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Helston Railway - Facebook group

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Sidmouth, Oct 27, 2021.

  1. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    https://www.facebook.com/groups/125294888112742

    It seems sadly that the Helston Railway has challenging internal politics and a dominant GM who brokers no criticism
     
  2. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Oh crap, not another outbreak down West! Have the East Somerset or Avon Valley been infected yet?
     
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  3. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    Have the WSR been raising money by acting as Management Consultants at Helston:)?

    To be serious, it is very sad to hear of these tribulations but they are not uncommon in nascent groups, IIRC the North Norfolk was split in its earlier years. Small organisations need people with vision and determination if they are to succeed but sadly the people that possess those qualities aren't always endowed with people management skills as well......
     
  4. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Helston had the additional unwelcome cost of moving their centre of operations, following a sale of their former landlord's estate.

    I note a bid for 'Restore your Railway' funding has been submitted in regard of the Helston branch. Whether this is directly linked to the heritage line, I honestly don't know, but couldn't help noticing (a) the former station site in Helston (popn 11,178 in 2011) is gone and (b) the former mainline junction at Gwinear Road faced west, limiting the options for reinstated services.
     
  5. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    I would like to see someone with a great western engine take it to visit it all the small railways around devon and even wester that always miss out. Like Helston but also bicklegh railway centre for display then bere fererers, plym valley bugle, grate torrington. It would help all small railways that don’t do well get back after covid. Either a pannier or a prariy would do it
     
  6. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Bugle railway has been gone for about 30 years.
     
  7. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Who would pay for the transport costs? And the steaming fees? And any maintenance/repairs?
     
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  8. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    They will be campaning for it to make the money. There are lots of things that you wouldn’t expect to make monies but they do like the southworld engine as it’s never going to have any track to run on much but would cost millions to make.
     
  9. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    The latter circumstance hasn't killed the St Ives branch.
     
  10. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    Limited population in the area might kill it though. Sit down and think about who might want to use it and you end up with the likelihood of a handful per day, and things don't get done nowadays for the benefit of a handful!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2021
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  11. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Who is "they" who will be campaigning (I assume that is what you meant)?
    If I was a loco owner and you came to me with such a proposal, I would be asking these questions and I'd want firm answers before allowing my loco to go on a tour of Devon, not just a promise of some campaigning that might or might not bring in the required money.
    As for Southwold - the loco has not cost "millions" and they are currently trying to expand their track. The loco could also run in the IoM or in Ireland or at Crowle Peatland.
     
  12. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    No. But the fact that the St Ives branch is an essential park & ride service for a town where you can't park in season may be the more important comparison point. It's a while since I was in Cornwall, and I've not been to Helston, but I don't remember any of the other tourist hotspots being anything like as overcrowded as St Ives.
     
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  13. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member

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    The best way to 'campaign' would be to simply send them some money. . . .:D
     
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  14. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum Member

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    St Ives line is 4m16ch
    Add in serving Carbis Bay & Lelant, & there's quite a user base for a short line.

    Helston line was 8m67ch, "As a purely local line running through difficult terrain, it was heavily curved and graded. Although Helston is an important town, most of the intermediate area was dedicated to agriculture, with little population, and the terminus at Helston was some distance from the seaside."
    The wiki article has a good history of the line https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helston_Railway
     
  15. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The glib response has to be the observation that if the St.Ives branch survived Beeching, it can survive just about anything!

    Looking at the potential market for the Helston line as part of the big railway (and I don't know if that's the intention of the bid), I honestly just don't see it. Helston was always one of those marginal branches which, from a financial viewpoint, only ever made any sort of sense when goods traffic came into the equation. AFAIK, there's no significant proposal for housing developments locally and I suspect anyone even mentioning such a project would be driven east over the Tamar on the points of pitchforks.

    If the fund application is in respect of heritage operation, that of course is an entirely different matter.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2021
  16. brennan

    brennan New Member

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    "It is understood that the Helston Railway will not be running any services over the Christmas period"

    - as displayed on the Cornwall Railway Society website. The last news update on the Helston Railway website was on the 25th of Sept. Quite a few items are out of date. It seems odd to miss the chance of making a few pounds at Xmas, I believe that pre-Covid, their Santa trains were well-filled.
     
  17. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    upload_2021-11-13_14-56-29.png

    With cases remaining high and the NHS at breaking point , the risk remains we may be back under restrictions come the festive season . It seems Helston feels that for a small railway the risk is too great
     
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  18. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    Can't blame them. Volunteers aren't necessarily local to the area and its hardly an area known for being cosmopolitan and isn't exactly thriving in the hospitals with specialist units department. Last thing they want is being the source of an outbreak or passing it to the local community.
     
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  19. brennan

    brennan New Member

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    I wonder if there are any other heritage railways not opening at Xmas for this reason?
     
  20. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    Strathspey made the decision not to for a lot of the reasons mentioned. But they are running a limited mince pie service in the run up to Christmas.
     

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