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Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by DisusedBranch, Oct 3, 2011.

    I recently paid a visit to the L&HR for the first time and was impressed that, unlike so many other preserved lines, it doesn't have the usual 'scrapyard' area of a load of vehicles that will never seriously turn a wheel again.

    There are a few bits and pieces tucked almost out of sight at the far end of the tunnel at the south end of Haverthwaite station, but I didn't see any lines of rotting locos, demic former departmental carriages and wagons that have been bought 'just in case'. I understand that people have the desire to buy stock 'while they still can', no matter how derelict, but it was a refreshing change not to be presented with the eyesore of the traditional preserved railway scrapyard.

    On top of that, the train was clean, the loco (one of the Fairburns) was clean and the staff smart and courteous.

    Brcause of its location, I think the L&HR has to straddle a difficult line between being a recreation of 'railways of the past' and being the kind of generic, slick and modern tourist attraction (i.e. the punters neither know nor care much about things that the railway enthusiast will be hyper-critical about) that coachloads of pensioners and kids use largely as a prelude to getting on the boat trip up Windermere.

    With no realistic scope for expansion, the railway seems to know the best way to maximise its revenue from the few miles it has and, from what I saw, it does that very well. Damned good scones and jam, too :thumb:
     
  1. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    It's a pity the plan from a few years ago to recreate the lakeside station was rejected - it would have made a superb terminus, and possibly brought in some additional revenue as I think the plan was to lease out parts of the building to craft retailers .


    Keith
     
  2. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    The lack of 'just in case' stock may be down to the more commercial slant taken by the management rather than the usual volunteer lead operations elsewhere?
     
  3. Very possibly - and to the casual punter (I have one foot in each camp marked 'enthusiast' and 'normal') I think it presents a better image than passing a load of rusting and woodworm-ridden basket cases.
     
    Robert Heath No.6 likes this.
  4. Stu in Torbay

    Stu in Torbay New Member

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    That's no way to talk about railway enthusiasts of a certain age gathered on the end of the platform!!!
     
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  5. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    didnt they chuck out a whole pile of vehicles a year or two ago?
     
  6. ovbulleid

    ovbulleid New Member

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    What they chucked out was the Furness Railway Trust, including FR20, their austerity and diesel shunter, and their collection of historic vehicles (varying from carriage bodies to operational stock) which could be best described as cheeky (and worst described as many things) since it was the Furness Railway Trust who were instrumental in preserving the branch. So the removal of the pile of vehicles that had been collected over many years was effectively the removal of the last vestiges of a volunteer railway that cared about its history.
     
  7. pennysteam

    pennysteam New Member

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    Frankly, to eject such a collection that many railways with give their right hand for such a collection, along with being the very thing you would expect to see on a small railway positioned with station at the foot of windermere, matching up with vintage steam paddle boats, has always struck me as short sighted to put it mildly.
     
  8. Respite

    Respite New Member

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    The railway is tidier than many but I have to say that operationally it's a yawn. I last visited about 5 years ago and the train crawled along, the driver told me afterwards 'If I did the journey in under 15 minutes I'd probably get the sack!' My wife didnt think much of it either. It depends what you want, it's a nice stretch of line but for enthusiasts there isn't a great deal on offer, if you want to see some steam action go elsewhere.

    The shop has always been dire and very badly stocked, I have never found anything to buy.
     
  9. M59137

    M59137 Member

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    I will be visiting this line for a day next week. Can anyone with more experience of the railway give a calculated guess as to what could be running? I know they have the two Fairburns and three or four industrials (from their website) but don't know what currently steams or if they like to use particular engines over others at this time of year.

    I think I was told some time ago that they steam the Fairburns on certain days to coincide with booked coach trips (and a consequent extra Mk1 in the rake) but I can't remember for sure. Would seem odd to steam the larger loco just for one day when they're running 7 days a week through the holidays?

    Also, does everything face Lakeside?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  10. fergusmacg

    fergusmacg Well-Known Member

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    Hummm you obviously know little of the facts - The FRT had only itself to blame by infuriating the L&H Co by their actions . . . . . . . . and yes I do know what I'm talking about as a former member of the FRT/LRS commitee (I left in disgust well before the spat with the L&HR Co).
     
  11. hughesfowler

    hughesfowler New Member

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    Chris, yes everything faces lakeside. As a footnote the photographers paid for one of the engines to be turned by low loader a few years ago for photographic charters with the fairburn facing out of lakeside. 4 Stunning days were had. Other than that engines have faced into Lakesdie.
     
  12. Chris86

    Chris86 Member

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    All the loco's face out of Haverthwaite at present (with the exception of Victor- which is in kit form) last week 42085 was in the shed (but must be due a turn out soon) 42073 in the process of being stripped and Princess was out.

    There is still a keen enthusiast presence and there is some stock in reserve, its sat out of sight.

    Its an interesting reflection that little is said about the appearance of many of the railways, however I think the way the L&HR is presented is very impressive tidy, clean stock, good opportunities to view loco's not in use, and as mentioned a very nice cafe indeed.

    Chris
     
  13. pete12000

    pete12000 New Member

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    The website did give information on which engines were rostered, not that long ago, if the Fairburn running dates were made available I'd be keen to visit again....?
     
  14. M59137

    M59137 Member

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    Thanks for all of the replys :)
     
  15. 47406

    47406 New Member

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    42085 was out on Sunday, with Princess stabled in the coal dock on the station.

    42073 (being stripped as reported), diesels AD601, 20214, 27024, steam Repulse, Barclay 1245 and AN Other in the shed.
     
  16. M59137

    M59137 Member

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    Thanks, sounds like 42085 or Princess then for this week's services. I've got my fingers crossed for the former :)
     
  17. Chris86

    Chris86 Member

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    All things being well I will be up there tomorrow AM so will see how long they are planning on '85 staying out. Victor is the other partially stripped loco in the shed.

    Chris
     
  18. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall New Member

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    Staying down the road next week, and emailed them on Monday enquiring about the loco roster, but have received no reply yet. I had a similarly lethargic journey to Respite about 5 years ago, and certainly wouldn't travel far to visit it.
     
  19. Chris86

    Chris86 Member

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    Did not get the chance to head up today, Will definitely be up tomorrow though.
     

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