RailRiders

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by HawkeyeTheNoo, 18 Mar 2011.

  1. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

    Messages:
    2,120
    Joined:
    9 Nov 2015
    I guessed that the child was being taken by a parent with an all-line staff pass, so Management grade 5 (i.e. the top) or above? I don't think the vouchers were valid for unaccompanied children.
     
  2. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

    Messages:
    6,211
    Joined:
    26 Jan 2009
    Location:
    Central Belt
    They were. I used to use them to get from Market Rasen - Lincoln.

    However never understood how some kids got such high mileage. I struggled to hit 1000.
     
  3. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

    Messages:
    2,203
    Joined:
    5 Jun 2011
    Location:
    St. Albans
    I was a member for many years. As I recall the mailing address for the club was in Wetherby, West Yorks and I looked forward to getting the magazine. That discraced DJ often featured as I recall.

    I also had the book mentioned in an earlier posting. In fact I still have it.

    I used my vouchers on my own - for day trips and towards Coast and Peaks Rovers.

    Incidentally, does anyone remember the “Ready, Teddy, Go” family railcard promotion of the same era?

    And here is my photo of 47406 at Leeds circa 1987.

    5A4B8E42-032D-48A4-A437-80BA372B186E.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Helvellyn

    Helvellyn Established Member

    Messages:
    1,162
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2009
    And of course when 47406 was withdrawn the Rail Riders name was transferred to large logo 47488.
     
    Last edited: 4 Apr 2018
  5. AntoniC

    AntoniC Member

    Messages:
    509
    Joined:
    28 Dec 2011
    Location:
    Southport
    Does the sweater still fit you ? :D:D
     
  6. ag51ruk

    ag51ruk Member

    Messages:
    474
    Joined:
    29 Oct 2014
    There was a separate category for staff travel holders - I remember entering one year and calculating that I has done something like that (child priv return was max £1 at the time once boxes all used up and I used to be out every weekend and every day during school holidays, plus a couple of family holidays by train to Italy). I did Derby- London more often than most commuters - I didn't make the top three though...
     
  7. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

    Messages:
    2,120
    Joined:
    9 Nov 2015
    I think the club pre-dated boxes. I still have card free tickets made out to "Mr & Mrs X and 2 children" and we wouldn't have needed the rail riders vouchers if staff children went for a pound when were paying.
     
  8. bspahh

    bspahh Member

    Messages:
    264
    Joined:
    5 Jan 2017
    The record was 125k miles (!) according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_Riders

     
  9. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

    Messages:
    4,939
    Joined:
    15 Apr 2016
    Location:
    Devon
  10. quarella

    quarella Member

    Messages:
    735
    Joined:
    7 Dec 2009
    Sadly it appears to have shrunk :)
     
  11. AntoniC

    AntoniC Member

    Messages:
    509
    Joined:
    28 Dec 2011
    Location:
    Southport
    :lol::lol:
     
  12. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    14 Dec 2016
    That didn't matter: as someone else mentions in this thread, there was a separate category of membership, which I think was known as the Railway Children category, for children of railway staff.
     
  13. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    14 Dec 2016
    I was a member for almost the entire period of the club's existence, and during that time I managed to persuade a few of my friends to join including my cousin.

    It was open to children aged 5-16, and I think it started in about 1979. It was initially called the Great Rail Club, and I joined in 1980 when I was 5. About a year after I joined it was renamed Rail Riders, possibly to coincide with the launch of BR's "This is the Age of the Train" advertising campaign featuring that disgraced DJ from Leeds (and little did we imagine what he got up to behind closed doors back then!).

    I used to really like the "Rail Riders Express" club magazine, which you used to get about three times a year, usually once in the spring, once in the summer and once just before Christmas. In its early days you used to get a free gift with each issue, and it used to have a pen pals page where you could get in touch with other club members. I grew up in Putney, south-west London, and I had a pen pal who lived near Willesden Junction. I went to visit him a few times, taking the train from Putney to Richmond and then a Class 501 EMU on the North London Line to Willesden Junction. I think I first contacted him in 1983 or '84, and last saw him when my dad and I went with him to Reading to see the GWR 150th anniversary exhibition train in 1985.

    In the late 1980s they brought out a new club logo, and redesigned the "Rail Riders Express" magazine. It got smaller but came out more often. Personally I preferred it in its original format.

    Looking back on it now, I would guess that the club was aimed not necessarily specifically at enthusiasts, but generally at children who liked travelling by train, although it may have encouraged an interest in railways among those members who weren't already enthusiasts. Without wishing to sound sexist, railways have always been regarded as a largely male-dominated hobby, but Rail Riders seemed to have a good mix of members of both sexes.

    Soon after I turned 16 in 1991 and reached the upper age limit, I learned that the club was closing down, presumably in anticipation of rail privatisation. A great pity, but I suppose it was a sign of the times.
     
  14. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    14 Dec 2016
    Yes, or else they might have travelled thousands of miles across Europe, or further afield such as Canada, the USA or Australia. You were allowed to include trips on foreign railways as part of your total mileage - only journeys to and from school (and presumably school trips by train) were excluded.

    My dad used to speculate, half-jokingly, that the winners of the annual mileage competition might be children of divorced parents with one of them living in Penzance and the other in Wick or Thurso, and that they lived with one parent and travelled to visit the other one every weekend! That would be a very long and complicated journey for an unaccompanied child, although I think I myself could have coped with such a journey from my early teens onwards!
     
  15. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    14 Dec 2016
    It appears to be hauling a train of Provincial-liveried stock, which would suggest that it was on a Liverpool-Newcastle "Trans-Pennine" branded service. The replacement "Rail Riders" loco, 47488, was a regular on this route when it carried the name "Rail Riders". 47406 used to get all over the country, though.
     
  16. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

    Messages:
    2,203
    Joined:
    5 Jun 2011
    Location:
    St. Albans
    Yes, it was on Newcastle to Liverpool duty
     
  17. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,504
    Joined:
    15 Feb 2006
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    More like a Newcastle-Liverpool working given that it's on platform 12 at Leeds!
     
  18. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,504
    Joined:
    15 Feb 2006
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    One of my schoolfriend's mum worked for Rail Riders (they lived in Wetherby). I remember going to one of their events at the Railwayman's Institute at York, at which there was the chance to meet Chris Hughes (who had won Mastermind on TV with the subject British Steam Locomotives, 1900–63).

    This webpage might bring back a few memories for some. I suspect Issue 11 is one you won't find on display anywhere due to its front cover!
     
  19. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

    Messages:
    7,302
    Joined:
    28 Sep 2010
    I forsee another trip up into the Bald Rick archives tomorrow.

    That webpage is excellent. I was also a member of the Commodore sealink club, and never stepped on a Sealink ferry!
     
  20. Helvellyn

    Helvellyn Established Member

    Messages:
    1,162
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2009
    Does any remember the model railway and shop at York station...? I think that was linked to Rail Riders.
     
  21. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    14 Dec 2016
    Yes, it was called Rail Riders World. I seem to remember that one of the model layouts was of a power station, maybe based on Drax, and the train would arrive loaded with coal and leave empty or vice versa which I thought was very clever.

    I think the former Rail Riders World premises have now been turned into the York Tap pub, next to the short stay car park adjacent to Platforms 2 and 4.
     
  22. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    14 Dec 2016
    Was she the club secretary, by any chance? I seem to recall that the secretary in the early days was called Caroline, then Angela (Angela Hopkins if I remember rightly) replaced her, and I think it was Lynne for the last few years.
     
  23. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    14 Dec 2016
    There were loads of visitor attractions all over the country where Rail Riders got free or discounted entry if they showed their membership card. Those places were called Sticker Stations, because they gave you a little round sticker to show that you'd been there. Some of them were railway or other transport-related attractions, and some of them other types of attractions like zoos, theme parks and living museums. For example, I seem to recall that Edinburgh Zoo, Beamish North of England Open Air Museum and the Black Country Living Museum were Sticker Stations.

    With the late 1980s redesign of the club logo and magazine, they started giving you a "Passport to Adventure" to put your stickers or stamps in, as the Sticker Stations then changed to giving you a stamp instead of a sticker.
     
  24. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,504
    Joined:
    15 Feb 2006
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    No she wasn't one of the ones named in Rail Riders Express, although rather embarrassingly I can't remember her first name!
     
  25. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

    Messages:
    1,229
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2017
    Some impressive flailing on the cover of Issue 10!
     
  26. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

    Messages:
    1,504
    Joined:
    14 Sep 2014
    Location:
    Gateway to the South West
    My copies of the magazine always arrived after the competitions had closed. I wrote in on the issue and the reply I had promised that in future there would be no closing date on competitions. To this day I don't see how that would work!
     
  27. acned

    acned Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    1 Mar 2015
    Location:
    London
    Slight thread drift but in London so far this year there have been a number of youth murders, some gang related. One of the reasons given is "there is nothing for kids to do". London's kids get free travel, if I had had that perk in the 80s I would have never been at home! Transport isn't a 'cool' topic for kids today, but it was in the 50s and 60s. A new club themed like Rail Riders could try and get kids (not just those in London) into stuff like bus and train spotting. How can our interest in transport be made 'cool'?

    At Crewe Works open day in June 1984, my rose-tinted recollection was that every other person seemed to have a Rail Riders bag, I sadly didn't!
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2018
  28. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    14 Dec 2016
    If you stayed in the Rail Riders club until you turned 16, which was the upper age limit, they used to send you a voucher to get your first 16-25 Railcard (or Young Persons Railcard as they were called in those days) for half price. They sent me one, and I duly made use of it.
     
  29. 86206

    86206 Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    12 Jan 2015
    The vouchers & badges....Can remember having a silver/black one with APT on it.
     
  30. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,504
    Joined:
    15 Feb 2006
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    There was a chap on the Rail Express/Pathfinder Class 50 charity trip today wearing a Rail Riders badge! :o
     

Share This Page