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Rother Valley Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by nine elms fan, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. martin butler

    martin butler Part of the furniture

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    Passing trains, At Northiam should not be a problem as long as service train is in platform 2, 1 is bi directionable, and there isnt the tight curve off the platform edge, as there is from 2, Rolvendon, loop is or was only just long enough to take 5 mk1s and 2 engines, but again if running non stop a shorter service train could be held there , but unless the plan changes and the layout at Robertsbridge changes to admit a train straight off NR its a non starter, the only way you can get a tour train onto RVRmetals would be if the point faced the RVR station,almost at the end of the sight,so vertually where the engineers siding starts then you would need a very long spur into the station to be able to pull a ten coach rake clear of the point, and a release point to gain the running line.
     
  2. Foxhunter

    Foxhunter Member

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    From what I have seen there might room for an eight coach train in the engineers siding, certainly you could berth a 6 car Hastings set there and maybe that is the way forward. Run in from the London end, decant passengers on the NR platform, stable the unit in the siding. Passengers then join a five coach train on the RVR side and enjoy a trip to Tenterden and back. Given that a six car Hastings unit only has the same capacity as a five coach train this might work well and would be most appropraite (until we get a 'Schools' and a six car Maunsell set on the mainline!).

    Foxy
     
  3. howard

    howard Member

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    No it wouldn't, it's had a new radiator.
     
  4. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    Talk about cart before the horse. A couple of road crossings and fair old chunk of land to be bought before these rail tour fantasies can even be contemplated.
     
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  5. howard

    howard Member

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    It may be worth wondering why a mainline connection is being put in along with a two road loco shed.
     
  6. martin butler

    martin butler Part of the furniture

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    so that they can stable engines and coaches undercover at Robertsbridge, of course, there could be another reason, ,it could always be in case they have to operate their own services to Bodiam if the Kesr refused to take on the new section,saying that they wouldnt be able to make it pay, im not saying they would, but it would allow them to stable stock and charwelton at robertsbridge if that ever was the case.
     
  7. Miff

    Miff Part of the furniture Friend

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    I can't see the RVR trying to run services into Bodiam indepently, surely the KESR would never agree to a competing operation like that. The acid test will be when it is time to apply for a TWA Order since public support by the KESR would be essential to overcome any objections. Public opposition, or even indifference, by the KESR at that time could kill the project stone dead. The fact that they have accepted the RVR Trust's funding of both the new stock shed at Rolvenden and the previous extension of the Tenterden shed indicates to me the KESR board are very likely to back the extension, even if they haven't said so yet.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  8. martin butler

    martin butler Part of the furniture

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    dont get me wrong, i believe that they will back the scheme, but what if come the point when its due to open, they have a change of heart and say, sorry, we dont see a commercial business case in running to Robertsbridge, if its going to mean more costs and no increase of income to meet those costs, then you could see the Kesr saying to RVR you will have to run it, in that case the only through train would be DMU from Robetsbridge with Kesr steam terminating at somewhere like Nothiam.
     
  9. Miff

    Miff Part of the furniture Friend

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    Eh? What could the KESR possibly gain by giving somebody else exclusive (or even shared) access to Bodiam? The RVR plan has always been that the completed railway will be handed over for the KESR to operate.

    I presume the new Robertsbridge sheds are to enable morning services to start at either or both ends of the line. And to provide additional 'running shed' space which is still in short supply at Tenterden and Rolvenden even with the new facilities.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
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  10. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely agree. As the Bluebell have discovered having got to East Grinstead starting all services from the Park means the first off Grinstead is a bit late. Bluebell get 40% of thir trafic from E Grinstead . Starting services from both ends of a long line makes practicable sense

    Where did all this KESR might not work with RVR come from. It is not my experience and understanding of the situation.
     
  11. Andre

    Andre New Member

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    From neither the K&ESR nor RVR management!

    The earlier assumption that a service will start & finish at/from each end of the line forms the basis of current plans.
     
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  12. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

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    Both lines at Northiam are reversible.

    Since the recent works at Rolvenden the loop is a lot longer there, not seen the actual measurements but I estimate it would take 7 bogies now.

    But as you say academic really since the spur connection at Robertsbridge is too short for a train, I believe it is intended for transfer of locos or plant vehicles mainly.
     
  13. kesbobby

    kesbobby Member

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    Don't bet on Rolvenden Loop remaining at its present extended length. There are plans to extend the platform which will shorten the North end!
     
  14. kesbobby

    kesbobby Member

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    The Bluebell now has a station in a big town that is not far from the motorway network. The increase in traffic is good to see and looks like being maintained.

    Robertsbridge, however, is a small town on the A21 much further from the motorways. It is quite likely that in the first year of operation many would come to travel on the extended line, but would they travel the whole line or just part of it? Would the flow of visitors be maintained in the second and subsequent years? What is certain is that operating costs will rise considerably and going broke trying to run the full length is in nobody's best interests.

    I am certain that the KESR Board will look long and hard at the projected figures before allowing trains to run on the whole length on a regular basis.
     
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  15. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    Nice to know you are still involved

    Dave Scott
    KESR volunteer circa 1990
     
  16. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

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    Eventually.

    I reckon that's a few years away yet. 23 pts to move first, with all the associated signals, and of course the weighing rails were only recently installed within the area which would be affected by such a move.

    I may have underestimated the loop length as I believe the new location of 8 pts which I have spent some time winding recently is at least 100 yds further towards Robertsbridge than previously..
     
  17. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    we are only talking 2 miles here so whilst costs will rise they should not be that much. If you are already running Tenterden - Bodiam that is a sunk cost to which you add the marginal cost of running a furthur 2+2 miles. If this would make either railway financialy unviable they would be unviable now.

    A lot of the trafic generated on the Bluebell is believed to originate from Southerns trains. Southern have even improved their timetable to fit in better. I would predict the trafic at Robertsbridge will be derived from South Eastern Trains, the relative size of the two towns is irelivant
     
  18. nigelss

    nigelss Member

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    For what it's worth, I'd use the new line to travel down from London to visit Bodiam Castle. I don't like driving!
     
  19. martin butler

    martin butler Part of the furniture

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    And i think that could well be the problem, that passengers from Robertsbridge may only wish to go as far as Bodiam,
    I'm prehaps playing devils advocate here, i'm actually in favour of the line extending, and joining up with the main line, but at the same time, will the additional income be sufficient to meet the running costs? Yes Andre, i know what your saying, but my argument is what in the future, afterall the building of the extension isnt costing the Kesr any thing but opperating services will, then theres the splitting of crews , who starts from Robertsbridge end , etc, where do they finish up? the practical dificaulties in having to provide the service may be so, that its not cost effective,
    my take on it will be that The Robertsbridge to Tenterden would be best served by using a DMU, with the B set in high season, but does a terrier have the coal capacity to operate 1 round trip, before having to top up,
    but as others had said, its all suposition, theres still a gap to fill yet,and the land to purchase
     
  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think the comparison with the Bluebell is interesting, but structurally there are some differences. On the Bluebell, our mainline connection is at the London end of the line, and one of our main non-enthusiast attractions (Sheffield Park Garden) is at the country end of the line, so passengers wanting to travel from London have a logical day out that also traverses the whole line. Whereas as I understand, at Robertsbridge, the mainline connection is at the non-London end, and basically also at the same end of the line as Bodiam castle. I think the situation would be a bit more directly comparable if, for example, the mainline connection had instead been at Headcorn.

    I think size of town does have some impact as well. It's not often discussed on here because I suspect it isn't of primary interest to most of the visitors to this forum, but there is a lot of joint marketing activity with the Town (as an example, just look at how the Town got into the spirit of the recent "Southern at War"| event, with 1940's shop window displays etc). Additionally, one of our most successful promotions is the East Grinstead Monday club - basically a combined railway ticket and meal at the Bessemer Arms on a day that would otherwise be quiet. The fact that East Grinstead is a reasonable size town and also a worthwhile visitor destination it its own right all helps to broaden the traffic base.

    Still, I'm looking forward to a trip to Robertsbridge!

    Tom
     

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