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List the top five

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Reading General, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    It's a bit invidious to judge a 25 mile long line scenically in the basis of a single snapshot though! The Severn Valley is pretty scrubby coming out of Kidderminster but I still suspect it would be high up most people's list of scenically attractive lines.

    (Disclaimer - I've never had a trip on the WHR and don't know it well).

    Tom
     
  2. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    This is dragging on (apologies for my part in this) but your description is far more interesting than the reality. The original criterion was to do with railways having rather a high proportion of dull scenery in relation to the good stuff. The presence, or otherwise, of locomotives, workshops and old junctions has little bearing on this.

    PH
     
  3. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    I agree, but I assume the picture was posted to reinforce the posters point. For me it had the opposite effect.
     
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  4. Steve B

    Steve B Member

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    I'm not sure that the photo in question really does justice to that part of the line. There is a bit of variety on the Caernarfon to Waenfawr section, and although it isn't as grand as the Aberglaslyn Pass, there is some very pleasant countryside that is as good as many other lines that have appeared in some "top 5s". In the photos attached, the first is near Bontnewydd on the ex standard gauge section, the other 2 are at Tryfan Junction - one being the view from the platform there with views across the end of the Menai Straits. These aren't perfect pictures, but give an idea of the countryside for the benefit of those who haven't yet been.
    IMG_6430.JPG IMG_6438.JPG IMG_6456.JPG
     
  5. A1X

    A1X Member

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    1. RHDR (great fun, something different, loads of stuff to do off the train and scenery varies significantly)
    2. Bluebell (variety of rolling stock, interesting engines, nice scenery, Horsted Keynes has been on the telly a lot)
    3. Severn Valley (variety of rolling stock, lovely stations, nice scenery)
    4. West Somerset Railway (great views, good run, something at the end worth visiting (Minehead) as well as along the way)
    5. NRM (all sorts of interactive stuff, steam running in the summer, celebrity engines)

    Haven't included the NYMR mostly because I haven't been there for years (last time I was there the engines in traffic were SNG and Blue Peter), thought about the K&ESR but didn't quite make the cut.
     
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  6. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Obviously opinions differ on where you draw the line at dull, but this time you must be in a majority of one to insist that "quite a lot of the WHR is dull".
     
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  7. 46118

    46118 New Member

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    I wonder what the "full line" loadings are like on the WHR? Just thinking that for the non-enthusiast visitors it might be a long journey time-wise, and quite expensive. Maybe to keep the cost down some just do Porthmadoc-Beddgelert?
    No ulterior motive for asking, just curious.

    46118
     
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  8. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    To those of us who do appreciate spectacular but wild countryside, it may seem odd, but some people don't! A much missed departed friend of mine loved wooded landscapes but was left somewhat cold by the bleak splendor of the Scottish Highlands for example.

    Many years ago, a passenger commented to me that the scenery on the NYMR was "too near" - there was an obvious answer , which I resisted, of "try the XXX - there is no scenery for miles around it!"

    Steven
     
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  9. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    Not just me it seems. However I do agree it is very much an IMHO situation. For me only Aberystwyth to Capel Bangor is comparable on the Welsh n.g.

    PH
     
  10. burmister

    burmister Member

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    Wife and I traveled went from Caernarfon to the place where the Ospreys nest and back. I enjoyed watching the engine on the curves but she told me never again with her because it took too long, was an uncomfortable ride for a lot of money and for an hour out and back into Caernarfon it was simply tedious.

    Everyone is different and she appreciates older stock and is happy in 4 wheel wooden carriages for less than an hour. Her best UK train travel trips have been VSOE day trip to York, my 50th meal in the Semi Royal saloon coupe compartment on the Bluebell. (She took a look at the 3rd class 2+2 Pullmans at the time and said no way at that price so it was lucky the Bluebell was running this at the time) and always the Isle of Wight Steam Railway (not too long, not too expensive, old stock in immaculate condition and nice mixed countryside)

    Brian
     
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  11. Steve B

    Steve B Member

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    I don't know anything about loadings, but I think with the longer lines you have the opportunity to do part journeys. As enthusiasts we probably default to "let's go the whole way", but you don't have to. For those like Brian's wife (and mine) for whom several hours in a narrow gauge carriage (even a WHR one) is uncomfortable and tedious then you don't have to write the whole line off - and I noticed on my visit to the WHR last year that there were details of how you could do a walk over the mountains/quarries and complete your journey back to your car by train. The WSR, likewise, is long, but when I last visited it we used it to go to where we wanted to go. I remember watching a Large Prairie shunting wagons at Watchet before we returned to the chalet we were staying in at Blue Anchor - that was before it closed, and a while before it was preserved! But you could still use it that way today. Some railways perhaps need to be more proactive about advertising the opportunities like this.

    Steve B
     
  12. Charles Parry

    Charles Parry New Member

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    My top 5 are:

    Bluebell - for locomotives and rolling stock, and capture of none-BR era.
    SVR - for the views, some nice grades, engine house, great walks down the river. Plenty of non-MK1 coaches too. Probably my favourite line.
    NYMR - for the incredible gradeients, and the moors scenery. Some powerful locks actually getting to use that power instead of gliding up a 1-200 bank.
    Ffestiniog/WHR - again, incredible scenery but also interesting little trains, and a very long ride.
    Leighton Buzzard Railway - for being the only case that, imo, really showcases how narrow guage railways were and allowing little engines to puff along with light loads.very different scenery with all the puffing behind peoples' back gardens.
     
  13. ellisteph12

    ellisteph12 New Member

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    Great to read such favourable kind comments about the Talyllyn.

    Tried to make a Top 5 but like picking your favourite children.


    Publicity Officer, Talyllyn Railway

    www.talyllyn.co.uk
    Twitter - @theworldsfirst
     
  14. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    not a problem, I only have 5 kids.
     
  15. 007

    007 Member

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    1. Swanage Railway - Beautifully restored and largely from nothing. I look on these lists and can't believe it doesn't feature more
    2. IOWSR - Again, doesn't feature as much as it should. Great story and wonderful rolling stock (I guess it is out on a limb a bit like Swanage I suppose)
    3. KWVR- really great railway for the enthusiast
    4. NYMR
    5. MHR
     
  16. Sheff

    Sheff Well-Known Member

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    Wife's vote, in the order she spat them out. Main criteria 'must have sea views, pretty countryside and be around 20 miles long'.

    NYMR (when running to Whitby)
    WHR
    WSR
    NNR
    PDSR

    And by way of controversy, the five she'd never go back to ....

    Peak Rail
    Ecclesbourne (bit harsh I think)
    Midland
    Bodmin
    Gwili

    I forbade her to include the KWVR and the CVR!
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  17. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    That's harsh. I've only been to the Gwili once and it was only about a mile long at the time but I'd still like to go back! The place has a lot of potential.
     
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  18. Sheff

    Sheff Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, but the thread was asking for Joe Public appeal, which includes my wife's view I'm afraid.
     
  19. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    true. Gwlii I visited breifly the other week. Plenty of potential there for us enthusiasts, but not much more for the rest of the family. On the other hand, I thought Bodmin was pretty good.
     
  20. The Black Hat

    The Black Hat Member

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    Mine would be;

    1. NYMR - especially with the Battersby run.
    2. WCRC mainline run. Such as Waverley, Scarbrough Spa Express
    3. SVR
    4. NRM York
    5. KWVR

    Also rans are...

    East Lancs - never been there but it looks like good atmosphere and stock, even if location on some parts might leave you wanting.
    Great Central - Two track railway gives a atmosphere of a by gone time. The branch to Moutsorrel would also be a bonus, as well as a new NRM outstation meaning a visit could take in both given how fast the journey time is.

    One to watch....

    Wensleydale! People need to get behind this line and give it capital. If it can get from Northallerton to Aysgarth, this is one line with the potential to rival NYMR, SVR, etc one day and those helping there are freindly and some of the nicest in preservation.
     

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