Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by threelinkdave, Jul 22, 2017.
Am I bovvered?
Just return the "compliment"
There may be. But that also means that it's necessary to embed the principles of heritage first to anchor those decisions.
You disappoint me Paul. I thought you'd put me back on "ignore" with immediate effect. Must be my magnetic personality that draws you back.
The bottom line though in this case is that the blanks are no longer available.
There is a huge need though to preserve the 'How did they do it' not only in the booking office but with goods, workshops & offices. Not in the physical sense but how was it all organised.
As a 'for example' my parents both worked for the Midland Bank, admittedly in the Executor & Trustee Company (Dad was usually greeted with 'Any good deaths Today ' by my mother which explains a lot) but their friends talked about things like typing bank statements, how was retail banking done in that era?
somewhere between 30-40% with pre-booked tickets
A proportion which will only increase - and something which railways will encourage as much as possible as it means that they have the income - even if the weather is lousy that day and the passengers might well have not bothered if they had not pre-booked.
Is it, really? I think it varies, depending on context, and some I've seen weren't positive.
I don't think there's a single answer; since it's a kind of cost-benefit tradeoff, for each point it will depend on each line's particular situation, how they stand on resources, etc. So some lines will e.g. do CWR, so they don't have to maintain fishplates, and deal with the consequences of dipped joints; others will not.
As long as in each case they look at all the factors, and make a smart choice, I don't have a problem with disparate answers.
But, with the exception of special events, that's not how SVR pre-booked tickets. Normal day tickets can be used at any point in a 1 year period.
@35B asks where the boundary should be.
For my part, from a heritage point of view, I'd rank my concerns about "getting it right" in order:
Why infrastructure at the top? Essentially because infrastructure decisions tend to have lifetimes of 50+ years; in other words, for most people making decisions about infrastructure changes, whatever you decide will outlast your own time. Whereas as has frequently been seen, whether by strong will or necessity, railways can quite dramatically change the picture of what rolling stock they have available over one or two decades.
As an example: there is quite a lot of discussion about flat bottom rail. I can see both sides of the argument, and fully respect both the views of p/way gangs in the maintenance burden of traditional p/way; and the impact (literally) of bad joints on the mechanical state of locos. So reduced costs through more modern p/way is probably a heritage price worth paying; just be aware that decision made today will likely still be apparent 50 years from now. The same goes (in spades) for the built environment, whether that is the "temporary" signal box that "we can replace when we have more time" that is still extant thirty years on; or the badly sited shop and office that overwhelms a station site. Those kinds of things have a habit of staying around for long periods.
Operating practice is another thorny issue, even though it is probably largely unperceived by many passengers. The point being, that traditional practice - such as shunting using hand signals or lamps rather than radios - is hard to relearn once lost. How many lines still operate unfitted freight with a single brake van? And of those that don't, or have stopped doing so a while back, how many would feel confident re-introducing such a practice? Without practice, the expertise becomes increasingly difficult to resurrect.
The other point made about Edmondson tickets, and the assertion that in heritage terms its a piffling issue relative to some others: clearly when it comes to authenticity, there are big issues and small ones. But the fact that a railway may, for practical reasons, have to compromise on some big issues does not mean it should therefore treat all smaller issues as thereby irrelevant. One issue doesn't determine the other: you might as well say that the moment the first length of flat bottom rail is laid, it is no longer worth trimming carriages in traditional moquette.
Thinking aloud: I wonder long term if increasingly -- given the constraints on funding and volunteer availability against rising maintenance costs and more stringent regulation -- we'll have two forms of heritage railways. On the one hand, those for which the primacy is to ensure a steam loco is on the front, and broadly any other operational efficiencies are fair game. The prevalence of extensive coach party traffic, coming for a ride, a coffee and visit to the souvenir shop and then moving on; and the fact that mainline rail tours are popular in which the train is the only heritage aspect show that there is probably a market for such. On the other hand, railways that go down a kind of living museum route, but conceivably managing that by dint of quite restricted operating days and mileage to ensure the necessary operating and maintenance capacity within limited resources. The likes of Beamish show that living museums are also attractive to the public, of which movement is one, but by no means the only, part.
That would probably be a difficult conversation to have on many heritage railways.
As ever, much food for thought there, Tom. I think that we have lost the unfitted goods train and shunting as it used to be, forever. H & S has killed that. Go back to post 108 on this thread and watch the clips shown in that video and you will soon see why we don't do it. As an aside, wagons coming into contact with each other at speeds regarded a a norm would be classed as a collision today.
I also think that we are losing out on the P'way. The loss of bullhead is one thing but we are losing out on the ballast and formation, as well. Much of the secondary railway network was laid on ash ballast. If I want to wind Ploughman up I just suggest that they ought to be using that instead of stone on the NYMR. His polite response is usually along the lines of "you and your mates come and do the shovel packing, then." It is also very rare for the lineside to be kept in anything like the condition it was sixty and more years ago.
Interesting and thought provoking thread
Tim Light wrote earlier ".....The other side of the equation is what motivates the volunteer to keep volunteering. Everyone has different interests from Double Slips to 16 ton mineral wagons. If the volunteers are not motivated to grease fishplates then compromises have to be made. So long as the Customer is still happy, it doesn't really matter......"
As a part of the "Windcutter" group on the GCR we have spent 25 years painting 16T mineral wagons grey ..... together with scraping, grinding, welding, overhauling and oiling them to keep them running. They are not likely to be filled with coal but are typical of the "coal empties" that had to be returned to the pits so are part of the heritage experience.... which we hope are part of keeping our Customers happy........and yes, we too, have livery debates!
I doubt that many people purchase them on the basis that they will use them sometime in the next 12 months. I would think that most people purchase them as part of a specific day out plan.
There are places that we do use ash but not in the running line.
Besides you run that many diesels that the source of all the ash required has dried up.
Or your engines are too big and heavy that they crush the ash into dust.
Just not so I am afraid. At least one railway has regular, timetabled demonstrations.
They still feature occasionally on the SVR too.
Loose shunting has presumably gone though? I know the SVR did it for the TV cameras circa 1980 for an episode of God's Wonderful Railway
And also on the Bluebell.
My point though wasn't so much to get a list of who does and doesn't; rather, to suggest that as a skill, it would be very hard to introduce (or re-introduce) to places that no longer run them. Which in turn is to make the point that preservation ought to be more than just preservation of objects - preservation of skills is important, and perhaps more difficult to recover from a loss.
Loose shunting still happens in some places; I’ve done it myself in the middle of a Steam Gala event. That got a few people who disagreed with it reaching for their Rulebooks, I can tell you!
People get it confused with fly shunting, which definitely isn't allowed on the SVR.
We did a bit of fly shunting on the MHR a few years back....Autumn gala 2016@ Alresford iirc.
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