Monday, 6 July 2015

A picture for thought

Not strictly a subject for C&W other than the possible demand for another rake of carriages.

Paul Wood took this picture on his way home the other day.

This is Collins Road Bridge at Willersley just north of Broadway.

I rather concur with Paul's comment: "and they want to go further north?! Plus a bit of painting"

Well at least we will have plenty of time to get the carriages ready.


Anonymous said...

what are sustrains doing about it,or will we have to sort it

Anonymous said...

The land belongs to Sustrans. It's their responsibility to put it right. We would want all bridges to be repaired before we bought the land.

Toddington Ted said...

The ex-GWR land north of Broadway does not belong to Sustrans, I understand that they lease it from the local Authority (however, I'm open to correction on this). I also understand that Sustrans have done little or nothing to the trackbed north of Broadway to Honeybourne and so it is likely that the GWSR will get a chance to put the railway back to Honeybourne based on past evidence of bridge reconstruction-repair etc. This will need much treasure to accomplish but I believe the economic case will become more attractive once Broadway is reached from Laverton.

The C and W Dept Blog of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway said...

Perhaps you would like to make the economic case.

Enthusiasts talk about rail tours etc. However, the feed back I have suggests these do not bring in any/much financial benefit for the heritage line concerned.

Then there are suggestions that sharing the station has benefits These I can accept if the railway is already at the station/town for other reasons. Making the case for building the link 4 miles long is a whole different issue.

However, I suspect the real issue will not be finance but volunteer power. Enthusiasm for an idea is one thing but the number of ACTIVE Volunteers needed to run and maintain it is a very different issue the age demographic is one that is creeping up on all volunteer organisations.

Where are the volunteers of the future going to come from? The current set are aging, me included, in say 10 years time a LOT of the current volunteer force will be giving up but the next generation is a) smaller not baby boomers. b) don't have the pensions many of us benefit from so will have to work longer.
c) have much later retirement age.

Stretch the line to far now and will all collapse or need paid staff in the future with all the consequence that has brought to other lines.

Its a very difficult economic and viability case to make.

Toddington Ted said...

AS you might expect C&W, I disagree completely and I believe that it is not a difficult case to make. The case is simple - long term survivability of a heritage railway. The heritage railways (of any size), which will survive into the 2020s and beyond will largely (but not entirely I'll admit)be those which have a connection to the National Network. The most recent addition to this "club" is the Bluebell Railway which had to overturn years of neglect and ask for masses of money to get to East Grinstead. The result has improved their footfall and opened them up to main line railtours.

Several loco owners are already finding that moving their stock by road is damaging it (I believe, for example that it is not possible to move an A4 Pacific by road transport without serious potential damage to the front bogie and cartazzi trucks but I'll gladly be corrected on that).

More importantly, in the case of the Bluebell, one can now catch a train from London and get to Sheffield Park without resorting to any other form of transport. There is no doubt, in my mind, that the only way the GWSR is going to survive long term is to link in to the National Railway at Honeybourne. It will happen but I just hope to goodness it happens in my lifetime. I take on board fully the argument of volunteer labour but that is a red herring as its true of all lines, not just those with a main line connection.

As the GWSR grows, it will HAVE to employ more full time paid staff, that's just the way it is as those of us who knew the GWR and BR in steam days die off. You will have to pay my children and grand-children to run a steam heritage railway.

The population is ageing, I'll agree, but the net migration into the UK is such that our population now stands at 64 million I believe and, by the look of things on the News, seems to be growing at an alarming rate. Let's just hope they are all railway enthusiasts eh? In any caser, Honeybourne has grown tremendously since the original station closed and, with the likelihood of a new town at Long Marston, its not surprising that the Worcester Line has been doubled again in places and that Honeybourne Network Rail station rebuilt.

Finally, since when have economics and viability ever stopped railway enthusiasts?! The Honeybourne Line closed in 1976 and should have stayed closed. It has reopened because you can't tell people how to spend their money!

I look forward with cheerful alacrity to staying around long enough for that great big sign at Honeybourne Jct to be re-erected!

The C and W Dept Blog of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway said...

Ted I wish you a LONG life and hope you get to enjoy a ride on the link. I am not against a link but people do need to temper their enthusiasm with a dose of reality and loads of effort.