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Llangollen Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by 14xx Lover, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. std tank

    std tank Member

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    Do you not think that the crane would be very, very useful to the Llangollen Railway. What are the hire fees for bringing in road cranes every time a lift is required.
     
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  2. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    What "financial burden"? As I see it from the statement re-posted from LR's Facebook page it is a win/win deal - LR has the crane and can pay it off in kind or cash or not at all.

    From Facebook: "Some great news about our Cowans Sheldon crane. Allister Boote from Sandbach Commercial Dismantlers Ltd has met with several LR representatives on site today. He has very kindly agreed to keep the crane in one piece and on the railway for the foreseeable future. The Railway also have the option to buy it back over an extended period, including offsetting the value raised from supplying day-to-day scrap materials to SCD. A great idea! Our urgent priority obviously remains on raising funds for the re-opening of the railway later this year (and both the Rolling Stock and Full Steam Ahead appeals are still open), but watch this space for details of specific fundraising to support the crane. Sincere thanks to Allister. His kind support is very much appreciated."

    Ray.
     
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  3. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    Possibly yes. However it wasn’t on the LR Trusts list of essential assets to buy, and they did secure the smaller crane which was seen as essential.

    If they can keep it and pay it off over several years with old scrap then all is good, and they are benefiting from the scrap man’s mistake.
     
  4. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    I see this morning that the hire location of Austin No1 has been revealed - it is to spend July - September on the S&D at Midsummer Norton.

    Good for generating revenue even if LR isn’t open itself.
     
  5. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    That was because they knew they couldn’t afford everything and had to prioritise, that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful and was actually in fairly regular use at Llangollen before the problems.
     
  6. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    Aren't rail-mounted cranes disproportionately in the "at risk" list? Is there much a rail-mounted crane can do better than a hired-in road crane?

    Any piece of lifting kit has various inspection regime costs attached to it, so it can't just gather dust for free at the end of a siding. From a heritage point of view it's good to keep it, query if operationally, it's the best thing to do.
     
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  7. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    It has the advantages of being able to go anywhere the railway goes, and being available at relatively short notice. I really don't think any heritage railway running over more than a mile or two should be without one.
     
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  8. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    I think, like most things, it depends on the railway. The NYMR makes regular use of the MPD's breakdown crane for boiler lifts etc and saves thousands in crane hire whenever it does so. It has several overhauls on the go at any one time so the cost of maintaining and insuring it is less than that of hiring in road cranes. A line with a small fleet probably could not justify the rail crane. The LR has gone from being in the former category to the latter but the saving grace is possibly that this is a diesel crane and maintenance costs should be lower.
     
  9. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    If this arrangement results in a happy ending for the crane, that's great. Cranes, particularly heavy lifters, seem to fare particularly poorly once the acquisition phase is past. This is particularly true of railway-owned cranes. It's easy to understand why; if the crane needs new ropes (for example) and the CME wants money for a major boiler job (again, for example) then it's no surprise as to where the railway's money goes.
    Pat
     
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  10. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Agreed, but the primary difference is that those events are designed to attract the general public which, over a year, is a far greater potential source of income than enthusiasts are. In fact I personally have heard enthusiasts saying that they are specifically not going to a certain line at such and such a time because they have got Thomas on or Santa's on and that's "Not heritage..." (Whatever that means). Has anyone out there got any passenger number comparisons between galas and say, Santas? I wonder if the Mid Hants carried more people during their recent gala than they did for the train of lights? (Oh, and which one of those generated the most publicity and public interest?)

    There just might be enough on a line in a gala to keep enthusiasts interested for (maybe) a week but what happens after that? They will often just disappear until the next one. I was thinking more of who generates the day in, day out, week in, week out passenger loadings. Especially in a holiday location where there is a good turnover of visitors.

    Many "enthusiasts" seem to have formed the opinion that it is only their attendance at galas that keeps the lines solvent so those lines should be run to suit their demands. Unfortunately for them that is not what happens in the real world and without Jo Public there would be far fewer lines (if any) for the "enthusiasts" to go play on.
     
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  11. std tank

    std tank Member

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    I believe that it has a certificate until September.
     
  12. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Watch out for the next classic car event at Llangollen, ;) a field full of old cars should make a tidy sum, All joking apart, it might be a good time to take a hard look at any disused wagons ,rail etc, that the railway does not need, or are beyond use ,or restoration, and have a scrap drive to offset some of the cost of buying the crane back.
     
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  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed, I am not doubting that the general public are important in overall revenue terms. But the notion that while enthusiasts require enticing with goodies such as galas, the general public will just turn up, is I think misguided. ("Jo Public make up the great majority of that income and they don't need galas etc to entice them in." was your quote - my emphasis). You have to work for every passenger - that means putting on events of various descriptions, some of which - such as Santas, or Thomas - have considerable outlay. Some others you hope you can generate some kind of a buzz to make a venue seem attractive while having minimal outlay.

    I also tend to think the neat classification of people into "enthusiasts" and "public" is not necessarily helpful. If you happen to have a particular interest in Victorian architecture, and you visit a heritage railway to look at the station buildings (but in the process buy a ticket and ride the trains), are you an enthusiast or not?

    All of which to me points to a need to have a diversity of events, some large but others quite low key but which might just create a buzz. On the Isle of Wight, for example, they hold a regular monthly "Island Heritage Day" in which they use the older locos and run a goods train. They would probably use those locos at least once per month anyway; and need to run a goods train for ongoing competence reasons; but by marketing it they essentially get a mini gala atmosphere for those attracted by such things at relatively little excess cost. Those sorts of things seem to me important to just keep the offering fresh. Know someone with a traction engine? Invite them down to pose in the forecourt for the day, but market that you are doing it - "come and see the traction engine".

    Tom
     
  14. goldfish

    goldfish Resident of Nat Pres

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    Ditto those of us who qualify as 'enthusiasts' but tend to turn up to railways with a bunch of 'non-enthusiast' family members in tow. Whether that's led by a child with a love for Thomas, with Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister and Grandparents along for the ride and to watch the troublesome trucks, or someone like me who is highly unlikely to visit a railway on their own, but will manufacture a family day out from time to time when something of interest is happening, bringing 5 or 6 times the revenue to the line that I could have managed on my own (but needing sufficient non-enthusiast quality, whether that be cleanliness, activity, ancillaries like catering etc., as has been discussed ad nauseam here).

    Simon
     
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  15. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    The point is well made that the majority of the customers at most railways are not enthusiasts, but most railways and their supporting groups have numerous appeals running, and I would suggest that for the most part those appeals are supported, by perhaps the inverse ratio, by enthusiasts. A sensible management will attempt to appeal to both groups.
     
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  16. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    A few years ago the WSR advertised 'Braunton' on the second departure from BL, it was then turned and came back at about 3 from Minehead.

    No particular expense or complication involved to the Railway but again something to draw people in, enthusiasts in particular (OK I had an annual pass in those days so only a few teas & buns) and a very nice day out it was.
     
  17. DcB

    DcB Member

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    Looks like the Llangollen Railcar society will run DMUs as soon as the railway gets the go ahead to reopen, maybe before steam services start? From https://llangollenrailcars.co.uk
    The Wensleydale railway seems to have problems with most of it's stock under overhaul and has obtained some Pacers to restart services, at least the Llangollen railway have several running 1st gen DMMUs that can be used.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
  18. RA & FC

    RA & FC Member

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    Davy is destined for the cutters torch. Purchased by a different scrapman.
     
  19. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    That’s a shame, especially as I believe it only became PLC owned not that long ago (as in last few years).
     
  20. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    That is a shame. Strange there doesn’t seem to have been any fuss made about it, unlike the attempts to save the crane.
     

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