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Open or Closed during Emergency?

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwilialan, Mar 13, 2020.

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  1. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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  2. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Member

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  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Something prosaic struck me if there is a prolonged shut down on a railway, which is maintaining competence. We have in our SMS (and I am sure other railways do as well) a requirement for operational grades of a minimum number of annual turns and a maximum spacing between them; you have to take a refresher turn with an inspector if your previous turn was more than a certain distance in the past, and it isn't very long - a matter of months. Bear in mind some railways haven't opened, or have only had a few operational days, since Christmas, and a shut down until May or June could see many operational crews not having had a turn for six months. Which in normal circumstances for the odd person is fine, but what if, on return to "normality", the inspectors are all out of time as well, or else have a really big backlog of reassessments to get through?

    I wonder as well on the impact on mechanisms of points and signals if they are not used for a long period (and I'm talking once again months). I wonder if some railways might resort to running "ghost trains", partly to ensure that signal boxes get a workout; and partly to ensure at least a minimum cadre of staff remain operationally qualified?

    Tom
     
  4. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Yep, just been noting exactly the same problem with us too. I suspect some HRA guidance would be welcome on this. Our cut-off point is 6 months before your competence lapses, so if we're still closed by June it could start getting difficult. In Guards and TTIs alone, we usually have around 6-8 biannual assessments/initial assessments per month too, if they start piling up then it gets extremely difficult to get enough inspectors and v̶i̶c̶t̶i̶m̶s̶ people requiring assessment all together and get through them in time before everyone, as someone in our department puts it, "turns into pumpkins".
     
  5. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Good point

    Presumably ensuring every lever in the box is pulled once a fortnight (or whatever) isnt that difficult compared with keeping staff competences up.

    I was in the garage today & asking what there plans were as clearly vehicles will need MOT's but I supos if it caries on The Government could relax some of these competency based requirements as a huge number of people could be affected - Pilots being an obvious example
     
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  6. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    At the end of the day it is the railway’s SMS and they can vary it to accommodate as long as it is safe and risk managed. The NYMR competence is annual but HOPS flags up anyone not undertaking a turn in the last six months. This allows both the driver to request an inspector or the railway to put out an inspector if considered necessary. In the winter months there is compulsory training covering various aspects of safe operation.
     
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  7. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure they even need to be moved that often, in most cases. Once every month or two should really be plenty, assuming that the S&T have been keeping on top of their routine maintenance (greasing all the pins every few months, for example).

    Moving every lever is tricky if you have a heavily track-circuited box, because some levers will have controls that are difficult to satisfy - a subsidiary signal requiring particular tracks dropped, for example. But in my experience even rarely-operated signals still come off on the rare chances you have to use them. Points are more likely to cause problems, but with proper maintenance should be fine.
     
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  8. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Member

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  9. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    To be frank, and I don't want to ne melodramatic but, if railways are closed for many months, and I think it is a distinct possibility, there might be a fair few railways far more concerned about just remaining financially viable. Cash is king and at present we are approaching most railway's annual cash low point which, with Easter fast approaching, normally they would soon start climbing away from. Now it could be many months with very little income.

    Without Government support, and quickly, a few might already be having sleepless nights. Sorry to be so depressing but I am genuinely worried about the long term effects to the industry.
     
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  10. 5944

    5944 Well-Known Member

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    SVR diesel gala postponed, so surely only a matter of time before the steam gala is as well.
     
  11. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    Just received an email from KWVR saying that they are carrying on for now, but monitoring the situation.
     
  12. Ian Milne

    Ian Milne New Member

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    It has gone too, along with the 50 anniversary event. Sad times
     
  13. 5944

    5944 Well-Known Member

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    SVR Facebook -

    The safety and well-being of our volunteers, staff and customers is of the utmost importance and to that end we are monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 and following all Government guidelines.

    Due to the changing situation and Government advice surrounding gatherings, it is with regret we feel it is both necessary and sensible to postpone our train services and close The Engine House and our Refreshment Rooms for the rest of March and throughout April.

    We have also taken the difficult decision to cancel the following events: Easter Holidays, Spring Steam Gala, Open House Weekend, Spring Diesel Festival and our 50th Anniversary Event. A decision on our daily services in May will be made in the coming weeks.

    Customers who have purchased tickets or experience packages for the above are being contacted individually by email or phone today. Please bear with us as contacting everyone is going to take time.

    This is going to be a challenging period for all heritage railways as we rely on footfall to keep us running. Your understanding, patience and co-operation is appreciated and we thank you all in advance for your ongoing support.

    All at #TeamSVR hope you and your families stay well during this difficult time and we look forward to seeing you all again soon!

    Best wishes,
    Helen Smith
    General Manager
     
  14. MattA

    MattA Member

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    R&ER to operate normal services, big events to be cancelled. It seems that they feel committed to providing a public transport service: https://www.facebook.com/248289181850955/posts/3107625712583940/

    F&WHR admitted that they were taken by surprise, and have now changed their stance - all train services now cancelled: https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10163241138325716&id=240578110715

    Talyllyn still plan to operate as normal, but with museum closed: https://www.talyllyn.co.uk/covid-19-update

    Avon Valley have, bizarrely on the face of it, decided to continue with their Mixed Traffic Gala as planned on Saturday: https://www.facebook.com/118668068315186/posts/1431101370405176/
    Presumably, the railway had already committed to paying the transport fees for the two visiting locomotives and want to remain open so that they can claw back as much money as possible to minimise the financial hit.
     
  15. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    As originator I'm going to try and pull out all the site specific information and create a list on the first post. It may take me a while, please bear with me. If anyone sees any errors or know of changes please let me know so I can keep this as up to date as possible. Thanks
    Alan
     
  16. Steamage

    Steamage Member

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    The Watercress Line is the latest to suspend operations, until at least the end of May. There's a notice on their home-page: https://www.watercressline.co.uk/. Passengers already booked are being offered alternative dates later in the year or a gift voucher, or a refund. The railway will remain open behind the scenes for maintenancence, overhaul/restoration, etc, but the shops and buffet will close and no public trains will run.
     
  17. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    GCR dining trains and fish & chip train for the coming weekend have gone too, now. Those booked on these trains will be contacted. Still planning to run normal services apparently, but we’ll have to see. Daily updates on their website.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Member

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    East Somerset gala will be operating this weekend minus Diver for a Tenner, subsequent services are suspended https://www.facebook.com/eastsomersetrailway/posts/2923793417642232?__tn__=-R

    Ecclesbourne Valley services are suspended until week commencing 5th April https://www.facebook.com/wyvernrail/photos/a.10150242819067175/10156746875792175/?type=3&theater

    Epping Ongar Mothers Day services postponed to July. Further announcement for April services and events to follow https://www.facebook.com/EppingOnga...711812601420/3010881638951080/?type=3&theater

    Great Central is currently going to be open this weekend to an amended timetable. Mountsorrel trains cancelled. Dining and Fish & Chip trains postponed. http://www.gcrailway.co.uk/timetables-and-fares/

    Helston season opening postponed, hopefully in the Summer https://www.facebook.com/helstonrai...F-MSMgvKPJNb_xENlQH1D1np5cEKXrSNlw&__tn__=H-R

    London Museum of Water and Steam (formally Kew Bridge Museum) is closed until further notice https://twitter.com/waterandsteam/status/1240224140554121219

    Middleton close until further notice https://twitter.com/MiddletonRailwa/status/1240165662099636224

    Midland Railway Butterley Closed until End of April https://twitter.com/midrlybutterley/status/1240235637661405184

    Ravenglass is operating https://www.facebook.com/Ravenglass...QeCWCDcYRzvfw1aXUYj6Y3XMqNNjWsFbfNA&__tn__=-R
     
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  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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  20. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Member

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