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Heritage Railways near death experience, back from the brink

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Robin Coombes, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. Robin Coombes

    Robin Coombes New Member

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    Seeking help please, I am current writing up my PhD on the sustainability of heritage railways while I have a list of all closed heritage railways, what I am not sure is, if I have a full list of close call or near-death experiences in which the railway came close to failure but has since recovered, the most recent example being the West Somerset's voluntary closure and reopening. Can you please recall any heritage railways that in your opinion has came close to closure or was temporary closed but was brought back from the brink.

    Ideally with date and cause of the problem and how recovered.

    Thanks in advance

    Robin
     
  2. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    East Somerset Railway
     
  3. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Swanage and Mid Hants late 80's early nineties?
     
  4. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    The NYMR a couple of times over the years.
    Seems secure at the moment though.
     
  5. Robin

    Robin Member

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    The Severn Valley could potentially have folded after the 2007 storm damage. The repair cost was almost 4 times the insurance cover, but the shortfall was funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Advantage West Midlands, the Heritage Lottery Fund and many other generous individuals and groups.

    https://www.svrwiki.com/2007_Storm_Damage

    A similar situation happened with the GWSR and Chicken Curve a few years later.
     
  6. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    You might like to take a look at"memoirs of a Railway Volunteer, parts 3 and 4 in Bullhead Memories.
     
    48624 likes this.
  7. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant New Member

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    Chasewaters various ups, downs,a further downs and ups are available online.
     
  8. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Teifi Valley .... now there's a case study and a half!
     
  9. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Fairbourne Railway sailed close to the wind I recall, Wiki suggests it was in the early 1990s https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairbourne_Railway. I seem to recall proposals to re-gauge the line during this period but I can't recall details.

    Patrick
     
  10. D7076

    D7076 Member

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    Very recently possibility of Llangollen.
    Telford (not financial) a few years ago?
    Currently Weardale and Dartmoor
    Wensleydale pre Aysgarth sale esp after landslip?
    Colne Valley when up for sale
     
  11. garth manor

    garth manor Member

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  12. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    I think the Great Central was close in 1976/7 when BR wanted about £3000 per month to retain the track and again in 2000(?) when David Clarke died as he had guaranteed the overdraft facility.
     
  13. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    I'd second Bowes. Still fighting back.
     
  14. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Given the challenges faced by preserved railways, and the issues that arise from time to time, is there any chance of the thesis, once complete, being more widely available?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    Peak Rail?
    Dart Valley?

    Might be easier to compile a list of railways that have never been in trouble!
     
  16. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Indeed, I gather that most have come close to going belly up at some stage
     
  17. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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    The IOWSR in the early to mid 1990s was in great difficulties due to the struggles to open the extension to Smallbrook.
     
  18. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    KESR 1999/2000. Large sums were being received, including a Millennium Commission grant, and spent on the Bodiam extension. Spending somehow got out of control, the railway found itself with large debts and had to take a large bank loan and launch a member appeal at short notice just at the moment the extension was about to open.
    It is also a matter of public record that the (volunteer) finance director was convicted and fined for defrauding the railway during this period although the amount involved was a small proportion of the railway’s debts.
     
  19. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    I also recall that the GCR was posting large losses year after year. Don't know how this was resolved.
     
  20. myford

    myford New Member

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    Sittingbourne and Kemsley came very close about 10 years ago. Something to do with concrete viaduct issues?
     

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