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North Yorkshire Moors Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by The Black Hat, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think sometimes going down a route of "we have to be commercial because otherwise we won't be here" - while undoubtedly true at its core - can sometimes cause odd unintended consequences.

    As an example - our regular services have a loco and crew diagram of three round trips (66 miles). Increasingly, these are being cut back due to demand, while there is an increase in catering trains, which are pre-booked and run at higher margin. All well and good, but the catering trains are typically one round trip (22 miles) , or one and a half round trips (32 miles).

    I'll gloss over the real cost of steaming a loco just to run 22 miles, but look at training. On a three round trip duty, with driver, fireman and cleaner, almost certainly the cleaner will do a fair bit of firing and the fireman will do a fair bit of driving. First trip driver + fireman in the regular roles; second trip driver driving, cleaner firing; third trip fireman driving, cleaner firing would be common. But if you cut the number of those duties, while increasing the number of short duties, you lose that training opportunity. If you are only doing one round trip anyway, the fireman is hardly likely to give the shovel to cleaner etc.

    So the unintended consequence of concentrating on the most profitable services is that we might be storing up a long-term problem of keeping crews progressing through the ranks. I'm sure somewhere there is a happy medium, but I'd just caution that railways are complex systems, and sometimes in my experience the commercial decisions might not realise the complexity of the system. Better internal communications is key.

    Tom
     
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  2. Herald

    Herald Member

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    Actually we live in a world where a great many expect to get their activities subsidised by tax payers or from lottery receipts. Just think about many sports clubs, museums and the arts or consider the wide range of organisations receiving money under various Covid handouts.
     
  3. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    .....but if that is all they want, how do you justify charitable status? Because if you lose that the line most probably could not exist either. I don't believe it could ever be viable as a commercial concern.
     
  4. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    As an occasional visitor when on holiday I must admit unlike many other heritage railways the explaining the heritage does seem to be missing, no museums or out if steam sheds to visit, or come to that exhibitions explaining the history. The only mention of the running shed is walk to it and you may get a glimpse of ..... I think it does rather rely on the train journeys and that is it.
     
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  5. oldmrheath

    oldmrheath Well-Known Member

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    Last year there was a lot discussion on the West Somerset thread about the need for that railway to get back to Minehead because that offered the 'destination' needed to attract sufficient visitors to make the line viable.

    Here it seems Whitby is a problem because it is the 'destination' for the visitors.

    I can see both sides of the Whitby discussion and hope that the Moors finds a path which makes the line a continued success while keeping the volunteers/supporters on board,

    Jon
     
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  6. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    The WSR’s Whitby is Taunton. It’s not the distance or destination, but the interaction with Network Rail.


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  7. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    Seriously? Name a railway for which NR is the main source of its customers!
     
  8. Sidmouth4me

    Sidmouth4me New Member

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    The NYMR is not a method to get from A to B, the bus (60min) or car (30min) will always win hands down compared to the train (110min) in terms of Pickering-Whitby
    And it is not a feeder to NR, nor is there any real interaction in terms of passengers, just that the NYMR runs on, and is constrained by, NR tracks between Grosmont and Whitby.
    Leaving just really its heritage and educational functions in all its forms but for which it must cover (somehow) its not inconsiderable operating costs (direct and indirect - for direct read maintenance), whilst “needing Joe Public to pay for our hobby”.

    However I totally get Steve’s issues re the 11 hour shift for a volunteer, and it is difficult to think of an answer given Lineisclear earlier comments. I’m lucky that I leave home at 7.45am, sign on at 8am, sign off at 4pm and home for 4.15pm. That’s a long enough day for me, and I don’t think I could manage 11 hours.

    ps this is on the NYMR website, which shows the full timetable better suited to those on N-P here.
    https://www.nymr.co.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=4b2cfad5-6625-4faf-a8ab-6998d0d9edad
     
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  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I don't see why those two concepts are mutually incompatible? Just because it's not the quickest method doesn't mean that's not why people use the railway. I know plenty of people who wouldn't see the point of going on a railway just for the sake of it, but if the journey has a purpose, it makes the whole thing much more attractive than either the journey on its own, or even travelling to the destination by more conventional means on its own too.
     
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  10. Sidmouth4me

    Sidmouth4me New Member

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    I agree Flying Scotsman, I was just trying to make the point that people don’t use the NYMR simply to travel Pickering to Whitby, as there are better ways of doing it but because it has the function of getting people to Whitby whilst enjoying (for them) an “unusual” (ie heritage) form of transport - the steam train. The two do go together hand in glove.
     
  11. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Seriously. The WSR has many challenges, but that of serving Minehead is not critical to it in the way that serving Whitby is to the NYMR. It is not the question of demand that counts, but complying with “big railway” rules.

    What creates the problem is taking trains off the private line onto the national network. That requires compliance with NR standards, and forces scheduling to meet NR timetables.

    There would not be the edge on the Whitby conversation if Grosmont to Whitby were preserved, rather than NR, infrastructure. There would be issues, especially bridges, but not those that make resolving the tensions on the NYMR so tricky.

    The WSR is lucky that it’s services do not extend to Taunton and if they were to in future, we would rapidly see many of the same issues that make things tricky in Yorkshire also applying in Somerset.


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  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think I'd disagree about Minehead and the WSR. All the anecdata on that thread seems to indicate that the core flow is Bishops Lydeard to Minehead, just as on the NYMR it is Pickering - Whitby. That makes sense, in that it is starting at a point with good road connections (M5, A38) and terminating with somewhere that is something of a destination (a costal / beach town). By contrast, I can hardly see Taunton as much of a tourist hotspot for people coming from north Devon just supposing the WSR were able to connect through and ran a regular service.

    The big advantage for the WSR in that regard is that they don't have to go to Taunton, and therefore can make their own timetable, operational and motive power / rolling stock decisions almost completely in isolation from any consideration of running over the mainline; only on teh rare days with an incoming service are they beholden to the timetable (and punctuality) of an external entity.

    (As a little aside - given the discussions here about the complexities of interfacing a heritage line onto a very lightly-used branchline at Whitby, I can only wonder at the ease some people seem to think that the Swanage Railway can go to Wareham over a twin-track, 90mph electrified mainline with two trains per hour in each direction...)

    Tom
     
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  13. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    I wonder if there was any thought given to public access when designing the new carriage shed at Pickering? Ok, it's a bit of a walk from the station itself, but being not far from the other end of the car park ought to make it reasonably practical for visitors to get to.
     
  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I agree with you on relative demand, but the comparison in demand terms for Whitby and Taunton is misleading - it's the point on which we seemingly agree, the Network Rail interaction, that is the core issue in Yorkshire, and would be the critical issue if the WSR were to "properly" extend to Taunton.

    On your side comment, I agree with you on the presumptions about Wareham, though would also note that a tightly constrained single track branch is a very different beastie from that two track mainline - it's not how many trains or tracks that matter, but how high a percentage of available paths are used.
     
  15. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    What actually matters in "Taunton argument" (or Wareham for that matter)is whether the number of additional passengers generated by extending the WSR to there would make the cost of doing worthwhile. In both cases I am dubious that it would prove to be the case! I would take some convincing that it is even true for Whitby. The tumbleweed wasn't exactly blowing by on the NYMR before it ran to Whittby!
     
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  16. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    If you're interested I've just put a post on the "Galas and are they worth the time, cost and trouble?" thread that has a little bit of relevance to recent discussion here.

    Steve B
     
  17. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    No, it wasn't. Actually, not much thought was give to it at all. From the outset the architects made it clear that they were going to give the NYMR an expanded clone of the shed they had designed for the KWVR. I was at the meeting!
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Well, I hope the shed that they provided at Oxenhope was better than the one at Pickering.
     
  19. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    For those interested in the debate what a heritage railway is and relationship with volunteers etc the feedback in the latest Bluebell times on volunteer workshop feedback might make interesting g reading.
     
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  20. Brunswick Green 2

    Brunswick Green 2 New Member

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    Good to see the Q6 in platform 4 at Grosmont, via webcam.
     

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