Now Out in the Shires has written a post of his own debating the issues that Joseph raised:
What I don't think is up for debate is the "small is beautiful" element of the movement, in as much as the preserved railways are often most successful when they can present as the underdog. An interesting observation of the preserved railway scene is that the more successful a particular railway gets, the more divergence there is between the aims of the company and that of its volunteer workforce.
You can see this with the way people leave the premier lines after decades as a volunteer, because it no longer feels like they're all in it together. There's now a "commercial manager" where once there was the vicar's wife, and money is spent on websites and e-commerce, when they spent half of 1984 restoring an Edmondson ticket press....This gives me a chance to say what a good blog Out in the Shires is.
How could I fail to like someone who finds it natural to frame his argument in references to The Titfield Thunderbolt and A Canterbury Tale?