Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by martin1656, Apr 10, 2017.
Some nails being hit firmly on heads in this post.
No need to defend the IoWSR to me. IMO they've taken the steps needed to deal with the levels of traffic they attract these days. A very pragmatic approach.
I was simply using the IoWSR approach to illustrate this and draw a parallel with what the KESR and other lines have done/are doing to counter Paul's criticism.
Some pure nostalgia, here is a historically interesting account of an ARPS meeting in the GWR railcar (W20W) at Tenterden in 1966. After the meeting they were given a trip to Robertsbridge behind a Terrier, where they saw the H-class tank in storage and the P-class still in industrial service.
The railcar has been under slow but steady restoration for many years, A huge amount has been done but I believe they need about £50k to finish the job. Money can be sent here:
I recall it being used as hauled stock back in the 70s. Storming run up Tenterden Bank behind Sutton. Rode in the railcar and stood by an open door to do sound recording. Those were the days.
Oh dear, personal abuse time again!
Not in the slightest, simply an explanation of your oft taken stance.
Admit it Paul, every railway other than your beloved IoWSR and WLLR seems to come in for criticism for running too big a loco, trains with loos, buffets etc., too many Mk.1s, have unwarranted extensions, not portraying the image of the country branch line they once were etc. An opinion to which you are entitled but don't expect everyone to agree with you nor point out the flaws in your argument as they see them.
I expect a bit of civility though and get it from most who take an opposing view to mine. It comes down to "play the ball and not the player". There are several railways I admire and others I think are in danger of "losing it"
To my mind the only line which comes anywhere close to a consistent representation of its own bygone age is the MSLR, and even there the locos are of necessity all wrong. Other lines - even those which are very very good at it such as the WLLR, Talyllyn, Bluebell, GCR, Ffestiniog, and IoWSR - must on a day to day basis bow to modern commercial and operational needs. The trick lies in being able to do both, and for my money the KESR can and does.
And then of course there are other lines which are very good at being what they never were. The Tanfield is probably the Edwardian light railway par excellence, but pre-preservation it was nothing of the kind. The NYMR is a big railway in every sense, with big engines hauling long trains, and it does that very well, but the reality of daily operation between Malton and Whitby prior to closure would at various times have been a G5, Fairburn tank, or Class 40 on two or three Gresley suburbans, and not an A4 on seven gleaming teak corridor coaches or a Black 5 on a long rake of maroon Mk.1s.
This shows how subjective it all is. The T.R. and F.R. have their original vehicles and it is not too difficult to get the chance to ride in them The W&LLR has none of its original coaching stock but has expensively re-created replicas which operate on advertised days. In the case of the IOWSR every single item of coaching stock is "original" so there is no need to be "able to do both". The Bluebell is essentially a Mk1 line with the more interesting stuff less in evidence, A bit too "wanna be main line" for me but it is likely to be able to bear this IMHO better than the KESR.
Me, I'm just thankful for what we've got. I don't mind industrials or class 8 locos dragging mk.1's along a single track at low speed. As for extensions I'm all for them, as well. Heritage railways have always got to have new goals to drive them on and if an extension is what they want, so be it. When it comes to finances, there's not a single heritage railway that would stand up to close scrutiny by an economist. Those few that have failed have been generally either impossible or led by people with no knowledge of what they are doing.
Well think of it this way Phil, say the railways you admire end up in financial trouble due to sticking to their original image too much, and the ones you state are in danger of 'losing it' are not due to changing and adapting to the times, making themselves more comercially viable, what would you say then? I think the issue people are taking with your comments is they seem to give the impression that you don't much believe in compromise, that it either has to stick fast to it's heritage roots, or make itself as commercially adaptive and economical as possible. The KESR may have too big a sized engines or inauthentic 'mainline' Mk.1 carriages, but yet they still possess their same small locos and vintage four/six wheelers, and those will not be lessened in their value in the railway in any way.
Really the KESR and the Bluebell should be appluaded for instead of picking one side of how to run a heritage railway, be it super authentic or firmly commercial, they've found a way to utilise the best of both worlds! They have their more authentic and smaller engines and older carriages present still, and yet also make use of larger and newer rollingstock when necessary. It's not the end of the world if they want do both, offer the authentic side, yet meet the modern needs of the everyday tourist commercially wise. Times are changing, and for the railway preservation movement to survive and thrive even with the changes, if we can balance both commercial needs yet retain the heritage roots, is this not what we all want? What you want Paul?
Nothing's perfect, but by compromising we may just get pretty darn close to ALL our ideal outcomes. Perhaps even your's Paul, if they are realistically possible to achieve for everyone that is.
And here we reach perhaps the biggest beef people tend to have on your comments, for how can any railway meet your standards of 'not losing it', their authentic historical image, if their is little for them to do more about it given the circumstances? It's all fine and dandy being at awe of the TR, FR and IOWSR's authenticity, but few railways can realistically meet that same level, and so when you critique about those that do not, how can that possibly be fair?
Perhaps if you took these factors more into account, folks such as yourself could ease off such critiques of authenticity against other certain railways that are doing the best with what they got, and taking into account of these facts appreciate them all more then before.
Ooh careful now Hitch... to speak against the high standing of the Bluebell and it's authentic heritage image, is to insight the wrath of a great many enthusiasts against one who'd dare to speak so blasphemously against the adored Bluebell line...!
What a long post! I think the kernel is near the end in the word "blasphemously". "Blasphemy" is not a concept I can recognise although I appreciate that people are not guaranteed to agree with a point of view that can be iconoclastic. Thank you for your thoughts though.
Heh, well what can I say, I have a lot to say on certain topics at times.
But no problem Paul, glad to be able to talk civilly about such matters, for though we may not be in agreement on certain topics I do respect your opinions. You bring a pragmatic and realistic viewpoint to topics that, at times, can get overly rose tinted and 'wouldn't it be nice' in the comments.
I myself prefer to be the middle of the road, optimistic yet still be realistic when it calls for it.
All preserved lines have the same objective...survival. My own preserved ex - GWR branch line. (Severn Valley) should run with Panniers, Prairies and two or three GWR coaches to be "authentic" - every two hours or so.
Reality: Last Saturday week, 7802, "Bradley Manor," 8 Mk1s + Observation Saloon, (wedding party), 304 tons, 1015 hrs departure from Kidderminster, "rammed," according to the guard.
It costs a lot of money to keep our 16 - mile branch line open and in safe condition, and we need a lot of passengers turning up to keep paying the bills, plus large numbers of volunteers, without whom we would crash within days.
The KESR has a different set of the same problems and must solve them the best way they can.
The very best of luck to them.
Latest news and videos from the Saturday loco gang:
A strange railcar on the K&ESR in 1976. Col. Stephens would have loved it and there's a good shot at the end of oou locos stored at Rolvenden. BBC report presented by the inspiration for Alan Partridge.
Visiting next Thursday for my first visit since August 2007, does anybody know what time the light loco move leaves Rolvenden/arrives at Tenterden?
Is it possible to view anything at Rolvenden? Can you look in the sheds/yard? I can't remember much from the last time.
The light loco leaves Rolvenden at about 0940, subject to the usual caveats. There is a viewing gallery, from which you can see the yard. The sheds are closed to the public, but the doors are sometimes open, so a view in from the gallery is possible.
Any running dates for carriage 353? Also is there a supplement for riding in it and if so how much is it? Thanks in advance.
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