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The Talyllyn - Suggestions

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by ellisteph12, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    They require the services of a paid member of staff for at least part of his time. I have to accept the view of a footplateman as to visibility issues at the Forestry Commission crossing but the EKT still strikes me as a bit of "gold plating" which the T.R. once could afford but now cannot.
    Not from you Ellis and you are the one with the really difficult task. Attracting people to visit the Mid-Wales coast in general and the T.R. in particular in a cost effective way won't be easy and everyone will wish you well. My concern arises from certain reactions to any suggestion that things can be done more economically. Some of these give the idea that compulsory emasculation is being suggested! It was a T.R. person after all who posed the question as to how many T.R. people it took to change a lightbulb. Answer "Change?, change?"

    Please read my previous posting regarding my operational experience. EKT is "nice to have" but IMHO (and experience) not a necessity.

    PH
     
  2. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    Utter rubbish. As has been pointed out to you before EKT is a very flexible way of operating trains over a single line. I doubt very much that it is an expensive cost to either run or maintain but you are fixated on it like a baby on a biscuit. Your views are not serious or constructive and therefore deserve to be dealt with as 'trolling' or simply negative.
     
  3. ellisteph12

    ellisteph12 New Member

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    First time I have heard this, it does sound more typical to a grumble over a pint rather than constructive thoughts on how the railway can improve. 60+ years of operating by a preservation society and 3700+ members, you would expect some opposition to what the railway has been doing in the past as every member has the right to opinion.

    The amazing response to recent appeals shows that the faith in the railway by its members is there. £60k promised to the railway from an appeal started three months ago shows that more clearly than any grumbling.

    Again, I hope this thread can return to more positive suggestions that are realistic visitor improvements going forward.

    Online donations / Ticketing has been put forward as a suggestion, and is being taken forward.
     
  4. Talyllyn07

    Talyllyn07 Member

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    [​IMG]

    im going to say this once more. the EKT costs us nothing now its set up the biggest issue that cost the money is when the flail hits a junction box or a outdoor volunteer hitting something into the ground finds the cable trunking. our S+T engineer is there not only to serve in his role as a S+T engineer but he is also our electrician.

    to change the operating system would involve complete removal of 8 EKT machines and wiring for 6.25 miles (too valuable to leave it in the ground) complete change around of our ground frames to allow unlocking by some other method etc etc even after all thats done your left with an inflexible method of working, which to my mind is a step backwards and potentially a less safe way of working.

    and as Neil has pointed out is going to save us next to FA

    cheers
     
  5. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Some positive suggestions for the website (adapted from the other thread):
    There's clearly some disinterested criticism of the website on these threads that suggests that, despite its supporters, the website does need at least tweaking. A few things: the online shop. This requires you to click on facilities (whatever that means - I thought it was a guide to where the loos are), click on shop, then click on online shop, then get an error message / or get to the online shop and find they haven't yet added what you want (TR stamps!). Only now they're starting an online shop?!! I've been buying items (by Paypal from the US) from the Corris and Lynton & Barnstaple for years! Annoyingly, the new TR online shop wants you to register and it doesn't say up front whether it posts abroad and whether it takes Paypal as well as credit cards. User friendly? - I think not! A second point: online donation button. This was raised by me some time ago, and Ellis agreed it was a good idea, and says it is being taken forward. How long should it take to set that up, and how much bureaucracy does it have to go through? I can change my website in half an hour max - surely the TR webmaster can do the same? If the shop accepts credit cards I don't see the problem in routing donations through the online shop (as is done elsewhere). Final point, to echo many others, yes - online ticket purchase, online booking of driver experience, online booking of catering facilities for parties etc

    As a life member I am trying to suggest positive steps, please don't take this as negative. I want the railway to prosper - after all Tywyn has a claim to fame in my family (I was born there!!) ;)
     
  6. Talyllyn07

    Talyllyn07 Member

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    great suggestions! and ideas would have to go through the accountant i assume to see how easy this is too add to the system etc, but as for adding donations to the shop site the accounting then gets a bit long winded as the shop is part of TR Co. and the donations etc etc is generally dealt with by TR holdings (gift aid which i realise you wouldnt be entitled to give but still) this of course is an problem which can be overcome im sure but its handy to iron out the problems before they arise!

    in short we are listening to 'the sensible suggestions and they will be bought to fruition as quick as they can! :)

    thanks!
     
  7. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Okay, as the Scots would say "I hear you" and I won't be coming back to this matter despite my doubts. Just remember that without significant cumulative economies in operations a great deal is being put onto Ellis Jacklin and he will need your unstinting support in his efforts.

    PH
     
  8. Talyllyn07

    Talyllyn07 Member

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    fair comment, but i am one of those with a similar mindset to Ellis and willingness to assist him as he knows.

    cheers
     
  9. ellisteph12

    ellisteph12 New Member

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    Paul, I am one of a huge amount of people who want the TR to prosper. There are lots of optimistic people who work extremely hard behind the scenes and out on the track, in the works and in the offices. The only issue that seems to have cropped up on here is that a lot of negative thoughts have accumulated that there is a 'problem' at the Talyllyn concerning how it is run and what the future holds and that it may be in 'trouble'. You can see how disastrous this could be if potential visitors and passengers believed these rumours.

    It's open for business and I hope this year sees passenger figures up and lots of donations flying in to secure the railway for years to come (via an online donation button :) )
     
  10. ellisteph12

    ellisteph12 New Member

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    A quick update for those that followed this thread and made/saw the suggestion of online donations to help support The Talyllyn Railway..

    Im delighted to say this has now gone live at Talyllyn railway Fundraising - Donations | Talyllyn Railway This will be further embedded into the website and future marketing of the railway.

    A great step forward and I hope it will encourage generous donations :)
     
  11. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    ...and what about all the other ideas which came out in the discussion such as making the site user freindly ?
     
  12. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    At the risk of opening a wound again, or being labelled a baby with a biscuit....would the TR need to employ an electrician if it didn't also need an S&T engineer?

    I don't know how available electricians (volunteer or contract) are in Towyn, but it seems to me that whilst the capital has been sunk in the installation of EKT, you're clearly employing someone (or part thereof) to maintain it, and if one of the reasons for that persons job went away the TR might manage without the other reason? Don't know what the railway pays, but thats upwards from £15k (employment cost) per year saved (less the "outsourced" electrician's time), or around 1000 fewer visitors to find. Still if that is FA or the cost is unavoidable, well ok for the TR

    I thought Paul's real point was that there can't be any hostages to fortune when looking at ways to evolve for the future, and that the TR track record on evolution does not, to outsiders like him and me, appear to be a strong one. How many years elapsed between the 1896(?) Act and the implementation of continuous brakes for example? TR members will probably not agree, but from the outside the TR often appears to be highly resistant to change. That may or may not be a reflection of reality within.
     
  13. VolunteerCoord

    VolunteerCoord New Member

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    I think you will find that the TR does embrace change, however you have to remember the TR is the Worlds First Preserved Railway and has been extended to its original terminus already. So the challenge is to maintain the current infrastructure, in the most advantageous way. EKT offers many benefits and as has been stated our electrician does not spend most of his time maintaining it, indeed at present a total rewiring of workshops, engine shed and carriage sheds occupies much of his time, plus maintaining the existing installations, IMHO it would cost far more to do this by contract. Most staff are muti skilled in any case so not confined to a nominal job title role. Ever tried to get an electrician to do a repair in a hurry?
    What the TR does not want to do is make changes that will restrict future development, or impact on the ability to operate trains, timetabled or otherwise.
    If anyone has ideas on how to recruit volunteers to assist with maintenance we would be glad to hear them, or indeed to build and subsequently maintain all the add ons to websites to allow for on line sales and the like. The TR did have one of the first websites for preserved railways, so that was eveolution.
     
  14. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    Well said Lawrence, our electrician spends more time maintaining on other systems than working on EKT. God knows why people wish to bang on about EKT as if it's costing hundreds of thousands of pounds to run every year, I suspect it's just being used a stick to beat the TR with. Using a train staff and ticket system is much more complicated and much more demanding on the staff to operate safely.
     
  15. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Well I am not going to bang on any more about EKT. Any system, improperly used, can be hazardous as per Abermule and none of them are foolproof. The T.R. is no more likely to have problems than anyone else but equally no less likely.

    I will bang on about economies and traffic encouragement measures though. Passing the hat round to buy sleepers is not quite like asking for donations to buy lavatory paper but they are both stores items in their way! Not something you really want to do if you don't have to. To avoid this sort of embarrassment there have to be operating economies or an increase in traffic, ideally both.

    I look forward to reading about positive reactions to suggestions (forget any of mine) for improving the situation. Alas I fear "we have always done it this way" will prevail. Prove me wrong!

    PH
     
  16. Talyllyn07

    Talyllyn07 Member

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    I can't quite believe how many times this thread has been told that the EKT system costs us relatively nothing to maintain during most seasons. The most the system costs per year is possibly 1hr per year (under normal circumstances) to balance the odd token machine... IMO the TR doesn't refuse to change, but occasionally it can be a damned struggle to achieve the change.
     
  17. Corbs

    Corbs Well-Known Member

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    Just started reading 'railway adventure', and the idea at one point to extend up to meet the corris railway - imagine how that might have made things different!
     
  18. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    But what happens on the forum is that people come up with a range of suggestions and if they're not all carried out the stereotype remains that the TR 'won't/can't change'.
     
  19. ellisteph12

    ellisteph12 New Member

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    Would have been brilliant. Enjoy the book, my copy gets read a couple of times a year.
     
  20. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

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    There is a mountain in the way. Try walking from the end of the Tal to Corris. You'll soon see why that will never happen.
     

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