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Another Garratt to be Restored

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

  1. mickpop

    mickpop Part of the furniture

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    My view entirely. If I wanted to climb Snowdon with a partner, as I have done quite often, I would not want to start out paying £40+ to get to Rhyd Ddu from Porthmadog before even setting foot on the mountain. The limited service is also a discouragement. Parking is limited and expensive but still by far the cheaper option is to use the car. Same would apply to people wanting to visit Beddgelert. The railway is really just for people who see it as their main interest, and have plenty of money. However the roads are quite narrow in several places and reducing car useage would be welcomed.
     
  2. jamesd

    jamesd New Member

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    Snowdonia wasn't and never will be easy to get to by public transport, no matter how many trains run on the WHR or how cheap they are. If you've bothered to drive all the way to Porthmadog why would you then pay to park your car and pay to sit on a train for an hour plus to simply visit Beddgelert? You wouldn't, you would just drive there in the first place. People primarily go on the WHR for the experience, not as a mode of transport and unless cars are banned in the National Park, they never will. Expecting the WHR to operate such a service is naive in the extreme!
     
  3. mickpop

    mickpop Part of the furniture

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    You make the assumption that everyone in the area is a day visitor travelling only to see the railway. There are plenty of tourists for whom a trip on the WHR or FR is only one element in their holiday. Shifting some visitors to alternative forms of transport would make tourism a less stressful activity -just look at the pressure on car parking in high season particularly in Beddgelert. Many European ng lines serve as a genuine means of getting from A to B.
     
  4. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    Also plenty of people (including myself when possible) visit Snowdonia by National Rail.
    I don't think anyone disputes the practical difficulties of running a more frequent service.
    However, the points about funding and public benefit remain.
     
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  5. jamesd

    jamesd New Member

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    The points about public funding and public benefit are completely irrelevant I'm afraid. The railway received public finding to enable it to be built and run a tourist service. Yes, they said it would reduce the number of cars in the national park and yes it probably does, but it wasn't ever expected to replace cars. As it stands, it brings a large amount of direct and indirect income into the area but without a significant subsidy will never be able to operate a useful public service. It was never intended to though.

    Do all railways that receive public funding have a similar perceived obligation to run a public service?

    The problem you mention isnt solveable solely by the WHR. It needs all parties - Gov't, National Park, Council and the railway to all work together to a common goal. Just concentrating on one element won't work. For example, if you encourage people to travel by train to Beddgelert to relieve the parking problem there, where will they park in Porthmadog? The problem will still exist, it will just move to a different place.
     
  6. Steve B

    Steve B Member

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    I completely agree. As a former resident in the area and still a regular visitor I can't see the WHR as being anything beyond a tourist service. True, it can take you to places like Beddgelert (where you can wander around, visit the grave of a mythical dead dog, have a cup of tea and buy souvenirs and crafts) and Rhyd Ddu (and the various other stops) where you can go for walks or go climbing. But that is the tourist stuff (and the railway does seem to get used in that way). Would I use it to go shopping? No, the bus is more convenient, the car even more so. Would I use it to park and ride? No, there always seems to be sufficient parking at either Caernarfon or Portmadog when I go there. Would I use it if I was spending a day doing serious mountain walking/climbing? No, I'd prefer to get to my starting point quicker rather than spending an hour on a train first - and if I got wet in the hills I'd prefer to get straight back in my car rather than sit on a train for an hour! Would I travel on it as a attraction in itself? Yes, and many others also seem to. Do I think the journey worthwhile? Yes, and I'd recommend it. If I'm skint, feeling miserly, or short of time, I don't have to travel the whole distance - I have travelled the whole length of the line, but never all in one go. If I want to indulge the enthusiast in me I'd probably go go from Pont Creosor to Minffordd, changing at Portmadog. Last time I did that I travelled behind 4 different steam locos, saw a 5th on another service, watched "Criccieth Castle" shunting at Portmadog, had a snack at Spooners, browsed the shop, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I also overheard several conversations on both railways between people (who clearly were not enthusiasts) who were having a great time out.

    As to whether they should run more frequent shorter trains, build railcars, etc, etc have a look at http://welshhighland.freeforums.org/portal.php (you will have to sign up to use) where the issues have been debated exceedingly well, and often by those involved at the sharp end, and which you may find very informative. You may have to search through the various threads to find the discussions - most of the really interesting stuff on this tends to be "off topic"!

    Speaking of which, this is supposed to be about another Garratt...

    This is good news!

    Steve B
     
  7. Sheff

    Sheff Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks for the link. I'm a WHR member and never knew this existed!

    Also agree another Garratt is great news. I must dig out my S Africa slides and see if I saw any of these in service at Port Shepstone :)
     
  8. Guitar

    Guitar New Member

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    How about mustard yellow with red lining?
     
  9. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    How about using the WHHR ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2015
  10. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

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    For what?
     
  11. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

  12. La Duchesse

    La Duchesse New Member

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    As several people have already said, the WHR isn't really ever going to function as public transport in any real sense. However, the present 2 or 3 daily trains isn't very convenient for anyone, and especially not for walkers or others wishing to stop off along the way. I take the point that adding another train per day involves rather more than just adding it to the printed timetable, but in the fullness of time I'm sure it will happen. The intermediate stations on the WHR are mostly just bare platforms, and don't presently encourage anyone to linger there. The WHR has a mountain to climb (ho ho!) in terms of providing infrastructure and (understandably) it won't happen overnight. The usual chicken/egg, egg/chicken sketch now follows: Will an improved service encourage more passengers, or should the WHR wait for increased demand to justify additional journeys? Don't ask me.
     
  13. AndrewT

    AndrewT New Member

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    "The intermediate stations on the WHR are mostly just bare platforms."

    Not the last time I looked. Out of 13 stations, only Bontnewydd and Plas y Nant have no station building.

    DIET: Can't count. 13 stations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
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  14. Baldopeter

    Baldopeter New Member

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    Despite not knowing the final colour, is there any plan yet as to who will do the restoration, and where ? Has anything moved from Exmoor ?

    Regards

    Peter
     
  15. js5646

    js5646 New Member

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    Interesting update on 130 has appeared on Barrie Hughes' unofficial webpage:

    http://www.isengard.co.uk/

    Headline is that it is having a new boiler built rather than repair the old one with an in service date in time for the 2018 season. If memory serves, that will roughly coincide with the withdrawal of 87 after its current 10 year stint (although someone directly connected to the railway may correct that).
     
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  16. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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  17. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    I wonder whether we'll ever see an NGG16A conversion in the UK?
    141-32.jpg.cf.jpg
     
  18. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

    Make it 3 foot gauge and they could run it on the Waterford and Suir Valley :)
     
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  19. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    I wonder whether we'll ever see an NGG16A conversion in the UK?
    View attachment 30154
    Turf burning '16' perhaps? ;)

    Puffing Billy 'Down Under' are in the throes of converting NGG16/129 to 2ft 6in gauge..... progress report (from July) on the work here:
    http://puffingbilly.com.au/en/pb-news/blog/
    Still just another bog standard '16' tho!
     
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