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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. Midlandsouthern

    Midlandsouthern New Member

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    A Heritage Operation would also likely put in a request stop for Haddon Hall, while a Network Rail proposal might not.

    Heritage Bus operations from Rowsley North, or Bakewell to Chatsworth would also likely be a good business strategy, as it lets you then advertise the railway as a means of getting to one of the biggest tourist traps in the entire county.

    An attempted fusion of the Aggregates and Heritage line plan likely wouldn't work. You'd have a rail line running through absolutely prime real estate in terms of drawing in the tourists to get bums on your seats, and the present hinted plan (quarry in the week, steam at the weekends) would kibosh any kind of sensible timetable that could take enormous advantage of any school holidays.[/QUOTE]

    These are ideas that should already be in operation. Or planned ready to go in fuuture and would be a earner most likely. Least get back to rowsley itself and get slice of cake. I done charsworth a couple of times and haddon hall very nice places and rowsley being nearest station i believe to chatsworth. Why wouldnt you go for it
     
  2. JayDee

    JayDee Member

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    Sadly the Borders Railway suffered from the Scottish Government wanting to save money, and so demanded Network Rail single track all bridges, saving a paltry £500,000-£1m and making it harder to redouble the track as demand improved. Network Rail had originally planned for this and were simply reinstating bridges on the basis one day doubling the track might become necessary again.

    Wood for the trees maybe? A lot of criticism levelled in both threads on Peak Rail are evidently born from a lot of frustration. The utterly wild success of the EVR nearby (founded by Peak Rail "rebels", I believe?) in a spot where there's only slightly less tourist harvesting potential (no insult to the amazing railway intended) makes it even more frustrating.

    The potential for a heritage line through the Peak district would and could easily rival the SVR, NYMR, G&WR or any other member of the Heritage Railway "Premier League" in terms of cash made and passengers travelling on it.

    It would run from or through three honeypot towns (Matlock, Bakewell and Buxton) and is within striking distance of two decent sized stately homes which are in themselves major visitor attractions, one of which it could serve by rail. Never mind you've got Network Rail stations at either end of the line giving you potential visitors from North and South by rail!

    With a bit of NYMR style negotiating you could probably extend those services down to Matlock Bath as well and thus be able to take advantage of the boats and lights during the autumn and help relieve pressure on the car parks and shuttle busses used during those events. Giving you four tourist heavy towns you're running to and access to some truly stunning scenery.

    The busses would be quite the outlay (Routemasters are going for about £40-50k a pop, but others of a similar vintage, far cheaper) but then so are the potential profits of being able to offer a more direct route to Chatsworth for people taking public transport.

    Heck, I'm only passing a half hearted gaze over these towns which I know fairly well (I'm just south of Derby) and the potential is awe inspiring and the fact nobody's been able to organise and take advantage, horrifying.
     
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  3. Midlandsouthern

    Midlandsouthern New Member

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    Last time i paid a visit to evr they were working on line idreghay. And could go as far as gorsey LC. Its a wow how fast duffield been returned to use and loop being back. They sharp people at the top and are on the ball and know how to achieve and get what they need to do it.
    Ive havent been up matlock way for a few years. Lovely area. Shame as i only live in lichfield. Its nice that peak run into matlock but need rowsley village itself and make it smart station for onward transport to chatsworth
     
  4. Henry the Green Engine

    Henry the Green Engine New Member

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    'the potential is awe inspiring and the fact nobody's been able to organise and take advantage, horrifying'

    Seconded. The potential here is bigger than most other more successful lines with less potential (if they were starting from scratch now) It isn't the line that is lacking, it is some of those in charge, wasting time and money. Time for a clearout at the top and start again.
     
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  5. Midlandsouthern

    Midlandsouthern New Member

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    Definitely as commented an earlier post Building blocks are there. Enough coaching stock waiting in wings yes unrestored or needs overhaul but its there Enough locos waiting aswell, shed facilities and a operating line. Just needs more umpf offering more. i read gwsr quarterly book from year ago. 3 hours fish and chips special, 3500 grand made.
     
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  6. Midlandsouthern

    Midlandsouthern New Member

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    Definitely as commented an earlier post Building blocks are there. Enough coaching stock waiting in wings yes unrestored or needs overhaul but its there Enough locos waiting aswell, shed facilities and a operating line. Just needs more umpf offering more. i read gwsr quarterly book from year ago. 3 hours offish and chips special, 3500 grand made.
     
  7. JayDee

    JayDee Member

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    Oh, seems I missed another tourist trap, as I went along browsing the line on google maps from Bakewell onwards.

    Thornbridge Hall is also directly on the railway route. So it has 3 stately homes within reach. Two of which it can serve by rail.
     
  8. Can't remember when it was, but it must have been before the SNP had overall control of Holyrood. I've never seen them 'save' money yet, all they seem to do is p*ss it away on vanity projects.
    Woah, hang on there just a minute before you all get too carried away. It's way too simplistic just to say 'the railway passes close by' three stately homes. The biggest market for stately homes (and, indeed, 'honeypot' towns) is pensioners. So what's your practical plan for weaning them out of their door-to-door cars and Shearings coaches and on to the train? Unlike, for example, Broadway, where the railway does add an element of transport benefit, I'm sure Chatsworth and the like have plenty of car and coach parking.

    Let's assume that 90% of them aren't railway enthusiasts, you need to give them a good reason why a train trip will positively add to the experience, not negatively add what many who aren't so steady on their pins would regard as an unnecessary complication. And it merely moves the issue of parking cars and coaches to another location.

    'If you build it, they will come' may work in Hollywood, but not in the hard-headed business of railway preservation.
     
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  9. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    Lord Phil is now on the EOR.
     
  10. JayDee

    JayDee Member

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    T'was the SNP I believe.

    Thornbridge has a more multi-faceted approach from glancing at it, so caters more to bikers, health nuts, walkers etc as it has an "outdoorsman" section across the road. Haddon Hall's parking, from what I remember, wasn't exactly the best. Chatsworth does indeed have busses and car parking but it doesn't have the option of heritage busses etc running which tend to appeal a bit wider. You also will struggle to get there if you did happen to go by train as you did in days of yonder and we've seen in general encouragement from people from the government for the past two decades.

    You'd also be mutually helping said places by widening the appeal to families, who're the mainstay of the Heritage Railway market. Something The National Trust has been pushing now for probably the better part of a decade now, as said "Familification" of various sites began back when I worked for them 6 years ago. More and more families are visiting stately homes and such sites, even if the Blue Rinse Brigade continues to be the mainstay.

    You also advertise on the basis of being able to explore far more of the Peak District by sitting back and relaxing in a train carriage than being stuck in the car as they see said pretty towns and places roll on past. This encourages people to come back perhaps in the door-to-door cars at a later date to explore more if they wish, but hopefully come and ride your trains again. You also put them on your map and flyer/timetable as a "point of interest" along the route. Everyone enjoys free advertising.

    Then you find somewhere and offer the parking for free, pave a whole darn field if you can get away with it and have all the capacity humanly possible.

    Doesn't matter if you then charge £31 for the train ticket as a return or whatever, free parking is like manna from heaven and I have always enjoyed watching the confusion, then joy, of people realising there's free parking everywhere I live.

    OH, and then we have places like Buxton, Bakewell etc which are definitely beginning to struggle both with traffic on the roads, and the available car parking spaces available coupled with rising visitor numbers.

    Indeed the A6 and other key roads through the Peak District get congested quite a bit during the summer months and doubly so when the weather is nice. Having a transportation option to stop that from happening so much, or even a "linear attraction" like a railway to help spread that out significantly would be of enormous help to all attractions around as well as the railway itself.

    In other words, you'd take those cars and dump them outside the Peak District Park proper, which'd make the authority and locals happy if nobody else.

    S'how I'd do it anyroad.
     
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  11. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    I imagine that this is much easier said than done. Very few councils would agree to surfacing large green areas whether they are in a NP or not. Also, you haven't touched on who will pay to buy said field(s) or pay for the drainage/fencing/leveling and surfacing-none of these come cheap.
    I think you'll find it does matter. Entry to Chatsworth house & gardens for instance, costs £21 for an adult £12.50 for a child or £58 family (2A 3C). Are you seriously trying to say that the average Bloggs family on a day out can afford to pay train fares of £62 for the adults, around £46 for the kids and then another £58 for the house and gardens? That's a total of £166 for one day out before you get to food/drinks/souvenirs. I don't think many families could afford those kind of prices.

    Keith
     
  12. FearOfManchester

    FearOfManchester Member

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    I would just say to those who mention Thornbridge, it is a private home, not open to tourists other than a few annual garden tours and a cracking beer festival in the summer, though I think it's been held elsewhere recently. I've been lucky to stay there a few times, the brewery however is in bakewell, they have a small one at the hall but they don't often do tours, so the tourism aspects you mention are unfounded I'm afraid, the halls station on the other hand (great longstone) is very pretty, I believe it is a business retreat or something, and the main station building is a private home.
     
  13. JayDee

    JayDee Member

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    Hence "If you can get away with it." We've already established reinstating this railway is an expensive proposition regardless of which option is going to be chosen. You could of course keep the fields "as is" and use them as an overflow on the busiest of days, but then this won't end well if there's heavy rain.

    A cheaper method used at National Trust sites is keep the turf level there, but then throw down a hefty amount of stone beneath the surface, giving you an effective "hard surface" to put vehicles on, (artics could use the surface with no worries) while still keeping the drainage necessary and it's green cred. There's always ways around it.

    If we're offering it up as a potential solution to increasingly crowded roads (which we are in this scenario) you're more likely to get council approval.

    Why on earth would you not offer family tickets? Who does that? I'm going off a similar length of line with similarly pretty countryside (NYMR) which offers a family ticket (2A, 2C) which does a full return for £54 for their non-network rail bit. So your £46 for the kids vanishes straight away, and drops your family's price tag from £166 to £112 if they went on to Chatsworth as well. In fact, the railway becomes the cheaper option!

    Heck, let's say they want to do the house as well, so they're not bothered about running the full length of the line and get off at our theoretical Rowsley North station, cutting out the last 4/5 miles of railway (assuming they're coming from Buxton to maximize their travel experience). That's another tenner saved and drops your day out expenses to £106.

    What's likely to be shocking is a lot of families do. I remember when I worked for a major theme park and they published figures in order to help focus why customer service was so important and why you should treat customers as well as humanly possible.

    Average Families were willing to drop £2-300 for the day and this went up exponentially if they stayed in the on-site accommodation as well. Many secondardy products for those guys were geared to get the max spend out of them.

    People spend money on days out and holidays, this is what they do, you can either offer yourself in isolation as an event (which works out fine as well) or promote repeat custom and more visitors by pointing out nearby stuff. OK, it's entirely likely they may well just go to Chatsworth the next day instead, averaging out their spend to about £60 per day, but I often forget how close Chatsworth is and I live in Derbyshire, so goodness knows what folks outside the county think!
     
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  14. Jamie Glover

    Jamie Glover Member

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    The Peak Rail “ DEAD CAT” announcement by Peak Rail PLC’s devious and hopeless management is certainly proving to be a successful method of deflecting attention away from all the financial damage they have caused Peak Rail. This fact is more than proven by the flood of hypothetical comments that are currently being posted on the two Peak Rail National Preservation threads.

    However, Pete Briddon’s excellent weekly blog brings one of the major planks of the Peak Rail press release crashing to the ground with a sharp attack of common sense.

    I quote from Mr. Briddon:

    “I understand that Heritage Railway has even attributed a statement to Paul Tomlinson, a PR Director, that income from stone trains will pay for the construction!

    Andrew ( Mr. Briddon's son) did a few sums, based on Network Rail Track Access charges: a 1000 ton train of hoppers plus a 66 and a route length for simplicity of 15 miles. Works out at £87”.

    Apparently, construction costs, as predicted in the last feasibility study made in 2004 were cited as being at an £80 million minimum.

    The sad truth is that Peak Rail is broke. They would be even more broke if a generous mystery benefactor had not kindly provided them with the means of paying off a part of the Grinsty Rail court judgment. Even after this they have yet to pay Grinsty Rail’s legal fees. Then there is also the matter of Peak Rail’s own legal expenses which are to be paid on top.

    It is often said that you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. However, Peak Rail’s inept management seem to believe that they can indeed fool all of their shareholders all of the time. The truth is that they are incapable of even masterminding and financially laying a short track extension between Rowsley South and Rowsley proper. It is also interesting to note that the aforementioned Mr. Tomlinson has been for some years the Peak Rail director charged with the responsibility of managing the Rowsley extension project.

    A question for mathematicians: If it takes Peak Rail forty years to lay just over four miles of track. In what century, under the guidance of the present senior management, could we expect PR to connect up with NR in order to gain access to Buxton?

    I think shareholders and potential shareholders (if they exist?) should be told.
     
  15. daveannjon

    daveannjon Member

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    When is the egm going to be called? The plc agm is usually in July, an egm takes a month plus to organise and we are nearly half way through April already.

    Dave
     
  16. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    Interesting figures if Mr Briddon is right: 10 trains each way, 5 day operation with steam trains at the weekends, stone traffic income: 250 days per year, 20 x 250 x 87 = £435,000 per year.

    Who is going to provide the £100m capital cost, what return will they require? £100m @ say 3% = £3,000,000 per year - , without any consideration of repayment of capital. That leaves the tourist operation at weekends or otherwise to cover the remaining £2,565,000 in interest, plus the maintenance costs. If you doubled the number of stone trains to 20 each way per day there would still be a deficit at that price.

    The 2004 study concluded that a commercial passenger service would lose money and that freight traffic would increase the loss. I begin to see why that was said.
     
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  17. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    On the basis that those stone trains would be run anyway, but via a longer route to get southwards, I wonder how much the operator would save per year by using the peak route. Probably a lot more than £435k....
     
  18. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    But £2.5m more?
     
  19. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    The Office of Road and Rail (ORR) regulate track access charges for Network Rail owned infrastructure (even when it is leased to a different infrastructure operator, I believe!) but if the quarry companies were to fund the line themselves (in a consortium), then access charges would not, I think, be regulated. They would have to make a decision based on:
    1. Costs saved by using the more direct southerly route (e.g. not the track access for the Peak Rail route but that saved on NwR, reduced operating costs, needing fewer locos and wagons to run as many trains due to time saving).
    2. Whether the trains would 'run away' - this assumes existing routes have the necessary capacity to allow the number of trains envisaged, assuming this is an expansion. If the capacity doesn't exist, then the calculation as to whether it is a) possible and b) cheaper to add that capacity to existing routes or rebuild Buxton to Matlock (the existing Peak Rail infrastructure may not be up to taking the heavy traffic envisaged) would need to be undertaken.
    Steven
     
  20. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I assume the post went halfway through, but I think the use of access charges would be subject to competition law, and therefore constrained.
     

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