Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by pure nostalgia, Aug 14, 2010.
Audley End went the same way as well sadly.
the trouble is enthusiasts don't sustain in terms of passengers these lines . A railway is expensive to operate and pitch yourself in a niche corner and your future may not be long
I'm an enthusiast with young kids so Perrygrove is the perfect destination for me. I get my steam fix and they get to have a play and aren't stuck on a train for hours. Even without the Heywood stuff, the line still feels very much like an estate railway.
The main difference between Perrygrove and Whistlestop valley is that Perrygrove retains the word railway in the title so people know what to expect. Whistlestop valley doesn't tell me anything, it could be a soft play centre for all I know. The fact it's a substantial 15" gauge railway isn't obvious.
Where is the Heywood collection based now?
Yup, but once Lord B passed away, it was no longer his personal railway which he happened to open to the public, it had to stand on it's own two feet as a commercial railway - and lots of families with young children generates more income than smaller numbers of enthusiasts. (I believe that AEMR has been achieving visitor figures around the 100K per year mark, even during the pandemic!)
I do find the rebranding at Kirklees a bit strange- we are relatively local and the Railway has/had a good reputation and reasonable branding and recognition.
I think they run a risk of diluting the image they had- I hope I'm wrong and its a success but it does seem a bit of a high roller.
I'd agree that the line retains its charm and manages to maintain most of its Estate Railway operation and influences (they still run the Estate Railway experience, if I remember correctly...), it's more that I was disappointed that the Heywood Collection is now no longer on public display, which was what drew me to Perrygrove in the first place (I must admit, of course, that Heywoodian enthusiasts like myself were never really the main target audience in the first place).
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