

    Amazing really, when you think that several people (like some people on this thread in fact) have been very critical about the GCR, to such an exstent, that I'm sure their are several peple thinking that the GCR shouldn't by all reasoning exist today at all, or indeed be as successful as it is.

    But that's what I love most about the heritage railway movement, taking on the ambitions, dreams and desires which most people would consider illogical, foolish, inpractical and darn right impossible, and succeeding...

    The GCR then is really the ultimate representation of the spirit of the heritage railway movement, It's illogical, it's inpractiacal, it dosen't add up, it's not in good place for tourists, heck, by all by all these acounts it shouldn't even exist, let alone succeed into a well organised, recognised and popular railway that it is.

    I you know what, ultimately, I'm glad the GCR (along with all the other heritage railway, that by all rights shouldn't be here today) is here... Aren't you?
     
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  8. shedbasher

    shedbasher New Member

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    As A Friend of the GCR may i say well put my friend I have been going there since they first started I go to see the locomotives the workshops and to ride behind some of the engines have a chat with some real nice people and scenery is the last thing on my mind .The scenery is the Locomotives just get there to see the blue King if thats not a moving scenery i will eat my greasetop.
     
  9. Black Jim

    Black Jim New Member

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    Hear, hear, to the last two posts! There's too many people with negative thinking. If you think negatively you'll get NOTHING done, whereas if you think positively there's a good chance you'll get done what you intended to!
    The Gap will be done , there's too much going on for it not too now, & the GCR will be the much better for it, so lets all get behind them, if not phisically, at least in spirit, so we can celebrate another facet eventually, of our railway heritage.
    Jim. (former GC volunteer fireman)
     
  10. DJH

    DJH New Member

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    Completely agree. It is a great achievement what the GCR and all other railways have achieved. This being said on the day the Welsh Highland Railway is officially opened. A
    line many said would never reopen.

    Regards
    Duncan
     
  11. mogulb

    mogulb New Member

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    Perhaps the critics would like to volunteer on the GCR or their local railway and help.
    All the criticism aimed at the GCR in this thread can be levelled at every railway in the country to a lesser or greater extent, some are better at somethings than others.
    If you want to pick holes do it constructively or even better get out of your armchairs and stop whinging and help to improve things.
    Virtually all heritage railways started on the vision and ideas of a few people and got going on a wing and prayer, some got the odd lucky break but mostly in was by shear hard graft.

    We only have the GCR today because the likes of Bill Ford, Richard Lovatt and many others.
    The reunification plan has only got this far due to the hard graft and vision of Tony Sparks and many others, and now Nigel Harris has taken the reins and assembled a very impressive team (these Guys would not be associated with the plan unless they believed in it).
    So let’s support them.
     
  12. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    Why do you assume that the people who aren't 100% convinced of the viability of an extended GCR aren't actively involved in preservation? Bean Counter is the Finance Director at the NYMR and I'm chairman of trustees for a carriage restoration group and I'm a director at another railway, so we both know a bit about the realities of running a railway from the sharp end of the managerial and financial point of view. What are your qualifications for the sweeping statements you've been making - are you part of the GCR management or just regurgitating what you've heard on the grapevine?

    The investment of £10-15M needed to join the two GCRs is a colossal amount of money to find in heritage railway terms, and anyone with half a brain will query whether in the real world the likely returns can ever justify the investment. It isn't the sort of project that can be financed by coffee mornings, raffles or even public appeals, so its protagonists will have to convince a lot of level headed non-enthusiasts if it is to ever happen. So far they have failed in their first attempt, that is the reality.
     
  13. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    Which vehicles are you describing as 'decrepit'? As far as I know everything in that siding is either servicable or an active restoration/repair project.

    Yes, it would be nice to relocate everything to a nice tidy out-of-the-way shed, but where? And who pays for it?
     
  14. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    Your final sentence is quite untrue, since the GCR gap team have already stated that if they had won the £2.5M grant they recently failed to win, this would have triggered several other £M of funding from other sources. I'm sure these are primarily non-enthusiast sources. So they have failed with one particular grant-giving body but succeeded in convincing others.

    What is quite clear is that running heritage trains alone will never justify or pay for this level of investment, but the GCR gap team already know that. That's why the Atkins study looked at the overall return in terms of potential commercial traffic as well as (I presume) the wider impact on the local economy. And they came up with a figure which said that the return on the investment was justified. Personally, I haven't read the report and I'm no financial expert, but I trust Atkins to be sufficiently rigorous and independent far more than I trust the musings of a few enthusiasts (all of whom are biased one way or the other) on an internet forum.

    I'm all for people debating the issues but there is absolutely nothing constructive in continuing to argue points which have already been addressed and the answers independently verified. All this does is sow the seeds of doubt and confusion, which helps nobody.

    Phil
     
  15. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    True, I do understand that you've got to be realistic, and £10-15M is wopper amount of money; But that being said, the people involved in this project do seem to be facing it and handling it in a realistic fassion. They have made it clear before that it they know it can't quite stack up as a viable project on heritage grounds alone, That's why their mostly concentrating on the commercial benefits of this scheme; The Llafarge quarry could benefit greatly from this, freight is big factor of this scheme.

    The Moorland and City Railway Ltd is a perfect example of this, the CVR will have benefit greatly from this, but the overall scheme only works because of the freight trains that will be going through Stoke to Couldon Lowe. The GCR can go down a simmilar path. Make no mistake my friends we have to, in the end, face reality, but fortunately GCR's plans do stack up rather well in reality.

    But I'll leave it to each of you to decide whether or not to believe it could be viable or not. Everyone's entitled to have their own oppinion.
     
  16. Orion

    Orion New Member

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    Sorry, but I disagree and I think that if the GCR just got on with the railway it has instead of sticking its head in the clouds it would do a lot better. Eight miles or so of railway is quite enough, and there is so much to do within that eight miles, quite enough to be going on with.

    Regards
     
  17. mogulb

    mogulb New Member

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    Not sure if 61624 is taking a swipe at me or not, but just to set the record straight I have no association with the GCR management, just a member and a small shareholder in the PLC living 140 miles away. Probably not as much experience with heritage railways as you but have been involved over numerous years in the rebuilding of seven MK1s, part owner of several coaches and have shares in several locos on another railway and as I have worked in the construction industry for the last 30 years I do have a little experience and know whats involved with the gap project. I try and get my facts from reliable sources not the grapevine,the Gap is well documented. I have tried to put some semblance of order into this thread and get it back on track. Some of the critics of the GCR in this thread may be supporters of other railways before I know, but the way their posts read does not indicate that, and if they are I hate to think what they say about their own railways.
    The commercial side of the gap has been scrutinised by professionals at Atkins. If they give it return of 2.4 , this is probably conservative.

    Lets support the scheme.
     
  18. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    I quite agree, let's leave it at that.
     
  19. Kempenfelt 82e

    Kempenfelt 82e New Member

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    A big thums up for JMJR1000's post on the previous page, it gets us back to where we should be, looking forward!

    Personally I find the GCR much more interesting than the NYMR, SVR and WSR. Yes they are all very good at what they do and i'm very pleased they all exist, but I do prefer the atmosphere of the GCR more than all of them! As a 27 year old, I never got to appreciate steam in it's heyday and the hive of activity that went with it. The GCR in my opinion is the only preserved railway out there that actually graduates beyond a branch line and I think Swithland sidings has to be my favourite spot I've visited on any preserved railway to date. We really sholdn't be knocking these groups and telling them that they shouldn't bother, it is a very British attitude to point out our failings!

    With regards to the gap it may or may not succeed, but I do really appreciate the fact that people are trying! Afterall £600k has already been spent on the study alone, this would have removed a large part of the Bluebell tip (another project that gets more than its fair share of negativity!) so someone clearly thinks it has potential! Thankyou chaps for the progress reports (even if they are stumbling block in the way at times!), it is these kind of projects that give me great heart that people want to take our movement foward and suceed in the future! The point at which people lose ambition i'm afraid and do little to further our hobby is point at which people will start to lose interest. I may still be young and naive (just) and yes I will most likely get cynical in my middle/old age but it is these sort of will they/wont they schemes that capture the interest in the first place!

    Good luck chaps and fingers crossed you'll clear the next hurdle!
     
  20. mike norris

    mike norris New Member

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    anyone know whats happening ?
     

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