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22 hours ago, AlanShimmin said:

It's a toy train set and only runs as often as it does because of the huge amounts of cash that are thrown at it. It's one giant job creation scheme.

As I have argued elsewhere the Electric and Steam Railway are part of the Isle of Man's heritage and are pretty unique and will contribute to the limited tourist attraction that the Isle of Man now has.  

(Unique in the sense that the MER still operates over the entirety of it's original network with original rolling stock.  The Steam Railway is similar but obviously doesn't have the entire network preserved)

22 hours ago, ellanvannin2010 said:

Under David Howard they were part of the public transport system with fully interchangeable tickets, regular traditional style timetables.

Under Ian Longworth they are heritage railways with much higher fares, non interchangeable tickets,  colour coded timetables that vary daily and dining trains, world at war and other theme park style events. All copied from various heritage railways.

I did say that they had been promoted as public transport not that they still are.  

They had been doing events for many years.  I remember the steam railway putting faces on the engines just like Thomas the Tank Engine and running Santa specials for years.  

22 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

Well only in so far as most heritage railways are run by amateurs, while ours are run by highly paid 'professionals'.  And yet...

I think you will find that most of the people who operate the railways are professionals.  The issue is the management who mostly sit behind desks but decide they want to have a go at being a motorman occasionally. 

22 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

It's worth saying that this refusal to accept any outside monitoring or assessment isn't just limited to the Railways or the DoI - you get it in Health, Social Services, Education and so on.  The first rule of the Manx civil service is that only you can mark your own homework.  Again this is a fairly recent thing.

This has Politics written all over it.  If the Isle of Man Government invited the UK's Health & Safety Executive, Rail Accident Board, or any of the numerous other regulatory bodies to investigate then the issue of "home rule" or sovereignty would no doubt arise.  Would the Manx Government or indeed the Manx population want to become another county of England?

I assume you have seen the current mess of a Government that is in Westminster?

 

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3 minutes ago, manxman1980 said:

I think you will find that most of the people who operate the railways are professionals.  The issue is the management who mostly sit behind desks but decide they want to have a go at being a motorman occasionally. 

[...] This has Politics written all over it.  If the Isle of Man Government invited the UK's Health & Safety Executive, Rail Accident Board, or any of the numerous other regulatory bodies to investigate then the issue of "home rule" or sovereignty would no doubt arise.  Would the Manx Government or indeed the Manx population want to become another county of England?

I assume you have seen the current mess of a Government that is in Westminster?

To answer your first point that's why I said 'run' rather than 'operate'.  While heritage railways in the UK often do employ paid drivers and so on (though not always) the management and governance (as well as a lot of supplementary tasks) is mainly run by amateurs in their own time.  It's different here but the results don't seem to be worth the money.

The Isle of Man does not have sovereignty and never has had (even in Viking times we were nominally under the Norwegians).  But even if we did there should be no shame in having specialist supervisory services handled by an outside body.  After all that is exactly what is done with air accidents - why not railways?

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31 minutes ago, manxman1980 said:

Unique in the sense that the MER still operates over the entirety of it's original network with original rolling stock.  The Steam Railway is similar but obviously doesn't have the entire network preserved

Like Theseus' ship (or Triggers broom for those who didn't do classics at school) is it original stock?

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9 minutes ago, kevster said:

Like Theseus' ship (or Triggers broom for those who didn't do classics at school) is it original stock?

There are considerable bits of the stock that are original, lots of the bodywork, interior and trucks are, other stuff is obviously replaced over the years.

Up until fairly recently some rarely used stock still had chilled iron wheels which had 1898 manufacturing date stamped on them

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47 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

To answer your first point that's why I said 'run' rather than 'operate'.  While heritage railways in the UK often do employ paid drivers and so on (though not always) the management and governance (as well as a lot of supplementary tasks) is mainly run by amateurs in their own time.  It's different here but the results don't seem to be worth the money.

I think the larger heritage railways in the UK, such as the West Somerset Railway, the North York Moors Railway and the East Lancashire Railway all have paid staff in most departments.  They spend the "off-season" fund raising, planning events as well as all the maintenance and refitting of stock.

47 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

The Isle of Man does not have sovereignty and never has had (even in Viking times we were nominally under the Norwegians).  But even if we did there should be no shame in having specialist supervisory services handled by an outside body.  After all that is exactly what is done with air accidents - why not railways?

We are living in a world where being run by a "foreign power" is seen as less desirable - see Brexit and the rise of Scottish and Welsh Nationalism as examples.  The Manx Government are unlikely to want to give any further powers to the clowns in Westminster. 

30 minutes ago, kevster said:

Like Theseus' ship (or Triggers broom for those who didn't do classics at school) is it original stock?

The same argument applies to every piece of preserved transport.  Unless you stick them all in a museum and only dust them occasionally then they will need repairs and maintenance.  If you wanted an example that sticks to the theme you just need to mention the Flying Scotsman.  

The way that I look at it is that all locomotives were built with maintenance and repair in mind.  In their "normal" operational lifetime they would have boilers replaced, worn parts replaced or upgraded.  During a humans lifetime we replace a lot of our individual cells.  Your cells are different from those that you were born with.  Would you consider yourself to be be like Theseus' ship?

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4 minutes ago, manxman1980 said:

Your cells are different from those that you were born with.  Would you consider yourself to be be like Theseus' ship?

I never claim to be the original  me

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the heritage railway is exactly that and should be run as such, that is through paying customers, donations and volunteer time. Not a single penny of taxpayer money should go into it as 'public transport' because it simple isn't.

if it doesn't make enough through tourism to keep it going, put the stock in a museum and turn it into a cycle lane (which i would happily pay a fee to use).

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1 hour ago, manxman1980 said:

This has Politics written all over it.  If the Isle of Man Government invited the UK's Health & Safety Executive, Rail Accident Board, or any of the numerous other regulatory bodies to investigate then the issue of "home rule" or sovereignty would no doubt arise.  Would the Manx Government or indeed the Manx population want to become another county of England?

I assume you have seen the current mess of a Government that is in Westminster?

 

I don't think anyone is advocating that Mann would or should be a county of England, it's more a case of an `independent' body that has experience in inspecting and making recommendations over safety of public and heritage transport systems. I'm sure any of the home nations will be equally as good as an 'English' or 'Westminster' inspectorate.

If there's politics involved then it seems as if it's very much within the executive. Mitigating risk can only be a good thing, shirley?

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15 minutes ago, The Chief said:

if it doesn't make enough through tourism to keep it going, put the stock in a museum and turn it into a cycle lane (which i would happily pay a fee to use).

I presume you will pay a fee to use the upgraded cycle path along the Douglas to Peel line then?  Certainly at least a toll on the new bridges?

I think you are full of BS.  

You must also realise that the value in the Island's historic railways is the fact that they are still operational.  Once you stick them in a museum they become less interesting and will attract even fewer people.  Now you also have a large museum building to maintain as well...

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31 minutes ago, manxman1980 said:

We are living in a world where being run by a "foreign power" is seen as less desirable - see Brexit and the rise of Scottish and Welsh Nationalism as examples.  The Manx Government are unlikely to want to give any further powers to the clowns in Westminster. 

The clowns in Westminster already have as much power as they want over us and no one seems to be proposing any change to that.  What you're objecting to is competent and experienced accident investigators from Derby or Farnborough working on dangerous events that happen here and making investigations to stop things happening again.

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1 hour ago, Roger Mexico said:

The clowns in Westminster already have as much power as they want over us and no one seems to be proposing any change to that.  What you're objecting to is competent and experienced accident investigators from Derby or Farnborough working on dangerous events that happen here and making investigations to stop things happening again.

Those highly experienced investigators are experienced in UK law not Manx law.  Whilst we may mirror the UK in many ways there are small but important differences.

They would also not come free and there would be plenty of complaining about importing more people from the UK to do jobs that someone already on the Isle of Man could do.

What we need is for accident investigations to be made available publicly.  Even then people won't be satisfied because they won't publish the juicy gossip about who was involved, who got disciplined or fired because that would breach Data Protection rules.

Don't misunderstand me.  I have been involved in accident investigations and they need to be done thoroughly and professionally.  They also shouldn't be rushed.  I know of one HSE investigation that has taken three years and its still ongoing.  Don't think for one minute that having an outside body investigate would mean its done any quicker.

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The UK Marine Accident Investiigation Branch published a report today into a tanker explosion on a Cayman Is. Registered ship.  The report included the following:-

The investigation was carried out on behalf of the Cayman Islands and is the first investigation report we have published as part of our Memorandum of Understanding with the Red Ensign Group Catergory 1 registries of Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man.”

Presumably, the same could be easily done for rail accidents with the UK RAIB?

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1 hour ago, Jetfour said:

The UK Marine Accident Investiigation Branch published a report today into a tanker explosion on a Cayman Is. Registered ship.  The report included the following:-

The investigation was carried out on behalf of the Cayman Islands and is the first investigation report we have published as part of our Memorandum of Understanding with the Red Ensign Group Catergory 1 registries of Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man.”

Presumably, the same could be easily done for rail accidents with the UK RAIB?

Yes. Just takes political will to overcome civil service resistance

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18 hours ago, manxman1980 said:

Those highly experienced investigators are experienced in UK law not Manx law.  Whilst we may mirror the UK in many ways there are small but important differences.

But they're accident investigators not prosecutors.  Their job is to find out what happened.  Others then may use that information to prosecute wilful wrongdoing or negligence, but they only make recommendation for changes to working procedures.

To quote from their most recent (interim) Report:

2 The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is responsible for conducting independent investigations into railway accidents in the UK. The purpose of its investigations is to improve safety, by establishing the causes of accidents and making recommendations, to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences in the future or to mitigate their consequences.

3 RAIB is not a prosecuting body; its investigations are focused solely on safety improvement and do not apportion blame or liability. The police and the Office of Rail and Road deal with any contraventions of the law. None of their statutory duties are changed by the RAIB investigation.

There's also another important point:

7 If found necessary, during its investigation RAIB may also issue urgent safety advice and make recommendations to such persons as are appropriate in the circumstances.

They don't wait till even interim reports are published - they do this straight away.  And they act quickly - this one was only eight months after the accident which was a serious one involving fatalities, but safety digests may be issued within a couple of months as for this (injury-free) derailment.

18 hours ago, manxman1980 said:

They would also not come free and there would be plenty of complaining about importing more people from the UK to do jobs that someone already on the Isle of Man could do.

Except there isn't anyone who can - they simply won't have the experience and there certainly isn't an organisation which has the breadth of knowledge.  And if there was, there wouldn't be the perceived independence that such a organisation needs and that RAIB has. 

18 hours ago, manxman1980 said:

What we need is for accident investigations to be made available publicly.  Even then people won't be satisfied because they won't publish the juicy gossip about who was involved, who got disciplined or fired because that would breach Data Protection rules.

Actually it wouldn't.  Privacy might apply to third parties involved, such as passengers, but not to those who were employed or responsible.  The 'rule' that Manx civil servants should never be held responsible for anything and the information never made public is an entirely self-invented one and has nothing to do with data protection, privacy or any other human rights issues.  This applies to other things as well (such as publication of top salaries) which are said to be impossible here, but done as a matter of course in the UK.

But in any case RAIB don't usually publish names in their reports.  Again that's a decision for other people.

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If my memory serves me (and I stand to be corrected), in the instance of the passenger-carrying runaway Snaefell tram, the first release was a denial that any such incident had occurred?

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