Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by DisusedBranch, Oct 3, 2011.
I visited both while staying in the area and the Ratty was far more enjoyable.
I heard of this railway a good many times, and it would appear to me that general consensus that I've picked up about this railway is: "very tidy and efficient... but so dull if not just plain boring!"
And don't even get me started on the Fairburns... See personally I have no problem with them both being based there, or that is I wouldn't mind, if it weren't for the fact they refuse to have them go anywhere else to visit other lines. The only time they've ever really allowed it was at the GCR (who most likely arranged it as part of the deal for taking on the contract to repair it), and the Bluebell Railway, and lord knows how the latter persuaded them...
Quite frankly, from what I've seen and heard about this line, it would seem to be a place that is not a place run by or for enthusiasts... This is exactly the kind of vision enthusiasts dread about when it comes to the Dartmouth, when it truth it's actually THIS place that displays their dread of a pure commercially run steam railway... Efficient and finically healthy sure... but has zero heart and soul to it.
Mind you, I can think of this place being the perfect vision of heritage railways in general, for a certain member on this forum... (cough, PH, cough...)
I get a bit cheesed off about having to defend myself against postings misrepresenting my point of view, which is why I have "semi-retired" from NP! There are supposedly "enthusiast orientated" lines which have IMHO have turned themselves into rather ersatz main lines without much character. They are just as much "tourist" rather than "heritage" railways as the Paignton and Dartmouth.
It might not be to everyone's tastes, but the LHR is clearly a success, very well marketed and very popular. I went a few years ago, a few miles behind an Austerity in some Mark 1s, fine by me - not my first choice of destination but it sure knows its market.
A lot of 'enthusiasts' prefer to forget that, except for some special events, it is Joe Public that pays the bills for their hobby and surely being "efficient and financially healthy" is a very positive thing. That the LHR choose to keep their Fairburns on their own line and have no need or desire to lend then out 'willy-nilly' to suit a few gricers is their prerogative.
I volunteered for a while at The lakeside and Haverthwaite whilst I was working in the area- yes it is a business, but I can assure you the folk who run it are extremely friendly definitely enthusiastic!
I also think it's rather unfair to get the hump on because they choose not to send their locos out on loan elsewhere?! Surely as with all assets it's the owners choice as to how they want to use their own loco!
42085 has also visited The NRM......
One has to question weather it's 'commercially viable' to send any loco away to someone else's gala with all the on costs and risks of broken springs etc. etc. . . . . . .
Having revisited the post I made on this thread, I realise now that I spoke out of turn, if not just plain unfairly about the railway. I must apologise to all I may have offended with my comments, as I made the critical error of posting this late in the night when opinions on certain matters becomes flared somewhat... Really I had too heated a mindset to throw accusations that I did last night, and for that I'm sincerely sorry.
Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway is a heritage business just like any other, and it must do what it can to continue to prosper. Certainly without the enthusiasm on the said railway, we wouldn't have ONE Fairburn let alone two to enjoy, even if their run at a more sedate pace then what some may like... The railway should be commended for it's well run operation, not belittled and moaned at.
You are quite right Paul, and I apologise for speaking out of turn and criticising you so bluntly. As I just mentioned on my previous post, I posted that comment last night when I was more heated up about the issue then what I'd usually would be when commenting on here. I realise you traditionally of late have been portrayed as the "cynic/villain" on this forum, when that just isn't true or fair. I happen to have always respected your opinions and most of the time (though not always) I have agreed with you. Really you should be commended for your comments, for while so many of us on this forum tend to let our hearts run astray into fantasy land where all is hunky-dory, you have always spoke out realistically on affairs, giving opinions and hard facts that many perhaps just don't want to hear or accept. So I sincerely apologise to you, for speaking out of term that way about you, your opinions are always more then welcomed on this forum as far as I'm concerned.
Flawed arguments I'm afraid.
a) Such a shame xxx (railway) doesn't let yyy (engine) go on hire......
b) Such a shame xxx (engine) only 'chuffs around'.......
Stick in loads of engines & railways for the x & y's!!!!
How many railways have larger engines of 5+ power classification that only chuff around??
The most relevant point made is that but for the L&H's existence, there may be not be ANY Fairburn tanks preserved so in that respect we have much to thank them for.
I totally agree they run the railway to suit their prime market & do it very well in my experience. It would be nice if they had an odd enthusiasts gala though or some kind of promotional days running featuring advertised traction i.e. the Fairburn tanks when in service but presumably they feel it would not be cost effective enough............... their choice NOT yours!
I know it's flawed... hence why I sent the later messages today, apologising for comment I foolishly put up last night! Sheesh... You sure know how to make a guy feel even more guilty, don't you...
The L&HR is simply showing sound commercial awareness by not letting the Fairburns disappear off to other, arguably 'sexier', railways. They are one of the real USPs of the L&HR from the enthusiast perspective and I don't blame the railway in the slightest for holding on to them. It means that, if someone wants to ride behind them, they will have to visit them on their home turf and put some shekels in the railway's coffers. Makes complete sense to me.
The only complaint I have about the line s the lack of a roster . I have no iterest in turning up to be austeritied around, its all about those tanks which do look great on the line. Went back for the first time in over a decade last Nov for a photo charter, line is v professional and clean etc. Also the train to 'steamer' transfer is a unique feature on a preserved line and something rapidly collapsing away on the big railway.
No apology needed. Compared to the sandbagging received from certain people affronted by views which differ from those put out by "Steam Beano" (even they seem to be changing a bit) your comments were nothing!
Me too! As I said some time ago in this very thread, I pass this line several times over the Summer and would love to break my journey by spending quality time with Fairburn (s). Sadly, the Kremlin like secrecy over rosters loses them a big spending visitor, and more importantly denies me from enjoying these wonderful locos.
Mind you, I was lucky enough to catch the one working at the Bluebell one very cold Spring weekend. What a beauty!
I always had a nice time on the L&H, to be honest. I used to have relatives in the area, and had many lovely rides behind Cumbria and the like.
Although Austeries aren't exactly glamorous, they are pretty much contemporary with the Fairburns, and as important a part of railway history.
I've never ridden behind one of the Fairburns, although whenever we passed Newby Bridge on a walk, one would always storm past!
That's all well and good but finding out when they're running is far from easy. Seems odd that what you call the LHR's USP isn't marketed that well. The website doesn't exactly highlight their presence on the line.
I'd second the view on the roster - I would happily drive 250 miles and make a weekend of it if I had confidence that 42073 was going to feature.
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