The Northern Lights Railtour - Monday 27th August 2012

Status
Not open for further replies.

table38

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
1,812
Location
Stalybridge
Gricers and the more adventurous tour enthusiasts may like to know that the former BLS tour is now going ahead independently and more or less as planned, provisional times below, full details attached.

Code:
00:01 Crewe (pu)
      Chelford Down Passenger Loop
      Styal
      Heald Green South Junction / North Junction
      Longsight Down Goods Loop
01:00 Manchester Piccadilly (pu)
      Burnden Down Passenger Loop
      Bolton
02:00 Preston (pu)
      Barton & Broughton Down Passenger Loop
      Oubeck Down Goods Loop
      Lancaster Down Main
      Carnforth Up and Down Goods Loop No.2
      Oxenhome Down Goods Loop
      Grayrigg Down Passenger Loop
      Tebay Up and Down Goods Loop
      Harrisons Down Goods Loop
      Penrith Down Slow / Platform 3
04:30 Carlisle (arr) - break
05:00 Carlisle (pu)
      Quintishill Down Passenger Loop
      Beattock South Down Passenger Loop
      Beattock Summitt Down Passenger Loop
      Abington Down Passenger Loop
      Carstairs Down Passenger Loop
      Law Junction Down Passenger Loop
      Shieldmuir Royal Mail Terminal
07:20 Motherwell (pu)
07:35 Cumbernauld (pu)
07:50 Larbert (pu)
08:00 Stirling (pu)
08:30 Perth (pu)
      Dundee West Yard East Reception Line (rev)
      Dundee West Reception (rev)
      Dundee Down Through Line
      Laurencekirk Down Refuge Siding
      Craiginches Down Goods Loop
      Aberdeen (short break)
      Kittybrewster (rev)
      Waterloo Goods (rev)
      Aberdeen Harbour Board New Sidings
      Dyce
      Raith's Farm DBS Freight Terminal No.4 Road (rev)
      Raith's Farm DBS Freight Terminal North Arrival/Departures Line
      Keith Loop
      Elgin Passenger (rev)
      Elgin Goods East Long Headshunt (former Craigellachie line) (rev)
      Elgin Passenger (rev)
      Keith Branch Platform
      Raith's Farm Rounding Line
      Aberdeen (short stop)
      Craiginches Up Loop No.1
      Montrose No.1 Through Sidings
      Dundee Up Through Line
20:50 Perth (sd)
21:30 Sirling (sd)
21:40 Larbert (sd)
21:50 Cumbernauld (sd)
22:10 Motherwell (sd)
      Wishaw
      Law Junction Up Branch Passenger Loop
23:45 Carlisle (sd)
01:30 Preston (sd)
02:30 Manchester Piccadilly (sd)
03:20 Crewe (sd)
Note the official tour starts at Motherwell, but as the Riviera stock is coming from Crewe the positioning moves are available for those wishing to join the tour from further south. Haulage will be Class 66 T&T.
 

Attachments

Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

QJ

Member
Joined
1 Sep 2011
Messages
148
Men of Steel 6 minute connection if intending to catch the Northern Lights at Crewe off a certain rare track charter advertised to terminate at Derby at 2130 on the day before.

or will there be some sort of liaison between organisers to ensure the finalised timings allow connection between the two by train? :lol:
 

theblackwatch

Established Member
Joined
15 Feb 2006
Messages
10,405
Men of Steel 6 minute connection if intending to catch the Northern Lights at Crewe off a certain rare track charter advertised to terminate at Derby at 2130 on the day before.

or will there be some sort of liaison between organisers to ensure the finalised timings allow connection between the two by train? :lol:
Or 14 minutes off the BLS special, for 21.44 to Leeds and 23.40 to Manchester Picc for a +17 into the Gastour. I guess that option depends on how desperate someone is for the 3 loops being covered between Crewe and Manchester. (Do they count if it's dark!?)
 
Joined
31 May 2012
Messages
124
STREWTH. 'Stubs', 'Twigs' and 'Leaves' !

Question, under what name will this tour take place ? - GAS GUZZLER ?!

It passes through our local station in the wee small hours, should one make the effort to 'wave it through' or simply settle for hearing it pass - from the comfort of our bed ?!
 
Last edited:

table38

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
1,812
Location
Stalybridge
Does the letter state why the tour has been 'Gassed'? Lack of bookings I presume?
I regret to have to advise you that it has proved necessary for me, very reluctantly, to decide not to proceed with this charter, so the railtour will not be running on 27th August. This is essentially because the financial shortfall on bookings against costs as at today is greater than I can anticipate closing with the further bookings which will undoubtedly come in. Though I have waited to the latest reasonable date, assessing the new bookings I am still receiving, for this decision, it needs to be taken before the deadline for payment of the 90% balance of the charter price to Riviera Trains, which is next Monday, 13th -as well, of course, as not curtailing the length of notice to all intending participants to less than that now being given.
and

A major cause of the shortfall is clearly some unforeseen and unwanted competing activities, over and above what was anticipated even on a Bank Hoilday weekend. Two clashing unusual tracks railtours emerged, but only after my deposit had been paid were they in any way publicised, one by Riviera's own Cheshire Cat subsidiary and the other by the Branch Line Society.
Moderately impressed my OCR software could read Gas's typewriter!
 

theblackwatch

Established Member
Joined
15 Feb 2006
Messages
10,405
Thanks for the explanation, a shame for Gas really after the work he put in. I too am impressed that your scanner was able to read the typed letter! Did it run to several pages? :lol:
 

junglejames

Established Member
Joined
8 Dec 2010
Messages
2,069
Moderately impressed my OCR software could read Gas's typewriter![/QUOTE]

Excuse me for butting in on something I wouldnt normally. But what Cheshire Cat tour? You have a Pathfinder tour on 27th to Stanhope, but this is nothing like the tours BLS and their estranged gas man organise.

This sounds like a bad excuse from a bad loser. Blaming everybody else, when by the sounds of things reading forums, the truth is probably down to the fact people just dont like the man.

Advertising your tour before others would normally give you an advantage over other operators. It hasnt, so he needs to take a long look at both himself, and his tour. Not go blaming others for advertising a tour after he had paid his deposit, and blaming (from what I can tell) a tour that is totally different to his.

The other tours may have played a small part, but only because they offered a much better day out than his does.
Sore loser. Thats all I can say.
 
Last edited:

laird

Member
Joined
1 Aug 2009
Messages
128
For me I would be pointing the failure at lack of advertising, while the tour seems to have had this one thread where was the internet advertising? I'm not even sure the tour made it onto the railtour listings of the magazines and online websites.


While I understand the operator was a contraversial character I don't think the person matters to the vast majority of people booking on tours, people look at the nature of the tour and book on that basis.
 
Joined
31 May 2012
Messages
124
The railtour does appear in the listings towards the back of Todays Railways UK. But, blink - and you will miss it ! To date, no 'propper' advertisement for said tour has been seen by moi in any of the mainstream railway magazines.

Antediluvian does not begin to describe the administrative abilities of Norman 'Gas' Hill !
 

33056

Established Member
Joined
12 Nov 2007
Messages
2,368
Location
On a train somewhere in Europe
junglejames - IMO the tour was a victim of the schism between Gas and the BLS; if that hadn't occurred then I am sure the tour would have successfully run under the auspices of the society.

Don't forget it was open for booking by society members as long ago as the end of March and would probably have attracted far more participants but for the events of 1st April. The subsequent hiatus and uncertanity over the tour's future probably led to many potential passengers making other commitments before Gas announced that he was definitely going ahead with the tour.

I can't comment on advertising, being a BLS member, I had plenty of notice of the tour running and would probably have done it regardless of who was operating it but for the small matter of work that weekend.
 

table38

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
1,812
Location
Stalybridge
And to be fair the Northern Lights tour was supposed to be just a part of wider BLS fixtures in Scotland that weekend.

One could speculate as to why the new committee decided to ditch their Scottish plans for that weekend and suddenly prefer an east-midlands based tour on the Sunday instead.
 

junglejames

Established Member
Joined
8 Dec 2010
Messages
2,069
junglejames - IMO the tour was a victim of the schism between Gas and the BLS; if that hadn't occurred then I am sure the tour would have successfully run under the auspices of the society.

Don't forget it was open for booking by society members as long ago as the end of March and would probably have attracted far more participants but for the events of 1st April. The subsequent hiatus and uncertanity over the tour's future probably led to many potential passengers making other commitments before Gas announced that he was definitely going ahead with the tour.

I can't comment on advertising, being a BLS member, I had plenty of notice of the tour running and would probably have done it regardless of who was operating it but for the small matter of work that weekend.
Thats quite possible. But no reason to try blaming others. At the end of the day, it is his failure.
Whats this I hear on another forum that the initial deposits have yet to be paid back? Supposedly the gas man making normal punters pay for his little dispute with the BSL.
 

junglejames

Established Member
Joined
8 Dec 2010
Messages
2,069
Incorrect, deposits are being refunded by cheque "in time for enclosure with BLN 1168"
Yes i had heard that. Still. Should have happened straight away.
Rather worrying that they werent refunded as part of the whole fare.
BLS probably should have refunded all monies from the tour originally, and not given the option of transferring them to their gas man. Can often lead to problems.
 

garnon

Member
Joined
26 Aug 2008
Messages
108
Moderately impressed my OCR software could read Gas's typewriter!
Excuse me for butting in on something I wouldnt normally. But what Cheshire Cat tour? You have a Pathfinder tour on 27th to Stanhope, but this is nothing like the tours BLS and their estranged gas man organise.

This sounds like a bad excuse from a bad loser. Blaming everybody else, when by the sounds of things reading forums, the truth is probably down to the fact people just dont like the man.

Advertising your tour before others would normally give you an advantage over other operators. It hasnt, so he needs to take a long look at both himself, and his tour. Not go blaming others for advertising a tour after he had paid his deposit, and blaming (from what I can tell) a tour that is totally different to his.

The other tours may have played a small part, but only because they offered a much better day out than his does.
Sore loser. Thats all I can say.[/QUOTE]


Sorry James. I don't agree.

This is his first tour. He is taking the financial risk personally (though i agree that could be debated given he has held onto BLS deposits).

Since he announced the tour, the BLS (his major catchment group) announced a competing tour that concludes the same day as 'The Northern Lights' was booked to depart Crewe (a couple of hours to get from Derby to Crewe). This probably takes out 20% of your potential clients who cannot get, or do not want, to be away from their families for such an extended period over a holiday weekend.

The issue regarding the Pathfinder tour is more about the rare track (weardale connection) on offer. But the real killer for this tour is not Pathfinder - but the BLS tour on the Sunday.

I don't know Gas well, but have been on some of his tours. Anyone who carries a quail could not fail to be impressed at some of the locations he has managed to get tours into and the measures he takes to mitigate the unknown on the day. He is famed for carrying his own points clips, for example. For that reason alone, in my book, the guy deserves some respect.
 
Last edited:

table38

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
1,812
Location
Stalybridge
Yes i had heard that. Still. Should have happened straight away.
Rather worrying that they werent refunded as part of the whole fare.
BLS probably should have refunded all monies from the tour originally, and not given the option of transferring them to their gas man. Can often lead to problems.
I'd agree. I gave my 2 x £20 deposits to BLS via Gas in his capacity as General Secretary and Fixtures Secretary. 24 hours later, after an extrordinary decision by the committee, he was just Mr. N.J. Hill, ordinary member of the public, so I certainly wouldn't have been looking to him to return any money to me as my agreement was with the BLS not Gas.

Unfortunately the delay partly seems to be a consequence of the committee's hasty decision to instantly exclude him from membership that they hadn't really thought through.

Happily since that decision was overturned at the SGM, that's all in the past and the matter is being resolved.
 

junglejames

Established Member
Joined
8 Dec 2010
Messages
2,069
Sorry James. I don't agree.

This is his first tour. He is taking the financial risk personally (though i agree that could be debated given he has held onto BLS deposits).

Since he announced the tour, the BLS (his major catchment group) announced a competing tour that concludes the same day as 'The Northern Lights' was booked to depart Crewe (a couple of hours to get from Derby to Crewe). This probably takes out 20% of your potential clients who cannot get, or do not want, to be away from their families for such an extended period over a holiday weekend.

The issue regarding the Pathfinder tour is more about the rare track (weardale connection) on offer. But the real killer for this tour is not Pathfinder - but the BLS tour on the Sunday.

I don't know Gas well, but have been on some of his tours. Anyone who carries a quail could not fail to be impressed at some of the locations he has managed to get tours into and the measures he takes to mitigate the unknown on the day. He is famed for carrying his own points clips, for example. For that reason alone, in my book, the guy deserves some respect.
You cannot blame BLS. If he advertised his tour first, then you'd expect him to have the upper hand. Why didnt it? Either because of his failings, or because BLS offered a better all round package. Exactly my original point. You cant blame someone for advertising a competing product. People will go with the best option for them, and they have. People have voted with their feet (or bookings), and the gas man (as good or as bad as he may be) has been beaten fair and square.
He may have taken the financial risk, but so has every promoter when they organise a tour. BLS took on a financial risk as well.
He may take point clips with him as well, and he may be very good at organising these types of tours, but obviously that hasnt helped him on this occasion. He was beaten, for one reason or another, by a better tour.
He has to accept this. Look at what the problems may be, and move on. Not go throwing his toys out of the pram.
 

MidnightFlyer

Veteran Member
Joined
16 May 2010
Messages
12,846
I suspect a lot may be to do with the fact that a significant portion of track tour regulars have a strong dislike for Gas (he is indeed like human Marmite), and wouldn't give him personally a penny of their money. I honestly think under any other operator it would have gone ahead, unfortunately Mr Hill may find it rather difficult to win over any haters, and as such I doubt any tour of his will flourish.
 

junglejames

Established Member
Joined
8 Dec 2010
Messages
2,069
I suspect a lot may be to do with the fact that a significant portion of track tour regulars have a strong dislike for Gas (he is indeed like human Marmite), and wouldn't give him personally a penny of their money. I honestly think under any other operator it would have gone ahead, unfortunately Mr Hill may find it rather difficult to win over any haters, and as such I doubt any tour of his will flourish.
I wondered if that had something to do with it, going by what people have been saying. Nothing unusual for these people to go round blaming others for their shortfalls.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top