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Is there such a thing as too many heritage railways?

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by zumonezumwhereinzummerzet, Nov 21, 2016.

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Do you believe that the heritage railway movement can support more new projects in the long-term?

  1. Yes - the number of projects is dictated by demand from the local communities

    12.7%
  2. No - additional projects are not sustainable due to a deteriorating volunteer base

    19.6%
  3. Possibly - it all depends on the circumstances of each project!

    61.8%
  4. No - the heritage sector is overly reliant on lottery hand-outs which may not always be available

    9.8%
  5. Yes - the Borders railway has demonstrated that some routes can be revived as 'real' commuter lines

    6.9%
  6. No - there is a limited pool of suitable locos and stock which will become uneconomic to maintain

    9.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    I've been told off for saying 'the wife' - being sexist.

    Seriously, the Cleobury Mortimer and Ditton Priors Light Railway would have been a lovely line to preserve. Too late now, I guess!

    John
     
  2. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    I think Steve might have had his tongue in cheek when he suggested that Pompey is a non-league club. Never been to Fratton Park, so I can't comment, but one of the joys of non-league ground-hopping is the variety. From the dilapidated to the ultra-modern. Yesterday I took in Hallam FC, the oldest surviving football ground in the world, first club match staged in 1860. Incredible end-to-end slope.
     
  3. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    Negotiate the deal I have, I can have as many railway visits as I like during the year as long as my wife gets two weeks somewhere warm with no railways, which usually means heading off to the Med and I don't object to that at all
     
  4. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    I did think that but ever since Pompey Cheated us out of a cup final appearance in 2008 I do take any chance I can of running them down! How in the name of all that's Holy did that ground get Premier League approval?! However as in any good NP thread we are starting to drift!
     
  5. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Member

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    It always made me laugh that for years that team east of Fareham had their training ground, well it wasnt actually theirs, nr Eastleigh with a Southampton postcode.
    One day that might be non league......now where is my Santa wish list
     
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  6. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    i grew up in Woking, just round the courner from Woking FC's ground, We used to regularry win the league but our ground was never concidered good enough for the leauge, yet i remember going to away matches in the cup to league ground that were smaller than at kingfield, by the time the ground was up to standard, we were not good enough anymore :(
     
  7. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Not a Southampton supporter, by any chance?
     
  8. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    God; worse than gricers with their pre-nationalisation favouritisms!

    PH
     
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  9. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Member

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    :):) ;)
     
  10. daddsie

    daddsie Guest

    Scummer
     
  11. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    As a youngster I supported Bradford (Park Avenue) FC, not to be confused with Bradford City. They fell on hard times, lost their place in the league in 1970, and were wound up 4 years later.

    In the 1980s the club was reformed, effectively as a "Preservation Society". All roles were undertaken by volunteers, and the players and manager were paid very little. This model was not effective, and the club struggled, so the club gradually became a rich man's plaything, and progressed up the pyramid on the back of the contributions of a series of wealthy benefactors. This model worked well enough until the financial crisis hit, and then the benefactors ran out of cash. We are now converting to a community club, and it remains to be seen whether this model will work.

    Just thought I'd mention this, as it has some parallels with the world of Railway Preservation.
     
  12. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Member

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    Better to be a scummer than a skate Mr Dad... :)
     
  13. At least you're managing the last bit, which Gretna didn't...
     
  14. M59137

    M59137 Member

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    The stronger lines are now doing just that: putting increased emphasis on the stock - this is taking the form of both greater rebuilds of Mark 1 stock to increase its quality and/or thorough restoration of more interesting/older stock that can be sold as vintage and add to the visitor's "product". I am involved with the North Norfolk and am very pleased to be part of a railway that is actively spending money on increasing the quality of its rolling stock, including the day-to-day stuff. Some serious cash is going into the mark 1's which are on the railway, and there is very little emphasis on obtaining new or replacement stock. The current strategy is all about improving the stock we already have as it gets more and more elderly.

    You are correct in the assumption that many railways' Mark 1 stock does far more miles than their most used loco.

    I personally think the deterioration of rolling stock is in some ways up there in the same category as bridge renewals and rail replacement. I believe it will eventually contribute to killing off the less sustainable lines who are on borrowed time with their structures, rail and rolling stock because they haven't got the turnover to salt away the 100,000's needed for such renewal. I notice that already, some railways are getting rid of moldy DMU's and coaches which were presentable in the 1990's, because they simply haven't kept on top of them. They celebrate the arrival of their "new coach" (Mk2 or similar) but how long before they in turn fall into the same category? Rolling stock is interesting as lines can simply swap items for progressively newer stuff whilst maintaining a degree of heritage (rather than sticking to a fixed point in time such as the 1960's). However once the rail or bridges are worn out then what then? Serious benefactors and grant funding required I reckon!
     
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  15. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    Ditto on the GCR but with the difference that they have also been planning for the future by taking on 'new' vehicles, and indeed some of them have been in a right old state requiring quite extensive rebuilds. For example see the 'before and after' photos of 1649 on VCT:
    http://www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org/se/CarriageInfo.asp?Ref=4757
    It's still some way from completion, internally at least - VCT is incorrect showing it as operational!

    I can't see many 'start up' lines taking on some of these wrecks, but if that is what is available then this problem itself makes starting up a new heritage railway all the more difficult.
     
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  16. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    Not sure how Joe Public sees it, but to my eyes a MkII is not really a steam-age vehicle. I know there was a brief overlap, and a few examples wore SR Green, but they don't look right behind steam, even if you paint them in a steam-age livery. And the internal ambience is wrong too.

    Not criticising, because they are better than nothing, and probably the last generation of carriages that can run behind steam.

    Visually, I think some of the 1st Generation DMU vehicles look better, as running on the Dartmouth line.
     
  17. John Stewart

    John Stewart Well-Known Member

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    They sold Hector to Derby; in my view the best forward we have ever had. He danced round opponents and never got injured or booked. Still lives next door to a mate of mine.
     
  18. nffcneil

    nffcneil New Member

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    I was unfortunate enough to be a teenage reporter on a local paper during at his testimonial do at the Festival Inn, Trowell. He was a smug, drunken oaf out to belittle. Henry Newton saw what was happening, stepped in and was a perfect gent.
     
  19. M59137

    M59137 Member

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    That looks like some fine work has gone into that. I should have perhaps mentioned that the NNR does not intend to substantially extend (in terms of new track) which obviously galvanizes the decision to (roughly) stick with the number of vehicles it already has.

    Of course an established railway that will one day double the length of line it has access to (such as GCR) would sensibly have a future rolling stock strategy in place that includes growth of the fleet.

    Out of interest, how many catering mk1's does the GCR now have? To an outsider looking in, there does seem to be a higher number than most other railways.

    Sent from my HTC Desire 620 using Tapatalk
     
  20. zumonezumwhereinzummerzet

    zumonezumwhereinzummerzet New Member

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    I wonder if any though has been given to new-build service rakes, with period appearance but modern internal facilities (such as accessibility, baby changing etc). The obvious choice would be to base new builds on MK1 design as they could then serve for many railways regardless of region. I know some people would say that with so much un-restored or derelict coaching stock still to tackle there is no need for additional vehicles - but I wonder whether the monetary and heritage cost of retro-fitting an aged MK1 with modern facilities is worthwhile when something custom built could be achieved. Obviously not all MK1's are the same, so it could be said that you'd save money by producing a bulk fleet of identical vehicles - but I'm guessing about 3-4 variants would suffice. Even if you substitute in Mk2's, they don't actually have the modern facilities that customers expect so it's not a great improvement and as somebody else has said, they don't look right with steam.
     

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