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Bluebell 2009 "Modernisation"

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

  1. PiliPili

    PiliPili New Member

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    While that may be true, the FO doesn't belong to the Bluebell, and AIUI was painted blood and custard by the owners. I believe the SO was painted to match.

    Pil
     
  2. cct man

    cct man Part of the furniture

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    Correct, the FO is owned by Tim Robbins of the VSOE,this one done I believe in competition with the "Golden Arrow" unsure about the SO.

    Regards
    Chris
     
  3. tamper

    tamper Member

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    73129 wrote
    snip
    Not the Bluebells' to paint. Hired in.
     
  4. secr1084

    secr1084 New Member

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    Do you mean that putting money into the extension is more important than painting (maintaining) the carriages?

    Well it seems that this is the case with volunteers painting the very tatty carriages outside the volunteer built carriage works... ](*,) ](*,)
     
  5. David

    David Member

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    No I don't, I think both the loco and carriage dept.'s have been deprived of a lot of funding due to the E.G. extension. I'd love to see a full rake of Blood & Custards on the railway but with £3.75 million still needed for East Grinstead, we're "suppose" to be running trains into E.G by sometime next year, unfortunately I can't see any extra funding going into the carriage dept. whether it be for repaints or acquisions or restorations until the extension is finally over. The big question is though just where are we going to find £3.75 mil. if we're going have trains to E.G. in a year/18 months time?
     
  6. cct man

    cct man Part of the furniture

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    You are quite right David, with the extra wear and tear on the carriage fleet to an extended line will there be any carriages to pull into East Grinstead once the line is finally built as little of no maintenance is carried out?.

    Add to this that volunteers are leaving in droves for one reason of another, I would remind you of the words of a former moderator on this forum who said that if this lack of investment continues the Bluebell will be a shadow of it,s former self if they are not careful.

    Without wishing to spread "doom and gloom", it is no good burying ones head in the sand and hoping it will all go away or some generous benefactor will come along, neither of these things will happen. Next time you are at Horsted Keynes look around the C&W dept. You will notice lots of loco parts being painted in there, but very little of carriages. As SECR 1084 has pointed out the few volunteers left at the weekends have had to paint a Bullied Brake from the service fleet out in the open. Even Roger Williamd nearly completed coach had to be painted by volunteers instead of the full time painter as this man whinged that there was too much rubbing down to do.This should not be hapenning in a C&W dept built for volunteers by volunteers.

    There is something seriously wrong when things like this are happenning. The Bluebell need to look at their fleet with a long term objective, not a short term do nothing.

    Just my opinion.

    Best regards
    Chris
     
  7. poser500

    poser500 New Member

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    Can I just stop you there.........................thats better.
     
  8. cct man

    cct man Part of the furniture

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    Still in denial then Dave?

    Regards
    Chris
     
  9. poser500

    poser500 New Member

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    Yes the Bluebell is suffering through lack of money available for maintenance and restoration of the current infrastructure and rolling stock.
    Nobody said getting to EG was going to be easy and without consequences. But the Railway is committed to getting there and it needs everyone to do there bit to help.
    All Preservation societies have a churn of volunteers and like all places of work, be they paid or voluntary, personality clashes happen and the old adage, "You can't please all of the people all of the time" applies. But it must not be used as an excuse not to listen to peoples grievances, even if they are in a minority.
    So no head in the sand just sad it gets to the stage where people can't talk and sort out their differences. But thats me being simplistic.

    As for the painters in the C&W painting loco bits...I would far rather see the members of the loco department permanent staff working on boiler repairs and machining cylinder blocks than painting boiler cladding.

    It's so easy to criticise decisions without knowing the reason why they were made.

    Chris you do make some good points, however I do tend to switch off when you get your digs in about the Railway management.
     
  10. cct man

    cct man Part of the furniture

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    Fair comment and fair play to you for standing up for your department, if I was in your shoes I would do the same.

    However this is just one department although granted an important one, but tatty run down carriages = no bums on seats,no bums on seats = no income, no income = no money for the extension, do you see the point?.

    As you raised the point about management, the Bluebells management are tired and have been there too long and run out of idea,s. You just watch the mass resignations if and when they get to East Grinstead and leave others to pick up the pieces of what I believe will be a very run down Railway unless there is some drastic re-thinking.

    Best regards
    Chris
     
  11. poser500

    poser500 New Member

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    I think it is fairly common knowledge that a few of the management are planning to retire once EG is reached, but far from jumping ship it is the obvious time to move on and let the new generation take over. Now would not be the time for any to step down, what kind of message would that send out! Damed if you do damed if you don't.

    I for one don't envy what these volunteers have taken on and still think they are doing a fantastic job in incredibly difficult times.
     
  12. Columbine

    Columbine Member

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    It's difficult as a non-volunteer member, who doesn't because of that condition hear and see the problems first hand, to comment; but there are enough straws in the wind to cause concern.

    The C&W Dept has always seemed to be a problem area with, I have gathered over the years, massive difficulties between teams, or perhaps friendship groups, which cause a lot of friction. The management doesn't seem to know how to deal with the clashes of personalities and either just buries its collective head in the sand or uses the disciplinary code as a last resort but in a manner which gives the protagonists and outsiders the impression that favouritism is at work. There doesn't seem to be these difficulties with other departments and I don't know why the C&W Dept should have this characteristic culture. But it does seem to have a culture of being bloody-mindedly unwilling to co-operate within itself and many of the problems appear to originate with the paid employees.

    I suppose it could be argued that as a result of these ongoing battles the Bluebell's C&W Dept has 'seeded' as it were other C&W Depts in the South Central/East areas of the UK but although these other railways have benefited from the Bluebell's difficulties this really doesn't offer sufficient advantage overall to commend it.

    Personally I think a strong personality is needed at Horsted Keynes to bang heads together, tell the protagonists to put up and shut up or they will be out. Not to favour one side or the other, not at all. Both sides of each problem need to be routed out and got rid of. I suspect it will only need to be done over one dispute and the participants in other disagreements will be encouraged to desist and behave decently and co-operatively to the benefit of the Bluebell Railway. For too long there has been a want of decisive leadership in the department and this matter needs to be addressed.

    To change tack a little. I'm pretty laid back about the extra mileage that will result from the EG extension. I suspect that the carriages, from an engineering point of view, will weather that storm without any difficulty. There will, I suspect, be a problem of wear and tear on the internal fixtures and fittings of carriages if the passenger numbers increase significantly, but that should be compensated by increased earnings. I think too much is being made of this.

    As far as the two 'crimson and cream' coaches are concerned, I would personally have preferred that this colour scheme wasn't present on the railway, but I understand that these coaches aren't owned by the Bluebell and are on loan from private persons. To what extent, if at all, those persons were prevailed upon to have their coaches in this livery I really don't know. It would, most certainly, have been possible to see crimson and cream vehicles on the Bluebell between 1951 and 1956 (and probably until 1960 or so!), as it would on the rest of the rail network. I have to say that the paint scheme has been done extremely well, but my preference would have been for maroon if the railway wanted something different to represent coaching stock from the rest of BR.

    Regards
     
  13. spindizzy

    spindizzy Member

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    AS I understand it, if they don't get to EG the Kingscote will have to close and the line retreats back to Horstead.

    Oh and whilst we are talking about CW doing the painting of loco parts, has anyone seen the super job that they did on SAS. In my opinion it is far better than the paint applied to a very popular new build pacific. So if that is the standard of work they are capable of then best they send the whole loco fleet to HK.
     
  14. tom92240

    tom92240 Part of the furniture

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    Who's going to continue this standard now the painter has left?! 8-[
     
  15. tamper

    tamper Member

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    Columbine wrote
    snip
    Paint each side of a set in a diferent scheme. Maroon one side and Blood and Custard the other, etc. After all you can't see both sides at the same time except perhaps through a 'S' bend in the track.

    There is a precedent for this at the Bluebell. Fenchurch one side, Newhaven Dock and Harbour Board on the other. \:D/
     
  16. cct man

    cct man Part of the furniture

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    The painter left blaming a volunteer for the reason he was leaving when in reality he had a better paid job tp go to.

    Why he would say this heaven knows, so one can only speculate that he was either lying or had been manipulated into saying this by others.

    Regards
    Chris
     
  17. secr1084

    secr1084 New Member

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    I don't think this is true, the planing permission for the use of Kingscote (as a terminus) was temporary, although that has been extended each time they have failed to meet their own deadline.

    If the spirit of the original permission was applied, Kingscote would have to close once EG had been reached, or would have closed a number of years ago after the original permission ran out.

    As public opinion in the area has changed so has the attitude of the council towards the Bluebell. If the management made the decision to delay the completion of the extension for 5-10 years, and focused the little money they have on the backlog of maintenance (in all departments) the council would no doubt be perfectly happy.

    At the moment the money is not rolling in and they are several million short, so completion may take another 5 years or more, with the budgets of the various department being cut during that time to provide small amounts of progress on the extension.
     
  18. secr1084

    secr1084 New Member

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    What another painter going... How many have they had over the last few years? I can think of 5 that have come and gone, must be a really great place to work, or is it the pay?
     

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