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Peak Rail Annual Report and Action Group

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by huochemi, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. D6332found

    D6332found Member

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    As an outsider who supports the further development of PeakRail and seeing this conversation repeated ad infinitum on here, for many other railways/groups, is it a reflection of some of railway preservation's rigid personalities having an inate inability to mediate and move forwards in a Charity type set up? All this bickering could at worst lead to a sympathetic landowner withdrawing the lease in 2022 and it going the way of Dinting/Penrhyn/the King Locomotive and others. The more mature railways seem to have done well as a professional business type set up with willing volunteers. Perhaps whatever they do so well needs adopting more widely. I'm sure everyone at the Coalface at PeakRail has done their best to make it as successful as possible. Perhaps ACAS might be the way forward?
     
  2. daveannjon

    daveannjon Well-Known Member

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    Bob.

    Not quite sure what you are getting at Bob - do you want all the current PR volunteers to go to other local railways? You may be surprised at the amount of valuable interaction there already is between the five (including PR) at volunteer level.

    Dave
     
  3. T'Bogger

    T'Bogger New Member

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    Well, whilst there is a little pause, I’m going to leave a link to a website with a very informative video (you’ll have to scroll down the webpage to see it) that might not make sense to begin with. But stick with it, because there is a good message in there that is probably apt for us if we are to stride forward:
    https://www.davidmarquet.com/leadership-keynote-speaker-david-marquet/
     
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  4. Midlandsouthern

    Midlandsouthern New Member

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    Interesting and quite creative video. Think i understand it goes haha
     
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  5. JayDee

    JayDee Member

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    So, I am a bit curious. We know the trackbed is basically "all there" albeit used for the Monsal Trail. We know the price tag of a "full restoration" to Network Rail passenger carrying standards is around £120m-£140m or thereabouts. If done to a heritage standard and it's far lighter/less intensively worked trains it might be a bit cheaper. The Rowsley extension points to volunteer labour cutting costs down to about 40% of that when compared to using contractors to do all the work. Meaning that the "Network Rail" price tag drops quite considerably, to £48m for the whole line using that measure in an absolute manner.

    So, why does the present board say they can't do things "like we did 40 years ago" when the FR rebuilt the Welsh Highland across a far longer piece of track, and turned it to a profit in just 7 years from completion? OK, they only raised "half the money" with the remainder being development grants, but it strikes me as a curiosity that they say it's not like 40 years ago when there's proven example of Contractor/Volunteer construction in arguably harsher terrain proving that railway construction is still rather possible.
     
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  6. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    Volunteers were younger. More of them and willing to spend a week/ 2 weeks away working on the project.
    We all know there are less volunteers on our railways than when they first started. Costs have also risen for everything and there is generally fewer pots money around to tap into.
     
  7. snappertim

    snappertim New Member

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    Much of this thread has been about recent history rather than looking forward which is probably understandable.
    Having recently visited the PR again it got me thinking what I thought was good about the railway and what was not so good. So I have done a brief S.W.O.T. analysis below based on my rather superficial knowledge of PR as a visitor. They are merely my own observations , and they are not in any order of importance, although some will be much more significant than others. Neither is it meant to be a complete list. I suspect that many on this thread will disagree, or merely believe it is just stating the b***ding obvious: but here goes.

    STRENGTHS
    The tenacity and skills of the volunteers and support of other organisations PRA etc.
    Matlock is a destination in its own right.
    Connection with Mainline trains and through ticketing
    Rowsley is a very large site [but see weaknesses] with excellent car parking facilities
    Darley Dale station is a delightful station, well looked after. [Jewel in the crown?]
    Good facilities for engineering [e.g loco shed and Heritage Shunters Shed ]
    Appointment of a well known and respected figure as president
    Popular Dining train [but why are the beautiful LMS and Restaurant car locked and dragged up and down every time.]

    WEAKNESSES
    The line is only 4 miles in length although to countryside is attractive
    The finances are precarious
    The structure and Management structure perhaps are not fit for purpose [?]
    Rowsley is not a destination in itself and the site in parts is lacking in TLC.
    Top & tail train operation is expensive and curious.
    Somewhat dated website which does not function properly on my iPhone
    Lack of steam fleet and the diesel fleet largely hidden away.

    OPPORTUNITIES
    Rowsley has the space to be a very attractive visitor attraction but requires major investment and careful planning.
    New cycle path should enable users to use Rowsley as a "pit stop".
    Use of social media to raise awareness.
    Greater co-ordination with local tourist attractions to provide "a day out"
    More through charter trains from the mainline once Derby station re-organisation is complete.
    Greater interpretation of the history of the line, building on the good work at DD. "Through limestone hills"

    THREATS
    Security of tenure not presently long term[?]
    Freight/stone traffic would be very difficult to incorporate with a Heritage Railway.
    Competition for the option spend from families, from other local tourist attractions, not just Heritage Railways.
     
  8. Midlandsouthern

    Midlandsouthern New Member

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    A good analysis, i posted before its got stacks of potential, just needs a change and going back to basics.
    Solid finances, very long term security of its future so it can invest and improve.
    Have USP, darley dale is a stunner of a station, getting all back in use and open, and the lms carriage fleet up and operation would be something special, its all there tbh, just needs a co ordinated proper plan and leadership to deliever it, modern marketing.
    4 miles i wouldnt say is problem especially if have small kids, not saying you cant go longer, any extension is only going to be upto A6, where you have gcr style gap.
    I am a fan of the peak rail route, and it has great volunteers who work magics on keeping it going and making it better.
     
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  9. Sheff

    Sheff Resident of Nat Pres

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    Well thought out analysis @snappertim, though I'd say you perhaps should have included 'northward extension' under 'opportunites' .....
     
  10. T'Bogger

    T'Bogger New Member

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    You hit the nail on the head!

    As one of the volunteers on the line I can see such tantilising opportunities, but feel so constrained and unwilling to invest more time and pennies that I currently do because of the current uncertainty. Things need to evolve because it could be an amazing railway and place to visit for a whole day. Many of us have our pipe dreams and they could be pooled together. We just need to get through the current situation.

    Here's some amazing things about what at Peak Rail:
    • It has the largest collection of shunters in the world, with over 20 under the umbrella of the Heritage Shunters Trust.
    • The first class 07, 08, 09 and 14 is located on the railway.
    • The only surviving Class 06 is on site.
    • Examples of classes 01, 02, 03 ,04 , 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 are located on the railway.
    • We worked out we have the largest collection of LMS carriages in preservation (one more than the SVR)...although they all need a lot of work!
    • We have one of the largest ex-mainline depot sites in preservation.
    • We have one of only two Class 44s that have been preserved.
    There are so many other aspects that have the potential to make the railway a great place to visit, like Darley Dale...I could go on. But we need to get back on an even keel some how and once stable again, then we came move forward. How we do that? Well, that it what the debate is about of course and I'm afriad I don't have the answers. I just want the railway to flourish, especially when I have poured 24 years into and many others more than me.
     
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  11. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    I think that the collection of diesel shunters is unlikely to be a usp so far as the general public is concerned
     
  12. JayDee

    JayDee Member

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    I dunno a few wagons and a little inglenook shunting puzzle would be quite a novel use for a collection of Shunters.
     
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  13. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    They’re all interesting, but haven’t got me to travel the 40 odd miles that way in the time I’ve lived in Grantham. So the challenge becomes one of how to make that of interest to the public.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  14. T'Bogger

    T'Bogger New Member

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    Well that's the challenge and if we are imaginative, shunters do have a story to tell and activities to enthuse the general public. For instance, what was the purpose of shunters? What did they contribute? Why not have shunting demonstrations. Brakevan rides (which they do twice a year, but perhaps could be once a month to give them an income and the visitors something to do at Rowsley....although visitor access around the site really needs to be thought about too).

    Exactly. It needs to be more than just a train ride and there needs to me more to see and do...and link in with other local attractions, like the horse carriage museum at Darley Dale , etc.

    There are multiple possibilities, but it would need a team of appropriate individuals who have the ideas, are willing to make it happen and be given the freedom to work with the various groups on the railway and local stakeholders to make such things possible. The railway really needs it now to recover from the financial issues that has been discussed at length in this thread.
     
  15. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    Screenshot_20180722-131532.png
    You see when I look at a site like this I can't help but see potential. Especially when you see the amount of stock that is also on site.

    Imagine a shed that would be 4 roads and 9/10 mk1 in length. Then you could restore the LMS coaches and have a stunning take on a historically Correct line. Then get a rake of 12 MK1s including a dining rake that could be mainline registered. As Peak rail doesn't need masses of coaches this rake could be used at Peak rail for larger events or dining trains on the odd occasion. But it could also be used for an east Midlands railtour rake. This rake could be shared between the local mainline connected railways for use on big events also. Imagine that MRC wanted to do a gala and it doesn't have enough coaches, the rake could be moved to suite. Also add to this, other railways in the UK that are mainline registered and wanted to hire a mainline engine for a gala. Imagine if it was Oliver Cromwell, 45305, Duchess of Sutherland, possibly 5551 if it got based down this way (all locos based in the east Midlands, and the heritage railway didn't have enough coaches to justify the event (mid Norfolk for instance) and you could bring locos and coaches meaning that the visiting railway gets something they don't currently have. And of course as the mainline rake would have a dining set up the railway could offer a dining experience that it currently isn't able to offer.
     
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  16. dggar

    dggar New Member

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    Do you know of 12 MK1s waiting to be restored and what asking price the owners are thinking of?
     
  17. JayDee

    JayDee Member

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    The MRC also has 21 Mk1 coaches from a glance on wikipedia, about 11 of which are considered "operational". 2 are in use by the West Shed as support coaches for their engines, leaving 9 in use for regular traffic in two rakes.

    So, for the tiny 3 mile line they run I can't see the demand for shuffling coaching stock to them for a gala.
     
  18. Midlandsouthern

    Midlandsouthern New Member

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    I think PR has enough coaching stock on the whole. Just needs a rolling programme of both restoration and refurbishment, im sure svr have well developed programme to keep stock in good shape on a regular basis for both general maintence and heavier refurbs/restorations. So you both have good condition running fleet but your also adding to it, so fleet grows or keeps at good availability, which would be the lms's on regular basis, i know thats easier said than done

    HST has impressive fleet, personally not my thing tbh, but brake vans rides and shunting wagons etc about, marshalling demo freights together as they would have done, could add some interest for public in between services, show important they were.
     
  19. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    I think that this is cloud cuckoo land
     
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  20. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    That's fair enough. Probably is. But isn't heritage railways cloud cuckoo in general?!? I mean to expect thousands of volunteers to turn up nearly every days of the week across the country to run a Choo Choo train?

    I think my point is more about the fact that there are many railways that don't need stock all year around, but when the big events are on it would be nice to have more to make it more profitable 'if' some could be bought down. It happened when the Mid Norfolk bought in 3 locos from West coast. Why couldn't it happen more often?
     

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