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Another Garratt to be Restored

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by 61624, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    By now I have been over the entire WHR apart from Pont Croesor to Porthmadog. Any future visit will cut out Caernarfon to Waenfawr which, IMHO, is tedious. The WHR is by no means the only tourist railway (it is hardly "heritage" really) to be rather too long but it is one that comes readily to mind.

    PH
     
  2. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

    The L&B has a pretty powerful diesel already which can pull the heritage coaches.
    BTW - Is there any reason it's going to be a Fairatt rather than a Garrlie?! :)
     
  3. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    If families generally find it too lengthy a ride, then I'm curious as to what types of passengers do they mainly attract?

    Certainly it's not as though their struggling to attract enough passengers and revenue is it?
     
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  4. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    How many trains a day are there now ?
     
  5. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    I am sure that is the offer to enthusiasts - but most of their target passengers are 'real people'.
     
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  6. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Member

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    2 round trips on a 'blue' day and 3 on a 'yellow' day - yellow days are peak season/bank holidays.
     
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  7. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    And enthusiasts aren't real people ?

    But the basic point is that the WHR railway goes "from somewhere to somewhere" hence the view that you travel from one end to t'other and enjoy the facilities of the towns at both ends. In a parallel situation race-goers don't have to know about horses to enjoy "a day at the races" so why should passengers on the WHR be any different.

    Both activities attract custom from people with a diverse range of interests that are well served by the activity - some of whom are enthusiasts for particular aspects of the operation - but all can have a full day's entertainment at the respective venue(s).
     
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  8. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Extra planetary ones on occasion!

    PH
     
  9. Sheff

    Sheff Well-Known Member

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    I think you're wrong Fred. Most 'normal' people don't want to spend the entire day on a train. They want to use it as a fun means of transport as part of a bigger day out. So a more frequent service enabling families to travel PM to Bed, or campsite to Caernarfon, or Caernarfon to Rhydd Ddu etc with more choice of times would be ideal I feel. When we visit, I wouldn't expect my wife to do the whole return journey in one go - we normally do it over two days, split at Beddgelert or Rhydd Ddu.
     
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  10. John Stewart

    John Stewart Well-Known Member

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    If the WHR is to make any meaningful gesture into the provision of public transport rather than a pretty train ride it won't do it with any sort of steam locomotive, big or small. It would need a DMU, a 600mm version of the big railway's Class 150. A two-coach unit could hold 70 and an automotive engine would give a power to weight ration like a Deltic plus eight. With just a driver and train manager on board with no requirement to open booking offices at each end this would be as economical as one could get. It would not be historically authentic but it could get the walkers and climbers away from the coasts and into the mountains in the mornings. With shorter dwell times, better performance and no stops for water a journey under two hours would be possible. This might well be too quick for those who want to laze a day away on a train but for those whose preference is for six hours in the hills with a train ride of under an hour at each end it could have just the right appeal. One morning train each way crossing each other at Rhyd Ddu and the first steam-hauled services at Waunfawr and Hafod-y-Llyn would extend the railway's offer by an hour in the morning. In late afternoon a similar arrangement would apply possibly with a second journey each way running into the evening. Such services would run either end of both the "blue" and the "yellow" timetable. At present the railway is only catering for the enthusiast market and at families who are content to devote the greater part o their day to a trip.
     
  11. Sheff

    Sheff Well-Known Member

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    John you could be right - a DMU out and steam back, or vice-versa could be the answer.
     
  12. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    As interesting as the idea sounds, the question is is there enough demand for such an investment? No small matter building a narrow gauge DMU, and also just how many walkers and climbers is there annually? Would they be interested in such a service and use it?
     
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  13. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    If ever there was a good case for grant aid, building the DMUs described would probably it, removing cars from the roads and reducing the need for car parks, but it would have to be part of a wider system of integated transport (buses elsewhere) that would open up the option to walkers of starting and finishing in different locations.

    Howeverthere is also the question of what people would do if they miss the last train or bus and end up stranded?
     
  14. Sheff

    Sheff Well-Known Member

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    But it's not just walkers and climbers, it's your everyday tourists. Beddgelert is like a magnet in summer for people who just want to wander around the village and then take a walk along the river, and it has very little car parking. Rhyd Ddu is much more walker orientated I'd agree. I'm the last person to want to see a DMU on the WHR but if that's what it takes to crack the frequency problem then I'd go along with it. Would a multiple Parry People Mover work maybe?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
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  15. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    On those gradients or any significant gradient for that matter, not the ghost of a chance!

    Paul H.
     
  16. Charobin

    Charobin New Member

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  17. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Member

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    The railway tried an early morning diesel service and then utitlised a double-engine to work a late afternoon train to Rhyd Dhu but withdrew it for the 2013 service because of lack of patronage.
     
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  18. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    Personally it has always been frequency as much as earlier morning or later afternoon trains which have been the issue as far as my family & friends are concerned. It just wasn't feasible as part of a day including something else (walk in the middle, time in Beddgelert) because if you miss one train it is AGES until the next one.
    I wonder what other (non enthusiast) parties think of the service - e.g. National Park Authority, Welsh Government, bodies who gave grants - think of the service in terms of public transport for tourists (or locals).
    I am not saying that an intensive service of short trains is a sensible way to run the railway in economic or railway terms, but is does seem to me that is what wad implied in the years battling for funding and permissions. How many cars was the project supposed to take off the roads? Is it actually achieving any such thing? What do those (non steam buffs) who gave public money, etc, think?
     
  19. Baldopeter

    Baldopeter New Member

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    Services run because volunteers man them. Without volunteers they are uneconomic. There are not enough volunteers to run the current services, hence the move to fewer, longer trains that require less volunteers.

    When running trains it is not just loco and train crew needed, the control office is open, signal boxes and level crossings need to be manned, S&T and standby options need to be in place in case of failures etc etc.

    If you want more trains to run, perhaps you would like to volunteer ?

    Regards

    Peter
     
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  20. Sheff

    Sheff Well-Known Member

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    I guess the problem there is the perennial one for all the North Wales lines, their location and proliferation - several lines chasing to few local volunteers. I'm sure many of us on here would volunteer if only we lived closer. We must count ourselves very fortunate that there are enough dedicated volunteers to keep all these fabulous lines running as is.
     
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