BLS North East Scottish Railtour - 27th Aug 2012 - CANCELLED

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table38

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Perhaps not unsuprisingly, the BLS' planned Frieght Line "overnight" tour from Crewe to Dundee West Yard, Aberdeen Waterloo. Raiths Farm and Elgin Goods, will no longer go ahead since the departure of Gas Hill.

However more cryptically, an optional box to tick on the form declaring a deposit was paid on the Immingham tour, permitting any money to be given to Gas should the tour go ahead under his own auspices - so watch this space!
 
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theblackwatch

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To be honest I was never sure of the viability of that tour - do people really want 2 overnights on the stock, none of us are getting younger and one night is bad enough, I tend to go First Class if there's an overnight involved (although there haven't been any trips like this for some time).

Was there not a tour planned for September to the Midlands as well?
 

table38

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Was there not a tour planned for September to the Midlands as well?

Yes, that one is still supposed to be going ahead (22nd Sep).

I think the idea with the overnight Scottish tour was that BLS prefer to use the Riviera stock from Crewe, and it keeps costs down to avoid a positioning move and start the tour at Crewe. (Also BLS prefer to use their stock with central locking as all of the stewards are also BLS members and it reduces the amount of work they have to do manning the doors hence they can enjoy the trip too). However starting from Crewe means a restricted range of destinations.

In the case of the proposed "Scottish Tour" the idea was to tack the positioning move onto the start and end of the tour, which would also have picked up at Motherwell, Cumbernauld, Larbert, Stirling and Perth so people could join and/or leave there if they didn't want to sit in a MK2 for 27 hours :)
 

MidnightFlyer

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There was a tour around the East Midlands planned for autumn, yes.

I was looking forward to Scotland, but it was a very ambitious tour.
 

garnon

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I too was looking forward to the Scottish tour. I hope Gas can get it off the ground but i suspect it will be an uphill struggle with too much risk for one individual..
 

table38

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I think he could organise it on his own (after all, he'd already dispensed with his assistant tour organiser), but I'm not sure he'd get enough passengers, as although I've heard a lot of people say they wouldn't have renewed their BLS memberships if they knew Gas was leaving, I've heard a few say they are glad he's gone.

Suffice to say this years AGM should be entertaining.

Maybe Gas can team up with John Farrow or even these guys
 

MidnightFlyer

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I don't know, Gas had a knack for being able to sort out very complex tours very well, I'm not sure regular day excursions etc are his real of business - he seems more accustomed to negotiating with private companies for access to their terminals and sorting out really complex itineraries to the letter with NR.
 

garnon

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well i for one am happy to risk £20 - duly transferred to Gas's deposit fund if he runs it ! Guess i may now be black-balled by the BLS !
 

MidnightFlyer

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Does anyone on here expect BLS membership to take a turn for the worse because of the departure of Mr Hill? I can't think of anyone else high up in there with the same ferocity and fear that Gas brought to the world of tour organising.
 

garnon

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Does anyone on here expect BLS membership to take a turn for the worse because of the departure of Mr Hill? I can't think of anyone else high up in there with the same ferocity and fear that Gas brought to the world of tour organising.

BLS membership has been boosted recently by the policy not to market tickets to non members (or, on some tours, 'forcing' a traveller to buy the railtour ticket AND membership). This appears to have proved a quite successful strategy.

I guess many members eagerly await the first 'Fixtures Report' which ought to provide some insight to the thinking of the 'route enhancements' for the High Marnham tour and maybe an outline of thinking for future events.

But i agree, there is a need to get some rungs on the ladder quite quickly because Gas appeared to be the main source of energy for the major fixtures.

I wonder whether the loose relationship with PLEG might now come closer with some joint events ?
 

table38

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The last BLN was noticably (and not unexpectedly) upbeat about the new organisation, even talk of an alternative Scottish tour. However a few signal box and narrow gauge visits won't cut it with the membership, many of whom sit there with their Quail and felt tip pens at the ready.

It has always occured to me that you need the contacts and the good will to do these sort of specialist tours, as they visit not only network rail but also private lines (such as ABP and Tata etc.)

Plus I would imagine you need the tenacity to persevere when initial requests are turned down. As with a lot of things, it's a lot easier for these companies to just say "no, you can't come and play trains on our railway". If nothing else, it must be an H&S nightmare.

It definately takes someone with a certain sort of personality to pull tours like that off.
 

theblackwatch

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I think he could organise it on his own (after all, he'd already dispensed with his assistant tour organiser), but I'm not sure he'd get enough passengers, as although I've heard a lot of people say they wouldn't have renewed their BLS memberships if they knew Gas was leaving, I've heard a few say they are glad he's gone.

The comments I've received back this up - certainly mixed reactions to his departure, with some pleased and others disappointed. Certainly a 'character' in the charter train industry and I'm sure if he were to arrange a tour himself, there'd be one group of willing participants and another group who would refuse to do it!

No single person should be bigger than a society/organisation they represent, I'm sure the BLS will continue. Gas has certainly come up with some good trips over the years but he hasn't always arranged all the tours, looking back at a tour I did in the early 90s it was organised by Ken Taylor and bookings were handled by Douglas Eacock (who I think has now passed away).
 

garnon

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The comments I've received back this up - certainly mixed reactions to his departure, with some pleased and others disappointed. Certainly a 'character' in the charter train industry and I'm sure if he were to arrange a tour himself, there'd be one group of willing participants and another group who would refuse to do it!

No single person should be bigger than a society/organisation they represent, I'm sure the BLS will continue. Gas has certainly come up with some good trips over the years but he hasn't always arranged all the tours, looking back at a tour I did in the early 90s it was organised by Ken Taylor and bookings were handled by Douglas Eacock (who I think has now passed away).

I am sure I am not the only one to have received correspondence from Gas setting out his side of the story and his plans for the future. In particular, perhaps the 'cancelled' tag on this thread is a little premature....:)
 

table38

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I see there is a "to be announced shortly" tour in the Pathfinder brochure for 27th August...

-- update --

False alarm, they just announced this will be a Weardale trip!
 
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12CSVT

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I wonder whether the loose relationship with PLEG might now come closer with some joint events ?

As a PLEG member myself, under no circumstances would I want Gas Hill getting involved. From what I understand, Gas Hill wasn't exactly popular among BLS members, and had a habit of banning people from BLS tours for spurious reasons.
 

table38

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The 27th August tour now back on, to be run independently by Gas Hill.

This is no longer a BLS production, and is open to all.

Officially it starts/finishes at Motherwell, but using Riviera stock from Crewe, the positioning moves will also be available for those wishing to join at/return to Crewe!
 
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Oneself can confirm said railtour be going ahead under the auspices of Gas.

That said, even as only a middle-aged anorak - the prospect of an over-nighter each way - fills one with dread. That plus the price - over a 'ton' !

Like all too many Branch Line Society railtours over the last decade - this be more a 'twigs' and 'stubs' bash. That said, well done to Gas - no one else would come up with anything so esoteric !
 
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