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Petition to Re-Open the Douglas to Peel Railway

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by IMR8, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. IMR8

    IMR8 New Member

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    Hi All,

    As the title suggests there is a Petition to Isle Of Man Government to show the level of support existing for a Re-Opened Douglas to Peel Railway.

    The petition can be found at https://www.change.org/DouglastoPeelRailway and I'd greatly appreciate it if you could sign and share on any other Railway Forums and Groups to get the message out.

    Thanks for all your time and support!
     
  2. bantamd14

    bantamd14 New Member

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    Not again! As much as I would like to see this line reinstated, it is not going to happen.
     
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  3. IMR8

    IMR8 New Member

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    Why?

    The costs needn't be a prohibitive as the Anti-Rail Agenda would like us all to believe. With volunteers having reopened both the Groudle Glen Railway and Great Laxey Mines Railway, is there not a scenario where the Department Of Infrastructure and Volunteers (IOMSRSA/Isle Of Man Heritage Railway Volunteers) can work together to begin work on re-opening the line? Obviously this is a Mainline Railway, meaning greater work, so the DOI would have to be involved.

    Does it all need to be re-opened at once. Could it be done in phases? Phase One of Douglas - Union Mills, Phase Two Union Mills to St John's and then St John's to Peel. Possibly aim for a 2033 full line re-opening, just in time for the 160th anniversary of the original opening. This would allow revenue to be generated whilst Construction is ongoing. You can also say why terminate in Union Mills, however the popular Isle Of Wight Steam Railway has terminated at Wootton since it's re-opening. It's not the destination so much as the journey.

    If the Isle Of Man really does have a climate emergency, then this is one of the solutions. Get cars off the road and onto the Rails.

    Tourist visits to cycle along a Heritage Trail will be none existent compared to re-opening. You could be looking at repeats of the incredibly successful Festivals celebrating the anniversaries in the 1990s.
     
  4. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I won't be "signing". Leaving aside my distaste for Change.org, I'm not clear what the justification is, or why what's suggested is credible.

    If this is a genuine heritage project, then I'd be up for considering my support - in reality, likely to be extremely tepid* - for such a project, whether all of it or just part of it. But if it's a "wouldn't it be nice" (commonly referred to here as "WIBN") project looking for funders, then I see nothing to draw me in.

    As a public transport project, then I'd be looking for modern fuel efficient trains - quite possibly second hand, say from a European NG line as it's upgraded - and running year round. Alternatively, as a seasonal tourist railway, then it belongs in the heritage sphere and needs - not just for funding, but also to be viable - to show a genuine base of volunteers who can make stuff happening. But pitching a tourist railway using carbon based fuels that will take over a cycle way as a response to a climate emergency strikes me as truly perverse logic.

    * Disclaimer - I've yet to visit the Isle of Man, so my involvement in a Manx project would require something truly irresistable.
     
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  5. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    You would be quite right. Pure W.I.B.N. The I.O.M. has Douglas to Port Erin (steam), Manx Electric, Groudle Glen, Laxey mine and also the Douglas horse tramway. Quite enough. Of course WIBNites seldom worry about "who pays" but it is a bit important.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  6. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but this is pure WIBN ..... and I care enough about the IMR to actually volunteer. Much as I miss the Peel line rebuilding it is a non-starter on so many levels. The Port Erin survived, not because it made money but because it lost the least money of the 3 lines. Even now it only covers 50% of running costs (up from 18% due to economies) so why would one want to divert tourist passengers away from the existing line and on to another line whilst, at the same time, increasing running costs by at least another 50%?
    If and it's a big if there was any scope at all for re-instating part of the closed lines it would be to provide a commuter service. I could see no point in taking the line into Peel on the old formation as the great majority of Douglas bound commuters live east of Peel at Ballawattleworth. The only possible route to Ballawattleworth would be on a new formation from just south of Peel Rd Station on the former Ramsey line and would require extensive earthworks including a new bridge over Peel Road. When the Peel line closed most of the bridges were ripped out, mains services were laid under the formation (but not deep enough to allow relaying over them) and there has been some building encroachment. In the past 50 odd years most of the formation has become a public footpath/cycleway/ bridlepath and, in the Braddan area, the T.T. escape road. If this is not enough how are you going to get the Manx out of their beloved cars? Only when commuting by car becomes intolerable will the average commuter consider an alternative.
    Sorry, whoever your name is, the scheme is a non-starter and before you suggest that the Island's already hard-working volunteers take on a huge task such as this you might consider volunteering yourself. Needless to say I won't be adding my signature to your petition.
    Ray Hulock.
     
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  7. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    A quick look at the petition page doesn't appear to make it clear whether it is as a proposed heritage style operation or a modern transport operation. As it is over 40 years since I last visited the island I cannot comment on what need there is to improve transport links, but if it is intended as a heritage operation I would echo the comments above that this would be an unjustifiable bit of WIBN. And I like some bits of WIBN - but not this one without much clearer plans about how it would work in practice (eg. costings, an indication of potential customers, what volunteer support might be available, etc.). It seems too much of a day dream, with a desire to see the Manx government to pay for it.

    Steve B
     
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  8. lostlogin

    lostlogin Member

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    I would not describe this as WIBN I would describe it as fantasy. In terms of transport the route is a key route in the Govt's cycle to work strategy and is a very popular cycle and walking route. Additionally it is key in providing access when roads are closed for motor bike racing. As a Manx resident I cannot see this gaining support with the average Manx resident
     
  9. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    The two expressions are interchangeable.o_O
     
  10. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    On that, I would have to disagree. Not all WIBN is fantasy, but (in this context anyway) all fantasies are WIBN.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  11. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    It is also worth saying that, as much as we all love railways, they are not neccessarily the best solution to every transport problem. Getting cars off the road doesn't necessarily have to involve trains. Admittedly I don't know the island very well, but if there is genuinely a need to provide commuter services from Peel to Douglas, then I suspect you could probably provide an all-singing, all-dancing bus service for considerably less money than reinstating the railway. This would also have the advantage that passengers could be picked up from Ballawattleworth, and dropped off in almost any part of Douglas, whereas Douglas station is, as I recall, inconveninetly tucked away on the edge of town. Indeed, it is precisely this kind of flexibility which allowed buses to kill off many mainland branch lines in the 1930s, long before Beeching came along.

    Also, it is worth bearing in mind that the Douglas Horse Tramway was under threat of closure not long ago. The COVID-19 pandemic is putting the entire heritage sector under threat, not just on the IoM, or even in the British Isles, but worldwide. All this at a time when we still hadn't really recovered from the 2008 financial crash, and consequent austerity. This is not a time to be thinking about further expansion. We need to prioritise looking after what we have. And let's face it, here in the British Isles, we have an embarassment of riches. If you lived in North America, for example, you might well have to travel hundreds of miles to see a steam engine. So I repeat: let's be thankful for what we already have, and focus on looking after it.
     
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  12. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    This matter was done to death on the old IOMSRSA forum many times. Short version: chuck enough money at it, and yes, you could produce a railway which really doesn't serve any serious transport function, retaining all the systemic weaknesses which led to it's downfall the first time around and will, in reality, only serve to dilute tourist patronage on the Port Erin line.

    Sorry, but the whole notion doesn't survive the most cursory first glance.

    As an aside, a hiatus in bus services, some years ago, gave the IMR the opportunity to act as the frontline transport for a few weeks. It gave the line some great publicity, but as our resident experts on rail matters on the IoM ( @marshall5, @GHWood and @Mike Buttell ) know far better than me, I'll leave it to them to let you know how well that went.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  13. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    There seems to be a rush again to promote long closed lines. I see a York to Beverley campaign and also Paignton to Churston both schemes have MP''s, who seem to have time on their hands, promoting them. This stems from the "Restoring Your Railways" ideas from HMG. I am sure there are more in the pipeline. I cannot speak of Beverley but Paignton - Churston has a more than adequate bus service, but new car parking (£££) is mentioned so that may be the idea.
    I cannot say about the Beverley scheme, but theto Paig
     
  14. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    Presumably Paignton to Churston would just involve extending Great Western local services from Exeter over DSR metals, probably something promoted by a local councillor rather than by any real need although there is quite a lot of modern housing in the Galmpton and Goodrington areas.
     
  15. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Most locals use cars or buses to Paignton and beyond. The DSR provides a way west to Dartmouth which many locals use.
     
  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    That’s because there is £500m of Government funds knocking about - giving the dangerous position of funds seeking projects. (Much better to have projects seeking funds - tends to weed out the no hoper projects).

    Once the £500m has been spaffed up the wall on glossy reports from consultants, those MPs will mysteriously lose interest in promoting rail renewal. And thus the world turns...

    Tom
     
  17. bantamd14

    bantamd14 New Member

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    This thread has deviated, I am sure you are all aware that the IoM is a separate country from the UK, with it's own parliament and a nationalised rail system. The rail policy by the UK government has absolutely no bearing on that of the IoM.
     
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  18. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Different "standard gauge" too! :)
     
  19. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Given that the borders railway cost around £300 million for 35 miles of track. That £500 million isn't going to re-open much anyway. Like a lot of things the government does at the moment. It is just a stunt to make it look like something is happening, whilst actually committing to nothing. It sounds like a big number, but in terms of government funding it is peanuts.
    Tim
     
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  20. IMR8

    IMR8 New Member

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    So, just to be clear no one on a, granted british focused, Railway Forum would like to see a re-instatement of the Douglas to Peel Railway?

    Everything can come under 'wouldn't it be nice' but the fact is, we need Government to include an evaluation of the Douglas to Peel Line in it's Railway Report.
     

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