AHC: Make US/Irish rail preservation rival Britain

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Old1812, Dec 6, 2018 at 12:11 AM.

  1. Old1812 Reactionary Monarchist Twit

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    Those with an interest in railway preservation likely know that Britain has perhaps the largest number of preserved lines and locomotives in proportion to the size of its overall network. How could the US and Ireland, both nations with a large number of railways, have a preservation network to match Britain's?

    My first thought in the case of the US would be a railfan president being elected in 1948 or 1952 (Eisenhower becomes a railfan in his youth, decides to run in '48?). Our railfan pres is somehow able to push legislation through requiring all Class I railroads to preserve about 5% of their steam fleet. Costs for their upkeep would be split between the government (perhaps a National Railroad Museum with branches in various states) and the railroads.
     
  2. CommanderVonBruning In command of the torpedo gunboat 'Blitz'

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    Remember that lots of preserved railways in Britain had been shut down and bulldozed for a good many years before private agents showed up to painstakingly rebuild them section by section. The British Government was hardly kind to the railways in the 50s, 60s and 70s with the Beeching Axe being particularly harsh. So involvement from the US government is not a direct channel for the story of Britain's preserved railways.
     
  3. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom Kicked

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    delay industrial revolution 150 years, long enough for the US to have enough of a history to have ppl interested in preserving rail once they come about. Also a dense enough population to need dense rail.
     
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  4. Mike D Well-Known Member

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    Ireland's got quite a few preserved railways and railway museums - The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum between Hollywood and Bangor (well worth a visit for both sites) has loads of trains and trams and the Whitehead Railway Museum (not been) has quite a few too while there's the Downpatrick, Foyle Valley (just outside Derry/Londonderry) and Giant's Causeway/Bushmills preserved lines. In the south there's a few too - two railway museums (Irish Traction Group in Co. Tipperary and Irish Steam Preservation Society in Co. Lois) and a few preserved lines - Cavan and Leitrim, Flintown, Listowel and Ballybunnion, Waterford and Suir Valley and West Clare with plans for two more in Donegal and Sligo.
     
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  5. Old1812 Reactionary Monarchist Twit

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    You're very right, however it's probably worth mentioning that there were no analogues to Barry scrapyard in the US. Most of the railroads cut them up themselves in short order.
     
  6. Lord Wyclif Well-Known Member

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    Always thought it strange, that when 600,000 (40% of the population of NI)people lived in Belfast, there were rail lines all over the place, but now with Belfast popualation halved, (now 12.5% of the population) there’s only the Bangor line, Derry/Portrush line, Larne line and the Portadown/Dublin line.
     
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  7. Old1812 Reactionary Monarchist Twit

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    One idea a friend and I had was an "Irish National Collection" being established, with the Limerick to Foynes branch being to used for them. It would need to be established by about 1962, as Irish steam was gone by about 1964 or so.
     
  8. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom Kicked

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    the irish one is ridic easy tho -- have the british try supressing rail development in ireland, the postindependence response would be to encourage it+preserve it
     
  9. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

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    Mind you, I like the idea of a US/Irish rail line.... ;) :p
     
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