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Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway Updates

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Luke McMahon, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. class8mikado

    class8mikado Part of the furniture

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    A Lot noisier than Beatrice...
     
  2. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    Just had a very enjoyable visit to Embsay, lots of happy families about.
    But, the feeling one gets is over a very down at heel railway. Coaches (apart from the brake coach) very tatty, island platform at Bolton Abbey still unfinished (has been since I was last there in 2010), signal boxes exterior in shocking state. On the plus side very friendly staff and nice cafe. Loco turned out impeccably too.
     
  3. Luke McMahon

    Luke McMahon Member

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    I think that's because it seems like they've got quite a small volunteer team up there. The island platform at bolton abbey has been a work in progress for a while. Signalling wise, haven't seen embsay station box for a while so can't comment, both the boxes at bolton abbey & their associated signals haven't yet been commissioned so I imagine they'll get painted when that happens.
     
  4. 3855

    3855 Member

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    I think that is a fair assessment ..
     
  5. D7076

    D7076 Well-Known Member

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    Had similar thoughts on my two recent visits - the first for a couple of years.
     
  6. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    I tried to be fair, I observed and noticed. It was an enjoyable visit, and it has alot of potential.
     
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  7. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    That's a fair comment as to "why", but cold comfort when a fair minded visitor reports as he has done. There is a very fine line for a visitor between seeing potential and being inspired by what something might be, and being put off by that potential not being delivered upon.
     
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  8. lil Bear

    lil Bear Part of the furniture

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    Sounds exactly like my last visits in September 2016 and August 2017... Just a bit of general house keeping would be good, particularly with the coaching stock.
     
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  9. City_Steam

    City_Steam New Member

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    Does anyone know what locos will be in use at this weekends 1940's event? It's advertised as a two train steam service. Keen to see Illingworth, but maybe it is getting prep'd for its trip to Wales?

    Emailed the railway a few days ago. But no reply.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  10. sycamore

    sycamore Member

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    From https://embsayboltonabbeyrailway.vticket.co.uk/product.php/32/mixed-traction-weekend-2020

    Mixed Traction Weekend

    We’ve got a packed weekend with fantastic beers, great Yorkshire Fish & Chips and the chance of some rare heritage haulage all weekend!

    Cab rides available @ £25
    Evening Fish & Chip Special @ £29
    Evening Beer Express & Fish & Chips @ £31
    Driver experiences @ £10
    Evening entertainment entertainment in marquee, live music @ £3
    Chance to sample our Ped breakfast (Bottle of beer and Yorkshire’s finest cooked breakfast) at Bolton Abbey station @ £9.99
    Day Rover tickets @ £14
    Full weekend tickets @ £24
    Bronze all-in-one ticket (weekend rover, Sunday breakfast, driver experience) @ £40
    Silver all-in-one ticket (weekend rover, Sunday breakfast, driver experience, Fish & Chip special) @ £67
    Golden all-in-one ticket (weekend rover, Sunday breakfast, driver experience, cab ride, Fish & Chip special) @ £89

    Hoping to have some Miniature Mixed Traction at Bolton Abbey too (small additional fee)

    Will
     
  11. lil Bear

    lil Bear Part of the furniture

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  12. sycamore

    sycamore Member

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  13. class8mikado

    class8mikado Part of the furniture

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    Looks like the Santa specials have hit the Buffers here which is a devastating blow.
    Council not liking the modus operandi... though i suspect its as much to do with ' keeping them west yorks tier three-ers out of north Yorks' as KWVR has no such problems.
    Hope they can re juggle and offer something else ...
     
  14. class8mikado

    class8mikado Part of the furniture

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    They didre Jiggle and the set up was really good. Hope its a success....
     
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  15. sycamore

    sycamore Member

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    Customers seem content! Not many reviews (positive or negative) but many happy kids - and we need to remember that is what it's all about...

    Will
     
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  16. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    Not wanting to upset anyone, but just feel I have to comment on the poor state of the Bolton Abbey station building. It wasn't that long ago that it was an award winning new building, but the rotten state of it now certainly wouldn't win any awards (and I do mean literally rotten, large chunks of window sill missing and holes in cladding). :( I was told that 2021 is the 'year of infrastructure' so hopefully this situation will be rectified soon.
    On a more cheerful note, we had a good visit and a chap in the shed at Embsay was kind enough to show us around and inside the shed. Thank you sir (sorry I've forgotten your name). Pictures will be uploaded to the Loco DB on my website over the next few days. :)
    Shame only a round trip was available (so we couldn't take a walk to Bolton Abbey itself from the station), but understandable in the circumstances. For a Tuesday the railway seem fairly well patronized and they did a nice lunch. :)
    PS. We also made a donation to the Wheldale Restoration project.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021
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  17. Buckeye

    Buckeye New Member

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    I visited Embsay recently and have to agree with the comments on here about it being down at heel and having seen better days.

    For reference I have known Embsay since the very early days and was a member for many years and will always have a soft spot for it, but it has seemingly lost its way in latter years.

    Currently all trains go from Embsay and the first thing you see coming down the drive are the caravans which have been there for years. There are piles of junk about and stock awaiting restoration. Has the narrow gauge line ever operated for the public? The staff were friendly and helpful and got my wife and I on a train although computer said it was full.

    The journey is in very pleasant scenery but passes the shed area, a siding and then enters Bolton Abbey, all of which have stock rotting away stored there. The train was hauled by a hired in Austerity – they have several of their own and other decent industrials so how have they got this short of motive power? It really isn’t the sort of line which needs a 37 & 47 but like many lines has acquired them regardless.

    Why it was thought BA needed another platform I don’t know, and to this day it sits there half built with weeds growing all along it. Will it ever get used? The loop at Stoneacre will give a half hourly service if it were ever needed, and there is a loop at Embsay so there is more than adequate track capacity without the extra platform at BA.

    It seems to have lost its way after John Keavey passed away IMHO. Much seems to have been made of the Stately Trains operation and restorations at the expense of daily bread & butter passengers. The C&W operation has neglected the daily service coaches it seems. The current?/former manager runs their own C&W business too so that is perhaps a conflict of interest?

    Let’s face it the line is never realistically going to go beyond BA to Ilkley and running to Skipton is highly unlikely while Swinden Quarry still is rail served IMHO.

    Relatively nearby from W to E are the E Lancs, KWVR and Middleton all of whom have better presented carriages and atmosphere, and that is what the public judge a line on – a nice ride, clean toilets and a cup of tea.

    Sadly overall it’s a school report of must try harder and focus more.
     
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  18. Jdwitts

    Jdwitts New Member

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    Unfortunately this was my experience visiting a few years ago with my (non-enthusiast) partner. At the time, I had lived in W. Yorks for a number of years but never been to the line before. Taking my partner as a barometer of 'Joe Public', she was impressed with the vintage stock and the friendly volunteers, and enjoyed the scenery. Unfortunately the linear scrapyards at Embsay and Bolton Abbey, as well as the overall state of the stations, were the subject of a number of questions/comments and unfavourable comparison to the KWVR which she has traveled on a number of times. Part of persuading her to travel that day was scoping out the line for a potential future visit with her young niece and nephew, but unfortunately as a result of our trip, this didn't happen. I wonder how often similar experiences happen?

    I hope this and other posts are seen by any E&BAR volunteers as constructive criticism. All the staff we met were friendly and helpful. I'm afraid I was just left feeling rather sorry for the line, as it has fantastic potential and remains in an area with relatively little (immediate) competition and a huge potential customer-bases at Bolton Abbey and along the A65 at Skipton.
     
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  19. Respite

    Respite Member

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    The Middleton when I have been has two converted vans for a train, on Sunday Embsay had six mark 1s,a clerestory coach and a Bulleid open third in use, all were looking very smart externally and three of the Mark 1s have fantastic new royal blue upholstery and gold monographed curtains. Quite how you define 'better' I don't know but the comparison with Middleton is way off as the scale of operation and what they offer are so different.

    There were two steam locos in use last Sunday as well with a total of nine round trips between them.
    The stored diesels at Bolton Abbey have gone, the waiting for restoration at Bolton Abbey station 'Wheldale' has gone away for overhaul and three unrestored steam locos at Embsay have been sold. Much of the unrestored stock is now in the long storage shed. As a proportion of the ride how long are the sidings with unrestored stock on view? Not much I would say. Embsay offers a scenic 4.5 mile trip each way.
     
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  20. Respite

    Respite Member

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    Could someone from the railway please explain the operations for the Santa trains
    which I know are sold out but for the benefit of someone who would like to come and watch.
    I believe Jessie is on hire to help out this year.
    Are the trains exclusively steam hauled or are they still top and tailed with a mainline diesel?
    When is the first departure and from which station
    How many Santa trains a day are there?


    Many thanks
     

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