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Project Wareham

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by David R, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. 80104

    80104 Member

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    HIT has laid down a set of standards that must be met (to protect the Thomas Brand) which effectively makes the break even figure quite high. As I understand it they take a % of all income during the event (i.e. including shop sales and catering income). Far from being a money spinner Thomas could result in a significant loss if the event was marred with say bad weather or a high profile competing event.
     
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  2. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    ,The SR Project was founded and funded by people with a sense of community. Yes the Purbeck Community. Much of that going on now is there? If you put steam engines(and i love them) ahead of community values.if you want your version of the world to end at Norden Gates present realities are going to bring about a very sharp shock. The extension is built(for how many years now?) apply some good old common sense instead of putting up all these fictitious and apparently insurmountable whataboutery objections. As a poster above notes the SRC has done very well from DCC and methinks that shortly that particular piper is going to call the tune.,
     
  3. buzby2

    buzby2 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your response. Unfortunately I do appear to have kept my copy of that document.
    However, I still believe that the World has changed massively since 1981 such that it makes that document impossible (in practicable terms) to comply with - except by bankrupting the current Swanage Railway which would seem to be not helping anyone involved.
    The pioneers [and I appear to be one of the few original 1972 members of the Swanage Railway Society] did not envisage running our own trains to/from Wareham as we couldn't. British Railways and the unions involved would not have let us. Fact.
    As I have mentioned before - The (1972) pioneers envisaged one aspiration to become connected with the main line to allow trains to be run - nothing about us running those trains nor their frequency. Please feel free, however, to come up with a 1972 document that says otherwise and I will gladly apologise publicly.
    Assuming you don't have such a document you will then see that some objectives of the Swanage Railway Project have already changed over the years. I'm sure you'll agree that many events and circumstances have occurred during the past 50 years over which the Swanage Railway had/has no control so it's had to adapt to still be operating in 2022.
    How is it suppose to react now? Judging by your previous comments, I presume, it should just continue doggedly on until the Company Liquidator is called in. Would you be happy about the waste of all your donations you state have been paid to the Swanage Railway?
    Incidentally, with the current rise in coal prices (assuming coal supplies can be sourced) and other considerations mentioned elsewhere, some heritage railways will have to fight hard to continue in business. Swanage Railway is not immune from these pressures as you postulate above.
    Enjoy Canada. It is obviously a utopia compared to the UK. I couldn't advise you to waste more of your money coming over here as nothing we do seems to be to your liking and you'd only get upset.
    P.S. Regarding your bringing over unwanted copies of the Swanage Railway News. Please do not trouble to bring them to Swanage as the Railway has had a lot of SRN's, and other magazines, bequeathed over the last two years and volunteers can't cope with the volume. Storage space is also not available for them. I believe several other heritage railways are in similar circumstances directly/indirectly as a result of COVID. I hope you find a suitable home for them.
     
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  4. buzby2

    buzby2 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.
     
  5. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    This particular edition of the old,old argument has come about because it was noted that Rossendale Council in NW UK has been awarded a $150,000 grant to study the reopening of an actual railway operation (takes persons to work etc from A to B) and this would entail operating over a current HR line. The ELR. Insurmountable problem?Not according to the local worthies. But of course OMG that could not possibly apply to our circumstances in Purbeck could it? We have extra special circumstances yada yada!
    Community Railways, come to think of it was not Andrew Goltz, who was a founding factor in this enterprise. a Professor with a grounding in community involvement in Railways?
     
  6. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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  7. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    someone once said to me about 40yrs ago. They(The SR) will never get beyond Corfe Castle. At moment he is batting 1000! I do not indulge in arguments as to who does what in their personal realm. I was born in 1944, The UK was in crisis then,Crises continued and not alone,amongst 100,000s of UK citizens in the 60s and 70s ,it was off to pastures new. Is The UK still in crisis?
    And of course I have the document, it is 2 feet away from me. I am sure that they have a copy in the Montagu JonesLibrary.,The Swanage Railway should definitely have one in their records
     
  8. buzby2

    buzby2 Well-Known Member

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    I have not been involved with the ELR so will not comment as I know nothing of the relevant details.
    Reverting to Project Wareham.
    Andrew Goltz is not, to the best of my knowledge, a Professor with a grounding in community involvement in Railways.
    He does have a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Birmingham University and was Chairman, previously, of St Benedict's School Railway Society in Ealing.
    Between 2003 and 2009 he was Chairman of the British-Polish Railway and Industrial Heritage Partnership and during the middle of this tenure he prepared a report: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/http://79.96.72.254/Poland June 2006_cmp.pdf
    Perhaps you are confusing him with the other founding student, his friend John Sloboda? Now Emeritus Professor John Sloboda FBA, MA (OXON.) PHD (LOND.), C.PSYCHOL, FBPSS,ATCL, LTCL, HONRCM at Keele University [who has appeared on Radio 4 (some years ago) about his various studies in Psychology].
     
  9. buzby2

    buzby2 Well-Known Member

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    You quoted from a 1981 dated prospectus. I don't doubt it might be 2 feet away from you.
    However, the question you didn't answer was my enquiry about you having a 1972 document in which the original founding members [have you been a member that long by any chance?] envisaged running their own trains to/from Wareham rather than 'just' becoming re-connected.
    As I recall, re-connection was one of several aspirations we voted for at that meeting in Swanage in August 1972 - nothing at all about running Swanage Railway Project trains to/from Wareham.
    Times change, the World changes, circumstances change. You surely read newspapers or look at TV news or listen to the radio or use social media so you don't need me to tell you as to whether the UK is still in crisis or whether it too has changed since 1944.
    By contrast, you don't like change in any way to the Swanage Railway Project.
    Would you now wish to live in a 1944 World - of course not. You admitted that you changed your circumstances by emigrating to Canada?
    Shame we can't emigrate the Swanage Railway to Canada then you could run it to your heart's content under Canadian laws and circumstances.
    Meanwhile us poor schmucks have to cope with the real World and operate under UK conditions - which you can't change. Somewhat ironic.
    It's well past my bedtime so cheerio for a while. Your turn in this ping-pong match.
     
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  10. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    DV i will be having a pint in the garden of the Bankes Arms in a couple of months time.
     
  11. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    And I am sure you will find the UK is a far different place than it was in 2019 let alone 1981.
    You have either ignored or choose to the current economic climate in the UK
    Reading "The Perfect Storm" document recent forecast document produced by The Bank of Canada among other things an inflation forecast of only 5% (10% or worse in the UK) and a current petrol price of 190.9 Canadian Dollars per litre compared to our £1.76.9 per litre (so 2.80 dollars). No idea of your main heating method in Canada but if oil based I guess the impact based on the petrol prices will be way lower, seems that maybe things are not so bad over where you are.
    I do not know if you watch the Heritage Line webcams but most when I glance at them this year, with the exception of galas, most do not appear to be running with very full load factors.
    Had the town here in Swanage not been full of the Jurassic Coast Walk participants passing through yesterday, on a nice warm sunny Saturday then the town would have been very quiet around lunchtime.
    Thunderstorms here today mean I suspect not many will be visiting on day trips, do you really expect the railway to be chucking money at things that have a high chance of not being well supported in the current climate? That of course is a fine way to economic ruin.
     
  12. buzby2

    buzby2 Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure they will be looking forward, with eager anticipation, to your visit in a couple of months time.
    Incidentally, please do not complain about the cost of your pint, however, as prices in the UK have risen at a much faster inflation rate than in your beloved Canada from what you've written previously. Enjoy your pint whilst you are watching for more faults to raise about the Swanage Railway.
    Finally, I presume you are referring to the Bankes Arms in Corfe Castle rather than the Bankes Arms at nearby Studland.
     
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  13. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes. What you are advocating is a form of compulsory takeover.

    You also ignore the other calls on local authority budgets and the very tight funding position that they are under. In advocating that “the greater good” requires reopening of the Swanage branch to normal commuter traffic, you omit to mention their legal duties around minor matters like social care, education, highways, etc. - for which they are almost certainly underfunded.


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  14. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Without labouring the point the, in my opinion, perfectly correct decision to delay the trial this year was refuter highlighted by evidence in the past couple of days.
    Yesterday the Office for National Statistics stated that the UK Inflation rate in April was 9% (March was 7%). This is the highest for 40 years and may make the Bank of England's recent forecast of 10% by year end optimistic.
    Last week the BBC News mentioned a survey Visit Britain have been running during Covid that I had never heard of before called a "COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker" to show how travel and holidays are impacted by the pandemic. The latest report was issued yesterday (Wave 46) and can be found via the link below. Whilst Covid is still impacting holidays with only 51% thinking the worst is over,it is interesting that the top 3 reasons for not taking a holiday or short break are:

    1) Rising Cost of Living
    2) Personal Finances
    3) The Cost Of Fuel

    https://www.visitbritain.org/covid-19-consumer-sentiment-tracker

    I would suggest it would be a very badly managed business that chooses to undertake an operation to establish the long term viability of an operation when 35% of the survey stated the rising cost of living is a barrier to travelling. Although even now 14% regard Covid as a barrier as well.
     
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  15. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    It is enlightening to see how much trepidation the Rossendale Borough Council Study has put into the Goldfish Bowl thinking of some HR enthusiasts. The Government at all levels is surely considering those assets which can be used to the best effect in the fight against climate change and overcrowding, also leisure and commuter travel(Okehampton!) .Change is inevitable for HR. Fuel Costs and the lingering effects of Covid are doing there part to see to that. Private Public Partnerships could be the way out or are we waiting for the inevitable closure of some HR as we now know them?
     
  16. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I would be careful about what you assume. Elsewhere on this forum, you'll find discussion of some campaigners' attempt to reinstate mainline services to the WSR, where informed analysis shows that two things. One is that reinstatement of main line services triggers significantly increased costs for everything that operates on that line, as commuter operations are unviable within the 25mph limit preserved railways operate under. The other is that if there is a loss of heritage operations, the economic damage to the destination town(s) will be greater than the benefit gained.

    I have no reason to believe that Rossendale or Swanage will be materially different.
     
  17. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I don't think anyone is seriously opposed in principle to making use of existing heritage railways for public transport. Some of them were originally saved at least partly for that very purpose. The problem is making it work, whether by complete takeover of the heritage line by a local or national authority (where's the money and what do you do with the heritage operation?) or by somehow combining both operations (what about staffing, signalling, timetables, etc?). The numerous practical difficulties have been explored at length in this and other threads such as (recently) ELR and (for years) the WSR.
     
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  18. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    Would you not agree though that there has never been a better time for this to happen? Operational costs for HR must be approaching a critical juncture. Government policy at all levels is addressed towards climate change ;Let us at least see what the Rossendale study come up with;I cannot see Governments at any level giving up political points for not easing the life of commuters.Let us least give Project Wareham a reasonable trial period.(how long has the connection existed now? how much money was solicited for the Worgret signalling?etc) Inevitably there will be difficulties just as there will be positives to the experience. How does not having a direct connection to the main line WSR.,SR or wherever provide any benefit the people that actually live in that particular area? and more particularly where the connections are physically in situ? Build it and they will come. One would imagine just the possibility of being 25 minutes or so from a London connection will have a very positive effect on property values in some areas of Purbeck
     
  19. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Right, so if the "they" department is going to pay for this, what are they going to stop funding? Buses? Social care? Highway maintenance? Schools? How is the heritage railway going to co-exist? Where are the costs going to go to? The ELR have fed back, robustly, on the Rossendale project.

    There is a long history in heritage railways of trying to make the community model work, and it ultimately not paying the bills. I don't see anything about Swanage, Rawtenstall, or Minehead that tell me they're special and different - or about their local councils that suggests they've either (a) a detailed understanding of what it takes or (b) the budgets to make it work as you'd want to. Swanage is a small town - how many commuters will it generate?

    I also suggest you contemplate what the branch might have been like if BR hadn't closed it. A trip a bit west to see the Castle Cary - Dorchester line might give an insight into the quality of service that might have followed, and the impact on the buildings?

    Stop writing off heritage railways - it's the heritage that keeps those lines open, not the practical travel.
     
  20. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    @35B has accurately listed those things that would be at risk from a budget perspective. The alternative, if the central government policy of the moment allowed, would be to increase council tax for everyone to fund it.
    You then get straight back to the argument that exists about the national network where those that do not use it (a large percentage of the population) resent being taxed to fund those that do on a daily basis (or at least did prior to Covid) to keep the fares low (I use that term in its very loosest sense) and I would rather their taxation be used for other things.
    Although of course not locally funded I suspect if you asked many here in Purbeck they would think funding a couple of extra GP's or an A & E Ambulance based in Purbeck a far better use of tax money from Central Government. After all we have only just managed to retain the one Paramedic car after a major campaign, and that is before A & E gets moved from Poole to Bournemouth Hospital, which even the medical profession thinks may cost up to 50 lives per year due to the extra journey times.
    I also do not accept the "start it and they will use it argument", yes it may well be a more reliable (less impacted by traffic) link to Wareham than the bus, but based on the recently removed Q paths it actually took 46 minutes from Swanage Station, where as the bus is timetabled for 40 minutes. Yes it will, if they leave at different times, increase the service level, but in the day (after 09:30 and all weekend) you are back to the issue of up to 90% of those using the 40 seeming to have a bus pass. Also I believe that the commuting level to somewhere adjacent to a station served by SWR has yet to be proven, even if a commuter timed service (adding vastly to the costs) was operated.
     
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