Eden Valley Railway - Warcop

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by Marmaduke, 10 Jan 2019.

  1. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    I wish them good luck, but even if they reach Appleby, I suspect they may always struggle to get enough volunteers or passengers. They are probably too far from any large towns /cities to attract lots of people who would be willing to drive there regularly.

    And the 2018 revision of the S&C timetable south from Carlisle has not encouraged access to Appleby by rail. There is now a long gap in southbound departures from Carlisle (10:49 until 14:04), whereas there used to be a much more useful service leaving Carlisle at about 11:55.
     
  2. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    For me, a "heritage" service station is almost an oxymoron (but I suppose there could be such a thing).
    But why not go the whole hog? I mean, the traditional, family run, lorry drivers' place - with big breakfasts and giant mugs of tea for 6d?

    In the 50s and 60s, the trunk roads had them every few miles - each with its own character. They are a real loss to our heritage. I suppose they have surely almost all succumbed to the big franchises, with big purchasing power to keep costs down - MacDonald's and the like.

    Something like that would be an original add-on the railway at Warcop, surely?
     
  3. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    That would probably be more in keeping with the scale of a heritage railway. That said, Penzance has just such a cafe about two minutes from the station.
     
  4. Meerkat

    Meerkat Member

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    When I said “service station” I didn’t mean literally like a motorway one, I meant just something giving the services a family on a long holiday transit need - food, toilets, kids stuff.
    Heritage and local food will get the social media attention to make the families think “that would be a good place for a break” (and quite a few business travellers).
    Would bring money in even when trains aren’t running, and they might like what they see and come back when there are trains.
     
  5. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I do like the idea of a heritage service station though. It could rekindle the early days of the motorway, when people used to go there for their Christmas dinner.

    Perhaps they could do something along those lines with the tower at Forton services near Lancaster.
     
  6. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Sure, but YorksRob took it one stage further (and myself yet a bit more). Doesn't make the original suggestion weaker - just adds to the possibilities.
     
  7. ThetrackMaster

    ThetrackMaster Member

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    Where would the HR sector be, if it relied on pessimists? Have you never heard of a challenge?
    Opinions are openly made, which is great, however I think you you are at risk from contradicting your self.
    "Joe Public" visits railways because they are there. For some strange reason, from an early age we are brought up to have a fascination with railways. Some stick with this fascination and turn it into an interest or hobby, others don't but eventually if they have kids introduce them to it "for a day out" and so the cycle continues.
    If a rail site provides a good offering to the public, they will return or at very least mention it to others who may attend.
    It doesn't necessarily mean a railway has to go from "somewhere to somewhere", although it helps, its about whats there of interest and where money involved, whether it was valued.
    The EVR, has a place despite other HR centres being in the North, as long as it raises its game.
    Presently it is a large site with a track running west towards Appleby, but not into Appleby, stopping in the countryside.
    The main ethos in my opinion that the EVR should present now, would be to make the site an interesting place to visit (Shed tours - when built, P-Way demonstrations, Drive loco for a fiver, good cafe, visiting attractions like vehicle rally's, military weekends, etc).
    The push to Appleby will at some point be resolved and achieved.
     
  8. Marmaduke

    Marmaduke Member

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    Interesting reading, this thread is.
    I say, where would the HR sector be today if it wasn't for "optimists"?
    If we all considered things for too long, like Haggisbotherer, I suspect many of the challenges that is HR's would never have got off the ground.
    The EVR is a challenge like any others. Its been around for quite a while, but hasn't moved on and is still sat in the past. Perhaps it hasn't caught enough imagination of the HR Fraternity yet because it hasn't been publicised enough?
    I can't recall ever reading about it in the Rail press? I think thats whats needed to raise everyones awareness of the site and to its possibilities.
    Someone said to me recently there's two types of rail volunteer, Pioneers and Operators. Pioneers tend to want a challenge and build things, once built they usually move on and let the Operators play with what they built.
    Make no mistake, this site is a great place for the Pioneers to come to. The positives are the p-way is in, owned by the EVR Trust of which also it would appear has very little debt.
    All it requires is to know the plan of the trust of what it wants to achieve and then get the pioneers in to deliver it.
    Anyway thats my thoughts.
     
  9. underbank

    underbank Member

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    But they need members and volunteers to organise those things and operate on the day. You're going to need a few dozen people to do all the jobs that need doing. If they're running on a tiny group of people, even manning the cafe on a regular basis may be a challenge. It's in a very sparsely populated part of the country, so no close "critical mass" of people nearby enough to regularly attend. There aren't that many people who'd be willing to travel an hour or more each way from the more densely populated areas, so you're relying on a few keen people from the nearby villages.
     
  10. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Have to agree. Having looked at their website, there aren't really any "calls to action" telling you exactly who/what they want and what the aims are. I also looked at the nearby Stainmore railway website and thought the same. There looks to be two separate groups, neither of which seem to have enough support and neither really having adequate websites. I don't know the locality, but I have seen talk of a line between them as a long term aim, but neither website mentions the other at all. So I wonder if communications between the two aren't as good as they could be, which could be polarising what little local support there may be or even causing competition between them for volunteers and funding (and even paying customers on open days). I fully appreciate that two different groups, with different histories and different management may not wish to formally join together as one, but you would have thought that there'd be benefits in finding common ground. It's a shame really. I live about an hour away and am looking to join/volunteer at a HR when I partially retire in 2/3 years, but nothing on either website really draws me to either and a 2 hour round trip doesn't really appeal unless it's for something tangible and worthy.
     
  11. TheBeard

    TheBeard Member

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    Having 2 nearby lines like this seems wacky. The Kirkby Stephen lot want a total North Eastern Railway reincarnation. NO diesels, or even anything not NER. With NYMR, Wensleydale already with all this equipment it strikes me as far fetched, and "maybe" heading to Tebay? There's a bridge out over the Eden out to Warcop. The Warcop folk like MLVs and DEMUs. I think with its history and views it has great potential, but the sum of the whole is more than equal to the sum of the parts here. Warcop and East Appleby are NER vintage stations too, perhaps a marriage like on the ELR, with diesel thrash and vintage steam living happily side by side would draw more help?
     
  12. trebor79

    trebor79 Member

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    What is the 9 mile maximum? There are many heritage railways of longer length.
     
  13. ThetrackMaster

    ThetrackMaster Member

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    I think he's referring to the widely held belief that 9 miles maximum and below is a good length to manage with regards to resources, bearing in mind the usually limited amount of volunteers.
    Yes there are a few railways of longer length, but at the end of the day, the longer it is does not always follow its a success.
     
  14. Mogulb

    Mogulb Member

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    Not entirely sure that the people at Kirkby Stephen would recognise your description of them. Yes they are putting together a NER passenger train and a NER goods train, but they also have several LNER Gresleys and should be able to run a two coach LNER passenger train next year. Along with two working steam engines, 3 working diesels and 2 coach MK1 passenger train. In the last twelve months they have put up a large maintenance shed and laid a considerable amount of track. Hardly far Fetched!
     
  15. trebor79

    trebor79 Member

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    Far-fetched was the original aim of reinstating the Stainmore line, including rebuilding Deepdale and Belah viaducts!

    I confess to having bought a membership in those days, but I was an impressionable 18 year old.
    That said they were quite serious and got as far as identifying suppliers to make and galvanise the wrought iron before it all petered out.
     
  16. plarailfan

    plarailfan Member

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    I love going along the A66 road in summer and admiring mile after mile of the abandoned railway. I have wondered many times if it might be possible to rebuild the bit from Bishop Auckland to Bowes. A few miles further along, I once diverted off the A66 to look at where Belah viaduct used to be and quickly realised it would cost many £ millions to rebuild it. I then called in, briefly, at Kirkby Stephen East, to look at the class 20.
    I hope they do, one day manage to run trains through to Warcop again, as it is a spectacular route, with a large, impressive viaduct at Hartley.
    The Wensleydale line is not far by car and some people would probably "do" both lines in a single day, or, more likely, over a weekend.
    https://www.visitcumbria.com/evnp/smardale-gill-old-viaduct/
     
    Last edited: 26 Jan 2019
  17. ThetrackMaster

    ThetrackMaster Member

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    It all seems to have gone quiet about the EVR on these pages after an initial show of interest? Whats happened, is it getting forgotten about again or is it simply to far out in the sticks. to bother about as a worthy project by the rail fraternity???

    I thought reading the previous posts, that at long last there was a stirring of interest in this little gem to get it in the public eye once again?

    Whats the thoughts of the owners and EVR members - What would you like to see happen in the medium to long term? Id love to know because if its positive it may generate some interest for future members?
    Does anyone know the EVR's plans?
     
  18. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    It has been winter, so perhaps things have been a bit quiet, hopefully now spring/summer is on the way it will get busier etc.
     
  19. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    i nearly bought a house is Warcop!

    The pub has given up so its not the busiest of places. Think the army camp kept it going, but no-one lives there now, they bus the soldiers in from catterick to use the range.

    no real public transport to Warcop.

    If you are up by car and want to see other stuff, look for little salkeld watermill. they actually grind flour there, and have a small bakery/cafe. And mill tours.

    and close by is long meg and her daughters, a standing stone and a stone circle.
     
  20. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Since then I've been there.
     
  21. madannie77

    madannie77 Member

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    It can seem a bit quiet when there is no public service, but plenty of things have been going on at Warcop.

    I mentioned in my previous post in this thread that it had been hoped that the MLV/4-CEP train would be in use last year. Although it did not happen due to electrical issues, an initial trial run was made in February this year and was successful:

    A further trial has been made, replicating the full service of 6 round trips, and it is anticipated that the battery operated train (MLVs S68003 and S68005 and 4-CEP 2315) will be in use on selected dates this year, although those dates have yet to be chosen. This year's passenger services started last Sunday using Thumper 205009 and continue on every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday until the end of October, with additional dates during the summer school holidays. Driver for a fiver is also available every Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday this year.

    The longer term ambition to run trains to Appleby is still there, although the impasse with Railway Paths remains. In the meantime the Eden Valley Railway Trust is concentrating on improving the section of line it owns and what is offered to visitors to Warcop.
     
  22. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    When I visited, there were a number of flags flying, I think they have a certain significance, but can not remember what it is?
     
  23. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    There is also the Stainmore Railway at Kirkby stephen East. They say they want to link to the Eden valley railway to run between KSE and Appleby. One wonders if this remote area can support such a venture, when kirkby stephen cant even get a regular bus service.
     
  24. yoyothehobo

    yoyothehobo Member

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    Its problem is that it is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. The scenery is lovely round there, but it isnt really local for anyone and isnt within an hours drive of a decent population really. Penrith excepted. Whenever I have driven across the A66 my aim and seemingly most peoples is to get across it as quickly as possible and for most people travelling on the road it is part of a long distance route between Yorkshire and Scotland.

    Its a shame because I liked the out of placeness of that NSE in the middle of the countryside.
     
  25. madannie77

    madannie77 Member

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    Yet I can get to Warcop within an hour quite easily from Carlisle, and I suspect that it can be achieved from places such as Kendal, Darlington and Bishop Auckland which are more populous than Penrith. Quite a few other large populations are not much more than an hour's drive away. Clearly it is not like being within an hour of one the large metropolitan areas, but there are more people within an hour or so's driving of Warcop than you think.

    Quite a number of the visitors to Warcop are people travelling to/from Scotland on the A66 who purposely stop off for a visit en route - the sort of stop-off I often do when travelling long distances.
     
    Last edited: 15 Apr 2019
  26. madannie77

    madannie77 Member

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    The flags started as a means of making the Warcop site more noticeable from the A66, but it has become a bit more than that now.

    Usually flying will be a large Cross of St George and the flags of Cumbria and Westmorland. What other flags are out depends to a large extent on what the railway's "flag man" decides, but it often corresponds to a national/ provincial/county day. Some of these are rather obscure and always generate conversation. It is also common for an appropriate flag to be dug out and flown when visitors from overseas visit the railway.
     
  27. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    Thank you for that info.
     
  28. HaggisBotherer

    HaggisBotherer Member

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    Not all. The legendary Stracathro Services between Dundee and Aberdeen hasn't changed since this feature on it 7 years ago...
    https://www.scotsman.com/news/truck...should-become-a-world-heritage-site-1-2320134
    "There are few places like Stracathro left, the drivers complain. The old-fashioned truck stop with heaped plates and decent showers and plenty of room for vehicles is a thing of the past."
     
  29. madannie77

    madannie77 Member

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    Further to my post on 13th April, #51 in this thread, the MLVs/4-CEP combination will be operating in passenger service on Sunday 12th May. The normal timetable (departing Warcop at 1100 and hourly until 1600) and fares will apply. For anyone mad enough to do all six trips the mileage will be (if my information is correct) 26 miles and 68 chains.

    It is hoped, if this running day is successful, to repeat it once a month until October this year, although future dates have not yet been decided.

    More at http://www.evr-cumbria.org.uk/Cumbrian% ... 0Train.htm
     
  30. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Also just about an hour away from Lancaster & Durham. Not really many "proper" heritage lines around it at all. Lakeside & Haverthwaite and Ravenglass are more "touristy" gimmicks rather than heritage lines. Then further South from around Lancaster, you have East Lancs at Bury, but that's an hour South and well established. Warcop is certainly on my list for volunteering at when I go into semi retirement in a couple of years and I live in Lancaster as it's just about within travel distance and I like the idea of being part of a line that's being brought back to life.
     

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