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The Cynonville Railway Restoration Group

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by EGBDF, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. EGBDF

    EGBDF New Member

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    Hi guys,

    Thought some of you may be interested!
    A group has come out with the intent to develop part of the line from Cynoville Halt to Cymmer station (as a starting point, with future extensions a real possibility!)

    Their group aims are:

    • restore the platforms and bridge
    • divert the cycle path so we can try and use 2 platforms
    • put the tracks back in
    • try and extend to the next station down which is about a mile away
    • buy and restore a dmu
    • build a depot on the line to store the rolling stock
    • get more people involved
    • restore a steam engine and coaches for the line
    More information can be found on their highly detailed facebook group: Log in | FacebookOr, you could go to their official website, that is still "in the works": cynonvillehaltrestorationgroup - HomeThanks for checking this out!

    EGBDF
     
  2. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    Some lovely views of the station site, complete with platforms in situ! It would certainly make an excellent location for a heritage railway, being in wonderful forested hilly countryside (at least from looking at the photos).Of course, you would also need to encourage people to visit.
    However, before you can restore the platforms and bridge, I suggest that you would need to buy the trackbed or at least lease it off the current owners, whoever they might be. The cyclepath could be a big issue. Good luck anyway!
     
  3. TonyMay

    TonyMay New Member

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    is it double trakc alighnment ie with room for a single running line and a cyclepath?
     
  4. EGBDF

    EGBDF New Member

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    Yes, as far as I know, however I am not directly linked with the project.
     
  5. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    This would need to fare better than the Swansea scheme did.

    P.H.
     
  6. TonyMay

    TonyMay New Member

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    I see. The cyclepath could be diverted around the platform, or if it's not very busy, you could maybe require cyclists to dismount and walk the length of the platform.
     
  7. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    A heritage railway in the Neath Valley has been mooted before (Vale of Neath Railway Society) and didn't get off the ground. I wish you well but I am not sure if you appreciate just how difficult it is going to be to start a heritage line, paticularly in this pocket of South Wales. Not a million miles from this area we have the Llanelli and Mynydd Mawr Railway and Garw Valley vying for support both in terms of manpower and funds as the "new generation" lines with Gwili and P and B further west and east respectivley as established to a certain degree but with lofty ambitions unfilfilled.

    Restoration of the station in conjection with the cyclepath is a very commendable first phase; however anything bigger than this is going to need some serious support in terms of expertise/finance and manpower.
     
  8. 60052

    60052 New Member

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    I have to agree with Matt on this one, We already have a few close knit railways already developed and developing in South Wales... with Gwili and Pontypool Blaenavon Railway respectively achieving their goals and leading onto expansion, and as already mentioned 2 new lines are on the verge of opening. The Manpower, resources and funds are better off helping other delevoped and developing railways in this time and age, so that they survive well into the future.

    Not only that, i live in the area.....There's big competition from mountain bikers in the area with it continually being put as one of the top 10 places to ride before you die and other on-going projects such as Sustrans tarmacing the railway bed to make it more user friendly, and the local South Wales miners museum of which i regularly volunteer. There are plans there for a small miniature Railway, complete with a small depot/workshed being approved in planning permission in association with the Miners museum.

    As much as i would love a railway/project opening up in the Afan Valley, its simply a project that wont get off the ground so to speak
     
  9. gwilisandt

    gwilisandt New Member

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    Go back to sleep, obviously hasnt got a clue in the slightest... Stick to playing with your hornby train set.
     
  10. EGBDF

    EGBDF New Member

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    It's not me running it, I just posted it so some of you could see it.
     
  11. The Decapod

    The Decapod New Member

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    No doubt people said that sort of thing when someone had the idea of reviving the Great Central line at Loughborough. Or when someone had the idea of re-opening the Swanage Railway. Or when someone had the idea of building a new mainline steam locomotive!

    I don't know the area, it may well be the case that the project is not feasible, but surely it's worth studying the idea to find out.
     
  12. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    It is true that preservation is oftern about the impossible dream and there are many examples of projects suceeding which had no right to. However setting up a railway in 2011 is a vastly different prospect to that which faced the Swanage or GC pioneers.

    I can give you a straightforward example or two to illustrate the difference now compared to 25 years ago. In 1987 we (Gwili) paid the sum of £1000 each to aquire 2 MK1 coaches straight from service from BR Eastern region. That price included delivery on the back of various freight trains to Carmarthen, so the only extra cost was 3 miles of local road transport. The coaches were put straight into service and one is still going strong today.

    When we aquired another serviceable MK1 in 2008 (from another railway) the cost incluing transport was considerably more- you just can't buy good condition coaches at a cheap rate anymore- everyone wants them!

    A year after we aquired the coaches we tendered for some redundant rail from the Haverfordwest to Fishguard section and secured 1/2 mile or so at a very tidy price. Again this was delivered locally as part of the price. It is reckoned today that 1/2 a mile of reasonable quality rail and sleepers will set you back 60k.

    Aside from high aquisition costs of suitable materials, before a sleeper can be laid for operating purposes you have to have the appropraite paperwork in place vis-a-vis ownership of the land (many a railway relied on Council support to get themselves set up in this sense), a Transport and Works Order and also comply with the suitable construction regulations. Nowadays you will need an ICP, gone are the days when HMRI would call round and offer advice and guidance. The paperwork side of things alone, could see a capital requirement of 500k plus.

    As I mentionned earlier, South Wales does not have a great track record (pardon the pun) when it comes to preservation schemes. In fact more have floundered than have suceeded (Caerphilly Railway Centre/Swansea Vale Railway/Barry Island Railway MK1/Vale of Neath/Wales Railway Centre(Butetown)/Rhondda Valleys all spring to mind. Are there any common factors? Possibly a lack of Council support in some of those cases, but South Wales has been an area that has suffered quite badly historically by the change from old fashionned industry to modern day commercialism. It isn't generally a wealthy area of Britain and money has been quite scarce as a result.

    The worst result in my opinion would be that South Wales has no lines that would thrive in the years ahead. In this sense the region does not need a load of starter schemes- two, possibly three well devleoped lines at most. Gwili in the west and P and B in the east complement each other well, one is a rural branchline through picturesque scenery and the other is in an industrial heartland.

    Whether the other embryonic railways I mentionned (Llanelli/Garw) will come to fruition I don't know but a chat with those involved in either scheme would probably confirm that it is tough going setting up a railway in this part of the world.

    If this scheme can bring something new to the table- great- but is it viable? To get even a mile of track and a decent operation in place is going to need some serious funding, and is not going to get anywhere without local support. the fact that there is a cycletrack down the middle of the trackbed suggests to me that there may be a few hurdles to overcome.

    This is in no way an attempt to rubbish the scheme- but it will need a sound and viable plan to get anywhere near suceeding.
     
  13. tomparryharry

    tomparryharry New Member

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    That not very fair... I can remember when the Gwili was a 3/4 mile 'shunt', and the P&B was just 700 yards. The Gwili had to borrow locomotives from Caerphilly RS, in order to run a service.

    We all have a dream. Some of the better dreams get going, some don't, thats all. If someone has the gumption to investigate a length of line, thats up to them.

    Kind regards,
    Ian
     
  14. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie New Member

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    Personally, and having spent a lot of time in SW, I'm with Matt78 on this one.
     
  15. tomparryharry

    tomparryharry New Member

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    I can agree with all of Matts' views.... Telling someone to go back to playing toy trains is a bit of a pi**er, not what I'd expect really.....

    Need to see a business case, and a bunch of volunteers getting ready to lay track.

    Kind regards,
    Ian
     
  16. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    especially when the userid is so patently linked with another scheme

    Looking at the website I can't help but feel that this one is still in the "someone's flights of fantasy stage" ! A free website is all too easy , Bodies and £££ and physical infrastructure as others have said far better , much harder to achieve
     
  17. If you're going to have the railway you work on in your username, gwilisandt, don't be surprised if people take your needlessly insulting response to be representative of the railway as a whole and act accordingly.

    Unfortunately, although I'm sure your manner (or lack of it) isn't reflected by the vast majority of Gwili Railway volunteers, the attitude of a couple of bad apples can all-too easily reflect badly on the vast majority.

    You would do well to heed a very old saying - it takes years to build a good reputation, but only minutes to lose one. And the latter can happen all-too-easily through mere misunderstanding. Try taking a few lessons from Matt78, who also appears to work on the Gwili and has evidently learned the art of reasoned argument...
     
  18. JWKB

    JWKB New Member

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    Hi,
    I don't have an view on the above project but would like to stress that we at the Gwili are not snobish and rude. Please dont judge the likes of Matt and myself and all the other hard working Gwili volunteers on those comments.
     
  19. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe this would be fair on the Gwili Railway. After all, every heritage line has its own little "club" of very outspoken people who make a lot of waves online by voicing their opinion but don't really represent the railway or indeed the vast majority of its volunteers.
     
  20. Harleyman

    Harleyman New Member

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    Biggest problem we've got in South Wales is that if the public want to see trains they go to North Wales! The Gwili's a good little line which seems to be very well run for a small preserved railway but it can't even think about competing with the likes of the Ffestiniog. There is also the fact that unlike GCR, mentioned above, it has never benefitted from a Bill Ford or a David Clarke; and although Carmarthen does get a bit of tourism it's largely passing trade on the way down to Pembrokeshire so it doesn't benefit in the same way as the Swanage.
     

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