Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by lynton&barnstaple, Aug 26, 2012.
^Nobody cares for your trolling.
I reckon most people think the reconstructed WHR is a roaring success. Not perfect, many things could be better and the best way to improve them is open to argument, but what railway is?
I'm perfectly willing to go into details, but it's all been said before. Just because someone dosn't agree with the way the WHR is run dosn't make them automatically a troll. This is after all a discussion forum and if someone should have a standpoint which is going against the flow but at the same time is honest and sincere then all the better.
....what i find strange is why this discussion exists at all, if the WHR is so "awe inspiring" and wonderfull as that why are the numbers of passengers and what they think being discussed, surely with such a fantastic railway it would be an unquestionable roaring suscess by now..?
If I understand correctly, the number of passengers being carried is on a par with the FR, so a railway that has only been open in its entirety for a couple of years has caught up with one that has been maturing for 30 years or so since it got back to Blaenau. I'd say that is hard to criticise.
I'm an NYMR supporter, which I think is generally agreed to be the market leader in terms of passengers carrried, but it isn't perfect and there are plenty of criticisms from within the membership. It's unrealistic to expect perfection whatever the organisation when there a lot of people with different personalities and views involved.
..I think SteveB in his latest and in a previous post has touched on some important points as has lostlogin with regard to shorter journeys. Look at two scenarios. Mr and Mrs Joe Public and their two school age kids want a ride on a train to somewhere there is something to do for a day or part day. From Porthmadog the whole line journey is too far for kids not dedicated to railways and they would be crotchety and 'are we there yetting' not long after Beddgelert. In addition ,even with kids go free with an adult, it would cost £60+. Beddgelert is a good alternative choice as there are good walks by the river, Gelerts grave, cafes and pubs, shops, and the Sygun copper mine. Rhyd Ddu is really only for those climbing Snowden as there is little else to do there and Waunfaur, other than the pub,is not inspiring. The cost of tickets to Beddgelert is £36 and the temptation to use the car is likely to win the day.I know i did it last week - park in the layby a Aberglaslyn, walk on the footpath to Beddgelert watching any trains passing and having an ice cream in the village -total cost the ice creams and half a gallon of diesel . Had there been a family ticket for £20 I would probably have taken the train. I can understand the railway being nervous about losing trade for the full line ticket but my guess is numbers wanting that will stay stable - a slightly different market.
Scenario 2 would be Mr Railway Enthusiast who has done both lines several times and is looking for something different. A shorter ride behind a smaller loco - say Lydd, Taliesin or dare I say Russell might draw him back for another visit.
I fall into both categories at different times. I know there are some shorter services but I am thinking of something additional between existing full line trains. My ideal scenario would be shorter services running from the 'other' Porthmadog station through co-operation between the two railways but maybe that will be seen as just heresy!
The railway losing money by not selling full line tickets is not totally correct because with good publicity Beddgelert would still be served from both ends. Smaller trains with smaller locomotives with Beddgelert as the center of attention and not Porthmadog could well be the way forward, but this is only what some of us have wanted since the beginning, this would of avoided the reconstruction of the harbour station because of the shorter trains.
This old chestnut is always being trotted out - but can anyone actually evidence it?
It is certainly not the case amongst my family/friends/colleagues etc - the weather this year is far more of a factor for them.
Andrew - thanks for this - a bit of fact as opposed to ill informed opinion and criticism from some with their own agenda or axes to grind
You clearly have an agenda and your original question was not the innocent enquiry it purported to be
I must admit, I came to the same conclusion after my first trip on the full-length WHR. Whisper it, but I don't think the train is the best way to see Abergaslyn. It was only once I found a window to lean out of that I was able to fully appreciate the majesty of the pass, with the mountains towering above. From an ordinary saloon coach we could only see the steam below. So, next time I visit the WHR I will certainly plan to break my journey at Beddgelert and, if possible, board the train at the Caernarfon end.
The debate about smaller engines and shorter trains is interesting, but one question that occurs to me is: where would be the best places to pass if the WHR were running three trains?
Also, let's remember that the WHR is the only railway in Britain where we can enjoy NGG16s at work, and that's a good USP for enthusiasts. Worth bearing in mind for those advocating the use of smaller engines.
Pont Croesor and Dinas, or Hafod y Llyn and Waunfawr. Hafod would need train-operated points installing. The trains don't have to be shorter to cross at these places of course! I would imagine that, when some more "Super Barns" have been funded a 3 train service will be the high season norm anyway.
"Baldwin" - just a troll
Like anything there are two points of view and whilst some enthusiasts may like the NGG16s they do nothing for me. Whilst they are impressive beasts it is the preservation and history aspects that drew me into the welsh narow gauge scene and whilst rebuilding the WHR is a great achievment it feels to me at present like a new line that just happens to use steam engines. I am not belittling that as it is what the WHR need to move the number of passengers they require to cover the bills, it is just not something presently particularly appeals to me.
I am sure over time that will change. I never really liked Tom Rolt when it first ran on the TR, but now it has been running for 20 years it feels like part of the scenery. Equally the changes to the Fiarbourne overtime. Lyd justs looks and feels wrong to me on the FR but again I am sure as I get used to it it will feel part of the funiture. Probably 40 0r so years ago people tought the same about the Ladies and Mountaineer but now to many they synonamous with the FR
This serves nothing but stupidity, if you don't have the capacity to participate in a serious discussion why bother coming here. If you want to discuss the WHR and the reasons why there should be changes, that's fine by me, but to make senseless accusations without any reason against those that don't share the same view as you is nothing but childish. This is one of the reasons why i said it's impossible to discuss the WHR openly on this forum, those who are against the construction of the line in it's present form are picked on, not that represents any problem for me personaly but nonetheless this is a factor of disruption in what could be an interesting discussion.
As one who believes the WHR construction in it's present form was a 'cockup' perhaps therefore you could explain, what, in you opinion, is wrong and what should have been done.
All this has been gone through before, people get heated up and at the end the thread get's closed. How can you expect a deep discussion about the construction of the WHR when all the threads are closed. I believe it was an c..k up, it was done too quickly or decisions were made too quickly mostly around the choice of motive power which unhappily determined the rest. I do believe though that all is not lost and solutions can be found to make the railway more interesting, such as the recent discussion about the smaller trains.
Troll troll troll - get back under your bridge
Interesting to see how varied we are in our opinions. I think that Aberglaslyn is great, seen from the railway, road or on foot. It changes with the seasons, and with the weather. But it is only a short part of something much bigger when looking at the railway as a whole. Personally, like some others have mentioned, I very much like the section from Waenfawr to Rhyd Ddu, and unlike some other comments made I also think the section from Hafod y Llyn to Pont Croesor offers wonderful mountain views (weather permitting!). I can't speak about the remaining section to Porthmadog as I haven't travelled that yet (probably will in the next few days as I'm in the area for a couple of weeks). The bit that I find "trundleish" is Caernarfon to Waunfawr.
With the talk here of shorter, and more frequent, trains: not only might you need more coaches (planned anyway), but what would you pull them with? If you want smaller locos there aren't that many around, and they are in use on the FR. And most would be working at their limits, so have nothing left to give if there was an unexpected surge in passengers needing an extra coach. And there is also the issue of the signalling system, which until the planned ETS system is installed is rather inflexible when it comes to coping with trains delayed and out of place. Yes, more smaller and more frequent trains might get my vote, but there is a lot to do to make it happen reliably, and I can't even begin to speculate about the economics of it all.
Something else that I don't think has been mentioned here yet is that there is a need to improve facilities, both passenger and operational. There are plans, I believe, but all these things take time and money. So whilst we engage in "Fantasy WHR" the realities are always different.
If you had 3 sets of 7 rather than 2 of 10 you only need an extra carriage. As for locos even without another of the main pool being available would K1 or a diesel be able to mange 7
Going that way may not be the right idea. There is obviously a market out there to which a more frequent service appeals. Whether the costs of meeting that market outweigh the income I doubt anybody knows.
I have to admit that I often think that we as enthusiasts are guilty of thinking that what appeals to us might also appeal to the general public. The two may be entirely unrelated. The railway I volunteer on is as guilty of that as any. The marketing guys, all middle age train enthuisiasts with no kids, come up with an idea for kids or familys with young kids and I ask if thy have run the idea past any of the target market. Generally the answer is no. The experts on what will make a kid enjoy a train ride and want to come back is a kid. The expert on why a family do not travel is that family.
People travel on "our" trains because they want a train ride. We need to make sure they enjoy it and that it meets there requirements not ours as far as we can. They are the customers. Sometimes I think we forget that and taht is in general it is not directed at the FR/WHR
I'd have to disagree about the NGG16's as they are one of the main reasons, along with the scenery, that I support and travel on the WHR. Pretty much every other Welsh NG line operates with vintage loco's so it's not difficult to satisfy that yearning too.
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