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dean forest railway fundraising for coaches

Discussion in 'Heritage Rolling Stock' started by rob20, May 1, 2018.

  1. rob20

    rob20 New Member

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    Hi all

    The Dean Forest Railway is conducting a full review and upgrade of it's coaching stock, which has many benefits:

    - Improved experience for customers
    - Better capacity to handle growing passenger numbers
    - Increased capacity for any potential extension towards Speech House Road

    An unmissable opportunity to purchase two ex-BR Mark 2 coaches has arisen. The total cost of this first phase of the project is £60,000; this figure covers both the purchase and conversion of the coaches to vacuum braking, to run with our heritage steam locomotives. We have already raised £12,000, and we need your help to raise the remaining £48,000!

    All donors will be invited to travel on these coaches on their first service train. In addition, donations of:

    - £250 or greater will receive a 5 year Membership of the Dean Forest Railway Society.

    - £500 or greater will receive a 10 year Membership of the Dean Forest Railway Society.

    - £1,000 or greater will receive a Life Membership of the Dean Forest Railway Society.

    This is just the start of a wider effort to develop the Dean Forest Railway into a top national attraction - and you could play a key part in making this happen...

    https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dfr-mk2-coaches
    thank you for any body that gives
    regards
    rob
     
  2. stephenvane

    stephenvane Member

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    Sorry but I don’t think that will be the case.

    Several railways have moved away from using MK2s. They found that the general public dislike the modern feel of them, and much prefer the more heritage feel of mk1s and older vehicles. The Mid Hants being a prime example of this.

    The DFR has a few GWR coaches in need of restoration. £60k would go a long way to restoring one of these. It would be a much more exciting project that should be easier to raise funds for (I know I’d donate, but the idea of buying mk2s doesn’t interest me at all). A restored GWR coach would provide a much better customer experience than a plasticy late 1960s Mk2.

    Sorry to be so negative, but those are my thoughts.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
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  3. toplight

    toplight Member

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    Would it not have made more sense to buy some coaches that are vacuum braked already if that is what is needed as I would imagine it is a lot of work to convert.
     
  4. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I’m guessing availablity plays a part.
     
  5. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Deleted
     
  6. 73101 The Royal Alex

    73101 The Royal Alex New Member

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    The GWR Coaches at the DFR aren't owned by the Railway - they're owned by the Dean Forest Locomotive Group. The first of them is planned to move into the restoration shed in 2019.
     
  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Ooh! That's much more exciting than converting a couple of mk2s to vacuum brake.
     
  8. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

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    A huge job!

    Sawdust.
     
  9. stephenvane

    stephenvane Member

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    According to their website the DFLG only own two Collett coaches. Doesn’t the railway own the other two?

    Good news restoration is planned for the brake third next year.
     
  10. MAPLE CHRIS

    MAPLE CHRIS New Member

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    will be good if the dean forest loco group can restore a couple of colletts used to love riding in the two auotrailers when based there with 1450
     
  11. 73101 The Royal Alex

    73101 The Royal Alex New Member

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    These coaches are important for the future of the DFR, please give anything you can. There is a long term plan, and these coaches form a key part of it.
     
  12. TMcL

    TMcL New Member

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    Hi,

    If I might respond to a few points in this thread from a DFRS and DFLG point of view: yes it would have been far easier and preferable to purchase vacuum fitted stock. However, we are reliably informed by professional engineering firms that the addition of vacuum brakes to these coaches is feasible, to the point where they have offered to do the work. In addition, we asked literally every heritage railway south of the Scottish border for available Mark 1s and there is literally nothing on the market right now. Even if there were, these would still cost more than a converted Mark 2a (and with good reason, I suppose - but the price of a Mark 1 is hugely inflated in comparison).

    Unfortunately due to previous regimes we are at the stage where we need more coaches for this running season. This also links into the reason that the XP64 coach now requires large scale repairs, while the EMU and a GWR coach were scrapped some years ago (nearly 10 if I recall correctly?). Truly regrettable decisions, but we cannot undo the past.

    Recent changes in management are effecting large scale changes in the way that we manage our rolling stock. The preferable situation would have been to add to the fleet as and when purchases became available, but we haven't got that option. The key with this fundraising appeal is that it will allow us to renovate our Mark 1 fleet - there is no intention to move to solely Mark 2 operation, in fact in time I'm sure this will become a reserve set.

    Regarding the GWR coach project and the DFLG - we currently own 2, soon to be all 3 of the Great Western carriages on the railway and will be working to restore all of them within the next 10 years. This is of course a better solution from a rail enthusiast point of view, but we must maintain a balance between heritage and commercial sensibility. So, instead of viewing this as a simple coach purchase, it is more the start of a massive turnaround for the railway. Clearly we have a long way to go to improve our reputation, but we have to start somewhere.
     
  13. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    I echo Sawdust's sentiments - we were told by an ex-York works fitter that it is extremely difficult to fit vac brakes to a Mk 2 that hasn't previously had them. Good luck with that!
     
  14. stephenvane

    stephenvane Member

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    Thanks for the explanation Tmcl. It makes more sense now and I wish you well with the project.

    I’m afraid I think you’ll still struggle to get people enthused about buying mk2s though.
     
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  15. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    It's a shame what has happened at the DFR in the past. The one Collett coach, 5848, wasn't scrapped as such, but I read in the society magazine that they were clearing away brambles etc at Lydney 'Junktion' (as it has been referred to in the same mag!) and part of the coach's side fell away as it was rotten.

    So that leaves the recently aquired brake, and the current volunteer accomodation and 9681 shop as the three collett coaches on the railway.

    I am a DFRS member myself, and it's great the railway want to make improvements and especially to the rolling stock. I have donated some money myself to the cause.

    It's a shame the FK and SK XP64s were allowed to fall into dispear, as is the TSO that is now the only remaining such vehicle on the railway, but these coaches do/did have asbestos issues. As has been said you can't undo the past. Are there any plans to repair the XP64 TSO 4729?

    The railway currently has 4 TSOs, RMB, BCK, BSK and a BSOT Mk1s. There is a BG at Lydney Junction that was used on passenger trains approx 15 years ago, but I would think as it's in the DFDA siding now it has spares/parts etc for the diesels.

    The BCK is stored out of traffic, BSK is being restored in the shed and the BSOT is only brake operational. I believe 3 of the TSOs are in traffic with the RMB at the current time.

    For two rakes of carriages, the line will need more coaches. This is a sensible option, and to my mind will hark back to the days of the XP64s being used! The railway clearly see's this as the best opportunity for now.

    Who remembers when one of the two NSE acquired TSOs was running in NSE colours approx 2001?!
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
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  16. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    Would substantial increase in the use of the DMU as a second train alongside the existing steam set be an excellent short to mid term solution for increasing the service in the future?

    I have spoken to several DFR visitors who have commented that the DMU's are very well presented inside and out. They have Formica interiors, so it would seem that provided it is well restored and clean, then a variety of interior finishes can provoke a positive passenger response. Restored 1950's plastic winning over older looking but rotten 1950's wood?

    Sent from my HTC U Play using Tapatalk
     
  17. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Well, I am hoping to take the family to the DFR on Monday so I look forward to both a DMU & steam trip
     
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  18. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    If you read the whole post, it says they want to take out some of the current Mk1 stock to be refurbished. The DFR do use their two DMU's as a second set more often than not.
     
  19. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Its worth pointing out that the XP64's are historic vehicles as the transition from the traditional construction last used in the MK1 to the monocoque MK2's
     
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  20. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Well, visited today

    No sign of XP64's, the class 108 DMU's are in very good order but the MK1's on the service trains are best described as tired formica

    There was rather a lot of 'linear scrapyard'

    Domestic Facilities Management was impressed by the catering on offer but I was happy with 'airfield salad' (Cheesy Chips)

    So not a bad little line
     

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