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FR & WHR & WHHR News

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by AndrewT, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Because that would require either a pilot man from the F&WHR or training WHHR crews to meet the requirements for working on the WHR. Incompatibility of the stock has already been mentioned several times. Also how would you split the revenue? The WHHR are providing the train but they don't build and maintain the railway. What happens if it runs at a loss? Who takes that on? What happens if the WHHR can't provide a loco or train one day for whatever reason and the service is cancelled. Would they compensate the FR for lost potential revenue?
     
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  2. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    .........i can see it's all a question of perspective........
     
  3. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I opened the can of worms!
    I for one am delighted to be able to see operational Garratts in the UK (I am one of those who moans about not having a more frequent service). Even better when K1 is back!
     
  4. ragl

    ragl Member

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    A serious thread swerve, but assuming any such locos could work on the FR/WHR.......... very little now remains unpreserved.

    Sadly, it looks like the Alfred County Railway in Kwazulu Natal is not likely to reopen in full again, although there is a short section being used for a small train operation at Paddock. So, some locos the ACR operated may still be at Port Shepstone although I know that some locos went to Sandstone Estates, along with the Bagnall diesels. At Paddock, stored for many years in Classens Yard are up to 6 Garratts in various states of decay/dismemberment. Over at Humewood Road, several of the better locos were put for sale by SATS a few years ago, but I don't know the present situation. I presume that there are at least one of each NG15, NGG16 still in a steam-able condition for the Apple Express.

    If you are interested in the Port Elizabeth narrow gauge, which I'm sure you will be, book yourself out for a few hours and get into Charlie Lewis's incredible website here:

    https://sites.google.com/site/soulorailway/home/system-3-1/system-3

    As for locos in Asia, both of the Darjeeling Pacifics still exist, but they will stay plinthed for ever - probably. A couple of other large 2'-0" locos are plinthed in India as well. There is, as mentioned upthread, a Bagnall 2-6-2 tender loco at Burma Mines; I believe the tank versions have been scrapped.

    Over in Brasil, there are a couple of very nice, late built Porter 2-6-2 tender locos on the Perús Pirapora Railroad. But as in India, a very small chance that these would ever leave Brasil.

    So the reality is that with the relatively big number of NG15 and NGG16 locos in this country already, the chances of seeing another type of "large" 2'-0" gauge loco other than those on the Brecon mountain is slim. As mentioned upthread, a Gwalior Pacific in steam, say on the Rheidol, would be a knee weakening event for many a railway enthusiast, but somehow, I can't see that happening after so long, unless somebody out there knows something different; I would love to be contradicted. If anyone else can think of any other larger two-footers, please step forward.

    Cheers,

    Alan
     
  5. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Well not really. As much as you may not like it, it's quite simple. The F&WHR built and own the WHR so they can do with it as they like. The F&WHR isn't likely to risk a business it has worked tirelessly to create over the odd vintage train.

    So if will only happen when the requirements for doing so are met on both sides. I've pointed out many issues that are currently unresolved which, no doubt in the long term they could be resolved along with plenty more besides. But don't forget the WHHR is a small organisation with limited resources (not wishing to offend anyone of course) so things will take time. Likewise the FR isn't a charity for supporting the WHHR it has plenty of it's own issues to deal with.

    Like I've said before both sides are cooperating these days and making the most of what they have. There is no insurmountable challenges to WHHR trains running on the WHR but don't expect it to happen overnight. I also don't see how stirring up long deceased arguments is likely to make it happen any quicker.

    Tim
     
  6. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    Well any major commitment might distract from the priority of running their own railway. No harm for occasional specials, and I'm sure that will start to happen in due course.
     
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  7. James Hewett

    James Hewett New Member

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    "Well not really. As much as you may not like it, it's quite simple. The F&WHR built and own the WHR"

    Apart from the Pen-y-Mount to Traeth Mawr section, which WHR Ltd built (and funded) JH

    Likewise the FR isn't a charity for supporting the WHHR it has plenty of it's (sic) own issues to deal with.

    Actually, the FR IS a charity! JH

    "Like I've said before both sides are cooperating these days and making the most of what they have. There is no insurmountable challenges to WHHR trains running on the WHR but don't expect it to happen overnight. I also don't see how stirring up long deceased arguments is likely to make it happen any quicker."

    Four years ago the WHR Ltd Heritage Train was successfully tested as far as Beddgelert, and passed for running. Ten years ago WHR Ltd offered the FR a payment per passenger (or per mile, or per train) to run just to Pont Croesor (which would hardly be a problem, FR services being so infrequent). Nine years ago WHR Ltd offered to build a junction station platform on RhE at Pen-y-Mount (on land it owns), so that FR passengers could change trains there, and access the award-wining WHR Museum by rail. Three years ago the junction (which was installed by WHR Ltd) had a signal box added. Ten years ago a combined FR/WHR Ltd team produced as workable signalling and safety system for PYM to operate as a full passenger junction.
    None of this is exactly "overnight".
    Thousands of enthusiasts have been made to wait for Russell and the NWNGR/WHR heritage train regularly to traverse the line for which it was built - and Baldwin 590 is on the way as well. So what exactly is the problem? JH

    Tim[/QUOTE]
     
  8. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    [/QUOTE]
    ....the awnser to your last question is as i've said before "a question of perspective"..........personally i regret having contributed towards the construction, i think somewhere the WHR/FR owe something to the WHHR on moral grounds.....but as i said we don't all think the same or have the same idea on fairness............hopefully with time things will get better.........
     
  9. goldfish

    goldfish Part of the furniture

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    The quoting has got a bit messy on those previous posts… I think it's trying to say this…

     
  10. meeee

    meeee Member

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    "Apart from the Pen-y-Mount to Traeth Mawr section, which WHR Ltd built (and funded) JH"

    They did indeed and there has been much argument about that in the past. The 1998 agreement said the WHR ltd should rebuild the line to Pont Croesor to the same standards as the rest of the line without competing for grant aid. In exchange they would get running rights over the whole completed line subject to various terms and conditions on both sides. Some say the WHR Ltd didn't hold up their end of the bargain but others say the FR didn't provide enough support so it was impossible for them to do so. Either way we are talking about 600 yards out of 25 miles. I also expect the terms and conditions include some of the technical issues mentioned earlier.

    "Actually, the FR IS a charity! JH"

    Actually the Festiniog Railway Company is not a charity. The Festiniog & Welsh Highland Railway Trust and the Festiniog Railway Society are both charities however their aims do not include supporting the The WHR ltd which is what i was alluding to.

    "Four years ago the WHR Ltd Heritage Train was successfully tested as far as Beddgelert, and passed for running"

    Yes it was and trains have been run using WHHR stock for WHHR members since then most recently using Gelert and Issac in 2013. These were all after normal services have finished. Not in the middle of a special event. What would be the point of doing so if the aim wasn't to allow WHHR stock to access the WHR in the long run though?

    "Ten years ago WHR Ltd offered the FR a payment per passenger (or per mile, or per train) to run just to Pont Croesor (which would hardly be a problem,
    FR services being so infrequent)."

    The frequency of the service isn't the problem, it is the fact that you would have to walk to Pen-y-Mount with the Porthmadog - Pont Croesor Staff from Harbour station or Pont Croesor in order to open the junction. Unless you know a safe way of working a staff and ticket section without the crew having to see the token it will remain that way. When ETS is brought in with an intermediate instrument at Pen-y-Mount that will make things a lot easier. The options for ETS installation are still being explored though. Not to mention raising the money to do so which of course will be largely done by the F&WHR.

    The difficulty of rescuing an air braked train has already been alluded to earlier on as well, as has the need for training crews or using a pilot man.

    "Nine years ago WHR Ltd offered to build a junction station platform on RhE at Pen-y-Mount (on land it owns), so that FR passengers could change trains there, and access the award-wining WHR Museum by rail."

    I believe there are concerns about proximity to the Cambrian crossing possible delays should a train miss its slot. Perhaps this is what the debate over the land mentioned earlier is about.

    "Three years ago the junction (which was installed by WHR Ltd) had a signal box added."

    A signal box paid for by the Welsh Highand Heritage Group and containing a ground frame donated by the F&WHR

    "Ten years ago a combined FR/WHR Ltd team produced as workable signalling and safety system for PYM to operate as a full passenger junction."

    They did indeed and the plan is to implement this eventually. But the FR S&T is a small group and have been busy with a large scale re-signalling of Harbour Station, rebuilding Pont Croesor level crossings after it was smashed to pieces, and now they are replacing life expired level crossing on the FR to name just a few of the many tasks that have taken priority. This is also being held up by the aforementioned ETS installation which is key to whole thing.

    "Thousands of enthusiasts have been made to wait for Russell and the NWNGR/WHR heritage train regularly to traverse the line for which it was built - and Baldwin 590 is on the way as well. So what exactly is the problem? JH"

    Of course Russell has already traversed some of the line. Perhaps the FR isn't interested in it for this event as it is mostly based around Dinas, an area it has run before. Or maybe the terms of the loan were not agreeable. Who knows?

    It should be noted that the FR can and does recreate WHR trains from the later years using it's own extensive fleet of heritage rolling stock. In fact you could say it owns more former WHR rolling stock than the WHHR.

    Like i said a million times before the problems aren't insurmountable but at this present moment frequent workings are not possible, and other priorities have held up progress. Perhaps if some of these "thousands of enthusiasts" would like to donate time and money towards getting the issues mentioned in this thread sorted it will happen quicker. I expect most will just complain on internet message boards about it being grossly unfair though.

    Tim
     
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  11. Guitar

    Guitar New Member

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    Even if the "thousands of enthusiasts" offered money and turned up to help, nothing would get done. You need to get representatives of all the groups together in a room on a regular basis so issues can be discussed.
    I think the enthusiasts, for the most part are happy to wait, and don't expect things to happen overnight. But there seems to be so many issues which could be solved by simply getting all the parties in one room and having a good chat.
    If the last special from the WHHR was in 2013 then that was 2 years ago. I can understand things not being a priority, but ignoring them for years is unneccessary.
     
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  12. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    ....that sounds very much like 'put up and shut up'.......which is not very respectful to those who are concerned.........
     
  13. meeee

    meeee Member

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    So you wouldn't agree that railway enthusiasts are often an impatient lot who don't always understand the complexities of what they are asking?

    I've pointed out plenty of actual physical factors that make regular running out of Pen-y-mount difficult at the moment.

    WHHR stock has been allowed on the WHR several times now but it was outside of normal services with a rescue engine available. Currently that is the only reasonable way for it to run. We don't know (apart from some third hand speculation on an unofficial website) why this particular offer was turned down, but there is nothing to suggest that Russell won't run on the WHR in the future. There are plenty of people on both sides including no doubt the management of both railways who want to see that.

    So i apologize if you find it disrespectful, but the reality is you will just have to wait and see. In the meantime positive contributions to both railways are more likely to make progress than finger pointing.

    Just for the record i'm a Festiniog volunteer who doesn't particularly care for the modern WHR. I just thought it might be helpful if people understood some of the obstacles in the way of making these things happen rather than purely relying on opinions and hearsay.

    Tim
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
  14. meeee

    meeee Member

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    They haven't been ignored. The last special was just before Gelert was withdrawn. So until Russell was finished and properly run in there wasn't a loco suitable. The water capacity of Gertrude is too small for the longer run and there was also no back up. It's only in the last few months that letting Russell loose has become a viable proposition hence the offer from the WHHR.

    Tim
     
  15. Nexuas

    Nexuas New Member

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    Not true, the coupling swing test train to Beddgelert crossed a standard RhE at Beddgelet and again at pont c on the return. No rescue loco was planned, there were very few people around on that cold December day, those of us that were at the WHHR were all on the train.
     
  16. 48DL

    48DL New Member

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    Any way, back to news...........
    Well a question really, has anyone taken a recent picture of No9? Barrie has put on his website that its nearing completion and being the nosey b*g**r that I am, I wondered how it is looking....
     
  17. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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  18. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    Still looks like a Library from a Coventry suburb I'm afraid...
     
  19. goldfish

    goldfish Part of the furniture

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    I still think it looks great, a real statement, eye-catching, proud and modern.

    It's great to restore old buildings, but railway architecture historically pushed boundaries a bit. It's good that a wholly new building carries that forward… not everything railway-related needs to look all chocolate box.

    Simon
     
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  20. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Doesn't do it for me. Personally I would say that a heritage railway building should reflect the history of the line that has been recreated.
     

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