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WHR General Discussion.

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by triassic, Jun 4, 2009.

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  1. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    I often think that the phrase "strong business case" is over or inappropriately used and whilst I recognise there was and is a strong case for the rebuilding of the WHR based on tourism, economy etc I would not say there was a particularly strong business case in that the WHR would never have been rebuilt without a considerable amount of outside funds via way of grants or donations and volunteer effort. Even with that the railway has not been completed as of yet due to lack of funds.

    That is not to belittle the WHR and what it has achieved, it is just purely to say their was a stong business case to rebuild is in my view not correct. There were many other reasons rebuild to but purely as a business proposition I am not sure it stacked up, but then that is probably true of 99% of preserved/heritage railways
     
  2. renovater

    renovater Guest

    The FR decided to have the WHR trackbed because they were afraid the advancing WHHR would take away customers. If that is not a business decision, i don't know what is !!
     
  3. dan-trumpet

    dan-trumpet New Member

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    Public money

    I don't know... Public money has been spent of things of far less value in recent years. The Millennium Dome was a huge drain on the public purse and turned out to be a pointless embarrassment. The 2012 Olympic logo launched to derision and took a year and £400,000 to produce. The head of the National Audit Office and most of the MPs in Westminster wasted public money on dodgy expenses. In comparison, the money spent on the WHR seems to bring pleasure to large amounts of people and, as the study showed, brings great benefits to the local economy. That's not necessarily a bad thing!
     
  4. Platelayer

    Platelayer New Member

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    My opinion: the FR Co. decided that if anyone was to rebuild the WHR then they ought to protect their hard-won business position and do it themselves.

    Without wishing to denigrate any of the many achievement of '64 Co., I'd take some convincing that they could have achieved what the FR Co. has with respect to rebuilding the WHR.
     
  5. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    Yes that was a business decision, a business decision to protect the FR. Was there then a business case to rebuild the WHR I am not so sure.

    Ultimately rebuilding or building any railway the economics rely generally on other providing substantial cash, labour. Once up and running I am sure there is a commercial case, but whether there is purely a commercial case if you factor in the capital costs I have my doubts.
     
  6. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    I think the advantage the FR had was they had a name, they could use BL works rather than have to create or finance a new one and borrow rolling stock. After that I think with a fair wind another organisation could have rebuilt provided they were able to attract the outside money by way of grants or donations.

    Whether as quickly or as succesfully is anybodies guess but the counter argument that they could not have achieved what the FR have achieved is that if they had they would have got to Port already.

    My personal view is that I think it would have been harder to get the project off the ground originally but after that progress would have been in the hands of the money men and in this the FR I believe have been very fortunate in obtaining from a couple of individuals very substantial funds. I have no idea who these people are and whether they are "FR men" but I think without people like them the WHR would not be what it is today and we all owe a debt aof gratitude.
     
  7. renovater

    renovater Guest

    I think your right, it was more about protecting the FR than the re-construction of the WHR and whats more it shows by the artificial disneyland, quick and easy cash, boringly boring tourist railway with no head or tail, that we have ended up with, rather than something with a real character. What a let down !!
     
  8. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    I disagree. My interest is really in the history and heritage of lines, steam interest me more than modern traction but not greatly without the history and heritage to go with it. I am not a steam good, modern traction bad person.

    Because of that I have no real "love" presently for the WHR as I see it as a new railway and that is not really where my interest lies. There is nothing wrong with it being a new railway and that was the only real option as most of the old infrastructure and rolling stock had long since perished. Commercially the old model was also not viable, having two or three coach trains trundling up and down might be what the "old" WHR was about but you need bums on seats to pay for it.

    The FR appear to have done a reasonably decent job as despite appearing to be operationally stretched at times they are they attracting the punters and running busy trains. Yes personally a new railway was going to be built I would have liked to have been run with modern rolling stock but I think it is difficult to knock what the FR have done if you look at it purely from building a railway and attracting punters point of view.
     
  9. Cambrian55

    Cambrian55 Member Friend

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    Oh dear I really thought we were going to get away from this repetative old rhetoric, boring tourist railway, artificial disneyland stuff. It appears that you are virtually the only one who thinks this way, but are determined to continue to ram it down our throats in the vain hope that if you repeat it often enough we might believe it's true...](*,) and then when we complain you reply in such a condecending way, I know I'm right and you are all wrong, as to make me want to throw up.:smt078
     
  10. SillyBilly

    SillyBilly New Member

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    And your ideas are more exciting???
     
  11. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

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    It's quite clear that the criticisers on here have never used public money to fund businesses themelves.

    Such money is there, its available to any project that meets the criteria for the (considerable) effort of applying for it, and furthermore it is there because the public voted for it to be that way. From the point of view of Government, whether or not the WHR is 'real' in the mind of some enthusiasts is of sublime indifference, the question is does the funding supplied create jobs and wealth in the targetted area in excesss of the money originally granted - and it has. So stop banging yer gums and find something else to whine about, because this particular horse has been flogged to death.
     
  12. jtx

    jtx Member

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    Everyone has the right to say anythig they like. You have.
     
  13. jtx

    jtx Member

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    You have not made your point, merely expressed your opinion. The point was made by the people who needed to make it, in order to obtain the money.
     
  14. jtx

    jtx Member

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    Your views are " interesting." Have you actually entered puberty yet?
     
  15. jtx

    jtx Member

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    Clearly, you have not travelled on the line. I have, and on the footplate. I have been fortunate to have both driven and fired on the line. I can assure you and anyone else visiting this site, that boring is not a word you will hear when anyone who has travelled on it, describes it. Anyone who is bored on the trip through the Aberglaslyn Pass, or the thrash up from there to Rhyd Ddu, is either blind, deaf, dead, or needs to get out more..
     
  16. jtx

    jtx Member

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    Clearly, your views are at odds with those who actually sat down and considered, before awarding the money from public funds. There have been several instances, in recent years, particularly in Scotland, of re-instatements of lines, which have far exceeded even the most optimistic of projected passenger figures. No-one actually knew what would happen, until the facility had been replaced. The same seems to have happened here. Provide the resource and the passengers appear.

    Whilst I empathise with the nostalgics - I wouldn't be using this forum otherwise, you have to be realistic and be grateful for what you've got. If you want to see George England engines on one or two Victorian coaches, then, occasionally, you will, but that would not be possible without the external funding that assisted with the rebuilding, or the superb tourist operation that serves the passengers on a daily basis.
     
  17. DJH

    DJH New Member

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    Can we steer clear of :smt084 please [-o<

    The discussions seems to be going in cicles.:smt101

    As far as ng 16s it was mentioned the original was made of stock from all over and so withe same true with the new WHR its simply following its tradition.

    As far as grants go you have to look at the area and local jobs. As others have mentioned although there were grants to the WHR to rebuild it the benefit economically to the area has more than paid for itself. All three (FR WHR and WHHR) benefit the local economy and the rebuilding brought a lot of work to a certain caernarfon steel firm that still makes business with replacement parts for the locos now the heavy building work is done.

    As far scenery its far from boring and the views constantly changing depending on the weather. Personally I think the best is yet to come on the straights towards Port.

    Regards

    Duncan
     
  18. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    Did you actually read what I wrote in my posts. I never had argued about awarding of the grants, I was merely pointing out that in my view if something stacks up a a business case i.e. commercially then to me that implies that there is a business there could be strated on a commercial basis i.e. not requiring volunteer support, large donations and grant funding. My view is and was that it commercially viable to run but if you had to pick up all the capital costs then not. I also stated there were other non commercial reasons for the rebuilding.

    If you read my other posts you will also see I make the similar point about running small two ot three coach trains.
     
  19. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Well-Known Member

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    So take one step back and look at the wider perspective.

    There are two groups looking to re-open a long disused railway. You have to decide with whom you should invest and be held accountable for your decision on the use of public money.

    One has a track record of major projects, strong numbers of skilled people, operates an already very successful business, has a commercial history with banks and has provided a business plan of how they will fit all of this together.

    The other is a relatively small organisation, has less resources available, has less experience and has not submitted a formal plan of how to fund the necessary investment.

    I think I might have worked out the answer to this.....

    Any questions??
     
  20. dhic001

    dhic001 New Member

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    It is worth pointing out too that the Ffestiniog started taking an interest in the WHR in 1988, having already rebuilt a railway. The '64 company thus had 24 years to build their railway before the Ffestiniog came along, but they didn't build a railway. The '64 company had plenty of time to make a good solid start on the building, and thus put themselves in the position to rebuild the whole line, instead the Ffestiniog have had to do it for them.

    As for 'Renovator's complaints, he just does himself and his '64 company fellows a major disservice. If he and his friends at Gelert Farm, stopped complaining about being hard done by, then maybe they might be taken more seriously, and might get the support of the new railway to do what they would like.

    Daniel
     
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