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GWSR - Cheltenham Spa and possible extensions

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by JMJR1000, May 11, 2012.

  1. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Actually of all the issues that abound ownership isn't actually a major one. If we wanted it, we could buy it, along with all the dodgy bridges the current owner will be delighted to see the back of!
     
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  2. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Who owns it? if its the cycling people stustrans , you will have problems, as they in the past have when asked to give up former railway land have asked for very inflated prices, bearing no resemblance of the actual land value, bearing in mind they were given the land.
     
  3. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I believe it is indeed Sustrans, and I am aware that some have found them difficult to deal with, but in this situation I don't think it would be a significant barrier for reasons stated earlier.
     
  4. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I don’t know, I remember them attempting to negotiate a deal with the GWSR where the railway could have access to the track bed in exchange for a cycle path alongside the railway between Bishop’s Cleeve and Cheltenham. The thing was they were laying down their demands and it turned out they didn’t even own the track bed at the time! Hopefully they’ve changed since then and wouldn’t be pushing for a revival of that scheme.
     
  5. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum New Member

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    Which is why you have to work through all of the potentials & possibilities, & then all of the costs. Sometimes you do have to start with a blank piece of paper & no pre-conceived ideas.

    What value do you place on having an earlier & later service at Broadway?
    What value is there on having an approx 1hour round trip from Broadway without changing trains?
    What value is there to a mainline connection?
    etc etc etc
    What are the maintenance costs of 5miles of track, & bridges?
    What are the costs to run a train the additional 10miles?


    I haven't said that it must be done, or that it will be the best ever thing to do, or that it will produce massive profits.
    Please, go & read all my posts in this thread, a thread about 'gwsr & possible extensions'


    They had to get to Winchcombe before they could build a new station, & have a location for C&W
    They had to get to CRC before they could run the race day services, which may not have materialised
    They had to lay 5miles of track to get to Broadway, & build a completely new station


    We also have to remember that WIBN is what has paid for the infrastructure, & the locos, & all the nice touches, that actually bring the customers in.
     
  6. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Yes I do remember hearing that story, or a variation thereof where they asked the council thinking it was the council that owned it, to be quite surprised to find out we existed!
     
  7. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum New Member

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    Sustrans might well find themselves at a point where they just want rid of it. They can't get an off-road connection to it from the Stratford end, nor the Broadway end.
    There's also no money for those sort of projects, it's all going to urban cycling.
     
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  8. huochemi

    huochemi Member Friend

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    Thanks, I was puzzling why split shifts were not seen to be an issue.
     
  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Quite happy with the no pre-conceived ideas, but that doesn't mean throwing out reality with it! :) As I said, we do place a high value on having earlier and later services at Broadway. That is something we are already addressing and Honeybourne does not help in that regard - it's about the same distance away from Broadway as Toddington is.

    A shorter round trip from Broadway? Well, based on the few passenger figures I'm aware of, and I don't have the full picture, I'm not sure it's a massive priority. The surprise last year was the number of people wanting Toddington-Broadway return tickets, not the other way round. But in any case, you can already do shorter round trips from Broadway either to Toddington or Winchcombe, depending on whether its a 2 or 3 train timetable you can cross straight over or have a half hour wait to look round the station/have a cuppa and cake at either station.

    Mainline connection value? I believe @Jamessquared has previously suggested that, in order of cost benefit, ballast trains come in highest (money saved in delivery presumably), then incoming charter trains, and then any extra revenue from getting in guest locos that don't do lorries. My only comment on those is regards charters; remember that Cheltenham races is only big for 1 week of the year, and we already do our own stuff which we're still expanding. We ran a third train on Gold Cup day for the first time this year, which resulted in some interesting shunting procedures to deal with 2 8 coach trains and 1 7 coach train plus 3 locos all at Cheltenham Racecourse at the same time. On a single line token worked 25mph line there's only so many trains going to Cheltenham we can deal with.

    Maintenance costs - don't forget the drainage as well which won't have been touched for 70 odd ears in all likelihood. Given our recent experiences with the road-over-rail bridges at Swindon Road and Stanton Road I think we'd be nervous about accepting any liability for 5 more in similar or worse condition, which may be a precondition of sale of land.

    Costs to run an additional 10 miles - an extra train in use every single day we run in all likelihood. Our current "busy" 3-train timetable would probably have to serve as the mid-week/shoulder season timetable stretched over 5 more miles, with busier timetables and more trains at busier times to maintain any kind of reasonable service frequency.
     
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  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    We did try "relief" crews last year, people who turned up for a few hours to give the main crew some down-time mid-day but it didn't really work.
     
  11. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    I agree, you do need to think through all of those options and possibilities. But I notice that you position extensions to Winchcombe and CRC as being required to deliver facilities - surely the purpose of the extension was to reopen the railway, and the associated facilities followed?

    The arguments are interesting and, as an outsider, I can observe with some detachment. But seeing just how hard railways have to work to be able to extend, I can't help but wonder why you would bother without very powerful emotional and commercial reasons combining to make a practical case. I simply can't quite see it for Honeybourne - it feels a bit like Pickering - Rillington, a seeming no brainer which on investigation evaporates into more and more of a distraction for a preserved railway.
     
  12. jnc

    jnc Member

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    I think the current plan is to house them, and C+M, in the building which was just purchased on the edge of Winchcombe yard?

    But your point about the optimal location for the carriage shed depending on the desired service pattern is a good one; lots of things (e.g. C+W repair), it doesn't matter that much where on the line they are, but carriage storage...

    Noel
     
  13. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Possible advantages and disadvantages of having a main line connection,
    Ballast is cheaper to order by bulk train load and dropped and returned empty, Modern Track machines can be brought in resulting in a better pw that needs less work short term,
    Loco hire, You can hire in visiting engines via the link, and if one is mainline registered, that can be used to haul others that might not be but have been examined as ok to move on NR so possibly cheaper than road haulage if a convoy of engines is available.
    Possible work from visiting tours off main line, using Broadway as end destination and Extra race day specials, that may be doubled up as Broadway excursions for those not wishing to have a day at the races, that will mean access charges , but will also mean stabling at Broadway
    disadvantages, depending on what end the link is, impact on how you accommodate it, and of course the cost of access charges, if from the Cheltenham end, it can only be used as an entry to the railway, so of no advantage, to passenger numbers but only for incoming charters from the Honeybourne end, theres the land to buy, and repair drainage, track to buy and lay, so a lot of outlay, far more than half a mile of track and of course signalling the junction what Honeybourne does give is an cross platform connection, ideally in an ideal world you would have the connection at Cheltenham, and Honeybourne, but that's WIBN on steroids, but how many years away is Honeybourne? 5-10-15 ? could the diversion on a new formation with the junction become a reality before that?
     
  14. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I think it's all still a bit fluid regarding Cooke's place. I think we can be pretty certain that Admin will be vacating their portacabins at Toddington to take up the office space for a start, those containers have been on their last legs for a while. I get the sense that the rest of the space is rather being used to rehouse whichever department is displaced by someone's grand scheme (and I'm as guilty as any!!). I don't think we should make any decisions about permanent usage beyond admin getting the offices until we've had a much broader look at what we want to achieve at Winchcombe regarding accommodation for S+T, C+M, (which I'm glad you mentioned - they're still in temporary accommodation - a ramshackle old workshop - too) carriage shed, P'way, turntable, more car parking, siding layout etc. all at once before deciding who goes where to make best use of space. Bearing in mind that most of the sidings at Winchcombe are in desperate need of relaying, (most of it was only just classed as siding quality when it was first laid down 30 odd years ago) we might as well have a fresh look at different track layouts depending on what we want to do as well.

    I'd quite like to see the above as our next "big appeal". The turntable would be a headline feature along with a carriage shed, which more and more people seem happier to help pay for, and everything else there could ride the same wave. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself now...! :)
     
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  15. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Just on that point, we've got at least 5, probably 10 years' worth of consolidation and development along our existing line before we even need to contemplate deciding what we want to do next. In 10 years time who knows what the state of mainline steam will be for a start, maybe horse-racing could be the new foxhunting by then and become less socially acceptable, or maybe NWR will have rebuilt Honeybourne to Stratford-Upon-Avon and a flourishing Vintage Trains are interesting in working with us to close the gap and run mainline steam from Birmingham-Stratford-Broadway-Cheltenham!!!
     
  16. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum New Member

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    The C&W facilities were needed, they're at Winchcombe because that was where the railway extended to first, & their was a building/site available.
    If there hadn't been a viaduct to deal with, maybe they would have gone north from Toddington to Broadway first? Maybe they extended to Winchcombe first because there was a suitable site available?

    It's one of those projects to keep on the back burner, you never know what might happen in the next decade that completely changes the sums;
    does the trackbed become available very cheaply
    mainline service at Honeybourne is increased in frequency
    the council take on the road overbridges
    greater reduction in car ownership
     
  17. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I think @35B 's point though was that when we were just 700yds of track at Toddington we had to extend somewhere regardless of potential facilities, just to become a viable railway. we're not in that position now, we are a viable railway as we are, so further extension hinge a lot more on what's at the end of the rainbow with the extra distance positively a hindrance at this point, whereas 35 years ago it was the opposite.

    Going north was an option and I understand there was some heated debate! But folk were nervous about going over the viaduct for sure, the condition of it was largely unknown. I know we did own the goods shed at Broadway until relatively recently but I don't know how much more of the land we did/could have owned there compared to Winchcombe yard.

    Oh absolutely, and despite my scepticism that unless circumstances beyond the railway significantly change there's no case for Honeybourne I'd still protest passionately against any permanent obstruction along the formation.
     
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  18. Greenway

    Greenway Well-Known Member

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    An interesting debate but it seems to be something that can only happen in the future - a future which I believe is one of uncertainty. Seen with pst history and 2019/20 eyes everything is possible - given time and large amounts of money.
    Alex mentions people attitudes at a future date and I am sure that heritage railways will be focussed along with everything else where air quality is concerned and 'green' agendas are concerned. Honeybourne to Stratford-upon-Avon could be a reality with a change of government of course, but then that might mean the whole line to Cheltenham from Birmingham being nationalized.
    As they say, be careful for what you wish for. ;)
     
  19. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    If that's the case, then that would put quite a few heritage railways in danger of re nationalisation
    A Mutual link in with the likes of VT though I can see might be a likily outcome, as steam specials running Birmingham to the tourist hot spot of Broadway I can see would be very marketable and of course it is another destination of course as the GWR does not have a turntable installed yet, it would need diesel haulage back on the mainline until it reaches a point where a reversal can be made
     
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  20. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Bear in mind that a VT hook up may only make sense if someone else builds Stratford to Honeybourne before we build Broadway to Honeybourne! A turntable is in the offing at Winchcombe, but I think worrying about the finer details of such an operation now is not just putting the cart before the horse, but doing so before we've invented the wheel or domesticated the horse!! ;)
     

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