If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Bluebell 2009 "Modernisation"

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by davycrocket, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. cct man

    cct man New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,259
    Likes Received:
    49
    Occupation:
    CONSTRUCTION
    Location:
    LONDON
    You are so right about the extended railway requiring extra coal and water, never mind the wear and tear on an aging fleet, I wonder if the management have taken this into serious consideration?

    Pullmans?, very nice to have but no coparison with the VSOE is there? As you say they are not prototipical .With the emormous cost that has gone into maintaining them and the downturn in the economy , one has to ask the question how long they can keep them going. I suppose at the end of the day the Bluebell are stuck with thm and now have to make the best of it. However with every penny going into the extension how long willthat be?.

    Regards
    Chris Willis
     
  2. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,245
    Likes Received:
    267
    Occupation:
    Brick Machine Operator
    Location:
    Haywards Heath
    Good news everybody all Diesel Gala mention has been got rid of on the Bluebell site.

    Also 73136 seems to be going during April/May because it only has one more duty on Saturday, a special working, and the Roster has removed the 73 from the list for May [-o< .

    Scary and well thought through April Fool.
     
  3. cct man

    cct man New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,259
    Likes Received:
    49
    Occupation:
    CONSTRUCTION
    Location:
    LONDON
    £500 per day Lee, a lot of money.

    CW
     
  4. davycrocket

    davycrocket New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    0
    No way!

    Richard does do an excellent job and he should continue. He does have lots of other stuff to do and stills puts lots of effort into the website.

    Normally, I do like Flash and snazzy websites, but the Bluebell's is clean and simple.

    I do agree that the way information is uploaded could maybe change to become simpler, to support more user generated content and to make it easier for official sources to upload. (Having said that I don't know how the pages are written!).
    I'm sure that extra help for some extra pages would be welcomed.
     
  5. davycrocket

    davycrocket New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are so right about the extended railway requiring extra coal and water, never mind the wear and tear on an aging fleet, I wonder if the management have taken this into serious consideration?

    Pullmans?, very nice to have but no coparison with the VSOE is there? As you say they are not prototipical .With the emormous cost that has gone into maintaining them and the downturn in the economy , one has to ask the question how long they can keep them going. I suppose at the end of the day the Bluebell are stuck with thm and now have to make the best of it. However with every penny going into the extension how long willthat be?.

    Regards
    Chris Willis[/quote:2ub7rn0e]


    Indeed. A strong strategic plan needs to be developed for the next 5, 10, 20 years. Not the BRPS, but the current ones.
    I feel that the costs of the Pullmans need to be looked into; including the capital costs of restoration, maintenance, staffing and traffic and catering operating costs.
     
  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,518
    Likes Received:
    40,649
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Yes, though I seem to remember an email from Richard to the Bluebell group that seemed to imply that even allowing for maintenance costs, running costs of the engine etc, that the Pullmans made quite a healthy return on investment.

    FWIW, here's my conservative ambition - or rather, set of hard questions - for the Bluebell, based mostly on what's in the long term plan:

    Locomotive: Lewis Node's paper of a few years back suggested a locomotive requirement of 12 locos - which implies one loco outshopped every 10 months, assuming a 10-year lifespan between heavy overhauls (ignoring complexities such as large / small engine etc). When we get to EG and maybe Ardingly, the loco requirement will be even larger. Ideally we need workshop capacity to outshop on average one engine every 8 - 10 months - not as a peak in a good year, but as an average, year in year out.

    So hard question 1: What resource of space, paid staff and volunteers is required to meet that target?

    C&W: We have something like 85 carriages listed in the stock list, not to mention numerous wagons and non-passenger coaching stock. Of those 85 carriages, about 30 are listed as available for services, and 6 are under overhaul. That means 50-odd coaches are currently in limbo - or in fact worse, as in effect the condition of them must be getting worse, not better.

    I'd suggest that even if we can increase the net "available for service" list by 2 carriages per year, we'll still take 25 years to clear the backlog - so that looks like the least we should aim for if we truly claim to be a preservation society (rather than a society for delaying the inevitable...)

    So hard question 2: What resource of space, staff volunteers etc do we need to meet that target? How much covered accommodation is needed to preserve carriages so that time between overhauls can be increased, freeing up resource to work on restorations? Would it be cost effective to outsource some overhauls / restorations, as was done with one of the Pullmans?

    Volunteer messing: Not all our volunteers live locally; increasing fuel costs / decreasing disposable outcome are also likely to mean many volunteers may try to compress their turns into fewer, longer blocks - for example, working one weekend per month rather than two single days, to save travelling.

    So hard question 3: Should we be looking at some kind of volunteer hostel, as, for example, at the IoWSR? (Don't get me wrong - I love the loco lobby. But it could hardly be described as salubrious or convenient if you decide to stay for a week of loco turns. Gritty 1950s austerity can probably be carried too far :) )

    All of the above ignores many other revenue and capital-intensive programs: track renewals (soon to be 11 miles and maybe one day 15 miles of single line); maintaining the signalling, maintaining 3 (soon to be 4 and maybe eventually 5 or 6) stations, signal boxes, water towers, engine sheds, carriage sheds, nice-to-haves like a turning facility somewhere etc.

    So that leads to hard question 4: What's the capital requirement of all of the above, and how do we raise it? With EG and Operation Undercover alone we are already committed to around £8million, so I'd suggest the plan above is probably well north of £10m in total. The alternative though is coaches rotting in sidings with no realistic prospect of being restored; and a line that is too long for the available motive power to provide a viable service.

    As an example of how other organisations tackle this sort of problem: My old college recently did a similar analysis of the financial requirements needed to perform their teaching duties, funding research fellows and maintaining an estate of buildings dating from the 14th century onwards. Their estimate (IIRC) was a financial shortfall (once projected income from fees, grants etc was factored in) of about £1.5m per year revenue; their tactic was thus to aim to raise an endowment of around £50m. (This was based on a return on investment of 3.25%, which looked conservative in 2007 but is probably now optimistic). The result was a pretty heavy duty fundraising effort - professional fundraiser, telethons from ex-students to tap up us supposedly wealthy alumni etc. Suffice to say that I'm giving more by standing order to New College than I am to the Bluebell, despite being more heavily involved with the latter as a volunteer. I wonder if we have something to learn from such organisations a bit removed from what is normal practice in the heritage movement? It's worth noting that the number of living alumni of New College is not too far away from the number of Bluebell members - if anything, probably rather fewer.

    Just my $0.02...

    Tom
    (Volunteer, life member and shareholder...)
     
  7. stepney60

    stepney60 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    14,578
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Scary"? :-k ](*,)
     
  8. martin butler

    martin butler Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,440
    Likes Received:
    386
    i despair at the mentality of some blue belle members or supporters, praising the removal of the hated ed, your railway is trying to finance an extension and needs a lot of money to do this, it needs to attract visitors to maximise its earning potential and how does some of its members think it should be done? by burying their heads in the nearest fire bucket
    you need to earn a lot of money FACT
    you need to look into NEW ways of attracting visitors ,so that you can invest in getting to East Grinstead as soon as possible if you get people visiting then hit them hard for contributions towards the tip fund
    anyone with an eye to marketing would be pushing new ideas, well here's a couple, shuttles using a small engine up to the bridge to bring in extra revenue , have a gala, devoted to the end of steam, you have a newly outshoped BB the dukedog in black, hire in a 33 and ed use both forms of haulage if some of the stored ex Barry engines can be made up into a train, have a scrapyard special hauled by either the 33 or another steamer i dare say i will no doubt get the purists sticking pins in me for having the nerve for suggesting this
     
  9. cct man

    cct man New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,259
    Likes Received:
    49
    Occupation:
    CONSTRUCTION
    Location:
    LONDON
    Really sad I agree Martin, there are those on the Bluebell that think that preservation stops and starts with the Bluebell, nothing outside of Sheffield Park exists, although some are now having a rude awakening and seeing the light , and not before time either.

    Regards
    Chris
     
  10. Stewie Griffin

    Stewie Griffin New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    5
    What an excellent and well thought out post, and one that could equally be applied to so many of our other heritage railways.
     
  11. stepney60

    stepney60 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    14,578
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good point, well made. I couldn't agree with you more. Indeed, I would say the majority of Bluebell members aren't as anti as the vocal few who are proclaiming the end of the world as we know it.
     
  12. martin butler

    martin butler Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,440
    Likes Received:
    386
    thanks Chris what a lot of people forget is this, to anyone younger than 40 the only steam they have known is preserved steam, and they grew up with the post steam BR era, all of which has now gone, and the main line is more boring for it, when you think of what used to come through Woking where i grew up 73,s 74,s warships, 33,s 4 cors on the pompey, subs and bills on locals compare that to now, plus we used to get visitors i remember a hymec that came in every evening about 7 you might ask what has this to do with the bluebell, well everyone who liked trains then would remember those days fondly yes we all like steam, but arnt we all Railway Enthusiasts at heart on most railways the main haulage is and should always be steam, but diesels and electrics have their following
     
  13. alts1985

    alts1985 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,633
    Likes Received:
    270
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Store Manager for the Co-operative Group
    Location:
    Stevenage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
  14. Dan Hamblin

    Dan Hamblin New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,524
    Likes Received:
    115
    Occupation:
    Rolling Stock Engineer
    Location:
    Kent
  15. 73129

    73129 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,409
    Likes Received:
    885
    Location:
    Winchester
    I’ve been on the Bluebell web site today and there are a few photos on the web site of 34059 on a rake of MK1 stock which looks great apart from the red and cream coach be hind the loco. This coach looks out of place with other Mk1coaches which are in southern green and looks even more out of place be hind a southern loco. Why don’t the Bluebell get on and paint this coach? It looks awful in a rake of green coaches.

    http://www.slp.uwclub.net/mayjune2009.htm
     
  16. cct man

    cct man New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,259
    Likes Received:
    49
    Occupation:
    CONSTRUCTION
    Location:
    LONDON
    Lee, this one and another MK 1 were painted in these colours specifically as "Lounge" cars for cream teas etc.

    This is all to do with catering vehicles .

    Regards
    Chris
     
  17. 73129

    73129 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,409
    Likes Received:
    885
    Location:
    Winchester
    Thanks Chris I didn't know that but it still looks odd in a green rake of coaches to me.
     
  18. John Elliot Jnr

    John Elliot Jnr New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,247
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Museum curator
    Location:
    71A
    But it is authentic. Carmine and cream was the official livery for BR main line coaching stock until 1956.
     
  19. secr1084

    secr1084 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    At least one of those Mk1's did run in Carmine and cream, although I don't think it ran in that livery with the raised sidelight frames it now has!
     
  20. David

    David New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    water meter reader
    Location:
    Eastbourne
    Yes abosolutely right there's nothing wrong with Blood & Custard behind a Bulleid. Whilst I do think it's a bit of a shame that we seem to be heading back to the days of having "rainbow" carriage sets I do like the 2 Blood & Custards we have on the railway. It would be nice if either we could acquire or repaint another 2 Mk1's, one would have to be a Brake, so we could have a 4 coach Blood & Custard rake that could run seperately. But I guess money and time must go towards E.G. which is more important.
     

Share This Page