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Exmoor Associates - Acquisition of More of the Old L&B Line

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by TheEngineer, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    There is a useful FAQ page on the website, at http://www.exmoor-associates.co.uk/f-a-q-s/ which may help answer some of your questions.
     
  2. ellenbee pioneer

    ellenbee pioneer New Member

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    Thanks Martyn! Can you also explain why the L&B website lynton-rail seems pretty moribund. I've been away awhile now, but I seemed to remember it was pretty informative, with lots of piccies and companion pieces on services, personnel, planned developments etc., Have I got the wrong site?
     
  3. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    Moribund? as one of the webmasters of said site, I certainly hope not!

    We are working on a redesign of it, as it is a bit unwieldy and needs to be brought up to date, but there are regular updates, normally at least weekly, and there is a wealth of information available. As a Trust member, you can also sign up for access to the members only page. http://www.lynton-rail.co.uk/sitemap should give you some pointers.
     
  4. TheEngineer

    TheEngineer New Member

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    Good Morning All

    To help a few of you readers understand me, about 3 years ago a card dropped through the door, the card intrigued me and I kept it by the side of the computer here, where I see it every morning.

    On it was an inscription clear white writing on a black background. I read it and thought "yes" that pretty much sums me up.

    Here it is

    " A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

    Winston Churchill. one of his quotes.


    I am of course always late or the last one, as in this case the latter, but when I arrive I have already worked out the plan and have all the kit to complete it, and it works.

    I suppose I am just one of those people looking for a challenge , that many other people have discarded.Afterwards I admire and say yes that works or fits pretty well.

    Regards TheEngineer
     
  5. Richieboy

    Richieboy New Member

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    Forever is such a long time.

    It appears, from a totally neutral viewpoint, that as and when land becomes available EA position themselves to purchase it, this can only be helpful in the future if they have the ability to do so.

    You can never tell what people will do, the railway may be left substancial legacies, lottery or other grants may become available, in time, to start connecting the pieces together. The fact it is discussed at length here, simply shows the huge interest in the railway as a whole.

    If you start to try and build a railway that is the length of the L&B in one go, it would never work, but over many years, with very careful planning and management joining the pieces together may well happen.

    Technology will move on, solutions to problems may become easier as new techniques are found and become cheaper to use, who really knows. People who purchase key properties may be or become sympathetic to the railway opening all sorts of possibilites to expand.

    I think it is a facinating project and while all liklihood is it will never be finished in my lifetime, one day, maybe. The railway (as a whole) has to have a major goal to hold interest but needs to plan how to join the pieces together as and when the opportunity presents itself.

    Good luck, I wish all parties every success.

    Engineer, keep the updates comming! Most interesting to see how things are progressing.

    Rich.
     
  6. brmp201

    brmp201 Member

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    Maybe it's only my fantasy, but I would have thought that most people who have an interest in the L&B also dream of seeing regular service trains over Chelfham Viaduct. Therefore, I do not believe that the current L&B Trust members would really be satisfied to get as far as Blackmoor Gate and call it a day. Sure, there will probably be a number of years between getting to Blackmoor and going further south, but if Blackmoor is reached surely that will only spur people on to greater things.

    Anybody know the CEO of Glencore (Ivan Glasenberg) and if he has an interest in narrow guage railways? Sounds like he could spare a few million, seeing as they floated on the stock market today and he's now worth about £6bn, making him one of the world's richest men.
     
  7. ellenbee pioneer

    ellenbee pioneer New Member

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    brmp,

    How do I put this.
    It's not about members being satisfied about reaching Blackmoor and calling it a day. It's about economics, harsh, cruel economics. If most of your clientele is entraining at Blackmoor to travel easily to Lynton, what incentive would they have to travel another half-hour in the opposite direction just to cross a bridge? It's all very well building such a line, but how would you pay for its operation if you only had a few enthusiast passengers?!

    Ivan Glasenberg made his reputedly £6bn by hard-nosed, commercial decisions. Do you really think he'd splash out a sizeable chunk on a whim?!!
     
  8. brmp201

    brmp201 Member

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    I understand what you're saying, but:

    - There are many successful preserved railways that go from nowhere to nowhere, eg. Bluebell
    - Does a preserved railway have to make an operating profit year on year, or is it a charity?
    - What does one do with £6bn?
     
  9. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    Something of a non sequitur here - regardless of whether it is a charity or not, an organisation has to have at least a balanced income and expenditure, or it will eventually fail. Just because it may be a charity (some preserved railways are - some aren't) has no bearing on the professionalism and good business practice required to succeed.

    For the record, The L&BR Trust is both a registered charity and a company. The Operation of the L&B is carried out by a Community Interest Company - not a charity but a company, with an asset lock to the Trust. Likewise, EA is a private company, independent of, but working alongside, both the above.

    If I had 6bn, yes, of course I would do whatever I could to reinstate the complete L&B, but there is little chance of me getting that, and even then, it wouldn't be easy! :)
     
  10. ellenbee pioneer

    ellenbee pioneer New Member

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    To answer your questions, brmp,
    1) Nowhere to nowhere is fine, you're going for a pleasant ride, full stop. Travelling from Somewhere (a free car park at a road junction) to Somewhere (a popular tourist spot) works as well, you're going for a purpose as well as a pleasant ride. To then bolt on an equal-length journey in the opposite direction (a pleasant ride, full stop) doesn't work - you can do that en route to your tourist spot! Especially as the scenery is less pleasant than that on your purposeful trip!
    2) Any business has to make a profit, a profit being that margin left over after that year's running costs. it doesn't have to line Director's or Manager's pockets (unless you are in the finance industry) and is necessary for future investment and growth. Without it, there is nothing in the kitty when something breaks or wears out.
    3) People who make lots of money generally do it because they like making lots of money. There is very rarely any other reason. How they spend it depends upon their own priorities. Some fervently dislike spending any of it. These people are called misers, and can be found arguing with waitresses
    over their right to expect a tip. If you can get millions from one of those people, then you are clearly wasted in heritage railways. You could qualify as the next Messiah.
     
  11. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    The railways that go from nowhere to nowhere don't on the whole, do that well. The ones that go from somewhere to nowhere (Swanage, SVR*, WSR) can get up to 250,000 visitors/yr, as did the NYMR before it extended to Whitby. Going from somewhere to somewhere (Pickering to Whitby) has added another 100,000 visitors a year to the NYMR. If the L & B ever reached 100-150,000/yr it would be doing outstandingly well.

    *I know the SVR goes to Kidderminster, but does anyone actually go there as a destination of choice?!
     
  12. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Posted on the other L&B threads, there are now three that all seem to be discussing basically the same subject. Has anyone any real objections to them being combined?
     
  13. ellenbee pioneer

    ellenbee pioneer New Member

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    Well put 61624 - but for many, perhaps most, Kidderminster is the point of access, the larger, free car park, so to speak. Coming from Brum or the south it's the logical starting point.
     
  14. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    This goes back to the original reason why most "preserved" lines were closed in the first place - they were in the middle of nowhere.

    If the railway can link in to another visitor attraction (beach, castle, museum), then visitors may the railway to travel to the attraction or add a "train ride" to their visit - eg Bodiam Castle and the K&ESR, Pontypool & Blaenavon and Big Pit (soon).

    Having taken my family on holiday around Lynton and North Devon, it isn't the busiest area for tourists. But as the L&B extends west, they will hopefully tap into to the visitors going to/from Ilfracombe as well.

    Richard
     
  15. ellenbee pioneer

    ellenbee pioneer New Member

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    That's all from me folks! Passionate as I am about the past, present and future of the Lynton & Barnstaple, I have given my opinion of where the future should be. A credible, characterful, sustainable new railway is possible, given the right plan and the right people. The trick is to acquire those people.

    In the meantime, don't stop thinking about tomorrow.... you could write a song about that!

    "May all your expectations be realistic ones"
     
  16. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    There are a lot of railways that go from nowhere to nowhere, they are the destination themselves !! Finish the L&B, i have no doubt in my mind that it will turn out to be Englands finest narrow gauge line.
     
  17. ellenbee pioneer

    ellenbee pioneer New Member

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    England's finest narrow gauge line.... what an aspiration ..... right up there with 'Swindon's Finest Football Club'....
     
  18. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

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    I find this sort of sneering remark in a forum particularly unhelpful. Please desist.
     
  19. fergusmacg

    fergusmacg Well-Known Member

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    Or even do us all a favour and actually do what you said earlier i.e. "That's all from me folks!"
     
  20. lynton&barnstaple

    lynton&barnstaple New Member

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    "Please desist"

    Sadly, I doubt that Ellenbee is capable of either noticing how irritating he is, let alone of desisting. Having had a few shots on an old WHR thread he is back at the L&B and no doubt will do all he can to spoil this railway.
     

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