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Avon Valley Railway Updates and Videos

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Corbs, May 15, 2013.

  1. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    With Grumpy doing its best impression of a steam loco!

    The Sentinel looks gorgeous in its new livery.
     
  2. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    Joking aside, in a world of 'Dirty Diesels', is pumping filthy diesel fumes into the atmosphere the impression that a preserved railway should be giving?
    I think not and I'm sure that the local residents, users of the railway path and David Attenborough would agree. <BJ>
     
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  3. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works Member

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    You could instead have congratulated the railway on running Covid services, restoring the Sentinel, or running happily alongside a cycle way!

    I realise that we live in a world where wokes get upset by things that the majority of people do not, and heritage railways do need to be good neighbours, but the environmental impact of an occasional loco trundling about in the open air is insignificant in reality.
     
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  4. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    With pollution being such an important topic at present, it's imperative that preserved railways reduce pollution to a minimum. The sight of a steam loco belching black smoke into the atmosphere is equally as bad as a filthy diesel engine. The days of the general public ignoring such sights are well and truly over.

    I was at a meeting where Pete Waterman was guest speaker. He was asked how preserved railways would be affected by the problems of climate change. We expected an answer to involve pollution from steam traction and the sourcing of coal. Instead he surprised us by saying that the main problem would be for diesel loco owners such as himself. He described the future for preserved diesel locomotives as grim.

    I must agree with Vulcan Works, it was good to see and hear the Sentinel at work once again. <BJ>.
     
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  5. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Certain elements of the photographic brigade (and several magazine editors) really need to understand this point, even though it refers only to the visible crud spewed out.

    As is all too often the case, with any departure from traditions, virtually all attempts to discuss possible means of securing, in this instance, practical and acceptable fuel supplies, thus ensuring the longer term survival of steam operation, are met with uncomprehending derision, if not outright hostility. It's now no exaggeration to state that, if we carry on down that route, the end of steam is already on the horizon.

    In deference to the sensibilities of certain amongst our number, let's put it this way .... in awful schoolboy latin .... tempus est eliciunt capitibus vestris de anum populi.

    Latin rendering subject to several edits to circumvent Google's censorial tendencies!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
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  6. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    ''When coal burns, the chemical bonds holding its carbon atoms in place are broken, releasing energy. However, other chemical reactions also occur, many of which carry toxic airborne pollutants and heavy metals into the environment. Diesel combustion exhaust is a source of atmospheric soot and fine particles, which is a component of the air pollution implicated in human cancer, heart and lung damage, and mental functioning''.

    The burning of various fossil fuels are all bad for the environment. The public are fully aware of this and this is why, like it or not, preserved railways have to get their act together, and quickly. <BJ>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2020
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  7. MattA

    MattA Member

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    And do what? Convert everything to run on electricity?
     
  8. MAPLE CHRIS

    MAPLE CHRIS New Member

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    Covid will probably do the job by closing them down
     
  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    No, but it's more about perception than anything else. Steam locos belching out black smoke isn't a good look, and will make people more likely to try and shut us down on environmental grounds than pictures of a nice clean exhaust.
     
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  10. brennan

    brennan New Member

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    Let's face the facts. Despite the weasel words from Boris about steam railways having a future and the empty promises that coal-burning steam locos will not be banned, the hard truth is that before long no coal will be mined in this country, the burning of domestic coal will be banned by "stove Gove", what remains of the steel industry and coal-fired power stations will go to the wall as the Tories complete their destruction of traditional British industry, so there will be no demand thus the import costs of the small quantities of coal required by heritage railways will make the price impossibly high. Added to this will very likely be the necessity of obtaining special licences to burn the stuff , filtration to minimise pollution during lighting up and disposal and special medical monitoring for those exposed to the dust and fumes. As for diesels, those who revel in the start up "clag" of a cold English Electric engine had better make the most of it in the next year or so. I admire the blind optimism of those engaged in building replica locomotives but I suspect that many of these will never see the first ten year boiler inspection. There will be a lot of competition for museum space before long. The world is a changing folks, far quicker than most of us dinosaurs realise.
     
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  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think that is unduly pessimistic. Sure, it can't go on for ever, but I think it'll be a little while yet. We may yet find an alternative solution too.
     
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  12. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Well, as much about perception, at any rate. Whatever fuelstuff is burnt, there'll be a by-product, a residue and heat (d'uh). That's pretty much part of the definition of exothermic chemical reactions. There's a marvellous night shot in one of Colin Garret's publications, with a stationary, very obviously wood (or trash from crop stalk) burning, O&K 0-8-0t+t ''Bromo", which must've had it's blower on, to judge by the impressive pyrotechnic display, framed against the backdrop of a Javanese volcano (maybe it was Mt.Bromo itself), doing precisely the same thing, except on a much scarier scale!

    Efficient combustion can, of course only take things so far, but the issue specific to coal is one of sustainability, by which isn't meant how long we can continue digging it up, but it's rate of formation. This is the stuff which has been in the ground, ironically enough since the last mass extinction, the K-T event around 65million years ago, which indeed, probably formed much of it in the first place. If we don't get our fingers out ..... and pronto ..... the next mass extinction will ne ours, be thoroughly well deserved and quite possibly the first self inflicted one by any multi-celled life-form on this planet*.

    Maybe, in the grand scheme of things, a few hundred surviving operable steam locos don't use all that much coal, but the stuff still has to be dug up and that means an economically viable supply chain. Even without any environmental coccerns and before whatever draconian restrictions may be looming, just over the horizon, that's already becoming a serious issue.

    What we can do, if arguments to permit steam locos to continue to operate at all carry the day, is burn sustainably produced fuels, be that stored as gas or in some solid form. Discounting nuclear fission and large kettle elements as practical heat sources, it's ultimately going to be that or cold, lifeless metal sculptures. If that were to happen, the chances of anyone either wanting to, or being able to, let alone being permitted to light one up ever again would be vanishingly low. The ball's well and truly in our court, folks.

    *thinking here of 'The Drake Equation"
     
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  13. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works Member

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    The supply chain might become more stretched but I don’t think the Germans, Russians or Chinese are thinking that coal is about to run out anytime soon. Plus there are still lots of opportunities to use fossil fuels more efficiently including on heritage lines. I agree that public perceptions need to be considered because yes, there seems to be an increasing number of single issue, ill-informed people out there who would like to ban pretty much anything and everything that doesn’t fit in with their agendas!

    Anyhow back to the Avon Valley Railway, keep up the good work folks!
     
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  14. Davo

    Davo Member

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    And plus i agree starting volunteering myself at the K.L.R. narrow gauge line in Huddersfield W. Yorks it also gives students who have a interest in how steam loco engineering and what its like hands on repairing steam loco,s and rolling stock etc,career opportunities to do their practical coursework in precision engineering at heritage railways and ex senior seasoned railwaymen (who have worked on the steam era pre 1968 or enthusiasts or spotters from that era a job after retirement i guess i their spare time cos they enjoy doing it)
     
  15. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    News from the Avon Valley Railway.

    ''As you may be aware, as we approach the end of the second national lockdown, there are now further restrictions in place and we have been placed into Tier 3. But, the good news is that Santa will still be visiting the railway and you can come and meet him! Unfortunately, if you’re booked for trains on the 5th, 6th, 7th, 12th & 13th you wont be able to ride on the train as these are classed as ‘indoor spaces’. This is a real shame as all our volunteers were so looking forward to welcoming you aboard. But, we did warn you that this might happen when you bought your tickets and said we wouldn’t be able to offer refunds in these circumstances. Trains on later dates may be able to run following the Government’s fortnightly review of restrictions and we’ll be in contact again once we know more''.
    Santa Special - Avon Valley Railway

    The backlash has already started on the AVR's official Facebook site: Avon Valley Railway Official - Home | Facebook

    Elizabeth Duncan ''So we’ve already paid 100% of the cost, but only get 50% off later. But it’s not really 50% of the value back because the Santa trains are more expensive than trains at other times of year. Not exactly going to inspire customer loyalty, and there’s no point risking handing over more money if you might cancel again at a later date. Why can’t you offer a free train ride in the off-season?''

    Richard Davies: ''This is so bad. We have a 2 year old who won't be interested in santa so its £50 to see some donkeys. Shame on you as an organisation. By not offering a refund you are going to lose regular loyal customers''.

    Liz Brown: ''I also agree with the above comments. We have paid already an additional cost to have the Santa experience and train ride. We are a family of 7 and feel that the train ride was the experience the children wanted to have and see Santa at the same time. It’s great you say Santa can still be seen however we paid for the train ride also so I think it wouldn’t be much to ask for a complimentary ticket for our train ride which we have already paid for to be taken over the next year. We understand your a charity however, to ask people to make further payment for a train ride in this current climate is not fair or at all charitable. The cost of the Santa experience is a massive cost for family’s already with out a greater cost of further tickets. No one is asking for there money back just what they have paid for at no additional cost''.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  16. UppyJC

    UppyJC New Member

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    We have changed our position on this - we are now offering customers a free train ride sometime in the following year. It is difficult to strike a reasonable balance between a hard-and-fast booking condition designed to protect the railway's existence should all of our customers want a refund and customer expectations. The original shot at this was probably a little off the mark - the board have recognised this and have come up with an alternative which should protect our interests and the happiness of the customers.
     
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  17. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    Good news, very sensible. May I suggest that the railway updates it's website with the recent change of policy. <BJ>
     
  18. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    Here we are at the start of December and still no change at the AVR website. Much the same if you follow the link to Facebook. <BJ>

    ''But, we did warn you that this might happen when you bought your tickets and said we wouldn't be able to offer refunds in these circumstances''.
     
  19. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Whoever wrote that line really needs to go on a PR/customer service training course.

    Keith
     
  20. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Back in February they were selling steam rides on Wowcher. The problem was it was advertising the opportunity to ride a steam train but of the available dates they were all diesel. I did mention to the railway that it was misleading but nothing was done and there were some unhappy people. One person I know was quite annoyed as they tried saying they couldn’t have a refund and I believe they had to get Wowcher to intervene. The biggest problem was looking at the dates they were always going to be diesel so not sure why they advertised steam in the first place.

    So in light of this, personally not surprised by the attitude of not giving refunds as they clearly don’t understand either PR or customer relations .
     

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