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Mid Hants Railway Operational Matters

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by NightRail, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    If your planning on visiting some of our heritage railways more than 3 times in a year, it might be cheaper to become a member, if your not already and then qualify for members rates, plus you then get all the other perks, when times are tough, you have to watch the pennies, and that might be one way to do it, plus you then at least do get the chance to have your say, if you don't agree with what the railway is doing.
     
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  2. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    On the other hand, if you can afford it, then you may prefer to support the railway(s) by paying the full rate.
     
  3. John Williams

    John Williams New Member

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    We're members of one railway ( and have been for many years now) , some way distant from home so visits are few and far between. We have no reservation about taking a few trips when we're there. The secondary spend element benefits, usually quite substantially. The balance is obviously difficult, and where such benefits are available I'd expect the railway to be able to monitor membership usage. As I see it, provided that the 'membership advantage' doesn't take away seat/s for fare paying passengers, the railway gets larger membership than otherwise - at precious little direct cost on the day. Other interpretations are available.
     
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  4. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    The strategic question is “why do we want members and what benefit do believe they bring to the organisation?” If you can answer that then you are in a position to value them and to price both the membership and the benefits appropriately.

    I am not convinced that many heritage railways have a good answer and even if they do it rarely if ever translates into an appropriate strategy.
     
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  5. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    And if they do, I suspect that it may not translate well into support from the existing membership base.
     
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  6. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    Well that depends on what the answer to the question is.

    I think there is a good case for a wide membership in order to:
    A. As part of educational outreach
    B. As part of fundraising
    C. As a component of a volunteer recruitment strategy

    what it should not be is a discount scheme. In many cases the above elements do not receive the attention they should and do not deliver the value to members that they ought.

    it is also my opinion that unless you take into account the above, very often the costs of maintaining the membership actually outweigh the benefits. That is to say that by the time you have produced some newsletters/magazines and posted them (print media I mean) and you’ve incurred all the other costs of membership, the result is that far from members contributing financially to the railway through their membership (as many would like to believe) in fact they are at best neutral and at often a net drain.

    so it is important that the other reasons for membership are exploited and that would lead to happier members and more viable organisations, but in reality few do this well.
     
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  7. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Agreed. But as a number of cases have shown, pivoting the existing model for membership (or shareholding) to one in line with what you describe is not necessarily well received - even if adequately explained.
     
  8. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    It isn’t something to be done quickly and I am not sure I have yet seen it managed well in terms of comms. That said I agree with you that it will be a challenge.
     
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  9. 73129

    73129 Part of the furniture

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    The latest YouTube video is available to watch.

     
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  10. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Back in the beginning, becoming a member of a railway preservation society was a way of contributing funds to that organisation. The subs you paid was significantly more than the cost of the benefit that you received, especially when postage was 4d and most mags and other correspondence were duplicated on a Roneo machine. Providing free travel didn't cost anything and if it encouraged you to become a member that was a financial benefit to the society. With some early societies before they had bought the line from BR, such as the NYMR, the only way you could travel on a train was by becoming a member. All that has now changed and I do wonder whether membership is always a good idea. It does give people a sense of belonging, though, and that can and does lead to greater help by way of volunteering and, in many cases, significant donations and legacies. You do have to keep an eye on the benefits, though. I can remember a time when the TR & FR had reciprocal free travel for their members (they may still do) and, when the FR finally opened to Blaenau, the cost of a return train ticket was actually more than the cost of a years TR membership. If it is still the case, TR membership is £30 and an FR ticket is £44. :)
     
  11. John Williams

    John Williams New Member

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    TR website says " Whats in it for me;
    • Travel concessions on the Talyllyn Railway and discounts on the Bala Lake Railway and Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway"
    I think it used to be just one trip on Ffesti for TR members and vice versa for FR
     
  12. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    FR membership allows unlimited travel on their own services apparently and is only £34. On most railways you need to make at least one journey to be quids in, but not in Wales it seems!
     
  13. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Along with privilege rates on the WHR & TR it’s a bargain deal tbh.
     
  14. Duty Druid

    Duty Druid Resident of Nat Pres

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    :Coldfeet: :Coldfeet: :Coldfeet: :Coldfeet: :Coldfeet: Bitter, with a biting wind, is the only word that aptly describes the weather atop the hill yesterday!!! :Arghh:

    After the usual brew & brekki in the messroom, it was time for seven hardy souls to venture out and continue our never ending battle with some troublesome trucks....... on passing by the Lowfit, a shadowy figure was spotted lurking....... it turned out to be the ULS's Bodger in Chief, who'd finally found the time to come and assess the wagon and the repairs needed...... thankfully the wagon isn't a total basket case, and the proposed repairs are do-able, hence why we having been making sure that the vehicle can be moved, when the time comes, for it to be moved down to Ropley without it protesting!! ;) :)

    And so to work.....

    On the to do list, were an axlebox exam on the lowfit, and a 12 month exam on box van B760337, undertaken by the newer recruits to the Saturday gang.....

    The youngest member, and occassional attendee - who's useful in getting into tight spaces, was given a crash course in welding, as it was deemed a good idea to expand his skills base....... :eek: Happily he seems to be a quick learner, so much so that he helped two others with sorting out a replacement piece of steel on the north side of LMS van M517317!!! :)

    That left two of us to make 'patterns' for use in triming the new ply sheets that will be used to clad the corrugated ends and act as profiles for the new end roof hoops..... making the patterns were the easy bit, working out the center points and measuring the D, W & H of each end proved to be an interesting excercise. as neither are true, so fettling the ply will be an excercise not for the faint hearted, as we have only one chance to get it right......... so hopefully, all the time spent measuring and head scrating will pay off........ :Nailbiting:

    Starting the process of making the patterns.....

    20230304_100937.jpg
    The latest piece of steel welded in - not as straight forward, as steel around it was a tad thin & kept blowing!!

    20230304_144529.jpg

    And now, it seems my Ropley Spy has finally recovered from the trauma being handed money without him having to extract it from someones wallet, as he's asked if I could post the following on his behalf........ the words and photo's are his, and not mine.

    ‘I will get back to monthly updates now’…..I said that August last year! Ah well, they do say to never trust a spy! Maybe I should just stick to what Druid et al tell me I’m good at, fleecing anyone with a pulse!

    Right, twaddle over with, time to have a look at what the ULS has been up to over recent months.

    Tender chassis

    Some further work was carried out late Summer/early Autumn but in the main things are on hold until Spring when we can start to pick the front assembly apart prior to de-swarfing and riveting. The new bogie pivot plates have been machined, including the oil ways, and are now in the process of being fitted. New bolts are on site for both, made to one size and then machined to fit as there is always the risk of slight variations in the holes. Those for the rear have been machined to final fit and are now just awaiting the heads to be taken down, eventually they will be flush to the casting. New bolts for the weighshaft assembly wingplates are now on site awaiting final fit machining. Decision taken to replace the weighshaft itself, new material purchased and work has just started to machine. The new tender filler-caps have been removed from store, cleaned down and primed. The old rear section of the frames is now receiving sacrificial plates to protect the longitudinal beams from corrosion, once these (x4) are finished we’ll paint everything we can get to then look to turn the section the right way up.

    Loco Frames

    One of the most visible changes has been work done to sort out the steam heat and vacuum pipework. The challenge was taken on by one of our newer volunteers who was ‘looking for something to do’! Fair play, it’s not been easy as some of the pipework needed replacing, (that in turn required using the pipe bender), and many of the joints and brackets were either missing or beyond salvation. The joints/elbows were all replaced from a huge donation of new fittings received last year from an extremely generous benefactor. As for the brackets, our man simply made his own. Bottom line is the new pipework is well on the way and so far it has cost us exactly £0! The brake hanger pins have been removed, both the pin holes themselves and the rivet holes are in a pretty shabby state so there is a fair amount of remedial weld repair work to do; talking of which, one of the guys has begun to build up the wasted area of the rear beam on which sits the rubbing block. There is a small stretcher at the back of the loco in which we have identified some cracking, so the rivets supporting it have been drilled ready for replacement and removal. We had to do exactly the same on 506, to be honest it’s one of the easiest riveting jobs we’ll need to do. Up on the running plate the new splashers are almost complete, the curved section at the front was a task-and-a-half but it’s now virtually finished.

    Front Bogie

    Really good progress made with the bogie. The frames, which are currently upside down have been cleaned down, needle-gunned and brought up to first gloss coat as much as we possibly can. The horns have been ground and the axle boxes white-metalled. The wheelsets are finished, tyres in gloss back and spokes in holly green…..just a taster of what’s to come!

    Boiler

    The big leap forward for us was the ashpan. With the foundation ring removed and brought outside for us to work with, what better time to fabricate the new pan. Very little remained of the old one but with a few bits to work from together with many photo’s of the process as we built the one for 506, it all came together quite nicely. To give the health alert, ‘no new £’s were damaged in the fabrication of this pan’ – all pieces of material used were offcuts from previous jobs. The job was completed almost literally the week before the boiler boys needed the ring back so another case of perfect timing. One of the cast damper doors was cracked so badly it had to be replaced, but again we just ‘found’ a piece of suitable steel. Now painted in a protective paint so it can be stored safely whilst we finish the rest of the loco, it is a huge relief knowing that’s a big box ticked.

    To the boiler itself, a major step forward was the arrival in October of the copper welder. Adam’s work is superb as previously shown with work done to 75079’s firebox. So far he has made 3 visits to us, in that time he has welded up all the rivet holes from where the wasted laps were cut out, welded new lap pieces in and filled somewhere between 25 – 30 oversized/cracked stay holes. The repairs are to the L/H side, once the 45T crane is back in ticket the boiler will be turned and then a start made to the R/H side. Elsewhere we have taken advantage of the boiler being on its side to drill and burn out the stub remains of the direct stays, remove various studs which require replacement and drill the lower rivets to the front tubeplate ready for burning out and replacing. In line with our policy of buying components when we believe the time is right, we are now the proud owners of a set of new superheater elements.

    To rather more concerning news, it has come to my attention that there are members of NP who appear to have avoided the call to join the ULS; what’s worse, some have positively gloated about their perceived success in hiding from me!!!! Well, everyone is now within my grasp where-ever they may be because the ULS has finally joined the 21st century with on-line membership now available on our website, www.uriesociety.co.uk To be serious for a sec, 499 WILL return to steam before 506 goes out of ticket and the more money we raise, the sooner that will be. Would you consider becoming part of our family, only £15 for adult annual (I had to check that soooooo carefully!!!) rising to £20 in July….that will be the first increase in 7 years. We are incredibly grateful for any money which comes our way whether it be by way of membership or donation and as much as possible goes directly into the loco’s, we really don’t like excessive overhead costs. I have said many times that the ULS is a family so I’ll leave you with this last thought………join up and Duty Druid could be your ‘brother’!!!! As for Dunfanaghy Road; well, Great Uncle Bulgaria just seems so apt!

    Ashpan.

    Ashpan.jpg

    New Superheater elements.

    New superheater elements. Copyright Dom Whibley.jpg

    The first appearance of Holly Green.

    The first appearance of Holly Green.jpg
     
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  15. Duty Druid

    Duty Druid Resident of Nat Pres

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    And so dear reader, for once on a Saturday morn, its was a dry crip day as four like minded nutters gathered atop the hill...... and for once it didn't rain until we were walking out the gate to go home, so we didn't care!! :)

    After the usual morning ritual, it was time to carry on bringing LMS van M517317 that little bit closer back to life.......

    Two were tasked with a long outstanding job, namely trimming back the doorway timbers to accommodate the angle iron that protects the edges - simple enough in theory, but time consuming in practise! :Arghh:

    That left muggin's 'ere & his mucker to see if the templates produced last week for the roof profiles would work so it was out with the ply sheets........ :Nailbiting: but first we revisited the internal measurements of country end with regard to trimming the excess of the ply sheets...... which was just as well, as the original measurements were slightly out! :rolleyes: soon we were having 'fun' measuring out the excess and just how far in to place the templates without shooting themselves in the foot, as there's only one chance with these....... :eek: the othershaving finally sorted the floor planks, had a head scratching session with the north side internal longitudinal, using the south side one for reference.... which has offered up a lot of if buts and maybes..... that is when they came over to consult on the best way forward and ended up helping out in producing the first roof profile on one sheet........ this was then offered up to see what it looked like....... :Nailbiting: as it urned out, it was success and all we need to do is trim the excess off the bottom! :eek: :):)

    Somehow it was suddenly lunchtime, after which we headed for Alresford to go and see what was going on as most of our number were keen to have a go at driving a Gronk...... when we got there, there was a queue waiting their turn to have a go on the 08, and another one in the buffet! :Saywhat: it was also good to see the traevelling crane DS58 giving demo's for those of us that needed a steam fix!!! :)

    So all in all a good day all round, with more progress on M517317 and having a bit of a jolly, plus showing support for the railway we all love to be a part of!! ;) :):)

    Some pics of the goings on at Alresford......

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/duty_druid/52742906528/in/dateposted-public/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/duty_druid/52742831060/in/dateposted-public/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/duty_druid/52742830465/in/dateposted-public/

    A template laid across the ply sheets as work out where it needed to be - not aided by a stiff breeze!!!

    20230311_112252.jpg

    The north side doorway planks trimmed back, and angle iron trial fitted.

    20230311_113609.jpg
    The first of the ply sheets with profile cut out offered up.....

    20230311_115303.jpg
     
  16. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester Member

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  17. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Well-Known Member Friend

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  18. Duty Druid

    Duty Druid Resident of Nat Pres

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    One day dear reader, the weather will help, not hamper us........ (we live in hope! :Nailbiting:) as yet again when four hardy souls gathered atop the hill yesterday morning, it was wet!!! :Arghh: and it rained on and off most of the day thwarting what we had planned....... :Banghead: :Banghead: :Banghead:

    So, after a leisurely breakfast our two newest members were left behind in the mess room to meet their fate in taking their PTS exam for the first time........ that left muggin's 'ere & his mucker to carry on where we'd left off last week..... fettling ply end sheets for LMS van M517317......

    First job was to take off some of the excess off the bottom of the sheet we'd fettled last week, at this point we don't want to take off too much until we know exactly how its going to sit in place! ;) That done, it was trial fitted - happily its a snug fit! :Jawdrop:

    Bouyed by that, it was decided to see if it mirrored itself with the roof profile....... and yes it did!! :) :rolleyes:

    So after some more measuring and head scratching to see just what we needed to do with the second sheet, it was thought a good idea to use the existing as a themplate, knowing that we'd have to at some point thrim the outer edge, but not by how much.......

    Just as we were about to start with the 2nd sheeet the peg went up on the inner home - way too early for the first up train of the day, so we stopped to see just what was coming up the bank...... D8188 on a route proving run!!

    Then it was back to the sheets...... at which point our two new recruits appeared, grinning like a pair of Chehires.... :Cat: Both had passed their PTS exam, so now they are responsible for their own safety lineside...... :eek:

    But before they could make use of it, they were ushered into the CCT along with the north side door runner, which needed drying out, de rusting and painting into red oxide..... after being given various hints and tips, they were left to it, and by the end of the day it was into red oxide - there's more surface area to a door runner than you think!

    Back over on the ply sheets, having marked out our cuts, we now had the problem of cutting the second sheet...... couldn't use the CCT or outside as it was raining (again!! :Banghead::Banghead:) nor could we lay it flat in the van...... so a suitable guide was found & clamped to the sheet...... then we encountered a problem - the balde of the jigsaw wanted to travel and we had no way of correcting it - cue muggins getting the hump!! :rolleyes:

    So we walked away from it for a time and worked out just how we are going to tackle the London end sheets.....

    Thankfully, after a while it stopped raining and something called the sun came out, so the oppertunity was taken to lay the sheet over the 4' and cut out the profile - this was then offered up to the country end, with first sheet in place........ it needs a trim, which we knew it would - but not by much, which is something we'll tackle next week! :)

    It was good to see trains running again and well patronised - we've missed them and that 'smell'!! :)

    To that end, some pics of them......

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/duty_druid/52757312716/in/dateposted-public/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/duty_druid/52757718250/in/dateposted-public/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/duty_druid/52757794038/in/dateposted-public/

    The first sheet trimmed and trial fitted.

    20230318_111712.jpg

    The first sheet mirrored on the north side.

    20230318_112221.jpg

    The two country end sheets trial fitted.

    20230318_150539.jpg

    The northside door runner finally recieving some attention - a job that started at the neck end of last year!!! 20230318_154047.jpg
     
  19. Swan Age

    Swan Age Member

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  20. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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