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£800,000 grant for Whitby improvements

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by 47406, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. 47406

    47406 Well-Known Member

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    An £800,000 grant has also been secured by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway to invest in a second track and platform Whitby station.

    The popular attraction will take on 15 new staff and expects the investment to create a further 50 jobs in local tourism businesses.

    The money is coming from a Government fund aimed at helping grow the economies of seaside towns.

    Derek Bastiman, Scarborough Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning and regeneration, said: “This grant represents a huge vote of confidence from The Department for Communities and Local Government in the work this council is doing to attract investment and jobs, and help retrain and upskill local people to ensure we deliver prosperity for the people of Whitby and the borough.

    The money for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway completes the £1.4m it needs to fund investment at Whitby station that will allow it to increase services from three to five per day from April next year.

    Philip Benham, NYMR’s general manager, said: “This is really exciting news, not only for NYMR, but also for the whole Whitby community. It reflects great confidence in the highly successful steam services operated by NYMR since 2007. It is also a hugely important boost for the future of the Esk Valley railway line.

    “Fifty years ago the Beaching report proposed the withdrawal of all trains to Whitby. Now in NYMR’s 40th Anniversary year, how fitting to be announcing such a major expansion.”

    The grants announced this morning are from the second round of the Government’s £24m Coastal Communities Fund.

    Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “It’s a missed opportunity if we don’t tap into the huge potential our coastal towns have to welcome new industries and to diversify their economies so they can become year-round success stories. We’ve seen enormous enthusiasm for this Government fund and had to make some difficult choices but the projects we’ve chosen will create thousands of jobs and help many start-up businesses.”

    £3m boost for coast to bring over 200 new jobs - Main Section - Yorkshire Post
     
  2. steamdream

    steamdream Member

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    Excellent news!(just after these from the Swanage rly!...after a gloomy year ,2013 look very promising for our dear railways!)congratulations to NYMR!!!
    regards
    Noel
     
  3. 2392

    2392 Member

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    Indeed yes good news. Let's hope this is the first of many more that will go some way to undo the "mistakes" made in the past. As the Esk Valley as a whole is concerned IMO is little more than a long siding at present with a Class 156 DMU locked in shuttling back and forwards 'tween Middlebrough & Whitby. What is needed is/are more/reinstated passing loops. As for the NYMR a passing loop at Sleights on the former double track section to Whitby as a starter. Then reinstate others at the likes of Castleton and the Bay platform at Battersby. They would improve the flexibilitiy of the branch. As things stand I feel the only section that would benefit with re-doubling on the line would be the Middlebrough - Nunthorpe section as there has been a housing explosion along that section, as well as "talk" of a new hospital near the line round that way........
     
  4. ZBmer

    ZBmer New Member

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    While joining in the celebration for the NYMR's good fortune, I'm going to stick my head over the parapet:

    I sometimes worry about the ever-increasing reliance upon grant money by our big heritage lines. Whether or not it's supported by equivalent funding, it tends to tie into particular projects which may not always prove to be in the interests of commercial longevity. If your annual take from passengers is roughly matched (or even dwarfed) by grant income it can be very difficult not to lose some sense of proportion as to who's most important to your line.

    We in the heritage railway movement always have been accused of maintaining rich boys' toys for our own purposes. Our counterargument is traditionally that we are preserving a working museum in materiel and practice. Our lines rely upon our passengers and visitors, or they die. Big, well publicised grants (especially in financially ill times) can undermine that argument, and look to our detractors like public subsidy for rich boys' toys.

    I'll get my (bullet-proof) coat.

    Roger
     
  5. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    I believe this grant was made for sound commercial reasons. The main one being to bring increased tourist business to Whitby which,to be honest, has been struggling in recent years. A similar grant was also made to Swanage for slightly different, but still sound, commercial reasons. Ray.
     
  6. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    While Roger makes a very good point (that has been aired on other threads) about the need to ensure that your aims don't become secondary to the grant makes aims, to the future detriment of where the Railway in question is aiming to go, I have to say I think the Coastal Communities Fund is a poor example of where this can be a risk.

    The detailed application process involves providing considerable detail on the economic benefits to the area - in simple terms, this is increased spend and jobs created, both with the applicant or by others as a direct result of the spend and the number generated in the wider community from the business generated by the project. For example, the NYMR Whitby project will increase travel opportunities and train capacities both into and out of Whitby, bringing more day trippers and encouraging longer stays in the Whitby area by providing a great range of "things to do". This generates income and business for both the wider area and the applicant. The 2nd platform also eases the operation and improves matters for passengers and operators alike! None of this happens unless the result appeals to passengers and increases their numbers.

    What I think must be stressed is that the skill to produce a convincing but concise argument in suppoort of obtaining grants and other forms of funding is a very valuable resource and something which, along with most aspects of management, is all too often not appreciated in our movement. I am pleased to say we have some excellent people with these skills on the NYMR, as our recent track record of fund raising and grants have shown!

    Steven
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I'm all in favour of the spend but I am not too certain about the benefits of the second platform. It certainly won't reduce overall operational times due to the need to stop and re-set ground frames, both in and out. The main thing that this will do is eliminate the present propelling movements, which are a risk that it is worth eliminating. The second platform will only give one extra train a day as you can already get four trains into/out of Whitby if you can cross trains at Grosmont. A run-round in pl.1 would be a cheaper option and I just wonder how much it would have cost to install a loop at Sleights rather than build pl 2. This would give even greater flexibility.
     
  8. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    Steve - I know there is a view that passing trains at Grosmont could give an extra train but this would need a Grosmont - Whitby - Grosmont return and a single (G - W or W - G) during each Northern trip from Glaisdale to Middlesbrough and back and it would be really too tight without a run round in the station to schedule doing it regularly. I have timed the components of the shunt several times and the only conclusion you can reach is it is not possible.

    What the second platform offers is not only a further train to the above with a run round on either road, but the ability to stable a train at Whitby out of the way of Northern while at a platform and hence passengers can board for a prompt departure when the token is available. This very specifically means a 12:10 departure is possible while the Northern train is at Whitby, creating an extra train at a popular time. It also makes any Pullman working much better as a train can sit in Platform 2 and load passengers while a Northern is making its way to (or from) Glaisdale - a major improvement for our passengers of any train compared with having to wait on the platform for a Northern service to clear Glaisdale, the driver obtain a token, walk back to his loco under the new bridge, the train set back and the frame be reset.

    So, the second platform greatly "adds value", enables things to be done that a run round to Platform 1 wouldn't and is fully externally funded, so isn't costing the NYMR extra for these added benefits.

    A loop at Sleights would be very nice - but initial costings suggest considerably more expensive that the operational elements of scheme for which funding has been received (and would still need the approved scheme to really give the benefits). However, when this is built and proving its worth, who knows? Before heading down this route, other options including a Sleights loop were examined and tested and this scheme came out as the best value menas of increasing capacity by itself.

    Steven
     
  9. jnc

    jnc Member

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    Actually, I suspect many (most?) of us are sympathetic to your concern...

    Equally important, if a line gets used to the grant money, and then it disappears, that could cause real problems.

    I think as long as people are careful to use it only for particular capital projects which will provide increased returns at least large enough to pay for their own upkeep (although obviously, more is better), then it's pretty safe - if the money stops, one just gets less improvement projects than one otherwise would have.

    Noel
     
  10. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    I don't think there are any grants available that will support what might be termed revenue projects, most if not all are for capital projects. Pickering Station roof is a good example - its a fine addition to the stationand helps to protect what was already there but I can't see it generating much, if any, extra income so it would always have been very low on the NYMR's priorities had the grant not been available. Its the loco projects funded by HLF that haven't doe the resto of the movement any favours - a couple have run badly over budget and over time and look unlikely to have earned their next overhaul costs.

    From what I've heard, covered accommodation for restored stock may be making a comeback on HLF's priorities, which ought to be good news for many railways.
     
  11. 2392

    2392 Member

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    Indeed covered accomodation is pretty well the only area of "new build" that the Lottery will make grants for as it helps protect whatever from the elements. Equally the NYMR wouldn't be able to apply for grants to re-instate/replace infrastructre on a line they don't own, being a charitable trust. OK from what I've seen/heard Moors "Manpower" will be used to re-instate the trackwork and platform at Whitby under the supervision of Network Rail. So it would be up to Network Rail to apply/accept any for use on the Esk Valley.

    As it stands this grant wasn't made to directly to the NYMR, they were acting I believe as "agents", as the main users of the re-instated platform 2 and trackwork. But by no means the only user.......
     

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