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Wexford70
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2 hours ago, Mayner said:

I wonder how many would pitch physically or financially to restore the loco or re-open the railway.

Not a ONE!

That’s for “somebody” to do.

In a far-off time when I was restoring carriages at Whitehead as my leisure and holiday time, the odd armchair visitor would turn up and look at one of the wrecks in the sidings.

”Shame to see the state of that”, they’d say, “it’s disgraceful that they’re not securing it or re-roofing it at least”.

You feel like saying to them, “Give me your wallet and bank details, I’m about to bill you the price of your house. That should cover the materials. Then get your sleeves rolled up, cancel your holidays, and be here  every single Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday for the next few years”.....

 

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12 hours ago, Georgeconna said:

Was this not build on Standard Gauge formation or is it some deviations near the new roads, Not that I don't believe you but how is it too tight, Around the point areas?

 

The problem is that the track bed is now shared with a greenway! While the track can be moved a away from the station platforms there is less room at Bilberry and Mount Congreve. The main problem though is the Dan Donovan Tunnel. When it was built the motorway builders took the cheapest option and did nit build the tunnel to match the optimal line of the track. This again has been made worse by now sharing the tunnel with the greenway.

As you can see from the map, the radius of the curves are quite tight and I have been advised that while an 0-4-0 (like the diesels) can take these at a slow speed with some flange squealing,  a 2-6-2 like the beautiful 5T would probably not make it safely. 

Entering Dan Donovan Tunnel, Co.... © P L Chadwick :: Geograph IrelandWaterford Greenway cycle trail Co Waterford- Waterford City to Dungarvan

Tunnel.jpg

Edited by Wexford70
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Posted (edited)

I believe the Leeds Industrial Museum, not far from its birthplace, had an interest in acquiring 5T, it would have been better off going there.Better off anywhere but here. 

The Jeanie Johnston was another Tralee fiasco, a scandal that is, of course someone else's fault, is now slowly rotting on the quays in the capital. Famously one 'colourful' Kerry public representative, I'll leave up to you guys to guess which one, suggested burning it.

In the case of 5T it's worth keeping in mind these are the sorts of people you would have to deal with! Only interested in the making of money, things that go moo or the pucking of a football around a GAA pitch.

Edited by minister_for_hardship
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56 minutes ago, minister_for_hardship said:

I believe the Leeds Industrial Museum, not far from its birthplace, had an interest in acquiring 5T, it would have been better off going there.Better off anywhere but here. 

The Jeanie Johnston was another Tralee fiasco, a scandal that is, of course someone else's fault, is now slowly rotting on the quays in the capital. Famously one 'colourful' Kerry public representative, I'll leave up to you guys to guess which one, suggested burning it.

In the case of 5T it's worth keeping in mind these are the sorts of people you would have to deal with! Only interested in the making of money, things that go moo or the pucking of a football around a GAA pitch.

Much as I hate to say it, this is true.

Rant warning.

In my time in the RPSI committee / board (or whatever it's called these days), there was talk of a national transport museum at Mullingar, and also, as a separate issue, developing Whitehead. A decade earlier, it was a potential branch line from Scarva to Banbridge. A decade later, it was various aspects relating to the development of the Downpatrick line. In between, I was involved in a consultancy role (as a then RPSI finance person) in relation to a proposed railway preservation scheme at Belcoo, and another proposal near Tullow.

In ALL cases, local authorities, local councillors and any other gombeen men who thought they'd jump on the bandwagon, were full of enthusiasm, and assured local papers that they'd do everything they could to help the projects. Nothing ever happened - and in the case of Carrickfergus and Mullingar they would do anything BUT help.

When the RPSI tentatively explored local assistance with several other issues over my 25 years involved directly or indirectly with the Council, same.

Other projects have encountered the same; Kerry being an especially disastrous zone as mentioned above.

In the north, if it's got anything to do with the Battle of the Somme, no problems with money. Anything else, forget it. In the south, if it's got anything to do with an American President whose great great great great great great great great somebody once knew someone who had been to Ireland, or the GAA - no problem. Anything else, forget it.

In 32 counties, industrial heritage can go take a running jump. No money.

Much as I hate to say it, we are billions of light years behind Britain - or most specifically England - in this. And I DO hate to say it, as we have so MUCH here worthy of a small amount of local government help.

But our local councillors seem, for the most part, to be a shower of navel-gazing parasites, like the characters out of the (underrated!) British comedy "The League of Gentlemen", all with their noses in a "local trough for local people". Any concept of forward planning for the good of the area and the preservation of culture and heritage..... forget it. If it doesn't put money in their grubby paws, or suit petty party interests, they're not only not interested - they will oppose it, and very often without even listening to the arguments as to why it is of value.

There was some councillor in Tralee who set up a website which stated that he would get the derelict Blennerville Railway going. I think his name was Barrett. Yes, I'll name him. What he DID was to shut down any debate, and shut the whole thing down. Completely, depressingly, gombeenly typical.

Rant over. For the moment.

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Posted (edited)

Going on from JHBs "rant", I think the underlying problem is that there is an expectation in Ireland for someone else (Councils, Government and EU) to solve their problems and fund their pet projects rather than try and fund a project locally.

Comparing sporting bodies like the GAA with several hundred thousand of a membership and railway preservationists who can probably muster a couple of thousand across the Island of Ireland is a bit like comparing apples and bananas. Put simply fixing 5T and re-opening the Tralee Steam Railway is not going to attract a lot of votes when there is a problem with affordable housing and hospital waiting lists.

Many of the preserved railways and museums in the UK were established and operate without Government support, some such as the Dartmouth and Vale of Rheidol and Brecon Mountain are fully commercial operations usually owned by wealthy individuals or family trusts as their own private railway without a supporters group. The Festiniog is a hybrid the railway was rescued by a group of wealthy individuals in the early 50s and controlled by a group of Trustees appointed by the owners with a large supporting society. Some of the preserved railways and museums in the UK are not unlike the RPSI established by enthusiasts in the 1950s and 60s largely dependent of sympathetic railway officials, volunteer and enthusiast support.

I don't buy the Ireland is too small and spread out to support preserved railway or museums, New Zealand has similar population to Ireland spread out over the land area of the British Isles, with preserved railway and museums at most major centers over the length of the country. Although there is some local government support very few could be classed as financially viable, with restoration, repairs and maintenance funded by the owners and preservation groups.

Another big difference for NZ and Ireland is Kiwi Ingenuity or No 8 Baler Wire Mentality being in a remote country people had to work out solutions for themselves.

The South Island practice of restoring steam locos that were dumped in rivers is probably the best example.   https://www.waimeaplainsrailway.co.nz/rogers-K92

Edited by Mayner
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Was told at a meeting only 2 days ago that a Heritage Railway closed since 2000 would reopen next year. Then how a steam engine last used early 1960 would be in steam next year. Complete lack of reality from that group and their influential support within their local Council

 Whilst all those involved know nothing about railways and think operating a steam engine is as easy as buying a train set! Rant 3

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9 hours ago, Mayner said:

.....I don't buy the Ireland is too small and spread out to support preserved railway or museums, New Zealand has similar population to Ireland.......

Yes, I’ve heard that one too, but there is a related element of truth. While, as per the NZ example, smallness of population or size doesn’t prevent things getting done, the “culture” and market may do.

The only full-size preserved line on this island, at Downpatrick, has been successfully operating for thirty years, but in one (normal) year gets less people than the Severn Valley would in a couple of busy gala weekends.

Its not so much the lack of population, it’s the lack of interest. You hit the nail on the head about the attitude of many that “someone” ought to do it, but not they - and certainly not if it involved providing meaningful personal donations.

That is the cultural difference here, as prevalent among private individuals as it is among councillors and public bodies.

Even railway enthusiasts. In my early days as RPSI Commercial Officer in the late 70s and early 80s, to my surprise and disappointment I discovered that selling teddy bears to the public was lucrative, but selling ANYTHING railway-related to enthusiasts was a very different matter!

it is still the same. On the May Tour each year, who buys the stuff being sold? Englishmen. Not our lot, north OR south.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, airfixfan said:

Was told at a meeting only 2 days ago that a Heritage Railway closed since 2000 would reopen next year. Then how a steam engine last used early 1960 would be in steam next year. Complete lack of reality from that group and their influential support within their local Council

 Whilst all those involved know nothing about railways and think operating a steam engine is as easy as buying a train set! Rant 3

Cannot criticise the support group too much for their lack of reality. There is only one way to gain experience in restoring and running a railway, though talking and considering the advice of other preservation groups helps.

The big questions are whether there is a written agreement in place between the Council and the Support Group to restore the railway and whether there is anything in the 2021 or 2022 Budget to finance or underwrite the restoration otherwise nothing happens.

In a way the Tralee steam railway is in a similar position to the Welsh Highland Railway during the 1960s after spending several years overcoming Caernarfon County Councils objections to restoring the northern end of the railway, the Council was abolished and negotiations had to start from scratch with the newly established Gwynedd County Council which ultimately delayed the restoration of the railway for 30 years.

I won't go into the internal in-fighting between the pragmatists and dreamers within the original preservation group but at the end of the day the dreamers won and the pragmatist lost, but that another complicated story.

Going back to JHBs point on passenger numbers passenger numbers the busier NZ preserved railways would have a similar operating pattern and carry similar passenger numbers to Downpatrick https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/416927/glenbrook-vintage-railway-seeks-passenger-support-for-historical-train,  other lines carry far few passengers operate once monthly or less frequently, on the majority of lines locomotive and rolling stock restoration and maintenance is financed, by individuals and groups with little or no public money.

Edited by Mayner
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Problem with this group is that they assume that running a railway is easy as they have Zero knowledge/experience of Railways

 So just the group for the local Council concerned to hand over a Museum and Heritage Railway on a 99 year lease to give them control so they could  download 250,000 in grant money for vague projects. Rant 4

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I wish to apologise to any reader whose blood pressure, stress or anxiety levels have been adversely affected by my original post! It was not my intention. 🥴

I do agree with most of the comments stated here and believe unless there is a national policy for industrial heritage preservation, even the dream of accessing funds from Europe (which does exist!) will remain out of reach for capital investment.

Seeking funds to subsidise the day to day running costs is a fools errand in any case as any rail venture must wipe its own face financially whether or not it is purely commercial or aided by volunteers.

My limited experience of having interacted with local and national government echoes the experiences previously mentioned here. Sound bites and photos but no action. But be absolutely sure if a group achieve something under their own steam (no pun intended) you will be swotting away elected members like mosquitos as they try to claim political brownie points on the back of others' efforts.

Quiet, selfless individuals giving of their time and resources to the fullness of their individual capacity and interest are invaluable and deserve better. (Now I'm ranting, apologies)

 

 

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4 hours ago, Wexford70 said:

I do agree with most of the comments stated here and believe unless there is a national policy for industrial heritage preservation, even the dream of accessing funds from Europe (which does exist!) will remain out of reach for capital investment.

I think there may be a background perception in the general public that our railways aren't really "Irish"; are imposed upon us by outsiders and Anglo-Irish who would have made up the bulk of directors and shareholders, Irish persons of lesser rank being compelled to build and work them and far less fondly, remembered as a means of transporting our emigrant population to the transatlantic and cross channel ports. Maybe it may explain why our National Museum to all intents and purposes practically ignores their presence, and industrial heritage, preferring stories about prehistory, Vikings, Normans before skipping deftly onto what's called now the Revolutionary period.

Additionally perhaps the dislike of many here shown towards old things in general as a reminder of inefficiency, bad times and maybe our erstwhile masters as well, especially wrt the built environment.

Edited by minister_for_hardship
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6 hours ago, minister_for_hardship said:

I think there may be a background perception in the general public that our railways aren't really "Irish"; are imposed upon us by outsiders and Anglo-Irish who would have made up the bulk of directors and shareholders, Irish persons of lesser rank being compelled to build and work them and far less fondly, remembered as a means of transporting our emigrant population to the transatlantic and cross channel ports. Maybe it may explain why our National Museum to all intents and purposes practically ignores their presence, and industrial heritage, preferring stories about prehistory, Vikings, Normans before skipping deftly onto what's called now the Revolutionary period.

Additionally perhaps the dislike of many here shown towards old things in general as a reminder of inefficiency, bad times and maybe our erstwhile masters as well, especially wrt the built environment.

Quite possibly, yes.

I understand that those with an interest in architectural heritage often encounter such ignorant ideas too........

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In my own experience over the last 10 years or so (christ I'm geting old!) there is a dismissal of our rail heritage in favour of argicultural heritage. I do think a big reason that has contributed to the lack of a seed for the general public for railways is the limtied good memories the national service gave them when they were young. In the UK, a lot seems to trade on memories of going to the seaside by train or nice days out visiting family and the adventure of travelling by train where here that seems to be lacking from the general public conscenious (bar memories of specials to Knock and religious experiences do not make great railway loving memories) and so heritage railways are treated somewhat like a novelty experience or something akin to a fairground ride.

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Posted (edited)

Its interesting, we are a small island with short distances and only one major population centre so no legacy of mass rail transport unlike our neighbours with their many dispersed large cities, longer distances and larger population where mass movement of people has been going on for the past 150 years. Comparatively we moved mainly cattle and agricultural produce by rail, but few people. Also the UK has had a long tradition of railway preservation and railway heritage due in part to population density. Per square mile practically nobody lives on island of Ireland compared to our EU neighbours. UK also has a long tradition of old trains in period dramas and movies. We only had Sean Connery balancing precariously on the roofs of six wheelers running through the curragh for the 'great train robbery', and perhaps John Wayne getting directions at Ballyglunin. :)  There seems a similar issue with heritage canals here.

Edited by Noel
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24 minutes ago, DoctorPan said:

In my own experience over the last 10 years or so (christ I'm geting old!) there is a dismissal of our rail heritage in favour of argicultural heritage. I do think a big reason that has contributed to the lack of a seed for the general public for railways is the limtied good memories the national service gave them when they were young. In the UK, a lot seems to trade on memories of going to the seaside by train or nice days out visiting family and the adventure of travelling by train where here that seems to be lacking from the general public conscenious (bar memories of specials to Knock and religious experiences do not make great railway loving memories) and so heritage railways are treated somewhat like a novelty experience or something akin to a fairground ride.

It's easier to assemble, repair and house a set of old tractors, those things are physically manageable by one person for the most part and practically bomb proof, compared to marshalling a team of people to perform thankless and pay less heavy manual labour on a preserved railway.

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24 minutes ago, Noel said:

Its interesting, we are a small island with short distances and only one major population centre so no legacy of mass rail transport unlike our neighbours with their many dispersed large cities, longer distances and larger population where mass movement of people has been going on for the past 150 years. Comparatively we moved mainly cattle and agricultural produce by rail, but few people. Also the UK has had a long tradition of railway preservation and railway heritage due in part to population density. Per square mile practically nobody lives on island of Ireland compared to our EU neighbours. UK also has a long tradition of old trains in period dramas and movies. We only had Sean Connery balancing precariously on the roofs of six wheelers running through the curragh for the 'great train robbery', and perhaps John Wayne getting directions at Ballyglunin. :)  There seems a similar issue with heritage canals here.

I'm also wondering why countries with no obvious partiality to railways like the uk or large uk expat populations, have steam rail tours or rail museums we can only dream of?

I've seen cracking museums or have been on steam excursions in Italy, Czech Rep, Slovenia and Poland. I know Spain, the Scandi countries, Switzerland, France, Holland etc etc have these also.

Edited by minister_for_hardship
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2 hours ago, Noel said:

Its interesting, we are a small island with short distances and only one major population centre so no legacy of mass rail transport unlike our neighbours with their many dispersed large cities, longer distances and larger population where mass movement of people has been going on for the past 150 years. Comparatively we moved mainly cattle and agricultural produce by rail, but few people. Also the UK has had a long tradition of railway preservation and railway heritage due in part to population density. Per square mile practically nobody lives on island of Ireland compared to our EU neighbours. UK also has a long tradition of old trains in period dramas and movies. We only had Sean Connery balancing precariously on the roofs of six wheelers running through the curragh for the 'great train robbery', and perhaps John Wayne getting directions at Ballyglunin. :)  There seems a similar issue with heritage canals here.

I am very familiar with the efforts to recreate the Lagan Navigation Canal in the north - I have been involved in much historical research on their behalf. Despite being almost totally semi-state-funded, and getting the exceptionally rare full support of both the Shinners and Snarlene's lot, this Lagan Navigation Trust (look them up) struggles to get funding from anywhere. Were it not for one particularly charismatic "leader", like MANY fledging railway preservation societies, and who is English (see my earlier points!) with a background in English heritage projects, I doubt if it would have achieved anything at all.

Their long-term plans depend 100% on public funding. Will they get it? As for private donations / interested millionaires, there is a better chance of clockwork spaceships being developed.

As I implied at the beginning, it's a cultural thing, not assisted by the fact that per square mile, we have one twelfth the population of England.

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  • 1 month later...

I am glad I found this rant, yes been there read the book brought the tee shirt and the rest, for years the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Association lost its way in trying to reopen the Railway in Devon.

https://www.lynton-rail.co.uk/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwl_SHBhCQARIsAFIFRVWTjglhA4uJCxPYLtsjNK_NTur741mwzSzxYJh6Ln_hj4Ak5Z6sKXEaAsM4EALw_wcB

At almost every turn the council at the time said no to the project. Finally we got our act together and set up the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Trust, following this we then set up a Community Interest Origination (A CIO) based Company, it is basically a charity but run on a commercial basis see the UK charity commission website for more details about the structure.

So what we have in North Devon is a Trust which owns all the assets like locos trackbed etc and a separate company that runs the whole thing on behalf of the Trust, sounds simple doesn't it!

The membership in turn elects 1/3 of the both the trustee and the company directors every year, but as no one stand up for election the same old faces carry on from one year to another.

How this works is very simple we have about five or six people who have this railway at the heart of just about everything they do, what happens is they contact the people who have the skills to keep the group together on a profession basis, IE company secretaries, accountants, civil engineers mechanical engineers etc the list is endless.

Most of these people live with in a reasonable distance of the project and so they all meet up say once a month to discuss the progress of the project and make proposals which then go back to the membership to act upon and help raise the money required.

So my suggestion would be to seek out a person with the drive to set up such project in Ireland and to allow them to bring in the expertise that would be required to make this happen, there must be a number of people in Ireland who have retired and could give a day or so a month from the retirement to help get such a group off the ground, this could be the way forward to set up a National Railway Museum and Collection point, I know we have the Irish Railway Record Society and number of Irish railway heritage groups, but it would be a start.

The biggest problem as I see it is convincing those in politics that you are serious enough to make something happen and to prove you can make it a successful commercial venture as well. The big trouble with railway enthusiast's are we are too big hearted and don't always have that commercial killer feel you need to make a success of a heritage project, for those that know the Donegal Railway we would need a modern day Mr Forbes for such a project   

I am sure living where I do that it is possible and if we could set up a new group to own 5T then so be it, you would be looking at around £100,00 pounds for a rebuild so you have sponsorship, donations and lottery funding (all specialist fund raising opportunities that need experts involved to get the results you need).

 

 

   

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Yes.

The state of 5T at the moment is certainly a good five years' work and €100,000.

There WERE locals interested, but the local parasitic gombeen men amongst the councillors stuck their foot in the door looking fo9r local glory, and when it became clear they wouldn't get any, they shut the doors and wandered off, ensuring that nobody else could get any credit either, thus showing them up.

Sad, but typical. The original scheme in Derry closed due to local authority people rather than enthusiasts in charge. If Finntown, Dromod or Downpatrick were run by local authorities, they'd have made an unholy mess of them years ago; thankfully these three have excelltn, but small, groups of knowledgable, interested and dedicated volunteers to run them.

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1 hour ago, Colin R said:

The big trouble with railway enthusiast's are we are too big hearted and don't always have that commercial killer feel you need to make a success of a heritage project, for those that know the Donegal Railway we would need a modern day Mr Forbes for such a project   

Just on the for-profit attraction, many years ago I happened to meet on the uk ferry two Wisht Cark honchos responsible for the Clonakilty village.

It was clear they knew little to nothing about the railway and it shows in the for-profit development. Enthusiasts expecting an interpretation of the West Cork will come away disappointed. It's basically kiddies birthday party venue for jaded adults to dump their offspring for a few hours.

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8 minutes ago, minister_for_hardship said:

Just on the for-profit attraction, many years ago I happened to meet on the uk ferry two Wisht Cark honchos responsible for the Clonakilty village.

It was clear they knew little to nothing about the railway and it shows in the for-profit development. Enthusiasts expecting an interpretation of the West Cork will come away disappointed. It's basically kiddies birthday party venue for jaded adults to dump their offspring for a few hours.

They recently installed mini toy diggers and remote control boats! Most of the money is made of season tickets that allow access 12 months of the year which many locals with children utilise.

The origional locos to run the lines were 1:24 scale CBPR tank engines but they didnt take curves to well and neither did they take well to sea air. Instead the american locos cheap and east use the system

 

However......i saw the other week that maybe....something is changing. Spotted about 2 weeks ago alas Still the wrong railway....but a C&MLR tank engine and flying snail 6 wheel coach (possibly the first authentic West Cork peice to use these lines!) and the signal box being put back into its place at albert quay....maybe some that kiddy money is being put to use

 

still, as it stands, the only reason to go the west cork model village as an enthusiast os gawking at the ruston and rolling stock, buying the dvd/book, looking at the few mesusum peices thankfully provided by chris larkin. And looking at the towns themselvesFB_IMG_1627239281238.jpg.142db4912c95833f04f13aa7e3192994.jpgFB_IMG_1627239273949.jpg.c86445b80d6c275c4a9f8103e84318f0.jpg

 

 

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An old guy from the Festiniog Railway once told me the secret of success for any heritage railway is to get bums on seats the enthusiast will only provide less than 5% of your passengers were as Mum Dad and 2.5kids will make or break you railway.

Cater for them and you will be here next year, the three things you need are clean loos for mum a clean tea shop for Mum and Dad and a gift shop not just for the kids but for mum to take stuff back to her folks at home, soft drinks, ice cream and sweets for everyone, Thomas the tank is always popular with just about everyone, Tee shirts, hats, sweatshirts with the railway site details will also sell.

Don't forget a steam gala once a year for members and then if you have an important national day make that also a high light of the year with something special.   

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2 hours ago, Colin R said:

An old guy from the Festiniog Railway once told me the secret of success for any heritage railway is to get bums on seats the enthusiast will only provide less than 5% of your passengers were as Mum Dad and 2.5kids will make or break you railway.

Cater for them and you will be here next year, the three things you need are clean loos for mum a clean tea shop for Mum and Dad and a gift shop not just for the kids but for mum to take stuff back to her folks at home, soft drinks, ice cream and sweets for everyone, Thomas the tank is always popular with just about everyone, Tee shirts, hats, sweatshirts with the railway site details will also sell.

Don't forget a steam gala once a year for members and then if you have an important national day make that also a high light of the year with something special.   

Colin, that "old guy" was 100% right. Having been involved with railway preservation for fifty years, from the RPSI to the Festiniog and back to Downpatrick until a few years ago, I can echo his statement totally.

All of us here are railway enthusiasts, but blunt as it may seem, as a community, we are responsible for at MOST 5% of the financial gain of heritage railway operations. This is a combination of our small numbers, which is unavoidable, but also what seems to many actively involved in preservation to often be a downright miserable, penny-pinching attitude - especially those of us on the island of Ireland!

Please don't shoot the messenger!

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Hi JHB  yes I totally agree, I guess the biggest problem for Irish Railway Heritage is in fact the lack of boots on the ground. In the UK you have a larger and older pool of volunteers to draw from, where as compared to that the Irish population is that much younger and is more than likely not to have that same sort of passion, forgive me if I have this wrong but I get the impression that you still have a large amount of folk emigrating to other parts of the world which also does not help, I don't blame anyone who moves to make a better life for themselves and their families, I would be doing the same if I was in their position.  

This is a difficult enough issue to crack and at present I can't see a solution to it.

Colin     

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15 hours ago, Colin R said:

An old guy from the Festiniog Railway once told me the secret of success for any heritage railway is to get bums on seats the enthusiast will only provide less than 5% of your passengers were as Mum Dad and 2.5kids will make or break you railway.

Cater for them and you will be here next year, the three things you need are clean loos for mum a clean tea shop for Mum and Dad and a gift shop not just for the kids but for mum to take stuff back to her folks at home, soft drinks, ice cream and sweets for everyone, Thomas the tank is always popular with just about everyone, Tee shirts, hats, sweatshirts with the railway site details will also sell.

Don't forget a steam gala once a year for members and then if you have an important national day make that also a high light of the year with something special.   

So true, but it’s the enthusiasts who are the most vociferous in terms of telling what you should be doing and how.

Stephen

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I may have said something similar before but having been involved at the Festiniog as a volunteer and on staff for near 30 years, maybe you should try selling the idea of putting book knowledge into practise to the engineering and civils depts; of Irelands colleges and universities. That's how the FR built the deviation, laid much of the track on the WHR and built networks of contacts in the railway and civils world. Volunteering on the FR is a recognised opener of doors into employment in the railway world. Many early vols have now retired to the North Wales area and return to restore rolling stock, locos, track etc;

  Colins, L&B idea is worthy of consideration, the FR model is similar but the board elects itself from its trustees and always has two society members elected to the board. Might sound a little incestuous but I could not possibly comment!

   

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15 minutes ago, Mike 84C said:

maybe you should try selling the idea of putting book knowledge into practise to the engineering and civils depts; of Irelands colleges and universities.

   

 

A long running issue that the professional industry is contantly running into, is that the rail industry does not fly on college student radars. I didn't even know my current employeers had a rail team until during the college placement interview I applied to, it was mentioned to me that I was looking to go into the Highways team, would I consider joining the Rail team. Upon hearing that, I quickly piveted into putting the Rail team as my first preference and led to an enjoyable 4 year career with them that is ending shortly as I move onto pastures new.

 

 

Another issue with the Irish scene is how tribal it is. How common is it to hear that railway x has a person who fell out with the people at railway y and doesn't like railway z is friendly with y and so decides to cut contact with anyone involved with y.

The rail industry in Ireland is increditably small, Irish Rail and Arup are really the only two big employeers within the industry, followed by Motts. We've tried increasing awareness of rail but its hard for it to catch with the students, most want to do Highways. The big breakthrough will come when a college or university offers a rail engineering degree.

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1 hour ago, DoctorPan said:

The rail industry in Ireland is increditably small, Irish Rail and Arup are really the only two big employeers within the industry, followed by Motts. We've tried increasing awareness of rail but its hard for it to catch with the students, most want to do Highways. The big breakthrough will come when a college or university offers a rail engineering degree.

Agreed there aren't many consultants in Ireland specialising in rail engineering. In my experience most of the rail design is outsourced to Spanish consultants - as part of a joint venture - who seem to be the opposite and have an abundance of railway specialists. 

I always remember trying to explain to the geometry designer on a scheme I worked on several years ago that the platforms had to be a fixed height above the rail, and I'm not a railway engineer! 

I think at this stage ARUP are so big they have a department for every discipline of engineering and are first choice for a lot of tendered schemes.

I know our consultancy has merged highways, bridges and rail under the 'transport' discipline so hopefully it might help for future project wins.

 

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6 hours ago, StevieB said:

So true, but it’s the enthusiasts who are the most vociferous in terms of telling what you should be doing and how.

Stephen

That's true too!

Many's a time, when I was more involved, I was asked "How come you're not restoring No. 12345? It's rotting away there out in the open!!"

When I, or someone else answered, "we haven't the manpower", the clear and loaded hint usually didn't even register!

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36 minutes ago, jhb171achill said:

That's true too!

Many's a time, when I was more involved, I was asked "How come you're not restoring No. 12345? It's rotting away there out in the open!!"

When I, or someone else answered, "we haven't the manpower", the clear and loaded hint usually didn't even register!

And if you asked them for money to help, you would not see them again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting update!

Kerry County Council stopped answering my request for clarification some weeks ago.

So I submitted a compliant to the Office of the Information Commissioner and, to my surprise, they have accepted my case and are now dealing directly with the Council to seek answers on my behalf.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

Will post any response here.

 

 

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