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

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

  1. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    855
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Very comfortably early retired
    Location:
    1029
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I travelled on the 1220 ex Toddington today

    Positives and negatives:

    Positives:

    • Railway appeared very busy
    • The family who shared my compartment - 3 generations including the youngest 4 and 2 year olds who understood railways and steam locos
    • The lady in the shop at Cheltenham Racecourse who chatted sensibly to everyone in the shop and made a real effort with children
    • Free parking
    • The Narrow Gauge running
    Negatives
    • The state of the Mk 1 coaches we travelled in - both externally and internally - tatty is flattering them - they didn't look much better than those not in service
    • The lines of rotting vehicles at Toddington and Winchcombe
    • The guy in the shop at Toddington - who did not seem quite "with it" - appreciate he was a volunteer, but even so
    • The complicated and confusing timetable - the family referred to above said they'd struggled to understand it and to ensure that the trains they travelled on were steam not diesel
     
  2. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,675
    Likes Received:
    1,087
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    White Rose County
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Phew! Good to see that you didn't find it all bad then.
    Regarding the negatives of the day:

    I think it has already been stated on the GWSR Website and on the GWSR C&W Blog that they are aware that some of the coaching stock is "tired" at the very least and they working hard to overhaul the coaching stock and the fact that the maroon set was stranded for months on end at Toddington because of the landslip at Chicken Curve has not helped. I believe I read that the plan is to repaint all the maroon stock asap. You will no doubt have seen the new Finishing Shop at Winchcombe which thanks to generous benefactors and others will soon be available to speed up the overhauls.

    What lines of rotting vehicles at Toddington and Winchcombe are these then?

    The guy in the shop at Toddington, well, I can't comment as unfortunately I wasn't visiting my favourite heritage railway today! I hope he isn't reading this thread.

    It doesn't help if a timetable appears confusing but again, I wasn't travelling so can't comment.

    Solution? Give the GWSR C&W Department a hand rather than criticising.
     
  3. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    2,362
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hayling Island
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Can't comment on the issue of the condition of the rolling stock per se.

    However this sort of "shoot the messenger" reply to what is obviously intended as a balanced assessment is unworthy. It is as if someone complaining that lavatories were dirty were given a loo brush in reply and told to "get on with it"!

    PH
     
    Robkitchuk and michaelh like this.
  4. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,675
    Likes Received:
    1,087
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    White Rose County
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    You are probably correct. It was not my attention to "shoot the messenger" and, if I gave that impression to you and others, then I apologise unreservedly as this was not my intention at all.

    Constructive criticism is useful and we can all learn from it, but I still feel that the OP's account of the Mk1 stock was really harsh to say the least given all the well-publicised work being done by the GWSR to rectify the situation.
    For example:
    http://cwatgwsr.blogspot.co.uk/

    This blog shows all the hard work that is going on and the GWSR main website also covers work being done by the C&W team, including work that would have been well beyond their capabilities 10 years ago.

    As is no doubt well-known, several railways have invested (like the SVR and the Bluebell) or are in the process (like the IOWSR) of investing in carriage storage sheds for their stock, or at least some of it. I do know that a carriage shed is/was planned for the GWSR at Winchcombe (however this may have changed) but the Railway has had to deal with 2 horrendous landslips recently and a backlog of work has had to be tackled. The new Finishing Shop for C&W at Winchcombe is being fitted out now and will be a real bonus in improving the Mk1 and other stock.

    In the latest GWSR magazine, The Cornishman, there is an article stating that next month the GWSR will hope to issue a new share opportunity to fund the remaining work needed to get to Broadway. It's mainly concerned with funding the cost of repairing the 5 remaining bridges between Laverton and Broadway that all need some repairs. Onwards.
     
  5. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    855
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Very comfortably early retired
    Location:
    1029
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It was the view of a passenger . The general public are not going to read the CW blog to understand why their ride is in a tatty carriage.
     
  6. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    855
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Very comfortably early retired
    Location:
    1029
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    As it's your "favourite heritage railway" - are you giving them a hand?
     
  7. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,675
    Likes Received:
    1,087
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    White Rose County
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Yes indeed! However, sadly only a little financially these days rather than as a working volunteer as I now live in the East of England rather than in Gloucestershire. I joined the GWSR work parties in 1981 and was involved in PWay, car park duties and the rescue of 4277 and restoration of 2807 until Military life intervened. So, yes, and I've seen the GWSR come on in leaps and bounds.

    In your original post, you gave no inclination that the state of the coaching stock was not your view.

    Why should the "General Public" not read a blog or the GWR website?
     
  8. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    2,362
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hayling Island
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I once started a thread on the basis that extensions were "a snare and a delusion". It is no use to the group from the W.I. or the U3a to be told , in effect, that having decent carriages is subsidiary to the Great God Extension. Not that I am saying the GWSR Mk. 1's are especially bad, I couldn 't say but tatty Mk.1's are a blight on the railway preservation world in general.

    Particularly angersome are those lines where the default is a tired rake of Mk. 1's when you know that lurking in the carriage shed is something which is both more interesting and in better condition. I did travel in a decent Mk.1 once, on the SVR but that's about it! These things are going to be expensive to renovate in the future as well as bad for the image.

    Thank you by the way for responding to my previous posting in the way you did.

    PH
     
  9. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    855
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Very comfortably early retired
    Location:
    1029
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Blogs like the GWSR one you referenced (BTW it's very informative and , unlike so many, kept up-to-date) are of little interest to anyone but committed enthusiasts. As paulhitch said, the group from the WI or the U3A are hardly likely to study it before their trip to the railway.

    Most heritage railways seem to struggle with keeping coaches in decent condition - and it's those the passenger sees more of than the well polished shiny locomotive. 50 year old steel vehicles kept outdoors in English weather can only deteriorate. The SVR has had the benefit of the carriage shed since 2000 and it shows in the external condition of it's stock. However, even there some of the interiors leave something to be desired.

    I just get the feeling that the GWSR is not keeping up with the rate of deterioration of rolling stock and I wonder how they will cope when they are open to Broadway and (presumably) needing more coaches - the semi derelict ones parked on both sides of the line at Winchcombe don't look as if they are going to be fit for service any time soon.
     
  10. AndyS

    AndyS New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tamworth
    I would be genuinely interested to know which carriage you were travelling in? If you were on the 1220 from Toddington you would have been on the choc/cream rake, of which all carriages have recently been refurbed and are in good condition outside and I can't think of any of those coaches that are less than in very good condition inside. Even the maroon rake, which has been commented on is tired on the outside, inside all the coaches are in good condition.

    The timetable can been seen as complex and certainly has confused some visitors, but I believe matters are in hand to simplify how its shown next year. However having been down there most weekends this year the principle of running the DMU to Laverton and steam Toddy - Cheltenham seems to have overall worked really well in my opinion.
     
  11. Ruston906

    Ruston906 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    51
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I can see why the extension is being pushed as the priority as it will make the railway have a destination and they are hoping for far larger visitor numbers who will just use the line as a means of getting to broadway.
    I don't remember the coaches as being that bad when I visited for this years diesel gala they are not the worse I have been on by any stretch I do think quality of coach restoration is not seen the priority it should be everywhere but there are exceptions the KWVR has some great coaches but does also have covered storage which I think is essential to keeping a large number of coaches in good condition with limits labour and money available.I don't have a problem with mk1s they do offer railways a great choice of liveries they can be painted in to cover 50 years of railway history and as most lines have loco in british rail liveries they are well suited.
    I do also always enjoy my visits to the GWR
     
  12. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    5,468
    Likes Received:
    4,945
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham, or Sheffield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Hi

    As a member of C+W at winchcombe I was slightly distressed to see the remarks on the coaches in service. As someone else pointed out, the maroon set was stranded beyond toddington in the northern headshunt for the best part of two years and as such have obviously faded. However, you are the only person I know that has criticized the interior of any of the coaches at the GWSR, I can't really see what is wrong with them (apart from perhaps the moquette colour in one or two of the coaches) the choc 'n' cream set is also pretty good on the outside, comparatively good compared to other coaches I've seen on other railways, although I admit, not the best.

    the new paintshop being constructed at winchcombe should drastically help in repainting the maroon set over the winter, I believe we hope t go through as many of these as possible during the winter, mostly just new paint, maybe more. this should also help speed up restorations and refurbishments in general, as well as a new regime for restorations installed not long ago to help speed things up. Indeed, we will need a whole new rake of coaches for when we get to broadway in 5 or so years time, which is one of the reasons the paintshop has been constructed and the introduction of slightly speedier restorations. the last coach out shopped spent 1 year and 1 day in the workshop, something we don't want to happen again.

    As to the lines of rotting vehicles (I would hardly describe them as lines of them) many are either being held as spares (in which case they are being covered up) privately owned (in which case the owners have been asked to either make their vehicles more presentable or move them) or awaiting restoration (hence the sped up restorations to get through this backlog quicker) this is a working railway, there will always be a certain amount of clutter and mess in the yards, as much as possible is being done to combat it.

    The volunteer at the shop is just one of those things, having been in both shops, more often than not you get very friendly helpful staff, just a bit of bad luck there, it is difficult when people are volunteers as well.

    And finally the timetable is being changed next year as many people found it difficult to read (oddly enough, I managed fine, but could understand why some people might find it difficult)

    whew! I think that covers all the negative points:) Obviously as it is my favourite railway seeing as I volunteer on it I will be biased towards it, and defend it, but hopefully that has given a little more understanding to the situation.

    most of the info I have given here can be found on the network of GWSR blogs, so accessible for anyone who's bothered.

    now how's that for a first post? :cool:

    looking forward to getting know this forum,
    Alex
     
  13. Ken_R

    Ken_R Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    105
    As regards the BG's on the Malvern side. They have been purchased by the members of C&W, with their own money, for storage purposes and are never likely to run again. The fact that they are where they are is due to other Privately Owned stock not having been removed from the Railway. They are, however, also a useful source of 'parts'.

    As for the common belief that 'teenagers nowadays can't string a sentence together', a photo of Alex 'in action'.
    [​IMG]

    We need to encourage more like him.
     
  14. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    5,468
    Likes Received:
    4,945
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham, or Sheffield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    cheers for the encouragement ken, I'd forgoten about those storage BGs over there, pity they can't be out of view, but as has been discused before, that is the best place for them for access etc I understand.
     
  15. steamdream

    steamdream Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    13
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Avranches(france)
    Dear Alex
    I have just read that you will expend to Broadway in 5 years time !it's a bit disappointing for, only 2-3 years ago, I read in "Heritage railway" that that that objective would be obtained in 2014!
    Nethertheless keep the good job.I have visited the GWR 4-5 times since 1989 and it's a very good place!
    regards
    Noel
    Have you some infos about the next share issue?
     
  16. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,078
    Likes Received:
    1,035
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    To be fair though, I'm sure when the date of 2014 was mentioned, the GWSR hadn't planned on having the major landslips to pay for.


    Keith
     
  17. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    5,468
    Likes Received:
    4,945
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham, or Sheffield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    At one point the date cited was somewhere around 2014-2015, 2-3 years ago was just before all the major landslips. It now looks more likely to be 2017-18, which, I agree is a pity. As has been said though, 2 major landslips wasn't exactly planned, I believe I worked out the money raised for the landslips (about 1.5 million) would have paid for the track, the station reconstruction, and repairing all the bridges along the way. Bridges to broadway is the new share offer, as that is going to be the bulk of the cost of getting there, costing about £500,000. I think that launches at the end of September, once it has been approved. At one point I heard we were getting to honeybourne by 2020, but something tells me that won't happen anymore...
     
  18. 84A

    84A New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    14
    I think
    You need to take into perspective where the GWSR are at this moment in time. I get the feeling you are drawing (unfair) comparisons with the SVR, who are much further ahead in terms of storage for rolling stock. Do you not remember Kidderminster in the 90's? It will take time for the GWSR to fully recover from the landslip - just because the railway is back in one piece again does not imply that everything is suddenly hunky dory.

    Unfortunately, I can't get down to Broadway, due both to a lack of car and time, but know that at the current pace, the railway is looking very promising for the future.
     
    Graft on likes this.
  19. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    855
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Very comfortably early retired
    Location:
    1029
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    Enthusiasts may take it into perspective - but will the General Public? I deliberately tried to comment as a Visitor, rather than as an Anorak
     
  20. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    5,468
    Likes Received:
    4,945
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham, or Sheffield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Fair enough, you might not know the context regards the exterior of the maroon rake, but I still can't quite see what was so bad with the choc 'n' cream set and the interiors of all, even from a visitor's point of view, and the lndslip problem is advertised on a board at winchcombe I think, showing all the problems. Steps are being taken to clean up the messy yards, although I always liked looking at the "mess" in the yards, for some reason it always interests me! I believe the board of the GWSR have woken up to the fact that C+W needs more resources, and we are getting better funding now, what with the new workshop, the TSOs purchased, and more money in general.
     

Share This Page