If they are it would be a real shame - I understand the economics due to replacement etc but at what stage does a heritage rail stop being a heritage rail? If concrete is used then the only thing heritage will be what’s running on the lines
Sorry for the late reply............
The problem is while they are "heritage" railways, they are being run in these modern times and for various reasons things need to be done differently.....
1: Wages now are comparitely quite high compared to the 1920's so man power is an great issue, so there are a lot of tools and improved techniques to make a "heritage" railways life a great deal easier. With out these it simply be far to expensive to run such a railway.
2:The Ocuppational healh and safety standards are far stiffer these days and the railway MUST be able to cover such expenses, this was no where near the problem in the 1920's as it is now.
3: Some of both expertise and materials used in the past are getting difficult to obtain, particularly enginneering talent for maintaining the old rolling stock. Also some materails are far more expensive or more difficult to obtain now than the were in the past, examples being the poles and long bolts used in trestle bridges (Note 1).
4: In a lot of cases either the standards have changed or the knowledge required has dissappeared in these cases modern techniques MUST be used. Also if older rolling stock needs to run on todays mainlines, its almost certain that they need to meet at least some of the modern standards.
Probably the best example of the problems facing a "heritage" railway administration is the "British "Tornado" project. The book "The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust Tornado : Owners' Workshop Manual" published by Haynes, tells this story in great detail, WELL worth reading, particularly for anyone interested in running any sort of heritage railway in this day and age.
Note 1: Each of the (I thiink) 13 trestles on the Cockatoo crk bridge on Puffing billy used 24 60cm long 19mm galvenised steel bolts, these were at the time nearly $40 dollars each, making the total cost for bolts alone to be nearly $13,000.