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HORSE TRAMS

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1 hour ago, woolley said:

You mean a system to different areas of the town similar to Metrolink in Manchester or the Tyne and Wear Metro to serve local commuters and shoppers? We just don't have the critical mass of population for it. And if you are proposing just doing it along the prom that would be a very limited catchment area.

Park and ride for one. About 45% of the IOM population comes into Douglas each day. Is that not critical mass? 

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.... but those 45% get into work/shops anyway. Are they really going to use a park n ride, probably at a cost they would regard as an extra to their motoring cost, when many will have free parking at work or the Prom for shoppers?

Environmentally, it would save a 4 mile return journey along th Prom but are we yet that savvy? Better to crawl along the prom listening to the radio than stand in the rain waiting for the next shuttle bus!

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33 minutes ago, Kopek said:

.... but those 45% get into work/shops anyway. Are they really going to use a park n ride, probably at a cost they would regard as an extra to their motoring cost, when many will have free parking at work or the Prom for shoppers?

Yes I think people would if done properly. They already pay about £6 a day for parking so they do pay for services on top of their motoring costs. 

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Park and ride in the isle of Man means leaving your car on your drive and getting the bus. We've been through this, it is simply too small and people are too hooked on their cars for it to ever work. Look at the ongoing castletown fiasco for examples of how fucking thick and lazy people are.

On the horse trams there really should have been a proper decision made at the start of the prom redesign to knock them on the head. Utterly pointless. But that decision wasn't taken, and now we're stuck with them forever, so we need to figure out how to run and use them in a better way. The current management certainly can't, their solution to everything is charge people more. 

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4 minutes ago, TheTeapot said:

On the horse trams there really should have been a proper decision made at the start of the prom redesign to knock them on the head. Utterly pointless. But that decision wasn't taken, and now we're stuck with them forever, so we need to figure out how to run and use them in a better way. The current management certainly can't, their solution to everything is charge people more. 

Totally! 

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1.  If park and ride on the Island would work then the Douglas to Peel line would have been retained and upgraded. 

2. In my view the heritage railways do give a reason for special interest groups to visit and they add to the experience for others.  Even as loss leaders they held bring in people who spend at local businesses.

3. If you and your visitors have no interest in social history then of course you will not visit the sites (whether they are on the Island or in the UK).

4. The heritage sites provide an opportunity for the young to see the history of the island and to some extent the history of the UK. 

To those proposing that something else should replace the heritage sites what would you like to see?  What would mark the Island out as a place to visit?

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5 hours ago, Manximus Aururaneus said:

It's great shame - and actually does a lot of damage to the Island economically.

I'm pretty much retired with investments or businesses under management these days so I don't get stressed about it - but our original ideas of cashing in across to invest over here have pretty much been shelved due to sheer frustration with the attitude - oh well. I used the example of us spending almost £10k a year to park a boat in Scotland when we would much rather it be based over here - but with the state of the way that the harbours are run......... C'est la Vie.

This is not the first time that I have heard this said recently, and by pretty wealthy and well known residents too. It actually scares me when I think of how our island is being run sometimes, we appear to make things up as we go along, with deliberately vague rules for everything. How long before every one of them just gets fed up and moves elsewhere and we lose all those inward investment opportunities?

5 hours ago, woolley said:

I am similar, although I made my investments largely here having moved over for a love of the Island when I was much younger. Diversified more recently and taken more of a back seat. Actually, I found the government very helpful back in the day, but in those times they had more money than they knew what to do with. Or they thought that they did and that's why we are where we are now.

I was never in the tourist sector though. It always struck me that there are far easier and more agreeable ways to make money. I do however see the delight in people who come here for the first time, and I think that if you could bottle that enthusiasm and sell it more widely then you have a winner. I see our railways as part of that package.

Reading through this thread, I think we are due for a serious review of our tourism offer, heritage transport has its place, usually in a museum but I'm sure it can be made to work alongside a modern transport network such as trams etc. I agree that it is part of what we offer overall to the tourist, whether they choose to ride on them or not. Without it we would just be all the poorer I feel.

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Something a little more positive on the heritage railway scene in the UK.

https://www.citymetric.com/transport/britains-heritage-railways-are-booming-demographic-timebomb-looms-1801

I appreciate that it's 3 years old, but it does point to the continuing growth in popularity of preserved railways which chimes with the increasing patronage of the Manx lines. The big downer, it would appear, is the loss of operational and maintenance skills among volunteers becoming too old, which is in line with the loss of experienced staff here that I alluded to earlier. IOM Railways does at least take on young apprentices to perpetuate the skills. It is interesting that in the link a similar centrally run scheme is proposed in the UK to keep the technology alive.

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5 minutes ago, woolley said:

Something a little more positive on the heritage railway scene in the UK.

https://www.citymetric.com/transport/britains-heritage-railways-are-booming-demographic-timebomb-looms-1801

I appreciate that it's 3 years old, but it does point to the continuing growth in popularity of preserved railways which chimes with the increasing patronage of the Manx lines. The big downer, it would appear, is the loss of operational and maintenance skills among volunteers becoming too old, which is in line with the loss of experienced staff here that I alluded to earlier. IOM Railways does at least take on young apprentices to perpetuate the skills. It is interesting that in the link a similar centrally run scheme is proposed in the UK to keep the technology alive.

Woolley, so that there is no confusion here - I am not in anyway against that sort of scheme (whether here on the Island or elsewhere). I would fully support it. Where I have a problem is with the running of it as a 'service' which costs about £2m per year if we accept the Government numbers.

I automatically think of the alternatives (sorry, cannot help myself).

£2M per year loss over a decade is £20M.

A brand new, top of the range CT or MRI scanner costs just under £1M and has a lifetime of about 10 years with a minimal resale value. 

Personally, I would put all the trams and trains in the terminus as static displays, build a heritage centre on the adjacent Summerland site, Fire up a few demonstration models once a day at 2pm, and run fully packed out trips several weekends a year for the enthusiasts. Small core staff plus volunteers plus charitable status fundraisers.

I would spend the rest of the money on hospital equipment. I have no issues with those who disagree, it's just a debate.

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Heritage Railways are a huge draw across the UK and pull in thousands and thousands of visitors. I've been on loads, Severn Valley, Llangollen, Great Central, been to the railway museums in York (fucking amazing btw) and Crich Tramway museum, they're all really popular and very cool. And I don't even own an anorak! The point Derek Flint made about Sodor is a good one, and it is a huge shame they pulled the other tracks up. That would have been a massive draw. As it is the trains we do have are still a serious draw for tourists. I use them fairly often living down south and there is always someone on them who has traveled specifically because of them. Talk to people, you find stuff out. 

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I know they have hived off the land that the old train track used to be on but if they are wanting to increase the appeal then why not re-instate the old lines. Douglas to Peel/Ramsey would be great

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Because it would cost hundreds of millions of pounds.

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Just a gentle reminder that our government and its highly paid civil servants are just about hopeless at doing a deal with anybody!

http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cfm?id=48296&headline=Why+did+we+pay+more+for+rails%3F&sectionIs=NEWS&searchyear=2019&fbclid=IwAR3-2bKZ58KyPy0ytPu2gD2cnTk-mBY9RwgeNUc0jeiRkjOSUgmhtOlZh9c

We must be the biggest soft touch in the British Isles!

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16 minutes ago, Manximus Aururaneus said:

Woolley, so that there is no confusion here - I am not in anyway against that sort of scheme (whether here on the Island or elsewhere). I would fully support it. Where I have a problem is with the running of it as a 'service' which costs about £2m per year if we accept the Government numbers.

I automatically think of the alternatives (sorry, cannot help myself).

£2M per year loss over a decade is £20M.

A brand new, top of the range CT or MRI scanner costs just under £1M and has a lifetime of about 10 years with a minimal resale value. 

Personally, I would put all the trams and trains in the terminus as static displays, build a heritage centre on the adjacent Summerland site, Fire up a few demonstration models once a day at 2pm, and run fully packed out trips several weekends a year for the enthusiasts. Small core staff plus volunteers plus charitable status fundraisers.

I would spend the rest of the money on hospital equipment. I have no issues with those who disagree, it's just a debate.

I respect anyone's right to an opinion, Manximus. Mine is that what we spend on our heritage attractions is very small beer in the context of a billion pound plus annual budget. We waste far, far more on layer upon layer of pointless bureaucracy and could quite easily pay out a million pounds on the lump sum for a couple of top of the range retiring civil servants before even thinking about their handsome pensions.

The costs of a few weekends operation a year would still require the maintenance of the railways in good order to passenger carrying regs so the costs would be even more skewed. The permanent way if not kept up to scratch is anything but permanent.

I get the appeal of hospital equipment of course. Who wouldn't? We are quite well catered for here and in many respects our health service is first class. It is a truth though that no matter how much money we had we could spend it on the health service, and still not cover everything we would like. I don't agree that we should do that to the exclusion of all else that contributes to our well being. If we were spending 10% or even 5% of our budget on heritage I might come around to agreeing with you, but we are talking a fraction of 1% while wasting far more on inefficiency and serial cock ups.

It is an inescapable fact that living on a remote island in the middle of the sea with a modest population and a small general hospital  renders us more likely to die or suffer severe consequences from an acute health episode than we would if the same episode occurred in a UK city close to centres of excellence. You make a judgment on advantages and compromises when you settle in such a place and this is one of them.

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1 hour ago, TheTeapot said:

Because it would cost hundreds of millions of pounds.

It would certainly not be cheap but I doubt it would be “hundreds of millions”

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