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East Midlands Railway Trust/NHR (north GCR)

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Flying Phil, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. Legrandanglais

    Legrandanglais Member

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    Looks as though there is some light at the end of the tunnel... Although there is a load of agreements and funding to sort out.
     
  2. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    It is going to depend whether GCR(N)/NHR are suddenly going to be able to fund the works required - particularly when they seem to have failed miserably in doing that in the past, which is why the set up appears to be in the position that it is. EMRT would appear to have some sort of plan formulated to move forward but have the other party involved? I think it is going to be a long while before we see trains running again, whatever happens....

    There has never, to me, seemed to be a coherent policy regarding development at the Ruddington site - particularly given the number of organisations that call the place "home", and I'm afraid I agree with the EMRT Chairmans description of the place being akin to "Scrapheap Challenge". No money has seemingly been spent on the place to improve the appearance/amenities there by either of the parties in the past, which hardly attracts casual visitors from the adjacent Country Park to come and spend money in the likes of the "Heritage Cafe", and that would appear to potentially be a lot of people from what I have observed on visits to Ruddington.
     
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  3. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    As far as I can see there are exactly two reasons for wanting the bridge to be sorted out. One is for eventual through running all the way, but that is not at all urgent because bridging the gap at Loughborough will take a fair while yet. The other reason is to allow commercial traffic to resume. If and when that does resume it will presumably provide some useful income to EMRT. Is that traffic currently flowing by road or not at all? How keen is that operator for it to start flowing on rail again? What payback rate would the potential income provide on the capital expenditure to mend the bridge? Is that a realistic investment for someone?
     
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  4. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    That seems to be a very measured response from the EMRT. As ever, I am sure there is much work going on behind the scenes by all concerned and we all want to see the operations resume at Ruddington and to see the commercial Gypsum traffic return. Then we are one step closer to getting a reunited GCR. There is more goodwill and harmony than some posts/tweets would appear to indicate.
     
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  5. JorgeR

    JorgeR New Member

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    I agree with Phil- very measured from EMRT, and in some contrast to the NHR statement.

    Let's hope that the undoubted enthusiasm of the new NHR team can be productively channelled going forwards.
     
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  6. Drop_Shunt

    Drop_Shunt New Member

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    The latest response from official GCR(N) / NHR accounts on social media:

    Further Statement by the NHR Board of Directors in response to the EMRT release of 30th July 2021.

    The Board naturally agrees to meet the EMRT as soon as practical, given holiday schedules.

    The Board notes that in order for the talks to be more than a PR exercise, and take place in good faith without hidden agendas, it seeks public clarification from the EMRT ahead of the talks on the following:

    1) Is the Forward Fund a 'Trojan Horse' to facilitate the closure of the Mountsorrel quarry sidings and their sale for development, with stone traffic then re-reouted via the current GCR South onto a confiscated NHR?

    2) Does the EMRT have plans to allow a third-party developer to take control of all or part of the Ruddington site and build a complex that will include a hotel or similar facilities and conference centre? Has the EMRT already held such talks or hosted such a visit?

    The Board looks forward to EMRT's public response to these issues and we can then proceed quickly to talks.

    Michael Newton, Ronald Whalley, Peter Wilson & John Akinin - Chairman & Directors of The Nottingham Heritage Railway.
     
  7. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    The writing styles of the two parties are noticeably different. One is factual and formal, the other is more aggressive and critical.

    There are times when details of discussions or conflicts are best left for the discussions themselves rather than being broadcast on social media.
     
  8. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Interesting. One would assume that, if the NHR board are publicly asking these questions, somehow they have got the impression that those two plans may be on the EMRT agenda? How accurate that impressions is, and where those notions have come from in the first place, is of course a key question!
     
  9. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    It must be remembered that the EMRT does have its aims stated in public on it's website and in its charity/company public documents via Companies House. To ask for public clarifications of intent via social media would seem to be a high risk strategy.....alienating your landlord is not usually a strong position. There have been two or three people who have been board members of both organisations at various times.
    Interesting times indeed.....
     
  10. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison New Member

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    And just a little bit more of the NHR Board's credibility slips away.
     
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  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I've got no skin in the game with any of the GCR organisations, and don't know either end of the line at all. But I would say that the NHR directors desperately need to get hold of someone with an ear for communications and who doesn't start off from a strongly confrontational point of view. The statement above, and the earlier one that started this whole sub-thread about the "surrender document" are disastrous in tone, and to my eyes at least are causing them to haemorrhage any credibility they may have had.

    Tom
     
  12. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    The first statement, taken at face value, seemed to me mostly reasonable. If indeed there had been an ultimatum along the lines described, a strong reaction would be hardly surprising. But I agree about the contrast in tone between one "side's" communications and the other's, and that airing it all on here seems hardly likely to improve matters.
     
  13. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I'm minded to agree, but there's a certain specificity to the allegations made that makes me uncomfortable - they're the sort of allegations that, if not well founded, are extremely dangerous. If there is a Nabarro situation, then this seems to have blown up very quickly.

    When the reunification project kicked off a few years ago, there was a lot of noise about stone traffic from Mountsorrel being rerouted via the GCR rather than from the current sidings on the fast line side of the MML. That was kicked into touch, but the fact that the scab has been picked at again leaves me uneasy as it would have big implications for both parts of the GCR if true. Similarly, we've seen elsewhere how more or less well founded suspicions of property development on railway premises can have major consequences.

    I very much hope that EMRT are able to lay both of these allegations to bed, and that they are completely fallacious. At the same time, this FoGCML member will be keeping quite a close eye on the responses, as anything other than a strong "no" to both questions (especially the final part of question 2) will leave suspicions smouldering.
     
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  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed, I'd make no comment about the specific rights and wrongs, because I have no knowledge of the setup. I'm just noting the tone: everything I've heard from the EMRT has been quite measured, and everything from the NHR seem to have been very confrontational. As a natural conciliator by temperament (find me a contentious issue and my first question is always "where's the fence to sit on?") the confrontational nature of the NHR automatically grates, and in my eyes at least diminishes the value of their case even before I've started to consider that case itself.

    Tom
     
  15. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    It does very much read as someone could do with learning some PR skills and how to present their side of the story. It reminds me very much of the WSR in this respect.

    I think it’s far better to present your case in a non confrontational manner rather than writing with blind emotion.
     
  16. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I'm in a similar place about conciliation, but have found a few times where digging in really robustly has been essential to sorting an issue out.
    If it was - both read (especially the latter) as though they've been through the hands of an experienced negotiator.

    I also think the WSR comparison poor - a consistent theme there has been the tendency of those who've been behaving badly to be loudly confrontational. This has a different dynamic.

    At times like this, I'm always reminded of the first meeting of Frodo and Sam with Aragorn at Bree, where the hero Aragorn says "I look foul and feel fair. Is that it?". I sense that going on.
     
  17. Phill S

    Phill S New Member

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    Regarding the alleged Mountsorrel plan, surely that would give the respective railways a pretty tidy source of income?
     
  18. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    The Mountsorrel idea was seen as a potential way to free up capacity on the Midland Main Line due to the current movements reqiured to reach the terminal sidings that end up blocking multiple running lines at a time. The passenger side of the rail business has changed over the past 18 months, so it may be deemed to be less of a problem now.
    I would have thought that the Mountsorrel line, as preserved, would be totally unsuitable for any rail traffic beyond the DMU's & occasional top/tail shuttles that use it at the moment. The two bridges at the heritage centre end have a fairly restricted profile as well.
    A casual study of Google Earth or the like will actually show that there isn't a lot to be "freed up" for development as claimed by NHR if you closed the sidings on the MML, compared with the other industrial sites adjacent that would be unlikely to be closing as well, like Brett Building Products who seem to have a large operation based there.
     
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  19. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    As Johann says, and has been discussed elsewhere, whilst it is, potentially an access to the quarry, in reality it would need so much more spending to make it useful for large freight wagons that it is a non starter.....indeed Google earth shows how unrealistic the process would be with a reversal at Swithland and another at the MML chord.
     
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  20. tor-cyan

    tor-cyan Well-Known Member

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    As has already been pointed out you would need to reversals to get on to the MML, but more problematic would be signaling, do you man both the Swithland and Loughborough boxs or upgrade the system and run it from Leicester power box. Then there's Track upgrading, at the minute the tracks fine for 25 mph running, but as Mountsorrel despatches on average 10 trains a day weighing up to 1,650T0ns track upgrading would be another cost. And as most of the trains are despatched at night I wonder how the residents of Loughborough would feel having 22 waggons of ballast ratling past there backdoors through the night.
    Over the years the idea to move stone out of the quarry's via the GCR has raised its head several times, maybe if it had been done back in the 80's it might have been worth it but as the quarry's have a projected life of only another 25 years the cost to benefit does not stack up. Far better to dust off the plans to build a single track flyover, to connect the quarry sidings to the MML slow lines at Mountsorrel.

    Cheers
    Colin
     
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