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The Talyllyn - Suggestions

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by ellisteph12, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. ellisteph12

    ellisteph12 New Member

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    Most accommodation do offer some kind of discount to Talyllyn members, it's always worth mentioning when booking.
     
  2. ellisteph12

    ellisteph12 New Member

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  3. 8-10 Brass Cleaner

    8-10 Brass Cleaner Member

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    Jamie, I saw no mischief.

    It is a very good suggestion, a fully rebuilt Corris with the attractions on the doorstep, park and ride at Mac for CAT and the craft centre etc would take more of the TR's buisiness elsewhere. Bad news

    If I may be allowed some mischief, this is what the FR saw at the time with the Welsh Highland line and precisely why the FR shafted the 1964 co all those years ago.
     
  4. russprince

    russprince New Member

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    How can that be mischief when it is essentially the truth?!

     
  5. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    There's no evidence yet to show that the WHR has taken away business from the FR, customer wise.
     
  6. AndrewT

    AndrewT Member

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    Makes no difference. It all goes into the same bank account.
     
  7. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    "customer wise" !!
     
  8. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    I'm not sure if this was discussed earlier, but I'd like to suggest that trains terminate at Abergynolwyn and do not proceed to Nant Gwernol, at least until fortunes revive. In other words, the extension should be mothballed. This will save a small amount on fuel and wear each trip (which will mount up), provide a rationale for staying at Aberg and using the catering facilities, save on track maintenance costs, and probably not disappoint many passengers. If you set the fare to Aberg as the same as the current fare to NG then you wouldn't even lose money on fares.
    At the least it might be worth finding out if many passengers specifically want to go on to NG as opposed to Aberg.
    Just a thought ... :)
     
  9. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    This is essentially a matter for T.R. "insiders" as they have the figures.

    For what they are worth here are my thoughts.

    Abergynolwyn cafe is unlikely to more viable if 25 minutes is spent there as a terminus as opposed to the same time being spent there as an intermediate stop. If it cannot be made viable it really ought to be closed.

    T.R. fares are on the expensive side, compared to other Welsh lines and giving less travel for the same money runs the risk of this becoming more obvious.

    The best scenery IMHO is on the extension.

    Lastly pride. The T.R. makes a great deal about being "the first" preserved railway. Rather too much I would argue as far as the general public are concerned but it is a matter of pride for them. Is it better from this point of view to pare down an intermediate station or to close down a section of the route. A "no brainer" for this non-T.R. member I am afraid. Bye-bye Abergynolwyn cafe!

    Paul H.
     
  10. pennysteam

    pennysteam Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree on Nant Gwerno in its current use, Would be better used on on the odd train and special accasions as it just takes the punter away from the cafe. It could be used as special sperate shuttle on drive for a tenner scanario on peak weekends and gala type events, again making another attraction for Abergynolwyn which will also result in extra funds. By timing the neant Gwerno special you to be out at Nant Gwerno when the standard sevice arrives you would even need a siding.
     
  11. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    I suppose I should declare an interest as I was the Guard of the Opening Train of the extension on 22 May 1976

    However, I don't see that cutting back the service to Abergynolwyn would really save anything. The problems with costs are further down the line - and particularly with the great White Elephant at Wharf Station and the desire to run far more trains than are needed in order to provide Driving and Firing turns for those who make the decisions
     
  12. pennysteam

    pennysteam Well-Known Member

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    The idea is keeping the punter at cafe, untill the extension was build into the Nant Gwerno, the train passangers would desembark and get a drink and possibly something to eat before the return train left. Problem is most people having paid for ride will always ride to the end of the line to maxamise their moneys worth, as such the current service takes customers away from the true terminius to an extension to no where. Hense I suggested using it more as a seperate ride option, which will also result in passanges spending longer at Abergynolwyn, as there will be an extra attraction.
     
  13. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    The problem with the cafe, i.e. the need to increase passenger spend or reduce operating costs would remain whether the terminus remained at Nant Gwernol or reverted to Abergynolwyn. In effect, forgive the cliche, the cafe is a tail which is wagging the T.R. dog!

    Is closure of the cafe, or pulling up the extension, less wounding to T.R. amour propre?

    P.H.
     
  14. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    Actually, before the opening of the Extension with trains terminating at Abergynolwyn, cafe usage was much the same as now - some used it, some didn't.
     
  15. Orion

    Orion Well-Known Member

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    I don't normally use the cafe, but I did last August while waiting for a train at Wharf, but later at Abergynolwyn I didn't need another drink or food so I stayed on the train. Others didn't stay on the train and wandered about looking at the engine.

    Why is Wharf considered to be such a white elephant?

    Regards
     
  16. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    I've not contributed to this thread for a bit, but I'm astonished that anyone is seriously suggesting that the TR should actually effectively close part of it's line. This is National PRESERVATION isn't it? Now I accept that sometimes economic realities don't always allow what we might want, but I don't think the TR is actually in that position.

    The section of line to Nant Gwernol, in my opinion, is one of the more interesting bits of the TR - it is different to the rest of the line (it even has a serious bend in it!), the scenery is beautiful, for those with an interest in the line's industrial past there are various relics and remains to see, and Nant Gwernol provides a good kicking off point for interesting walks if that is what grabs you. I might have missed something here, but I've never thought that Abergynolwyn station really has an awful lot to offer, apart from said cafe and play ground. If the Cafe is losing money (and that might not be the case - I bow to those with inside knowledge on that) then that needs to be looked at for commercial reasons, but that is another matter entirely.

    As far as Wharf goes I join "Orion" in wondering why it is regarded as such a white elephant. The so called "historical authenticity" of the station went out of the window when it was rebuilt in the 50's and 60's, not just when the new museum was built. It doesn't make it wrong - Wharf station in 1951 couldn't remain as it was and provide acceptable facilities for the visitors, or even a safe environment for today's passengers.

    Steve B
     
  17. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Nowhere that I could find in the December 'Newsletter' does it say that the cafe at Abergynolwyn is losing money; indeed, catering as a whole is still making a profit. It may well be that "those in the know" (whatever that means) will tell us that a greater profit could be made if it were closed - but that is not obvious from published material. No-one is suggesting "ripping up" the extension - just mothballing it for a while. But, if this is too wounding to the railway's amour propre (though I note no-one has addressed the economics of such a suggestion), then it would appear to me that the only way to make substantial savings has to be cutting down on paid staff. There are many preserved lines that have minimal or no paid staff and the Talyllyn may need to look seriously in that direction. Of course, I recognize the two main problems involved: (1) you have to cover the duties with volunteers, harder to do these days; and (2) you alienate the local population and undercut the local economic justification for the railway.
     
  18. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    Earlier on, in one of the two threads running about the T.R. I referred to times when Abergynolwyn cafe was stated to be unprofitable. Other contributors indicated that that this was true for much of the time. On the accuracy of this I cannot comment but is quite obvious to this outsider that the extra cost of one extra locomotive and carriage rake in the peak season, as a direct consequence of the hole in the timetable caused by the Aber. stop, ought to be charged to the cafe. Goodbye to any profit there might be!

    As an aside, can one imagine the universal amazement if stops of a similar duration and for the same reason were made at Tan-y-Grisiau, Golfa or Rhiwfron? As I said before, why hogtie a whole railway to one cafe.

    I think Wharf station is anything but an architectural gem, indeed it was used as an "awful warning" by a late friend of mine about the perils of over-building a site. However it is there and, to my mind its takings must be reduced by the competition from Aber. There is a limit as to how many sandwiches any one person can eat.

    Even a "mothballed" section of track needs maintenance.

    Paul H.
     
  19. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Paul H. You don't address the obvious step of staff reduction?
     
  20. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    The big difficulty for an outsider is knowing what proportion of which jobs are done by paid staff. I suspect Aber cafe is largely run by paid staff but I simply don't know how much trackwork is done by voluntary labour.

    There are certain things which strike me as being "overcomplications" which have grown up over time and their removal would lead to long term savings. The light controlled crossing over the Forestry Commission road on the extension seems like one of these. Recently the W&LLR has gained permission to run over minor public roads without stopping. Barriers are having to go in at one crossing but this is over a well trafficked B class road where the visibility is poor. The Forestry Commission road is no different to a farm accomodation crossing and the lights seem OTT. Negotiations may be necessary but why not try?

    Similarly, advances in telecommunications render private telephone lines obsolete. Removal of the Aber. stop would enable the peak service to be run with one less loco and rake of carriages. A two set operation can be done easily with divisible staff as it is elsewhere and the need to maintain tablet instruments is removed.

    Cumulatively these things, together with others, may enable the "establishment" of the railway to be pared down.

    PH
     

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