Friday, 6 May 2016

Here's some cash. Go buy some Pacers.

Seriously. A Pacer Preservation Society?

Yes, we are still in a state of shock at the fact such a thing exists in a modern world where people are able to do more than bash rocks against cave walls. 

The Preservation of our Railways is something the British have done proudly for over 60 years. Will the bubble burst? Yes, probably.

A Heritage Railway that has a strong youth base among its volunteer workforce is stronger than any other Railway out there. Even we would like to believe this statement, it is not true. The Railways that have a healthy bank balance, healthy turnover, commercial masterstrokes and a beautiful scone and tea on offer are the healthy ones. Don't you feel the need for a shower mixing our lovely Heritage Railways with the words financial strength and commercialism?

A Heritage Railway should be struggling financially, it should need Barry from Plymouth storming in on his white charger with a membership subscription under his arm to save the rundown little Railway. Barry feels good about himself, the Railway benefits, the public hear about Barry and vote to name a steam locomotive after Barry. Don't you just love Britain where this is the way things are, or more to the point were.

Here is the startling truth

This hurts, cover your original Thomas books and welcome adulthood in all its monotonous glory. Railways are a business. 

The god awful idea that the PPS (we cant even say the name without feeling queasy) have will work, not because of the amount of supporters for its cause (-37000.8 if you're interested) but if the suits in a bank office can make a good business case then it will work.

Would the Bluebell Railway have been a viable business proposition? You would have to ask a banker rather than the men and women down at the local. 

Isn't adulthood rubbish.

The obvious answer here is for volunteers to retreat at your local Heritage Railway Ltd and let the staff take over, buy a soulless perforated ticket and enjoy the day.

Where's the fun in that? This is where our Britishness comes rushing back, our 1950s spirit for saving our beloved Railways. We won't let it happen. The commercial strides that are leaping through the Railway scene are a necessary evil. As long as they stay within nondescript offices and are unable to sell Scotsman tickets through windows - all will be well with the world.

There is a clear competition that will be fought for years to come:
Money V. Heritage

Should we pick a side and fight our corners on forums or Photography Groups? Yes. People will. Should you? Of course not.

Think quietly and don't let anyone hear you - think of your most favourite Heritage Railway. Does it roll around in cash? Is it as broken as a Pacer passengers spine?

If its a yes to either of the questions, then you know which side you need to be on for your Railway. Because what makes us British and what makes our Heritage Railways great is that:
Money + Heritage = Your Favourite.

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