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Winners & Losers in 2014

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Hurricane, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. Hurricane

    Hurricane Member

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    Continuing on the thread from last year; who will be the winners and losers in 2013?

    Which railways have had or are about to have the best galas?

    Which locos will draw the crowds etc…

    Thoughts below?
     
  2. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    The East Lancs' celebration of 50 years of the Class 14 is shaping up to be pretty special in the diesel calendar if all the plans come to fruition. I hope it works for them as it is unlikely to be repeated any time soon.
     
  3. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    It will be interesting to see if the Bluebell will continue to see a surge in visitor numbers now it has been running to East Grinstead for over a year and the novelty value may have worn off. It would be good to maintain the levels seen in 2013, but we'll have to see. Tornado is due to pay a visit in the summer, this time to haul Bluebell trains rather than at the head of an incoming railtour. This ought to help the numbers somewhat.

    The GWSR is another line which, I am sure, would like to maintain the significant growth in visitor numbers seen during 2013. With 7820 and 4270 both making their débuts in the first half of the year and possibly 35006 in the second, it offers a few good reasons to pay a visit, although enthusiasts sampling a particular type of motive power aren't going to cause a great surge in overall visitor numbers. For the GWSR, it's opening to Broadway which will really transform the visitor numbers, but this will be for a future "Winners and Losers in 2016 (or thereabouts)" thread.
     
  4. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Hopefully! I have noticed that for the past few years the opinion on 35006 is that "it will be ready at the end of this year" but I do have high hopes for this year. As for Broadway, that will definitely surge our passenger numbers, as then we'll have a "somewhere" at both ends of the line! 7820 seems to have been doing well for the railway already with the photo charters primarily due to her livery, 35006 will hopefully attract more visitors, and 4270 maybe to a lesser extent.
     
  5. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b Member Friend

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
  6. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Your post seems to have disappeared, maybe you edited it, but never mind, I'll attempt to answer it anyway. Unfortunately we can't help the gwr's obsession with naming stations after towns not actually at the station, but there we go. I think Broadway will bring in a large number of people, it is "the" honeypot village of the cotswolds, much more so than Winchcombe I'd say, and also, it's in a direction where we are most likely to get that all important mainline connection (regardless of whether we need one or not, I suspect it's partly status...). We own the track bed up to Broadway which is a handy start, so no worrying about legal issues working out leases, then it's all in fairly good condition, apart from the 5 bridges which are about to be repaired. I don't think I've heard anyone criticizing us for going to Broadway, most people seem to think our increase in revenue will be much more than marginal. The rest of it to honeybourne is owned by Sustrans who I believe are happy for us to lay track once we get there, there have certainly been talks with them as early as a few years ago as I understand it.

    Questions are asked about why not towards Cheltenham though. It's a good question. Unfortunately beyond the Prince of Wales Stadium (before anywhere meaningful is reached) the trackbed is owned by the council, who although have preserved it, have turned it into a very well used cycle track and walkway. I know there are cases where a cyclepath and track can share the trackbed, especially as the line was originally double, but there are of course the issues surrounding that with safety etc. aside from the millenium style span bridge near waitrose which is impassable for trains, I have no idea the condition of the other bridges along the route either, the whole route into cheltenham could cost hundreds of thousands more to make track worthy than going the other way. As we are a tourist attraction, I think it makes more sense to go to a tourist village. Also, once you get to Cheltenham spa, could the existing station cope with heritage trains? to enter the station a train would have to go onto the mainline, then reverse back into the station, and there's nowhere immediately obvious to build another platform. there was some talk a while ago of the council running a tram from cheltenham Spa to Cheltenham Racecourse, where it would stop to make way for heritage trains, and various other pie in the sky plans, which are around somewhere on the forum. In short, there are quite a few obstacles to going to cheltenham and relatively little to go to Broadway and onto Honeybourne.

    As for finding the railway, which hotel were you staying at if you don't mind me asking, we'll have to try and get some leaflets there, I've certainly seen them around. I can't speak or finding the railway from along the M5, I know how to get there so I don't look for signs, they could probably be improved.

    Finally, as to not runing the day you attended, we need days to do essential work that cannot take place durin operating days, cleaning and painting buildings (which you kindly complimented the railway on doing) cleaning carriages (which is important to all the visitors - no point travelling if you can't see out the window) and P'way work (so trains don't come off the track - fairly essential). Also it is difficult to get enough people mid-week, even during Easter as people go on holiday (I am).
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  7. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b Member Friend

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    Thank you for replying, I am glad you managed to read my post before it disappeared during editing!

    I was not criticising you for not opening, traffic levels dictate when and how often you can operate.

    We stayed at the Hatton Court Hotel.
     

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