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Wensleydale Railway - Northallerton West

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by s1m0nad, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. Forestpines

    Forestpines Member

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    It's been a few years since I last visited the Wensleydale - 9, off the top of my head, when they had 80105 on hire - but I've driven past Leeming Bar a number of times since, and I have to say that it has never seemed to be a particularly attractive-looking railway to visit; it's a long ride through an awful lot of nowhere, and Bolton Castle is a bit far from Redmire to be walkable for most passengers.

    Does anyone know what sort of relationship the railway has with the National Park Authority? An extension to Aysgarth will take them within the bounds of the park for the first time.
     
  2. Allegheny

    Allegheny New Member

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    I agree with this sentiment, the stretch from Northallerton to Leyburn is pretty flat across the Vale of York; it's not really until Aysgarth that you start to benefit from the Yorkshire Dales Scenery.
    As mentioned above, Aysgarth Falls are a well known tourist attraction. The Yorkshire Dales National Park has restored Hawes station as a museum with a good car park. They have laid two tracks through the station, with an industrial locomotive and three Mk1 coaches on static display.

    It's also worth mentioning Appersett viaduct, about 1 km to the west of Hawes, which is a Grade II listed structure.
     
  3. John Stewart

    John Stewart Part of the furniture

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    Oh, somebody buy him a weekend in Wensleydale!:)
     
  4. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    I fear you would need to write out ten (? twenty) thousand such lines. We are talking of a tourist attraction, not a public transport provider. Some with modest scenic attractions do remarkably well, others with better views have a struggle. You really do need to get some active involvement and study the finances.

    PH
     
  5. John Stewart

    John Stewart Part of the furniture

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    I stand at Redmire and think: "Railway enthusiasts come here". I stand at Aysgarth and think: "Tourists come here".
     
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  6. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    If the present mileage really is so"dead" then it sounds a bit hopeless to keep on running it. In truth you are much more of a pessimist than I.

    PH
     
  7. Forestpines

    Forestpines Member

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    And over the road from the station site is the National Park visitors centre, whose car park seemed very busy on the one time I visited - a group of waterfalls don't exactly hold much repeat value.

    My point about the National Park was more that I recall them causing big problems for The Forbidden Corner, a garden folly a few miles south of Leyburn - partly because it was built without permission. The park authority eventually said that it could stay but imposed rather tight restrictions on it - limited visitor numbers per day, prebooked visitors only.

    (If you are visiting the railway I do recommend The Forbidden Corner too, as long as you remember to book!)
     
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  8. Allegheny

    Allegheny New Member

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    If it was possible to swap the eighteen miles from Northallerton to Redmire with the fifteen miles from Garsdale to Aysgarth, it would be a completely different proposition. In the short term it's obviously not that easy.
     
  9. John Stewart

    John Stewart Part of the furniture

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    I couldn't possibly aspire to those heights.:(
     
  10. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    As an outsider it seems to me that the Wensleydale does little more than limp along on a hand to mouth basis and has done for many years. I can't see that it is ever going to break out of that rut without something momentous happening, I'm afraid, but if it continues to provide pleasure to its supporters and visitors, where's the harm in that?
     
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  11. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

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    I think getting to Aysgarth will have a bigger impact on the WR than getting to Bolton Abbey did to Embsay.

    Also think what would the NYMR be like if it had only run from Grosmont to Ellerbeck?

    I really think Aysgarth would be the game changer for them.

    Sawdust.
     
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  12. Allegheny

    Allegheny New Member

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    I think the National Park would be in favour of anything which helped reduce traffic on the roads.
     
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  13. Railboy

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  14. Railboy

    Railboy New Member

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  15. sycamore

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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017 at 9:16 PM
  16. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Well-Known Member

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  17. 3855

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    Not good for the railway in the long term, however if I had the chance to buy Aysgarth station at the sort of figure mentioned I'd be interested .
     
  18. FearOfManchester

    FearOfManchester New Member

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    A worrying turn of events. Real shame if true as a lot of effort has been put in at aysgarth and other stations on the line like scruton, the railway has really upped its game this year, the LNWR directors saloon is a real treat to experience.
    https://photos.wr-rail-link.co.uk/2017/2017-07.php?id=1502572013 this website shows monthly photo updates of construction etc, there are some of aysgarth in there somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017 at 10:15 PM
  19. lil Bear

    lil Bear Part of the furniture

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    That is not good news at all. I visited the line on Friday, and had a good chat with the guard who was very open/honest about the line, something which I was very grateful for. He said to extend the 2.5miles to Aysgarth they need to find roughly £6 million according to the last estimates, something which in the present climate he couldn't see happening. Passenger numbers whilst not poor are not sufficient to raise anything near this figure, and he said other ideas were being looked at (though he didn't mention the sale). One area they are looking to improve is their dining service, with an Afternoon Tea service being introduced this year and a RK having been purchased for the development of something more substantial. So there are positives for them.

    To increase patronage though they need to go somewhere. Leeming Bar is an industrial estate with a car park, whilst Redmire has a lovely view but no real purpose. Leyburn is a nice little village, and the line is quite enjoyable after Bedale, both for views and loco performance (though they could do with cutting some of the vegetation in parts, as brambles were entering the sidelight at various points). Aysgarth though is the scenic section, and with the nearby Falls needs to happen for them. Maybe this "sale" could offer them a way of achieving it without finding the £6 million? Just need to make sure that a first-option is included on any potential future sale, and that running rights into Aysgarth are included for the WR long term. As I just can't see Leeming Bar - Redmire ever generating the traffic needed to expand.
     
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  20. Tim Light

    Tim Light Active Member

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    Very sad if this happens. I agree with everything written above, but I can't see a way forward unless a Sugar Parent emerges from somewhere.

    It would be interesting to know more about the bidder's intentions. Is he/she planning to run tourist trains, or will it really be a private railway like Fawley Hill.
     

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