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Bridge that Gap: Great Central Railway News

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Gav106, May 8, 2010.

  1. Great Western

    Great Western Member

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    In short it gives the GCR Mainline access, the Ruddington Heritage Railway (The GCR don’t want them soiling the GC name) gain little to nothing from the gap being closed.

    Harsh, but true.
     
  2. Great Western

    Great Western Member

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    That’s how Railtrack operated, along with multi user stations back in the bad old days!
     
  3. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    So the NHR gain nothing from being able to run into Loughborough and down to Leic North???.......I'm absolutely sure that their passengers would rather have the option to do that in the future than just run 8 miles out and back to Ruddington! The combined operation will be far greater than the sum of the present two operations....for All concerned.
     
  4. J Rob't Harrison

    J Rob't Harrison New Member

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    You're quite right, they gain nothing, except for the small matters of a destination to run to, the satisfaction of having been party to the realisation of an idea now 50 years in the making, the potential opportunity of the folks south of the Gap giving them a leg-up to turn their 9-mile one engine in steam siding into a fully operational stretch of track again, and (we hope) increased footfall and revenue resulting from becoming a railway that actually goes somewhere.

    Yes absolutely nothing in it for them at all.

    Speaking as an armchair member of both railways, I'm quite looking forward to the day I can travel a 36-mile round trip on recreations of express passenger trains from the 1900s, 1950s and 1980s. I don't think there is anywhere else that could offer that as a USP.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Does it give them a destination? In my book , Loughborough isn't really a destination, nor is Leicester North, for that matter. The only reason for Joe Public visiting either railway is for a ride on the train IMHO. Enthusiasts may find something of interest at Loughborough but I struggle to find any reason for the general public to get off the train at either end of the GCR. The same obviously applies to the Nottingham line although there is the country park at Ruddington but I admit I've no idea what there is for people to do once there.
    These two railways are not unique in this respect. There are many heritage railways that lack a true destination and are essentially a train ride, the railway being the destination, itself. There's nothing wrong in that, though, but I question whether a 36 mile train ride is a step too far for the general public if there is no destination to look forward to.
     
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  6. Miff

    Miff Part of the furniture Friend

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    But NHR’d surely be allowed to run into Loughborough only if there’s a commercial advantage for the GCR too. Is there?
     
  7. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Why do some people find it so difficult to believe that organisations can co-operate and work together for mutual benefit? Yes there will be problems, but they will be overcome by co-operation and good will.....we all want the same thing!
     
  8. Great Western

    Great Western Member

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    Grown men find sharing their train sets very difficult, you only have to look back over history to see that.

    Any successful lmk up demands BOTH sides have equal respect and appreciation of each other.
     
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  9. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    And that’s what I think is missing when people think that the northern railway has either need or want to run into Loughborough and the southern lot are doing them a great service and should simply jump at the opportunity. The negotiations and agreements need to be on equal terms.
     
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  10. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    But wasn't that what they were established for? Two organisations designed to look after and protect one end of the line each until such time as the two could be joined into one again. It really doesn't matter what the differences in staffing / assets / management etc are as they can easily be melded into one body as was originally intended. Why should there be any major problems ?
     
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  11. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Steve made a point in an earlier post.......
    ".......There are many heritage railways that lack a true destination and are essentially a train ride, the railway being the destination, itself. There's nothing wrong in that, though, but I question whether a 36 mile train ride is a step too far for the general public if there is no destination to look forward to."
    Think what the GCR railway ride will become.......
    An 18 mile length railway, with 9 miles of double track, 6 stations, 6 signal boxes, a four track siding complex. Two locomotive sheds, three museums. Complete with a 1 mile branch line with two stations and narrow gauge railway. 6 cafes on site, dining on trains. Demonstration goods yard with turntable. Approx 20 steam locomotives, 15 diesels. 40+ carriages, 130+ goods wagons in use. At the North a bus depot/museum and extensive miniature railway on site....and Nottingham a short bus ride away.
    At the South (with its museum complex finally built) the Space Centre and Pumping Station are a short walk away....and Leicester a bus ride away. Arguably one of the most comprehensive heritage railways........ in the world.
    As an added bonus....the main line connection with charters, commercial testing and filming contracts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2021
  12. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    All of which will demand joined-up marketing, whatever else is or isn't joined up.
     
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  13. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I cannot imagine the Regulators being at all happy with a non-joined up operation on a joined up railway.
     
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  14. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    All wonderful things to have but how many of these are of interest to Joe Public? How many of these signalboxes can they look around? How many of these locos can they go and look at and what do they get out of having a double track running line and siding complex? Except on special event days, when are these wonderful accessories in use? The GCR is still essentially just a train ride. Nothing wrong with that, though, as I have already said.
     
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  15. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    18 miles each way: ideally a need to turn locos at either end, not in the middle. :D
    Pat
     
  16. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    Bringing the discussion back to the GCR, I am firmly of the belief that many of our heritage railways need to re-examine their business models going forward. To take the two under discussion here, the GCR and the NYMR the problems are different but the answer, to a large extent is the same. In the case of the GCR it is just a railway and although billed as a main line railway, the occasions when it can operate as such are limited to gala events. At most other time it is really no different to all the other heritage railways and doesn't even run through particularly scenic countryside. Worse still, neither terminus or any of the stations between provides a destination that people particularly want to visit. In contrast, the NYMR has a sought after destination at Whitby, a pleasant alternative at Pickering, a popular one at Goathland, a passable one at Grosmont and some spectacular countryside in between but somehow it has morphed largely into being a vehicle for transporting passengers to Whitby or Goathland - where in either case they are largely lost to the railway and opportunities to extract secondary spend from them - from Pickering.

    What both railways need to focus on is finding and providing more attractions to give people a reason to visit the railway and spend the day there, moving from station to station. There are various possible attractions that could be laid on, and my feeling is that the wider-ranging they are in educational terms, the more successful they will be, and additional benefit that this would also be attractive to grant awarding bodies. The new slogan going forward should be an old one revived : "More than just a railway"!
     
  17. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    61624 makes several good points but I'm sure most railway management's spend a lot of time examining and re-examining their business models. This is of course one of the drivers for "Bridging the Gap". This will increase the options available for gaining additional income for the GCR via the Main Line connection to bring in charters, testing and filming contracts. This in addition to the increased inter station timetabling.
    There are already good educational links via schools visits, STEM work on the Gap, monthly Boscastle shed tours and University links. As said, at Gala events, the full benefit of the double track and various station sites allows for far more attractions for visitors.
    Many people also enjoy the vista across to Bradgate Park, the birds over Swithland reservoir and the everchanging views over farmland......although the steady encroachment of more housing is not so attractive it must be said!
     
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  18. Sheff

    Sheff Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think in terms of attracting Joe Public and their family, heritage lines fall broadly into ‘where they are’ and ‘what they are’ and the GCR falls squarely into the latter category IMHO. Over the decades, I’ve only taken family there for events eg Santas, Diners and Murder Mysteries. Conversely we’ve visited the KWVR, NYMR, WSR, NNR etc because of where they are. Some we will never visit or revisit as they offer neither. So for me the GCR ought to concentrate on family friendly on-train experiences that they can sell at enhanced profit margins. Also improving their museum offering will be good, but I’m not sure about a hike to the Space Centre - a vintage bus link would be a better bet I think.
     
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  19. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    At least it's not as bad as KWVR, which seems to be running through more and more housing estates every time I visit.
     
  20. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Spare a thought for the folks at Leighton Buzzard!
     
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