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North Yorkshire Moors Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by The Black Hat, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. alts1985

    alts1985 Well-Known Member

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    Some photos from Monday 4th July... https://www.flickr.com/photos/alts1985/albums/72177720300418924
     
  2. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    Out of interest, are there other railways following NYMR's railtour style pattern of services aimed at fixed outward and return times for the majority of their trade?

    I'm simultaneously pleased that by all accounts these are often sell outs and therefore of great success to the railway, but equally bewildered that there are seemingly few public who like me, mourn the ability to hop on and hop off freely.

    (Before anyone points it out, I know you can still rover some services but the gap between usable trains makes a "free" itinerary unworkable to me)

    Sent from my moto g(8) power using Tapatalk
     
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  3. andyc

    andyc New Member

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    From what I've seen, certainly off peak, they haven't been sell outs, even on the whitby runs.

    I am totally with you regarding the restrictions to the "rovers" /moors explorers. So much so that i've only been on once since before covid and that was the last gala when it was run with the traditional rovers. Normally i'd spend a day on the line 4-5 times a year.
     
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  4. Sidmouth4me

    Sidmouth4me New Member

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    The only “fixed” services are to / from Whitby with most passengers happy with this arrangement. Previously, often two loads worth of passengers, from the 9.20 and 12 noon ex Pickering, would often try and return on the same 17.10 ex Whitby, leading to a mad scramble for seats at Whitby and with some passengers then having to stand all the way back to Pickering. Likewise, passengers on some occasions would be forced to stand on the 9.20 ex Pickering, being the first service of the day.

    So, even if some services haven’t appeared as sell outs, it has nevertheless allowed the railway to carry more passengers whilst giving certainty of a seat for the passengers’ journey.
     
  5. Sidmouth4me

    Sidmouth4me New Member

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    Following a long period without hardly any rain has now left the North York Moors tinder dry, with several line side fires recently occurring.
    As a result the NYMR has now had to ensure all services across the moors are now diesel assisted. This has led it to reducing its Moors Explorer services (the hop-on hop-off services between Pickering and Grosmont), with weekday / Saturday services effectively canned and a limited Sunday services operating. The through Pickering-Whitby services continues to run but with diesel locomotive assistance at least between Goathland and Levisham.

    Amended timetable here.
    https://www.nymr.co.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=60458995-4327-47ef-9436-8b1f0e63eafd
     
  6. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    AFAIK the only other railway doing this is the Ffestiniog. The GM’s of both railways seem to be convinced that this is the future for heritage railways. I hope that they are wrong and, FWIW, I think they are.
    My limited observations at the NYMR tell me that trains are generally quieter than in the past but, to some extent, that is achieving the objective. The GM continues to say that income is above budget but I’ve no actual figures.
    The railway is not having a good operational season with an expected steam loco fleet of nine being reduced to four and even three on occasions with all four ‘Whitby’ locos out of traffic on some days. As a result of this and the extremely dry weather the two Cl.37’s have been working overtime.
     
  7. banburysaint

    banburysaint Member

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    For the peak school holidays the coming weather forecast doesn't look encouraging with no rain forest for the next two weeks. In 2018 or 2019 (I can't quite remember) there were additional diesel locomomotives hired to enable a full service to run with top and tailing. Given there are only two fit diesels is there any prospect of additional locomomotives being hired in? I appreciate that there is the class 47 but I understand that this isn't yet ready. Clearly if there aren't the resources to provide the diesel drivers it would be pointless.

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  8. brennan

    brennan New Member

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    Wouldn't a sensible business move be to increase the diesel fleet and reduce the amount of money spent on unreliable steam engines? Given the changing climate, the uncertainty of coal supplies, increased material costs, the difficulty in obtaining labour for the heavy work on boilers and the NYMR move to excursion trips to Whitby would a diesel-hauled service be any less attractive? For the "hop-on-hop-off" service some DMUs would provide far better views for the passengers. Steam could then be reduced to special services such as dining and "excursions" in the spring and autumn. If you are sitting in the end coach of an eight coach train and you are not permitted to look out of a window ( ORR regs "elf and safety sir", very dangerous etc) does it really matter if the loco on the front is steam or diesel. Surely the NYMR is selling the magnificent scenery?
     
  9. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    The main problem with that is, and Im happy to be corrected. The people who turn up and pay for our hobby prefer steam haulage over a diesel as for average Joe, a dmu on a heritage railway is no different to a dmu they commute to work in.
     
  10. andyc

    andyc New Member

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    I've certainly heard of stories there that family's have walked up, seen that it's a diesel and then opted to wait for the next train which was steam.

    I know when unfortunately I've ended up on a diesel there I've hopped off at the next station to then get on the steam pathing. But that would be difficult to do these days with the current restrictive hop on hop off.
     
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  11. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    I think that there's been plenty of evidence over the years on the NYMR that diesels (whatever their proponents may think) are a big turn-off for the average visitor and there are the figures to prove it. At the same time, one has to ask whether footplate volunteers would continue to come forward in the same numbers if the majority of turns on offer were on diesels. Lastly, the NYMR management these days is very concerned about overcrowding on some trains, so what would they do if the majority of customers wanted a ride on a limited supply of steam-hauled trains and were prepared to wait for one?
     
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  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think the volunteer side is under-appreciated. Of course it is important that heritage railways maintain their solvency, but a significant part of the business model is predicated on attracting, and retaining, a pool of free labour. If that disappears, at the very least you end up with a very different kind of railway.

    Worth pointing out as well that there is a precedent in this country for the "scenic rail journey" - the Jacobite. But even there it still has steam haulage as part of the attraction, not to mention the significant benefits of being a user of someone else's infrastructure (rather than having to fund all its infrastructure costs out of the revenue from the train service); and having the "Harry Potter effect" to drive custom, particularly from foreign tourists.

    Tom
     
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  13. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Has it changed hands in the last 5 years then? When we spent two nights there excellent service and food. No Fawlty presence at all.
     
  14. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    Whilst it's not a definitive analysis of visitor opinion reports on Trip Advisor often express disappointment over diesel substitution. Perhaps what matters for many is not so much the experience of riding behind steam as the visual impact of seeing(and smelling) a steam locomotive before and after their journey?
    One factor which will increasingly need to be considered is that the design of heritage diesels dates from an era when diesel exhaust pollution was not the issue that it can now be. Unlike steam traction diesel emissions are not exempted from the air quality controls under Environmental Protection legislation so continued use of heritage diesel traction in sensitive areas (especially near residential housing) may be restricted. Indeed it seems likely that future use of heritage diesels will be more vulnerable than steam locos to enforcement of environmental legislation.
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    That's one of the prime reasons that steam locos are being retained on many of the services during this high fire risk period but with diesel assistance being provided. It would be much simpler to reduce the steam presence to an absolute minimum and just use the two Cl.37's and the DMU.
     
  16. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    If Trackside Magazine is to be believed, you should probably pass that message on to the NYMR's CEO!
     
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  17. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    I know he's well aware of the challenge as are others involved with the HRA which has looked at the regulatory controls recently. It's not a case of being unable to use diesel but rather one of being sensible and sensitive about the way it's used . Procedures such as avoiding idling in stations an built up areas will be needed and, above all, avoiding the "clag" that some diesel afficionados celebrate. Photos and videos of clouds of black/blue smoke are an own goal which could make life difficult.
     
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  18. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    In Paul Lewin's You Tube recently, at 18m 50s (ish) he says something so fundamentally true that I marvel (and not in a good way) at railways that haven't worked it out - he says 'If we run empty trains, then more fool us.' How that is avoided is a massive challenge, and I feel that the evolution from Covid-style operation is more likely to be successful than simply returning to the old ways. It isn't what we want, probably not what many of our patrons want either, but there it is.
    Pat
     
  19. alastair

    alastair Well-Known Member

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    Are you seriously saying that there is now a prohibition on leaning out of a window on the NYMR?
     
  20. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    I don't think the NYMR has very many empty trains, providing they are steam-haled, and it now has the best part of 50 years experience on which to base its services. The problem at the moment is that we are in uncertain times and it will take a while before things return to normal and work out what the "new normal" is, but it is probably sensible not to have too many kneejerk reactions as yet, and I don't think that the solution will be the same for all lines.
     

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