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.

GWSR General Discussion and Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by michaelh, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. 46229

    46229 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    146
    Location:
    Toddington
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Yes, It would allow you to run a freight at a steam gala up there, but then you’ve got the problem of what to do with it back at Toddington if you’re running a 4 set Gala timetable. The line south of Toddington is full. Pointless having two passenger trains north of Toddington at once on a gala timetable too, as it ruins the frequency on the rest of the line with half your available sets ending up at the same place.....as the steam gala timetable found when they tried to mix it up with using P2 at Cheltenham. A long gap is then created in the timetable. Much better to have a regular interval service. Every 45 mins is the most you can do as is achieved at the diesel gala and that doesn’t change with Broadway box open, although you could change locos there and have one layover between trains.
    Given the way coal prices are likely to go in the not too distant future, I’m not sure running freights at gala is going to be economic in the future either.
     
  2. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    7,582
    Likes Received:
    10,184
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I must say, personally I quite liked the timetable we used with Cheltenham P2, it was still busy for passengers but a bit more relaxing for train crews than the rather manic 45 min frequency of the diesel gala. I'm not sure coal price on its own will put the kibosh on freight trains, I think if it was getting that prohibitively expensive, we'd be having bigger problems! You say the line has been full south of Toddington with the previous timetable, but Chelt P2 hasn't been used at all. I appreciate I'm wandering well outside my sphere of knowledge and further into yours (!) but would using both Cheltenham and Broadway as a passing loops at either end not increase capacity during a gala compared to previously?
    But I did say freight was only my hobby horse, a much better use would be to allow a DMU shuttle to go between Winchcombe and Broadway, something that I think worked really well on the old pre-Broadway timetables to allow people to get off at more stations without a long wait.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    michaelh likes this.
  3. 46229

    46229 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    146
    Location:
    Toddington
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Different markets I guess. A lot of people don't like big gaps in the timetable. Diesel customers much prefer to be able to keep on the move and the timetable (which is robust and runs to time) allows them to put their moves together. That said, the success of the diesel gala over recent years has been in appealing to a more family orientated attendance now that our 55-61 year old loco fleet are increasingly seen by the general public as historic machines in their own right! Going back to Broadway, it may be possible to squeeze in a Winchcombe-Broadway DMU on some of the standard timetables, the pinch point then moving to Winchcombe.
    The problem all railways are going to face, especially the longer ones, is that operating costs will continue to rise year on year whereas customer numbers will not.
     
  4. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    7,582
    Likes Received:
    10,184
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Indeed, although I don't remember these big gaps in the steam gala timetable from using P2 at Cheltenham. Looks like a 40 minute frequency to me, although it was of course pre-Broadway. As you say, diesel folk want different things, but from a staff point of view allowing the layovers for breaks without impacting on the service frequency was I thought a real strong point of that particular timetable, and my main complaint at the lack of in the diesel gala timetable, an event which, despite me not being a diesel enthusiast, I do enjoy working.

    But at least at Winchcombe there is space and the signalling to shunt a DMU out of the way temporarily if required, although it needn't be necessary.
     
  5. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,089
    Likes Received:
    1,289
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Very comfortably early retired
    Location:
    1029
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Doesn't the ability to run two trains in succession from Toddington to Broadway (and vice versa) increase line capacity?
     
  6. weltrol

    weltrol Member Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,226
    Likes Received:
    312
    To increase line capacity, why not simply replace the second running line throughout ( dons tin hat and grabs coat...)
     
  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    7,582
    Likes Received:
    10,184
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I don't think we'd have enough trains to fill it then!
     
  8. weltrol

    weltrol Member Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,226
    Likes Received:
    312
    With 34 passenger vehicles and a 3-car DMU listed on the VCT pages, theres a good start...
     
  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    7,582
    Likes Received:
    10,184
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I suppose in a world where we've got double track we'd have restored all carriages on site too! :) I suspect last year's steam gala will be the high watermark for number of operational carriages for a little while, there were several on their last legs which we haven't had a chance to give any attention to at all yet. Unfortunately events have conspired against us managing to rush many carriages through the paintshop recently which could have enabled some to look a bit more respectable and carry on going for a while longer.
     
    weltrol likes this.
  10. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    972
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Atlantic
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    On the subject of freight, it's sad that the original goods sheds at Toddington and Winchcombe have been re-purposed and modified (although I think that was the correct call), because one would have been a magnificent location for an educational display on the role of the steam railways in moving goods around the country, prior to the rise of trucks.

    In fact, I think it's a pretty safe claim that the latter stages of the Industrial Revolution wouldn't have been possible without the existence of the railways to move goods around. Passenger traffic gets all the attention these days, for perhaps understandable reasons, but back then, goods traffic was almost certainly more important to the country as a whole.

    I didn't really understand the whole goods thing until I read Adrian Vaughan's incredible "Signalman's Morning", where he alludes to it, as it was still in existence when he started, although fast disappearing before the influx of trucks.

    Noel
     
  11. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,564
    Likes Received:
    1,922
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    I think the original intention was to have such a display at Broadway. However with the civil engineering problems that the GWSR had at the time, unfortunately the shed had to be sold to fund the slip repairs to keep the railway going.

    Keith
     
    jnc likes this.
  12. AndyY

    AndyY Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    424
    Likes Received:
    468
    Until recently most preserved railways have paid scant attention to goods trains, regarding them as 'non-revenue earning'. However in recent years some, the Severn Valley and Great Central to name two obvious examples, have started to run magnificent goods train displays at gala events. Presumably these railways have realised that they bring in visitors who then spend their money, so they are 'revenue earning' albeit indirectly.
     
    The Dainton Banker and michaelh like this.
  13. Andy B

    Andy B Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    368
    Location:
    Bristol
    Surprised no one has mentioned this before, the railway is currently battling to make repairs to a slip just south of gotherington. It first showed as a small 6’’ shear which since the new year is now 6’ - all this despite a dedicated drainage gang which have worked tirelessly over the past 8 years clearing, maintaining and improving drainage along the 14 mile line. the estimate is £500,000 and 4 months work. Immediate work is now on going to stabilise the slip and allow the railway to open as normal on 7th March. Obviously this is a big blow to the railways finances and we’ve subsequently had to tighten the belt. Please support the railway by visiting this year - the steam gala in May is especially shaping up to be a good event. Photo copyright b.ferrule (GWSR p-way Flickr account)
     

    Attached Files:

    jnc likes this.
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    17,893
    Likes Received:
    28,879
    Location:
    21C102
    A “like” would seem wrong in the circumstances, but thanks for the heads-up.

    Given the prolonged wet weather, and the issues being faced by Network Rail, I’m slightly surprised there haven’t been more such issues on heritage railways. Hopefully things stay that way!

    Tom
     
  15. big.stu

    big.stu Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    802
    Occupation:
    Software Engineer
    Location:
    Cambridge
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    At NVR the Wagon Group have been running freight driving experience courses for some time - much cheaper than a full blown driving experience, and, according to many of our participants, a lot more fun! Plus they make money for the Wagon Group to continue restoring wagons. We are seeing a lot of repeat participants (possibly because we try and vary the motive power each time), and they sell out quickly. There are ways to make freight pay...
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
  16. 5944

    5944 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,269
    Likes Received:
    2,252
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Train Maintainer for GTR at Hornsey
    Location:
    Letchworth
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Plus the price is good too, as the cost is spread amongst several participants throughout the day.
     
    big.stu likes this.
  17. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    339
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Wiltshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Turn back a page and see posts #691-697
     
  18. Andy B

    Andy B Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    368
    Location:
    Bristol
    Yes, I apologise for not looking back!! But also since those posts, work has now started (2 weeks ago) and we know approx 4 months and another £500,000 - money that would have gone down very well used in other areas.
     
  19. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    2,062
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    What do people think about the GWRT (charity) planning to change its statutes to a wider remit? The GWRT is the largest single shareholder of the operating company GWSR, and has two seats on the plc board. (cross board directorships)

    The trust statutes currently have a single objective:

    'To establish and maintain a railway museum for the benefit of the public'.

    The trust has now had charity commission approval to change this to:
    'To support and/or maintain the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway as a living museum for the benefit of the public'.

    They are also seeking powers in their articles to acquire/preserve locomotives and carriages, as well as the support of organisations that contribute to the operation of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway as a living museum.

    These proposed changes are to be voted on by members on March 18th.

    What do people think of this widening of the charity's remit?

    My concern is a weakening of the heritage support function, and a loosening of the purse strings for things that the plc should be funding, or raising funds for. The two organisations are already very close, with their overlapping directorships. Charity Commission guidelines issued last March say that the trust cannot fund the 'core' costs (or overheads) of the non-charity; that is, for example, propping up the cash flow of a railway company. This is where the 'support and/or maintain the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway' comes very close, in my view. Where does the 'support' end? All costs incurred by the plc influence its cash flow. Track renewal, landslips, bridge replacements are all overheads.
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    9,688
    Likes Received:
    5,377
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    If the plc gets into difficulties for whatever reason and would otherwise go into administration, what would happen to the GWSR? Would it still exist or would it, too, fold? If the latter, what then is the purpose of charity? Just asking, as I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable of the GWSR organisational structure.
     
    jnc likes this.

Share This Page