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Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by WickhamofWare, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. RA & FC

    RA & FC Member

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    My perception of their Facebook campaigns over the last year would be that they'd struggle to run a bath, never mind a railway!
     
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  2. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    The announcement about the feasibility study seems to have been removed from main Facebook page (although it still appears on one of the other pages). If you have the time, there are interesting comments on the various Facebook pages regarding how the whole thing is setup and it would appear that it is being run by only 3/4 people, with one of those insisting that he has to be present for any work to take place. As with other new projects, they've also made the mistake of confusing Facebook likes for supporters. Apparently no finances or minutes are available, constitution is only available on request and the agreement with NR says they can only use small tools and work on a section at a time, new sections need to be applied for. I note that their website is very scant on information about their plans or even the history of the line.
    All in all, it seems to be amazingly amateur in its setup, I know every project has to start somewhere, but if you were starting a new project, would you not look at how other projects are setup and use a website/Facebook?

    Keith
     
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  3. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Member

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    The one who has to be present when work is taking place is probably the one who owns the bowsaw.

    Bob.
     
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  4. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    These schemes irritate me as those of us who remain part of credible organisations get tarred with the same brush. No wonder Network Rail seem to take a while to get behind heritage projects, if they have to spend half their time dealing with these sort of dreamers!

    Sent from my HTC Desire 620 using Tapatalk
     
  5. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Considering they're based in the middle of a Welsh-speaking area and need to get locals onside, it annoyed me that they had little or no Welsh on their websites, and there was even a grammatical error in the Welsh version of their name! Not bad going in only 5 words.
     
  6. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    I asked the question "how many Welsh volunteers involved" several times, and got no answer
     
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  7. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    Their latest Facebook update consists of 12 words and contains, by my reckoning, 6 grammatical or spelling errors.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not a grammar Nazi and I realise not everybody speaks English as first language and many are dyslexic etc, which is why it would be wrong to pick on individuals over it in a place such as a forum like this one. But in my view they are really making a mistake by writing in that format in their official websites and social media outlets...

    Sent from my HTC Desire 620 using Tapatalk
     
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  8. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b Member Friend

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    Yes, but did you ask in English or Welsh?
     
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  9. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    you only have to look at the Festiniog bowing to pressure to add the second f to their name to realise how important an issue this is in Wales. The FR was looked at with great suspicion when it started up as it was seen as English Gentlemen at play, I think that is something all should be wary of.
     
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  10. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    It is not just issues of this exact kind where railway preservationists need a bit of care and consideration. Allowing "linear scrapyards" to develop and producing clouds of filthy smoke at the behest of gricers are two things which come to mind.

    PH
     
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  11. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    To be fair to the T&BF group there doesn’t appear to be much danger of either of those things happening any time soon.


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  12. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    It is as I've said countless times. Wales doesn't have what England has when it comes to preservation efforts. Something is going wrong when it comes to money. History is not on our side either. What little relics remain is either carried off over the border, destroyed, or deemed too expensive to replace and left to decay away.

    I notice the Garw Valley has... a similar problem. The line is still owned by Network Rail, they've made no progress at all in three decades, and the council is well, Labour and corrupt, spending millions on vanity projects such as this... this... this abomination of the senses:-

    [​IMG]

    Someone explain to me, what does... this... accomplish exactly?
     
  13. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    What is it? It looks very nice. :)
     
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  14. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    I think it’s unrealistic to compare Wales and England directly. You could take regions of England (for example Cornwall) and say that there isn’t as much there compared to (say) the Midlands. If you compare North Wales and South Wales, then the north wins hands down in terms of developed schemes and choice (as long as you have no preference in terms of SG v NG).

    There are a number of factors involved, it is perhaps worth noting that while NG preservation in Wales was well into its second decade by the early 1970’s, for SG the lines currently used by the Gwili, P & B and for that matter the Garw Valley were still in use for freight and thus remained part of the network.

    Nevertheless the story of South Wales is littered with failed schemes and abandoned hopes much more than any other region in the UK. Caerphilly, Vale of Neath, Swansea Vale, Wales Railway Centre, Barry (version one) all gone. You could argue that lack of finance was a factor but in the case of CRS and the SwVR then vandalism and town regeneration both played their part (social factors). The support from all the failed schemes has gone to the established ones in South Wales. This has in turn resulted in an improved position generally.

    One would also feel confident that some 20 years after devolution that tourism in Wales will see new investment to the general benefit of schemes, brexit notwithstanding.

    One could argue South Wales fared rather poorly in terms of retaining and restoring anything from Barry but conversely did rather well in terms of retaining the last industrial locos and providing a motive power base.

    I could go on about the mistakes of the past but there are two main lessons 1) take the small victories and build on them and 2) we don’t need more schemes in Wales, we need to get behind the ones we already have.

    I’m not really sure whether the Garw Valley will be even in the same breath as the Gwili or P & B, (or whether South Wales needs three schemes) but as a community project then it does a job for sure (see point above about small victories).

    Regards

    Matt
     
  15. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    That's not a fair comparison (and the English ashamedly know it, but some elephants in the living room, like some truths need to be ignored). There are more standard gauge railways in the South West region, than there are in Wales... period.

    And that is the point of this discussion.

    Why are things going wrong?
     
  16. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    @Miff and Ghost, there's a time and place for, sigh, how to politely word this... "satire"? That wasn't it.

    EDIT: Hmm, clicked edit on my post, and it automatically created a duplicate? The joys of error. Error begets error begets error. Neverending...
     
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  17. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    I
    It depends what you mean by “wrong”. This is a subject fairly close to my heart (as I sense it is for you Tuska).

    It is true now that local authority support for Gwili and P & B in the last 5 years have resulted in improved offerings in both cases. We can go into lots of reasons for this : Blaenavon was declared a world heritage site for example and this certainly helped the local authority secure funding. Equally the splitting of tbe old “Dyfed” in 1994 has resulted in funds invested for tourism in Carmarthenshire.

    I do get the sense that the tide is turning and if the respective lines can get sufficiently organised that this upward trend will continue. Maybe not so much a case of going wrong but “now at last we are starting to get things right”.

    Geographically both lines make reasonable sense. Carmarthen is the focal point of West Wales and is at least easy to get to as a stop-off on the Pembrokeshire tourist route. Blaenavon isn’t so easy to get to but they do have a ready market with Big Pit next door. In other words the ingredients are there.

    You can’t really say conversely that Blaenau needs another heritage line or that Bridgend is top of the list for a tourist on the M4 corridor.

    Getting 9629 (P & B) and TVR 28 (Gwili) operating would be another big step forward. Alas both are some way off as things stand although at least 28 is back in one piece and back in Wales after years of being dismantled and with parts strewn in the mud at various locations.

    When it comes to money though there is no “fairy godmother”. You are unlikely to get a local authority or private donor to fund anything 100%. They want to see a solid platform, technical know-how and the ability to match-fund. This is where starter schemes really score badly, and why perhaps the Garw Valley hasn’t readily progressed. I expect that all the political chatter about re-opening old routes had only added fuel to the fire and encouraged talk in this direction,

    Regards

    Matt
     
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  18. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    Why not? You posted a picture of what appears to be a walkway along an urban riverbank. Since you didn’t say where it is I haven’t a clue what you think is wrong with it or why you consider it a sensitive subject. And, as such modern structures go, it does look quite nice in your photo.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  19. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    If that is the point of the discussion, I feel it might be somewhat pointless to mention facts, as I suspect they will be ignored, but nevertheless there are some facts of geography that bear mentioning. Geography is, after all, unavoidable.

    Firstly, not only is South-West England larger than Wales but it is considerably more populous - its population density is almost 50% greater than Wales's. Given most heritage railways rely on volunteers to survive, this is an unavoidable factor. Note that of the steam railways in Wales, two do not use volunteers at all, and the Ffestiniog has historically relied heavily on paid staff in some departments.

    Secondly, and specifically to this thread, whatever would have been the point of protecting the route of a railway which had only ever been built as a "spoiler", which had had part of its route obliterated completely, and which as a result ended in literally the very middle of nowhere?
     
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  20. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    But isn't it all down to ££££. Tourism is much better in Devon and Cornwall than south Wales (south Wales is beautiful, I'm not trying to say anything bad). Also a lot of people who are wealthy retire to the West country and this brings in money for projects. I deliver to south Wales a lot with work and it's quite a dump in a lot of places which shows there isn't the money to spend in the area.
     
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