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GCR Ending of Lineside Passes, ex-Bridge that Gap: Great Central Railway News

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by LMarsh1987, Nov 26, 2018.

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  1. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    You are right but I used to manage using annual leave but obviously it was a bit limiting. I do tend to forget what it was like, for the past 11 years I’ve been in the best job I’ve ever had with great holiday entitlement, 365 days a year. When it comes to cost I suppose it depends on how keen you are or how deep your pocket is
     
  2. bantam61668

    bantam61668 New Member

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    Although there is undoubtedly some overlap I think the lineside pass and charter markets are different. I do take part in the odd charter, mostly evening or weekend ones. Whilst I enjoy the odd couple of hours at the lineside on my local railway (and the other half doesn’t mind me disappearing for a few hours) I do sometimes find charters a bit of an endurance test to be honest. I doubt that I’m alone in this way of thinking, or maybe I’m just odd
     
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  3. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Charters are not for everyone that's for sure.
     
  4. 7P6F

    7P6F Member

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    Back in the mid 90's when the GCR were laying double track it was proposed by the Railway that there would be no lineside access for LPP holders when both tracks were in use. This caused a similar stir with letters to 'Main Line' and the Railway. I have unearthed my own correspondence to PLC Chairman, Graham Oliver. I made the point that as I was currently purchasing shares (1992 prospectus) for the purpose of helping fund the double track and as my interest was purely photography it meant I was investing money for the purposes of excluding myself from the lineside which I felt was untenable.

    An article in 'Main Line' No. 89 by PLC Director John East then clarified the issue. The GCR had changed the system and "It will now be possible to allow access to most of the double track section." It meant that not unreasonably Swithland Viaduct and Loughborough yard was out of bounds as is the case to date.

    Do I bother to buy more shares, do I continue to donate which includes two substantial four figure cheques in the last 12 months for the crossing the canal appeal? And more importantly what do I do with my LW&T although I already know it will now change.

    I don't expect the GCR to relent this time but it must realise how it can alienate its supporters. However there is a myriad of locomotive restorations to support and I am a massive new build fan so opportunities to support our movement of course remain.

    One final point. Railways such as the GWSR and the WSR still have dozens of excellent photographic opportunities without need of a pass. Unfortunately the GCR have just one such excellent vantage point at Kinchley lane and even that is getting overgrown.
     
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  5. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I'm sure you're probably right on that. But I don't think ORR are going to care very much about how many alternative public spots there are on individual railways before asking for lineside access to be restricted. If it's deemed too dangerous on the GWSR and the WSR, it's dangerous on the GCR and everywhere else as well.
     
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  6. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    I always understood that the HSE considers that the primary duty of care was on the individual not to place themselves in a position where harm may occur and then on the organisation to make the area as safe as reasonably practicable. After all you can have all the signs in the world and exclusion areas etc. but that doesn't stop some idiots climbing an embankment in a restricted access area.

    Edit: In catching up I see many have got there before me. :(
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  7. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    In fairness the annual pass allows access to photograph whatever is operational whilst the charter is geared to one specific locomotive which is operated at locations chosen by the organisers in conjunction with the host railway. As a person with a lineside pass for the KWVR I use this about 3 - 4 times per year but - before recent health problems - I sampled 5 - 6 charters per year and have to say that the latter were ones which I chose to be part of hence willing to pay the appropriate costs. It may be a truism but the charges made will depend on what the market will bear - and the participants of charters know that the income will be used for a specific purpose rather than pay for lineside passes where the income becomes part of the railway's general income.
     
  8. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    A few years ago I had to shout at a father who was letting his daughters play on the Barrow crossing at Arley one Summer's evening he told his daughters not to listen to me as 'there's no trains til tomorrow bab' right on que 7714 came storming round the corner whistling furiously light engine to Bridgnorth I then got a barrage of abuse about there not being any notices up about 'why that train came through far to fast and when the railways supposed to be closed' He didn't understand that not all trains run to the public timetable.
     
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  9. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Yes, linesiders are more trouble than they are worth. When someone starts spouting bits of law, it is likely that backs will be put up.
     
  10. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b Member Friend

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    Well, funny you should say that. One of the issues bought up on the Weymouth tramway when a risk assesment was done.
    Small children might walk or fall under the coaches as the train passed.
    Yet blooming great artics doing 20 + mph did not seem to be a risk, or a contained one at least!
     
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  11. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Well-Known Member

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    No mention of the revoking of lineside passes in their mainline magazine which landed today, so I doubt we will get an official statement from the GCR. I see the usual photographic contributors have had their material published. I think it's a safe bet their lineside pass will be safe, regardless of age and mobility !
     
  12. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    To be fair it may have been announced after the copy date had passed.
     
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  13. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Well-Known Member

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    Granted, but I reckon the decision was made a while ago perhaps before going to print.
     
  14. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    What's done is done. I'll miss the privilege, but no amount of discussion is going to change it I fear. Life goes on...
     
  15. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Given the lead times, I’d be surprised.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. The Black Hat

    The Black Hat Member

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    Just coming in with some of my thoughts on this as have been rather busy lately.

    Firstly, I can’t help but think that this is in relation to a number of other issues that are going on in the railway scene at the moment. If the HSE and RAIB are looking into how people go lineside at somewhere like Tyne Yard and then the company gets fined for them managing to get access to somewhere restricted then I can see this having a major effect on the way that preserved companies allow access. Personally, I think this was one of the reasons why this has come about, but also some railways might have been more lax in the way that this was always maintained and enforced.

    Yes lineside allows excellent vantage points, but there is no universal system with a set standard. I don’t wish to point out the obvious but many of those there were a lot older than me (35 at time of writing this) and with things such as bags, camera gear and tripods it’s a lot of equipment to carry around. I think fitness and ability to be safely around the railway is noticeable as I had seen some people perhaps less sturdy on their feet when I was lineside at the GCR. A significant majority of those there were all perfectly fine, but it’s a factor to consider.

    Also with no universal system across the preservation sector, theres no set standard on sighting and acknowledgement of trains or real requirement on what to wear and appropriate footwear. Every time I saw an engine I followed this in full, a hand was raised quite clearly and always waited for acknowledgement from the crew, but some people I saw never did it clearly. There were sometimes I missed or rushed the photo. The rules where there, as were the guidelines but sometimes some people just knew they were ok and did not heed advice to signal to the crew their location.

    I always took strong walking boots, but some were wearing things that could easily lead to a trip or fall. Furthermore, climbing embankments or accessing areas often meant going somewhere that again was no simple easy access. In light of an accident the railway is at fault, as it’s on their property. Were they maintaining access, routes, or sites to allow such a practice.

    To the railways credit, they did police the system. People were asked for uptodate passes and anyone flouting the guidelines. I can’t help but think that a more robust system could not be adopted instead to allow such a system to continue, perhaps even with on-site training delivered from the GCR, a cap on numbers meaning it costs more to go lineside and signed risk assesments and a document from every holder accepting personal responsibility of their actions rather than risk blaming the railway or its operating company.

    However, in light of the issues facing the railway and the sector I can see why it will be discontinued and what I expect now is for other railways to go the same way.
     
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  17. sjwebb90

    sjwebb90 New Member

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    I was chatting to some official on the GWR Heritage line, who incidently have also withdrawn lineside permits, mainly down to insurance and photographer in breach of lineside protocol. One guy was caught walking out of the Greet Tunnel which is out of bounds, along with others infringements by other lensmen. He reckons it is also more hassle than it is worth to administrate and to compliance monitor.
    He also said that the incident referred to in the RIAB report dated 2018 probably opened up the can of worms, once they started looking at the goings on within the heritage sector, as a whole.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/...gh-a-missing-toilet-floor-south-devon-railway.
    http://orr.gov.uk/news-and-media/pr...-after-boy-falls-through-missing-toilet-floor

    Having been a responsible lineside GCR photgrapher for a number of seasons, will certainly miss the locations of choice.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/66957213@N00/45164457861/in/photostream/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/66957213@N00/25343059419/in/dateposted/

    Although there is always Kinchley Lane to fall back on...LOL!
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/66957213@N00/30996096967/in/photostream/
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
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  18. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    I am afraid that risks just can't be taken, or the elfansafety taleban will try to stop everything. Giving up lineside access for photographers is just a price that has to be paid to appease the taleban, and to be fair some photters haven't done their hobby any favours by their conduct.

    It isn't just safety - environmental/ climate change fanatics may be a threat to steam - all that nasty coal. A sense of proportion is not always to be found with these people. Life isn't likely to get any easier.
     
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  19. sonicboom

    sonicboom New Member

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    I'd very much agree with this point. I suspect this incident and subsequent report will open a notable area of interest for the HSE which every operational preserved railway should be considering and examining to highlight any potential lessons which could be learnt.
     
  20. std tank

    std tank Member

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    I bet they all drive cars.
     
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