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Operation Stack and the South East's heritage lines

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Bramblewick, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Bramblewick

    Bramblewick Member

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    On a visit to Tenterden yesterday I noticed that the town and the railway were both unusually quiet for the time of year; indeed, the five coach midday train which passed me at Rolvenden crossing had almost nobody aboard. Was this due to visitors being put off by Stack and if so, is it also affecting other lines in the area?
     
  2. Seagull

    Seagull Member

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    Operation Stack might be affecting our passenger numbers, it's hard to prove but numbers are well down. It's a shame as we've got a fantastic loco visiting with pannier L92. Would Operation Stack stop you visiting us ? We'd be interested to know.
     
  3. Dan Hamblin

    Dan Hamblin Part of the furniture

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    If you're going down the A21 and tacking across to Bodiam then it should be fine, but that does assume NT membership and use of the castle car park. Tenterden is probably more affected, but you might be in a better position if Manston airport gets used to alleviate the motorway blocking.

    Regards,

    Dan
     
  4. Seagull

    Seagull Member

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    According to tonight's news, Manston is to be used for Operation Stack, now there's no excuse for not coming to see L92 perform in style on Tenterden bank!
     
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  5. Bramblewick

    Bramblewick Member

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    It seems to be the most likely explanation. Very sad, especially as the real congestion is between the M20 and Watling Street. From what I've seen there is barely a tourist attraction in Kent which is not suffering to some extent.

    I was also saddened by the (unrelated) news that your neighbours at the Northiam toy museum have decided to permanently shut up shop.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  6. Peter Hall

    Peter Hall Guest

    Be interesting to see how they try and work Manston as a holding area. Hard to see how it will not cause problems on the A299/A256 presuming they are used. Don't think the truckers are going to be too happy either, who picks up the tab for the extra mileage?

    Clearly Operation Stack and the consequent chaos on the M20 corridor is having a significant effect on the local economy not just the tourist spend. A news clip on Saturday, which I believe was filmed at Charing, showed a traction engine on a low loader caught up in the diversion. Presumably this was destined for the Weald of Kent Steam Rally and was going to arrive much later than planned. I suspect this event has also suffered a lower attendance of both exhibitors and visitors than had been expected.

    Unfortunately Operation Stack is probably going to on and off for a long while yet. Although the illegals disrupting Eurotunnel is peddled by the media as the cause, this has only added to the actual cause. This being the reduced ferry capacity out of Dover following the taking over of two ferries by pirates - a situation that appears far from being resolved.
     
  7. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    A similar loss of tourism occurred last year when parts of the Somerset Levels were flooded and the breach of the sea wall at Dawlish. There was a knock-on effect throughout the South West.
     
  8. athelney

    athelney Member

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    For those of us across the oceans in other lands away from Kent ...Can someone explain Operation Stack ! ...thanks in advance
     
  9. John R

    John R New Member

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    Operation Stack is the method by which lorries heading for the Channel Tunnel and ports are held in the event of disruption. It involves closing the main motorway down to the ports and using it to hold lorries. As the stack grows bigger, more of the motorway is closed, with the potential to cause disruption for other traffic. It's been in operation for some time now, given the significant disruption caused by thousands of illegal immigrants in Calais trying to gain access to the eurotunnel terminal and onto lorries/trains etc. A quick google of Operation Stack should reveal photos which indicate the potential size of the exercise.
     
  10. 99Z

    99Z Guest

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2015
  11. athelney

    athelney Member

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    Thank you John R and 99Z will look at it further , I left the UK in 1975 .... never heard of it before , how things have changed ! .......
     
  12. Seagull

    Seagull Member

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    Just in case Operation stack is putting any one off visiting us, it is currently stood down and the M20 is open in both directions.
     
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  13. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    The line which would be most exposed to the effects of "operation Stack" would surely be the RH&DR, as its eastern terminus at Hythe is only a few miles from the Channel Tunnel. It would be interesting to know if it has suffered.
     
  14. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    To be fair its not so much the loss of two ferries that is causing an issue, its more the current occupiers of said vessels and their land based associates who have a tendency to make bonfires of tires on the motorways leading to the port / tunnel or on the tracks at the tunnel mouth at will. They also caused chaos at the beginning of July by bringing the port to a standstill and effectively blockaded DFDS ships from berthing there for virtually the whole month while P&O were also shut out for the best part of a week followed by a period when the restricted the number of P&O ferries they could have in port at any time).

    The background to all this goes back to the demise of Sea France when the ships were bought by Eurotunnel but operation contracted to a workers cooperative (trading as My Ferry Link) of ex Sea France employees headed by a bunch of union workers so militant they make the antis of Arthur Scargil look positively moderate. The latest series of disputes kicked in when Eurotunnel, fed up with continued UK competition inquiries and appeals, plus the antics of said militants made them decide to close down the My Ferry link operation and sell the ferries to DFDS. The whole thing is further complicated by the French legal system, the rights of workers to strike when they want (as laid down in the French Constitution) and some of the decisions the courts have taken in the past when Sea France collapsed the actions of Eurotunnel that got the commercial court in Bolougne involved when things got bad between Eurotunnel bosses and the militant union bosses.

    Sources indicate that further action is being planned for later this week once the commercial court in Bolougne has made a decision over something.
     
  15. Fireline

    Fireline Member

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    Not if you live in Thanet, Dan! Op Stack is enough of a pain in the a**e, without it cutting off the roads into and out of this area. I have to commute across Manston on weekdays, not looking forward to it one bit.
     
  16. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    I think that part of the problem would be that you see on the news every day that Kent is a no go zone ,that its taking an eternity to get anywhere, so of course people will not want to travel, think back to the olympics when tourists were told avoid kent, that had a simular effect, and if you are running the full 5 car MK1 rake mid week, wouldnt make better sence to run the vintage rake and a smaller engine? instead if loads are down i assume your running the DMU/ steam timetable ,
     
  17. Bramblewick

    Bramblewick Member

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    The well nigh empty rake I saw the other day consisted of two Mk.1s, the Woolwich, the SECR 4w brake, and the birdcage.
     

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