If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Sidmouth4me

    Sidmouth4me New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    276
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Malton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Lastest timetable issued to mitigate the risk of lineside fires.
    https://www.nymr.co.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=bd392924-c416-4b05-80b5-9a9ec3272d72

    As always, turn up on the day tickets are available (subject to availability) including single tickets etc. Also remember that one can also travel on a Whitby (Seaside Special / Yorkshire Express) service to an intermediate service (booked via the booking office on the day) and either return on that service or the Moors Explorer. Eg 9.20 Pickering to Grosmont (Seaside Special A) returning from Grosmont either on the 13.30 (Moors Explorer) or 14.30 (Seaside Special A) departures.

    Also note that whist subject to availability for turn up on the day tickets that Coach A is only ever released on the morning of the Whitby services (to cater for the turn up on the day trade) thus if arriving on the day at say 9am for the 9.20 service that it would be extremely odd to then find that service already sold out as it would have meant selling 64 seats for Carriage A at the booking office between 8.30am (when the booking office opens) and 9am; though never say never..
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2022
  2. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,708
    Likes Received:
    2,858
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    So, you are suggesting that post-grant analyses continue indefinitely and take no account of changing circumstances? My experience with HLF was that there was a questionnaire three months after completion and that was it. Anecdotal, I know, but weren't there some reports of the SVR considering giving up its staffing commitments at he Engine House once 10 years had elapsed after the grant because what they had agreed to was too onerous?

    It would be interesting to know what the threats identified in the SWOT analysis were - or would I be surprised to find that there really weren't any of any interest?

    To me there are two important things to consider here. One is the long term survival of the NYMR, and that includes retaining volunteer support at a time when there is a real possibility of volunteers becoming thinner on the ground. The second is maintaining the ethos of a heritage railway in the face of the ever increasing changes required to run over just one third or so of the Pickering-Whitby trip. To say that the railway is now saddled with corresponding to all those requirements in perpetuity because it cannot change its modus operandi is condemning it to failure in the long run and stupid beyond belief!
     
    47406 likes this.
  3. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2020
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    717
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The point being that the NLHF funded projects are not complete and will not be for some time. In terms of demonstrating acheivement of required outcomes the clock is still ticking . The ridiculous exaggeration with suggestions of perpetuity serves only to demonstrate the lack of substance in your argument.
     
    unslet likes this.
  4. Sidmouth4me

    Sidmouth4me New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    276
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Malton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Re post grant analysis, my only involvement was with major (plus £1m) road schemes before retirement and where I was intimately involved in the preparation of many successful multi million pound business cases for road schemes. Each business case had to propose a not inconsiderable Post Opening Project Evaluation, with monitoring undertaken at 12 months then 5 years after schemes opening to determine whether the scheme objectives (scheme priorities, value for money, environment, social etc) had been met. I suspect the same is true for grants towards heritage and such like, but if not then I’d be asking why not.
     
  5. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2020
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    717
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The voice of experience!
     
  6. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,708
    Likes Received:
    2,858
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Note the 12 months and 5-year time points! That means that most of the infrastructure grants prior to YMJ are now time-expired or very nearly so, and much of what was covered by YMJ has no relevance to Whitby services. It could surely be argued that keeping the railway open is more important than running to Whitby as it retains an inherent "either/or" option.

    I've made the point before and you haven't provided a clear answer: does Whitby running actually make a significant positive contribution to the NYMR's financial performance? Please don't trot out the "it helps with grant applications" because I don't believe that applications focused on the needs of the core NYMR would be met with disfavour - the NYMR is still one of the biggest attractions in the area.
     
    47406 and YorkyLad like this.
  7. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2020
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    717
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The statement that much of what was covered by YMJ has no relevance to Whitby services confirms the level of misunderstanding. The development and operation of services to and from Whitby was a fundamental basis of both the grant applications and the subsequent awards.

    Without Whitby services the grants would not have been made. Without the grants the bridges at Goathland were on such a life expired condition that we would have had to stop running over them by now. In that sense our commitment to Whitby running saved the railway.

    We can agree I’m sure that keeping the railway open is the most important objective. The question is would that be possible if we abandoned the most popular service on offer? Our reputation for delivery of funders’ objectives would be in tatters undermining the potential for future grant support. Sure it would eliminate some costs but nothing like enough to compensate for the loss of revenue. There has been a substantial increase in the cost of running the railway but that’s largely due to reasons other than Whitby. The additional revenue that we can achieve from Whitby running makes it easier to absorb that increased cost burden. The idea that a high proportion of Whitby passengers are going to switch to Grosmont or intermediate stations is fantasy. All the indications are that retrenchment back to Pickering Grosmont only would result in a substantial drop in passenger numbers and revenue calling into question our ability to sustain the costs involved in running the railway.

    So the simple answer to your question is Yes.
     
  8. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,708
    Likes Received:
    2,858
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    If what you say is true, how do you explain the success of the NYMR prior to the introduction of Whitby services - they were introduced on the back of that success and the justification for their introduction was to help meet the infrastructure costs that have now largely been dealt with - which they failed to do in direct terms as it was still necessary for most of the money to come from grant funding.

    You don't believe that the railway could revert to being a Grosmont-Pickering operation, my view is the opposite and if the recession continues the market may actually tell us, if we see a trend towards shorter and less expensive journeys. As the majority of our passenger journeys originate at Pickering we'll soon know whether Whitby is crucial as a destination, or if our customers are more interested in the train ride.

    I don't think anyone seriously believes that the economy generally does not face some very difficult times ahead and that, as a peripheral part of that economy, we are very vulnerable to people cutting discretionary spending. In the face of that there should be no hesitation in sacrificing sacred cows should the need arise to ensure survival. Unthinking adherence to a failing business model, as you seem to be advocating, will not be an option.
     
    47406 likes this.
  9. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    12,142
    Likes Received:
    11,446
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Scarcely a situation unique to the NYMR. These are very uncertain times and I suspect that, to come through it and thrive, those businesses in the hospitality sector (for that's what and where our heritage lines are) will need to be very alert to changes on the ground. Swift, flexible responses to market shifts are going to be the key to survival .... at least until some semblance of stability returns to society in general and the economy in particular.
     
  10. MikeParkin65

    MikeParkin65 Member Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Messages:
    511
    Likes Received:
    542
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Much much easier to persuade my wife that we could have a long weekend in Whitby, have a day out on the NYMR for which we can stroll down to the station, catch the train and relax for a couple of hours on the way to Pickering than it would be start the journey at Grosmont (zero interest for the non enthusiast) or Pickering (very little to do once you've walked up and down the High street). I dont think we are atypical in this respect - Whitby is now an intrinsic part of the NYMR attraction and is sustaining a large part of the core Grosmont-Pickering offer from which it stemmed.
     
    unslet likes this.
  11. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2020
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    717
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    You’re making a big assumption that it’s a failing business model! I could equally well argue that abandoning a successful business model would indeed justify your previous description of stupidity.
     
  12. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,708
    Likes Received:
    2,858
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I don't believe that I have ever said that Whitby services should be dropped - but I have strongly advocated that the true position of (all) costs vs benefit can be established so that a truly informed decision could be made on whether to continue them. We do know that it isn't a particularly successful business model because the annual surpluses have not gone up significantly since they were introduced - we've ended up running harder to stand still. I've also repeatedly said that the NYMR cannot stand still and needs to to develop its stations to make them interesting and attractive but still heritage orientated destinations. Relying on Whitby as a destination just means that its primary beneficiaries are the businesses in Whitby, not the railway itself.
     
    YorkyLad likes this.
  13. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    21,143
    Likes Received:
    17,175
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    If I'm to make a shorter and less expensive journey, the fare on the section south of Grosmont will be a deterrent long before I consider the extra cost of travelling on to Whitby.
     
  14. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    4,116
    Likes Received:
    3,216
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swanage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Apart from the cafe at Grosmont what revenue stream would be available to the railway on the section south of Grosmont?
     
  15. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    21,143
    Likes Received:
    17,175
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Shops and cafes at the other stations, plus the farebox income.

    The question that @61624 asks is a fair one, also relevant in Dorset, about the costs and benefits of running over the national network. It would be very interesting to understand the financial impact of Whitby operations on the NYMR P&L, and in particular how much this strengthens the overall performance of the railway.

    My own suspicion is that it is a genuinely good thing, but that the additional income is in the round dilutive to the operating profitability of the railway, and provides difficult constraints on how the railway can operate.
     
  16. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    4,116
    Likes Received:
    3,216
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swanage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Not been for a few years now but from memory Levisham, Newtondale (of course) and Goathland due not have cafe's. People I guess even if they go into the town will visit the gift shop at Pickering as they do with the shop in Swanage.
    Fully agree costs are way more to operate to Whitby, but I suspect it is a better destination for those from the south, and not sure how many staying in Whitby would make the effort to get to Grosmont. Not like say the relationship between Bournemouth and Swanage where there is an open top bus as often as every 30 minutes in the summer.
    So not sure a shorter run generates more fare box revenue, but I guess the management can view the figures from before an after. The impact of the financial situation is a guess from them like everyone else, but maybe a long line, and hence needed high fares works against them in some way.
     
    MikeParkin65 likes this.
  17. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    568
    Location:
    Fife
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Doesn't need to. If costs are significantly lower against a lower income then that looks better for the cash sheet. Much has been made by NYMR staff of how much extra work goes into running to Whitby both financially and as an output of work. Just recently we got insight into how a locomotive inspection requires to be done the morning of the run so the time it takes to sort out an issue that could have been done in the evening eats into the ability to operate on the mainline. Maintaining a pool of locomotives and stock for Whitby can't be good in the long run.
     
  18. Sidmouth4me

    Sidmouth4me New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    276
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Malton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I’d guess that 75% of NYMRs traffic is today to and from Whitby, though not to use it as a Whitby’s alternative Park and Ride (better to use the bus park and ride there) but as part of the overall day out experience (heritage train, fish and chips, 199 steps etc). Whilst Goathland is still a honeypot in terms of walkers and Heartbeat I suspect it is less than it was, likewise Grosmont seems to attract the walker and but less so the enthusiast with its engine sheds etc.

    Whilst NYMR might have successfully operated in the past just between Pickering and Grosmont its costs have increased since then but set against, I suspect, a reduced passenger demand. This would, I guess, have otherwise led to an unsustainable increase in fares and then a question mark over its overall operation.

    Whitby has its costs but I suspect its operation has effectively ensured the ongoing viability of the heritage railway as we know it today.
     
    Gladiator 5076 and Lineisclear like this.
  19. Sidmouth4me

    Sidmouth4me New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    276
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Malton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Ps I wouldn’t compare the SR with the NYMR, as I suspect that Whitby is more of a destination than Wareham, and indeed I suspect that the NYMR sees little passenger traffic off Northern trains whilst Wareham will hopefully tap into a new market of passenger from Bournemouth and further afield. Indeed, once operating, I love to do a Bournemouth Wareham Swangae, bus back via the chain Ferry round robin.

    (If comparisons are to be made I’d compare Whitby to Swanage and Pickering to Wareham).
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2022
  20. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    4,116
    Likes Received:
    3,216
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swanage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I agree Wareham is not a destination at all. In this case Swanage would be the destination.
     

Share This Page