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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by 50044 Exeter, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    The L&B cannot perform a transport function viably. It will need more parking if it expands to accommodate the presumably bigger visitor numbers.
     
  2. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    Part of the reasoning in the planning applications was that the improved parking at Blackmoor Gate would enable visitors to travel to Lynton/Lynmouth without additional vehicle movements into the two towns. Unless and until that can be achieved, I agree, there will be insufficient parking on current or projected railway land to make a P&R scheme viable.
     
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  3. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    But I think the point being made is that the aspiration to return the railway to Lynton, whether to the old station or a new one somewhere within the town, is now not realistic.

    Perhaps with the new trustees in place it is time to take a good hard look at what is actually achievable and sustainable, bearing in mind redevelopment of parts of former railway land and also more crucially, the likelihood of attracting enough volunteers to run a 19 mile railway in a sparsely populated area, alongside the current tough financial times (which are unlikely to radically change for a long time).

    I'll get shouted down for this, but I'm not sure it is actually realistic to try to reinstate the entire line anymore. Perhaps it is better to have a smaller (5 mile?) section, and by all means continue to purchase the former railway land with a view to turning it into a footpath while retaining the right to relay the railway if circumstances ever did change?
     
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  4. Biermeister

    Biermeister Member

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    Brave words Keith. But what do you mean by sustainable though? Do you mean, as you mentioned, a sufficient supply of fit and willing workers? Adequate financial resources for the medium term? With continued goodwill and determination I can see the trackbed and thence line from Raleigh's Weir to the edge of Lynton being achievable in the medium to long term. The problems develop when considering access to Lynton and Barnstaple. Nevertheless if the rest of the trackbed can be obtained I would think we would see an increase in interest and enthusiasm, not to mention financial support, for an extension into Lynton and, who knows, perhaps even Barnstaple. Success breeds success. Many L&BR fans sense failure because any line extension, apart from the CFL distraction, seems ages off. It may well be so, but that does not mean that it cannot happen.

    A five mile line seems long-off, but once achieved, it would surely presage a snowball-effect for further extension. Who knows? It would be nice to find out though, wouldn't it?
     
  5. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Yes, I mean sustainable as regards volunteers, finance, engineering abilities, visitors, car parking space etc - basically everything you can think of that is needed for the railway to be a self sustaining project.
    In an enthusiasts ideal world the whole line would be reinstated, but I’m not convinced that it would be a sustainable project. Building a railway is one thing, running it is quite another!
     
  6. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’ve mixed feelings on this - the survival of other remote major railways suggests that these problems are not insoluble.

    However, those have grown over decades, and taken their people with them.

    My instinct is that the growth of the L&B will be determined by how it is led, and it’s people (including those who may not yet have heard of it) brought in and on.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Michael B

    Michael B Member

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    That is right - and it will need far more inclusive management from the Trustees with the members than it has had in the past few years. We have to hope the new appointments at the AGM will be treated with respect and their views respected, rather than seen as a criticism or a threat, so that plans can be reviewed and pointless and ill-founded intention of extending to CFL can be dropped. It seems to me the only way the railway will extend will be when the necessary land is acquired to do so and the funding is in place. Those who are impatient to see things happening before that is achieved are deluded.
     
  8. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    Thoroughly agree with your comments, Michael.
    With regard to obtaining the necessary land for extension : is there a case for offering to lease appropriate land ? This would have the benefit of offering the farmer/landowner a regular income whilst enabling them to recover the land without major legal costs if the railway project fails at some point, at the same time the railway benefits from not having to front up with a major capital outlay at the beginning.
     
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  9. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    I may be wrong, but I do believe that some of the land now owned by Exmoor Associates is still managed and farmed by its former owners, until it is required for railway use.
     
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  10. hhs5

    hhs5 New Member

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    If I were the L&B, I would strongly take a look at what the East Broad Top has accomplished with the partnership with the Friends of the EBT. They have been clear as to where volunteer money is going, what progress is being made, and what their future looks like, and they’ve been very effective with marketing.

    Of course, it helps that the EBT still owns the bulk of their RoW, but still, they’re a success story and like the L&B are in a relatively sparsely populated area of the US.
     
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  11. D6332found

    D6332found Member

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    I have come back to this thread after months avoiding it, to find out nice things on the L&B. I have no interesting in the constant recurrent trolling prattle. Can we please have nice things thread and bar several individuals from it, to just talk about stock, railway, new builds, galsa , acheivements?
     
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  12. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    That gets discussed too. Though it must be said that for a railway that set itself the goal of extending and hasn’t, achievement of late has been thin.

    There are plenty of other places which will provide you with the sugar coated glossy picture of utopia that you seek. Here, there is a discussion about how the world actually looks. Nobody makes a habit of gratuitous bashing, but they discuss how the goal of a longer railway might be achieved. Quite genuinely, choking that off would be an unnecessary and retrograde step that might have real world consequences for the line. If you don’t like the thread, carry on avoiding it.
     
  13. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    Yes, the correct answer should always be to ban people asking awkward questions. Occassionally, if you want to have nice things, you have to put in the work to resolve the problems, however.
     
  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    So Bagnall 2819 of 1945 was displayed at the AGM weekend in May, and carriages 5, 7, 11 and 15 were in operation with "Lyn" and "Axe". There is talk - but as yet very little information - about extension to Cricket Field Lane (a distance of less than 1/2 mile).

    There was no May gala as such, but a lot of focus on putting on a good show by both L&BRT and Exmoor Associates/Yeo Valley Trust over that weekend.

    On a "political" front, there were 3 new trustees elected (plus one existing trustee re-elected) to the board of the L&BRT. Having met one of them, and judging by reports of the others, this provides a level of refresh and new thinking to the board. They are in a honeymoon period as they establish themselves, and I personally look forward to fuller communication and effective member consultation as plans develop.
     
  15. Michael B

    Michael B Member

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    It would appear I am one of those indulging in trolling prattle in this view. Clearly, unlike @D6332found (and it would seem those who voted for the outrageously engineered dismissal of Chris Duffell and Anne Belsey) having continued to follow events on the Railway since it started in 1979, probably closer now that I am retired. I therefore like to think I am moderately well informed, despite the secrecy (and demonstrable lies) indulged in by some of the Trustees who have regularly omitted to tell the members any truth they can avoid telling that might sully their reputation or risk their control of the Trust. Just to take one of the more blatant examples (which readers will for give me for repeating if they have seen my previous description).

    It concerns the liabilities of the Blackmoor Company in which the Trust had a £648,000 unsecured investment last December and which therefore directly impinge on it. Maybe it is £688,000 now as another £40,000 shares were allotted in January. This was a combination of shares and a 5% £250,000 loan, since reduced by the first annual repayment of £25,000. This repayment, along with the interest due, was met by issuing more shares, meaning there is the prospect that the whole investment will eventually consist of shares. Let's hope the Blackmoor Company will be able to afford to declare a dividend. But if not, no income to the Trust on its investment. The Blackmoor Company is obligated to repay £101,000 by the end of this year, and a further £278,000 by December 2025, only 18 months away. In the absence of a new lender the only significant asset it has is a six-bedroom house, apparently valued at £400,000, which would be valuable as volunteer accommodation and therefore worth keeping. The members of the Trust were not told of this danger affecting its £648,000 investment at the AGM which they clearly should have been. I will continue to prattle until we have an explanation as to how the Trustees are going to manage this situation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2024
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  16. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Do I see the words "Trustees" and "manage" in the same sentence? During the last few (many?) years they seem to have done a fine job of mismanaging the Trust. We can only hope that the new Trustees will be allowed to change things.
     
  17. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Equally, that they can persuade the 'old' Trustees of the need to change.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2024
  18. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    Interesting to see that the group who bought Chelfham Mill have broken cover. One would hope that good relations can be made for the benefit of both parties.
    The intention is to create a 'Wellness Centre' with Inn and Bistro, which could bring additional visitors also for the railway.
    They are on Facebook and cordial postings from the railway supporters would start things off on the right foot.
     
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  19. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    Yes indeed! Their Facebook group is at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1625646518272253/
     
  20. lynbarn

    lynbarn Well-Known Member

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    Yes I hope this works for both groups as it is something that was at the back of my mind some time ago, maybe this is the way to go forward with a lot more inter action between the railway and the various other charitable and volunteer groups in the area.
     
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