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Heavy local opposition to Moorland & City Railways plans!

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by nigelss, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. nigelss

    nigelss Member

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    I was very concerned to find this item

    http://www.northstaffordshire.co.uk/?tag=moorland-city-railways

    which says that there is widespread local opposition to the reinstatement of railway operations between Stoke and Cauldon Lowe etc. The post in question dated 27th May 2011 is down the page under the heading "Information Cafes Will Lift The Veil Of Secrecy" - go figure! - and it starts:

    "Despite widespread opposition, Moorland & City Railways, supported by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, is going ahead with its secretive and controversial plans to reopen a commercial railway from Stoke to Leekbrook."

    Does anyone know more about this? Is it likely to put the kibosh on the scheme? Alarmed!!
  2. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    Makes no reference to any articles by a group who have an agenda to push. I wouldn't lose sleep over it.
  3. nigelss

    nigelss Member

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    Since writing the original post but minutes ago I found this thread on the site's forum and it is clear there are a lot of unhappy bunnies who are going to kick up one hell of a fuss:

    http://www.northstaffordshire.co.uk/discuss/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=27

    One resident is pointing out that the line is 18 yards from his back door and he ain't happy at the idea of any kind of train using the line again, and he is not alone!
  4. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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  5. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Administrator Staff Member

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    If this bloke is so opposed to thundering 60mph freight trains rocketing past his door...
    has he not thought if there's dozens of trains a day, and an newly reopened quarry than inverse he will have thousands of heavy lorries each way on his narrow road instead ?
    Similarly if trains to Alton are such a waste of time and no one will ride them... why would the company want to keep operating them ? - ergo.. those trains wont be there either.
    And talking about the loss of wildlife.. along those "nice walkways" which is refered to as "used by Drug dealers" are such a good thing to have... ?
    Similarly we have yet to see private railways running at faster than 25mph... if MCR were to fail, and freight to be so viable.. Network Rail can upgrade the line to whatever they want.

    in my opinion, he is wasting his life on a mission to oppose something that he knows no true facts about.
    Ive heard some people still throw rocks at the moon, maybe he does this too ?

    Maybe a good counter balance someone should go get Alfred to have a chat with him... I think they'd cancel each other out.
  6. campainr

    campainr Well-Known Member

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    It worries me that no one on this forum seems to be able to accept any other view than their own. Not everyone thinks that the peace and quite of the moors being shattered by a heavy train being banked up to Cauldon Lowe is the best sound in the world! To assume this man knows nothing about the scheme is also a pretty unfair assumption. While we would all like to see steam trains running everywhere all of the time, you may be surprised to know that not everyone shares our passion for huge, loud and polluting machines running around all over the countryside.
  7. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Well-Known Member

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    You may even find that people are sympathetic to the occaisional steam engine going past but with heavy feight trains and roaring diesels there could be more opposition. Remember the GCR with the local troubles they had with residents.
  8. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Well-Known Member

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    The fact that there were rails etc in place and that the line had never been formally abandoned should have given local residents some sort of clue that trains may run that way again at some time. That said it would be far better to communicate with the objectors and try to calm their fears rather than just writing them off as trouble making nimbys.
  9. lil Bear

    lil Bear Well-Known Member

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    Having spoken with this man personally, I'm afraid he doesn't know what he's talking about. He has made a load of assumptions and attempted to publish them as fact. Some of his crackers include;

    Re-opening the railway is illegal as it is currently used as a footpath.
    The vibrations from the freight trains will cause his house to collapse.
    House prices will tumble as there is no-one who wants to live next to a rly.
    The countryside will be ruined/destroyed by the building of the rly (even though its already there!)

    He is not alone though. There are a number of locals opposed to the plans, centred mainly around Endon and Oakamoor. The problem is non of them have done any thorough research, and are instead making assumptions about MCR and running to the local press stating them as fact.

    However, they are not the majority just the more vocal. There have been a high number of locals interested in the project and who want to see the trains return. Many have even joined the Share Issue.
    http://www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk/main/2011/CVR Prospectus 2011 download.pdf

    The above will NOT be stopping the re-opening. Work on the Stoke line is due to commence within the next few weeks, and will hopefully be completed along the full 10miles within 12months.
  10. Tim Cowen

    Tim Cowen Member

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    Not seen that site before, or heard of the "Phoenix Trust", but it appears to be a one man band with an axe to grind. Reading through the site it seems strange that a group who claim to be in favour of "making the North Staffs coalfield a world heritage site" and preserving old buildings etc is so opposed to reopening a railway. There are no contact details on the site, and googling them only comes up with their own site, various press releases ang blog entries.

    Having said that, I do agree that MCR could be more forthcoming with information than they have been. For instance, a number of posters on that forum are concerned about it being too dangerous to have a footpath alongside the line. A simple statement from MCR showing that a foot/cycle path and a single line can happily coexist on a former double track formation, perhaps citing the Avon Valley as an example, would allay their fears.
  11. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Active Member

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    Reading the website in question is somewhat depressing. Whilst, as campainr points out, we must remember that we are naturally biased in favour of rail, it seems that a lot of the arguments presented on the site are poorly thought through.

    The arguments over pollution are unfounded - if these people were to travel on the open section of the CVR, that has been open for years, they would see that its effect upon wildlife is negligible. On my own railway, you can often see bluebells and snowdrops at the appropriate time of year, both rare plants considered to need quality air - and I have a few times stumbled upon an Adder basking on a sleeper!

    Likewise, the argument regarding the footpath is unfounded. The CVR trackbed was originally double track, which presents plenty of space for a single track line and a footpath. One of the posters on the site notes that they were told this but darkly considers whether it is a lie, as the spokesman did not mention where else it had been successfully achieved. I can think of several lines that are partly, or entirely sharing space with a footpath.

    To be honest, a Public meeting would probably sort all this out very quickly. Some honest and open answers from CVR/M&CR might not alter the NIMBY-ist prejudices of a few, but it would certainly alleviate the understandable fears of the many.
  12. M59137

    M59137 Member

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    Was this the same man who was previously claiming that weed-killer trains would be regularly thundering past his land, murdering his garden and gassing the local children?
  13. lil Bear

    lil Bear Well-Known Member

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    No the weedkiller comment was courtesy of Karen from Oakamoor. Mark and Karen though are both vocal in the local press and have made several comments on facebook as well. TBH, the above article is actually the first decent one I've seen from them (which sums it up really). There's a lack of the opinionated comments that were the basis for most of their arguments, and they have actually taken onboard what we've told them on fbook. Though there are still a few that are totally ignoring what we've said and are against the railway no matter what.
  14. stevegcr

    stevegcr New Member

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    Weedkiller trains thundering past his land.

    Well if he means once a year and at slow speed then yes they will. Unless its changed in the last few years the ones on Network Rail only spray at 30mph and don't spray if its raining or windy, i'm guessing the kit that a preserved railway uses will be a lot slower if rail mounted or even slower if done on foot.

    Does anyone know how long the people who are complaining have lived next to the railway and if there homes are recently built ?

    Steve
  15. std tank

    std tank Nat Pres Friend

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    Because the railway between Stoke and Leekbrook Jct was only mothballed and never officially closed any person who bought a house adjacent to the railway after 1988 has not got a leg to stand on. If said person/persons had a solicitor do a search and the facts about the railway were not stated in said search document, I suggest that the person sues his solicitor.
    A similar situation occured at the ELR with regard to houses built on the site of Broadfield goods yard on the Bury to Heywood line. This section was never officially closed by B.R. although a bridge at Pilsworth Road was taken out. There were protest letters, but the short answer was "Take it up with your solicitor".
    Oakamoor to Alton is an extension and could be subject to legitimate protests. However with regard to a cycle track being integrated alongside the railway, one only has to look at the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway. The cycle track runs alongside the railway (fenced off, of course). Indeed, Torfaen Council are presently replacing the original Varteg Road bridge with two bridges, one for the railway and one for the cycle track. Their difficulty is when they extend southwards, the line was single track and is presently a cycle way. With the support of the local council, they reckon that this can be sorted.
  16. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Active Member

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    The same situation can be seen on the Northampton & Lamport and Avon Valley Railways. Fears about the accessibility of the valley, and the pollution, are I think totally unfounded.
  17. std tank

    std tank Nat Pres Friend

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    People who complain about pollution invariably drive cars, enough said.
  18. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, judges sympathise with selfish nimbys, so they will try their luck. Logically, though, if you buy a house next to a railway you can't be surprised if trains run on it. But the British obsession with house prices tends to trump everything else.
  19. M59137

    M59137 Member

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    I'm sure p/wayman will correct me if I'm wrong, but the CVR/MCR weedkilling consists of a converted BR standard brake van and a shunter travelling at about 5mph!
  20. p/wayman

    p/wayman Active Member

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    Yes thats right Chris, a loco ,guards van and a guards van chasis converted as a weedkiller wagon. Usually run between 3-5 mph depending on what we are tackling.

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