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Recommissioning after Coronavirus

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by johnofwessex, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. Hirn

    Hirn New Member

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    Careful: quite reasonable as the comparison is, the extension of it might lead somebody to think that we should pay rates and VAT!
     
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  2. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Government uses monetary values for evaluating options in terms of the lives saved. While the numbers are contentious (just think of the rows over cancer drugs), the principle of enumerating costs and benefits to allow comparison of options should not be.

    However, allowing life for most to return to normal does not need to mean that our "older relatives" should have to "fight their own corner". First, it's not just the older ones, either (a friend's 50 year old son is under strict orders from his oncologist not to leave the house except for his chemo treatments); second, any civilised society needs to be able to support those who can't help themselves while also allowing those who can lead normal lives to do so.
     
  3. toplight

    toplight Member

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    I agree with everything Lord Sumption says in that interview. Lord Sumption for PM ! This is what lockdown looks like today, it is there officially but less and less actually observing it. I don't blame them, shorts on and enjoy the nice weather.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...-82F-sunshine-today-hottest-day-year-far.html

    Now imagine once Steam railways get a move on and get open, there could be cash tills ching ching ching with money coming in ! instead of sitting there doing nothing.
     
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  4. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    The most at risk of my nearest and dearest is my dad, who is 81. He wants to get out and about. He's gardened the garden, caught up with some painting and he and mum have done every jigsaw puzzle in the loft. My son and daughter work for a publisher, and are sending books every week, but the fogies want to get back to the gardening club and working at NT house. Staying holed up and not seeing grandkids is apparently more traumatic than a possible health risk.
    Politicians have made poor choices in this. Allegedly based on poor advice. Now They and the media have to convince us all that they were not wrong, to cover their arses. The "lockdown" now is more about protecting reputations than protecting the public.
    My grandfather was a soldier his whole life. In retirement he ran a small market garden/smallholding, did building work and made furniture. He was still cutting trees with an axe at 80. Gran went doolally, so he sold the smallholding and moved to a bungalow. At 88, his health had declined and one thing and another, he moved to an old folks home in South Molton. The gun ear he acquired from 35 years of artillery finally made him 90%deaf, and his vision declined so much that though he didn't bump into things, he couldn't read, write, carve, watch tv. He used to listen to the radio at about 226dB, and definitely still enjoyed his grub.
    When he died a month shy of his 91st birthday, everyone said what a shame, what a pity. Only my Dad and I know that at the bottom of his wardrobe we found about 2 years supply of heart pills that he'd never taken. He had decided for himself that there's a difference between living and existing.
     
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  5. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    Does that suggest that it is not the action of a civilised society to lock up millions of healthy, innocent people to protect a minority who are locking themselves up anyway?
     
  6. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    Is it actually a heritage railway?
     
  7. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    The Harz railway dates back to 1887, presumaby has done risk assessments and according to it's website has been running timetabled steam trains this week?
    (edit) found a video from the 18th on Facebook

    Germany is further into the recovery cycle and maybe worth keeping an eye on?
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  8. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    It is not all that long ago that I recall Bob Meanley, no less, saying that we were currently in a purple patch and we should enjoy it while we can. He was talking specifically about main line steam and looking ahead to the various constraints that would make it far more difficult, but not impossible, to continue into the future. There was a list - technology, retention toilets, pathing, gauging, age demographic of loco crews, coal etc. That list is still there; some of it applies to heritage railways.

    Where we are currently is a place we wouldn't have chosen to be but we have brought it on ourselves because of our activities on this planet. It first happened in China but it might have happened somewhere else. Things will probably not be the same again. For example, my guess is that some of us may view air travel in the future in a different way - vaccine or no vaccine. I certainly will. That is probably good for the planet even if jobs will be lost and some companies have to rethink their business model. Rolls Royce comes to mind.

    On the whole the people currently running our heritage lines have been around for long enough to understand what they are working with. The best will be living in the present, thinking of the future but with respect for the past. I fear that those set-ups that haven't kept up with the times may indeed falter. Haven't any particular ones in mind but they will be out there. I'll be looking to those that are moving quickly to restart but with a plan that is not 'business as before'.
     
  9. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    If we go anywhere in Europe this year it will be Germany. If not it will be the first time since 1970 that we haven’t been to Europe.
     
  10. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    I can’t help thinking though that this had been taken to a level beyond reasonable, not just here but worldwide. The risk averse society had resulted in this. Other viruses in the past eg 1968 were just as deadly if not more so and the reaction was nothing like as severe. It’s probably here to stay so we must get used to it and live a normal life as far as possible, presumably with an annual jab for us oldies. Otherwise what is the point? Thatcher also knew the cost of everything but the value of nothing. What we value is priceless.
     
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  11. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    So you're suggesting we should have let the NHS be overwhelmed? Globally this virus could kill up to 60 million people even at the low end of estimates of death rate and we still have no idea what long term health effect it could have on survivors.

    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
     
  12. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    Protection and treatment should be targeted and should have been from the start. That’s one reason why the death rate in Germany is so low
     
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  13. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Think of the Harz system as a modern railway that uses steam power. It has colour-light signals, centralised control, and, around Nordhausen some bang-up-to-date bi-mode trams that run off the municipal network. 2 parts are busy, Wernigerode to The Brocken, and Nordhausen to Ilfeld. The rest is pretty much sleepy hollow. Your piece reads as though you have not been over there. You should.
    Pat
     
  14. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    Yes indeed a superb system which I visited five times prior to reunification.
     
  15. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, it seems as if the lockdown, as a technique to "contain & delay", may well kill more people than it saves. We need a better approach.

    Noel
     
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  16. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    Treating how? The German approach was to test and isolate - I would agree better than our approach but they certainly haven't just been getting on with life.

    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
     
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  17. Cosmo Bonsor

    Cosmo Bonsor New Member

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    I'm hearing more stuff along the lines of 'What is there to worry about?' and 'We've all got to die of something' and so on. It makes me as a 52 year old driver on one of higher profile Heritage Railways think maybe I don't want to take the risk especially as some people who want me to do that seem deaf to any legitimate worries I may have. It looks like the split in opinion about reopening mirrors the broader divides in public opinion.
    As it is I have a choice in this one, Drive choo choos or don't drive them. As for those calling for me and other to do so, you can post on Nat Pres as much as you like, no crew, no train ride.
    I can still indulge my other main hobby of Classic Motorcycles which can be a solitary pursuit. And yes I am aware that it is a riskier activity. I can mitigate those myself as much as possible and accept the rest. For the record motorcycling overall carries a risk of 1 micromort per 6 miles travelled. Unlike other activities smoking for example biking is only risky while actually doing it as would train driving be.
    The point is COVID risk is less quantified with regard to individual circumstances because of novelty. Put it in micromorts then I can compare. Tim Harford is interesting to read and listen to on this subject As we all know risk assessment is part of any railway's SMS.
    My workplace is taking a lot of trouble to mitigate risks properly and I will see what happens on my railway and base my decision on all the facts available and not what the Daily Mail tells me to do.
    I would like to see a 'Are you willing to recommence volunteering again?' survey for those of us in Operating grades. I'll try to find out what my train chums think.
    By an accident of timing I had my biennial assessment in early March so by our rules I am good to drive in September with no further training or assessment.
     
  18. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    No, though I would agree that it is not the action of a civilised society to maintain restrictions on mobility longer than is necessary to manage an epidemic. We know that, on average, each person infected by the virus is infecting less than one other person. The evidence is unclear about how much the virus is declining, and how much it is focused in specific locations; we have yet to see how much the results of the exuberance around VE Day will manifest in extra infections and hospital stays - though anecdotes from health staff suggest an observable spike. The announcement of a number of footballers and club staff shows that the risk does still exist in the wider population.

    I've long regarded lockdown as a necessary evil, to be eased as soon as practicable. But just as I struggle with the idea that we should stay in lockdown until everyone can live normally, so I also struggle with the idea that we should abandon lockdown the moment it looks like the virus is under some kind of control, and leave those vulnerable to it to themselves. I know a number of people who are shielding; with one exception (near blind and 91), all would expect to lead full active lives in the community were it not for the specific risk that Covid poses to them. What particularly frustrates me is the way that some imply not only that the lockdown is unnecessary but, in their portrayal (and IMHO misrepresentation) of the statistics, that other limiting measures are also unnecessary. I'm in no doubt that some of those demanding an end to lockdown would rapidly move on to denigrate other Covid mitigations. I wholly reject the absolutist view presented by @toplight that we are all individuals, solely bound to pursue our own interests. It is one of history's more delightful ironies that Ayn Rand, who promoted that view most effectively, died dependent upon social security and Medicare.

    I'm therefore, broadly speaking, a supporter of the current approach to easing lockdown measures. Stepping back gently, keeping a close eye on the effects, and then progressively relaxing further if all goes well strikes me as an eminently reasonable approach.

    My difference is over the role of contact tracking and monitoring. While I don't accept the allegations of some that this amounts to the herd immunity strategy by another name, I despair that a proven effective way to mitigate the effect of a communicable disease is still not effectively being followed, and that the time it will take to come out of lockdown will be extended beyond what it ought to take.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed - stopping contact tracing early in the pandemic, and now, two months later, still being weeks away from putting anything back in its place, is one of the unforgivable parts of the way the Government has handled this crisis. The purpose of the lockdown, and the associated economic measures, was to buy time, but the Government seemed somewhere to lose track of for what reason it was actually doing so. The last two months seems like a wasted opportunity to make the preparations necessary to allow life to return to some form of productive normality - which I suspect is why we now have this split between a population getting increasingly restless to ease the conditions under which we are living, but a Government that knows to do so risks a much larger second wave of infections.

    Tom
     
  20. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Actually you and your fireman are in one of the safer places provided you don't indulge the public who want to visit the footplate.
     
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