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Project Wareham

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by David R, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    But top and tail needs 2 available locos on the train, so the ability to run round would presumably make the operation cheaper and easier to resource.

    BUT, the present timetable doesn't seem to allow sufficient time at Wareham for anything other than a reasonably fit driver to change ends! (And reasonably fit passengers to get on and off ;)!)

    Steven
     
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  2. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Active Member

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    Not quite correct........because the foot crossing was soon to be closed (bridge had planning permission) there was no point in interlocking the signalling with the MSL's on the crossing......... then the design of the bridge had to be re done and a fresh planning application had to be made (as was rejected). That's why the crossing cannot be used because the shunt signals are not interlocked with the MSL's and the foot crossing still in situ..
     
  3. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Active Member

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    If oh it were so easy Steve if only....
    This was looked at and for want of a well known phrase it "was in the too difficult to do file" for numerous reasons and that just to change ends in the platform was miles easier and less hassle.
     
  4. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Active Member

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    What's to say that you couldn't top n tail with steam....... for example steam on the Wareham end and diesel Swanage end......
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    What's the plan when the Mogul is restored? As I recall, the Swanage Railway was awarded a grant from the DfT last year to enable one of the Moguls to run mainline to Wareham.

    Tom
     
  6. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 New Member

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    Colin Morgan' s comment
    On the websites of both Network Rail and South West Trains, Wareham Station is described as having step free access. This means they include the present foot crossing as part of the station access.

    There is nothing legally wrong in either NR or SWT stating that. Both the up and down platforms are step free access. However to get from one to the other you would have to go over the bypass bridge. May not be in the "spirit" of step free access but not incorrect. I believe there may LU step free access stations where you may not have easy access between platforms, or as in the case of Hillingdon for many months when one of the lifts was out of service, take the train to Uxbridge and return. Again may not be in the "spirit" of step free, but TFL never changed that it was a step free station.
     
  7. David R

    David R Active Member

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    Actually there is no footpath on the bypass bridge - if I recall correctly that was done to save some money on it's construction as it was cheaper to enter into an agreement with British Rail to retain a foot crossing. If only they'd known!

    David R
     
  8. David R

    David R Active Member

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    I think the present timetable needs a quick turnround to allow for the 1/2 hourly service on the mainline - that was part of the purpose of being able to get into the down sidings. The other reason (I beleive) was that it enabled better interchange with the Swanage train arriving at the up platform (for London bound connections), crossing over to the down sidings and then departing from the down platform (so enabling same paltform interchage for passengers arriving from the London direction).

    David R
     
  9. David R

    David R Active Member

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  10. David R

    David R Active Member

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    CH 19 and LC2 like this.
  11. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    This weekend saw the final Swanage-Wareham services of the year and I had managed to keep Saturday 2nd free of other commitments to fulfil a long-held ambition to travel all the way along the south coast from Polegate to Swanage by train. I have already travelled over the full length of the branch in the preservation era - behind 44932 on the Capital Christmas Explorer from Swanage to London and back in November 2010 and while this was a terrific day, it wasn't the same as turning up and catching a scheduled service.

    I have now made amends for an inexplicable omission when we had a family holiday in Swanage in 1970. I was only a child at the time but the branch was open, I was interested in trains and old enough for my parents to let me go on the train on my own. I cannot explain why I never did go for a ride along the line, but anyway, I corrected this omission 47 years later and had a thoroughly enjoyable day.

    On arrival at Wareham, there was a far longer queue outside the temporary Swanage Railway ticket office than in the main building for SWT tickets, even though it was the Bournemouth air show. D6515 (33012) and 37518 were the motive power with the Crompton at the Swanage end. I caught the 11.15 train and it was well loaded. The refurbished TC set has been done up to a high standard and was clean and comfortable to travel in.

    Normal Swanage-Norden services were due to be hauled by 30053 and 31806 but the U was a little unwell so 33111 worked part of its diagram before 31806 took over on the 4PM from Swanage. The weather was very pleasant - largely sunny but not especially hot. I was pleased to have a chance of both a run behind 30053 and to take a couple of (hopefully) good pictures of it, as it is due for withdrawal at the end of October.

    It was good to meet Steve1015 during the course of my visit. Thanks for the welcome, Steve!

    All too soon it was time to go home. A couple of good noisy bursts from 37518 particularly on the climb up to Furzebrook and as we accelerated away from Worgret Junction. I had forgotten what noisy beasts the class 37s are! I was on the last train to Wareham and again, it was well loaded.

    A great day all round and well done to all who have put so much into making the Wareham services happen. I hope that the extension to 90 days' operation next year will be equally successful.
     
  12. Henry the Green Engine

    Henry the Green Engine New Member

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    I take it the DMU's will be ready by next year, after being 2 years late and that the company tasked with doing the wheelsets, won't be troubled again.
     
  13. alastair

    alastair Active Member

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    I note that there is a very critical piece on the Wareham services by rail pundit Barry Doe in the latest Rail mag. In summary he says the trial "seems to do everything possible to deter demand". He goes on to particularly slate:

    * Trains don't run Monday and Friday thus eliminating "going for the weekend" business.

    * First departures too late and last departures too early making "daily" usage impossible.

    * Lack of through bookings from national network.

    * Abandonment of an apparent prior commitment to have differential fares for the diesel and steam services to segregate the market, thus leading to "extraordinarily high" fares,with child fares more than 50% of adult, and no acceptance of railcards or reductions for seniors.

    He concludes by saying " In short, the tremendous effort and expense required to reconnect the branch and operate the trains has not been matched on the marketing or ticketing side. I sincerely hope there will be a rethink".

    I am not saying I agree with all, or indeed any of these criticisms, I am just an interested enthusiast and observer. I made my own highly enjoyable trip over the extension a couple of weeks ago (bringing back happy memories of a previous one in 1966!). It did, however, somewhat surprise me to read such a trenchant piece in a quite widely read national mag., and I wondered what others much better informed than me made of it? Do people think any of Doe's points are valid?
     
  14. stephenvane

    stephenvane New Member

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    I think Mr Doe needs to remember this was a trial service. Not everything will be perfect straight away and compromises had to be made. I'm sure the Swanage railway will take on board all feedback in deciding how to develop the service going forward.

    Through ticketing is something being looked at for next year I believe.

    However I do agree with his point about first departures being too late and last departures being too early. I travelled on the service this year to experience it and support the Swanage railway. However for any future day trips to the Swanage area, it's not a viable option for me if I can only stay for four hours. I'd still have to come by car. Hopefully this is something that will be looked at for next years services.
     
  15. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b New Member

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    Just guessing, but when you are employing people to run your services, then you ensure that it is for an 8 hour day. If Swanrail become a toc with volunteer and paid staff then the hours can be extended.

    I hope that the figures stack up though.

    Me, like countless others, have put a lot of our time into the branch and want to see it succeed.
     
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  16. twr12

    twr12 Active Member

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    Mr Doe is entitled to his opinions. I'm sure all of his points will be answered by Swanage Railway in due course. He may or may not be satisfied of course.
     
  17. Henry the Green Engine

    Henry the Green Engine New Member

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    Valid points. The fact that it is a trial is suspect for a start. Either introduce the service or don't. No winter services planned so far. The lack of early and late trains and no winter service precludes local use for long distance day trips by train. The service is slower and more expensive than the bus service, presumably deliberately so, as the bus goes via Langton Matravers and Kingston, whereas the train is direct. I don't believe they want an all year round service, although I want to be proved wrong and, look forward to the evidence to the contrary.
     
  18. Hirn

    Hirn New Member

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    Given the thread we have on the on the Wensleydale railway and its extensions I would not blame them for being cautious and limiting a trial.
    If you are paying people you indeed move into a different level of cost and with the carriages and two locomotives the trains used must have been more expensive than the intended DMUs.
    The point about the times not really enabling long enough at Swanage is a fair one: Christchurch, Bournemouth, Poole there must be people
    who would come to Swanage and like the option of tea as well as lunch.
     
  19. Dan Bennett

    Dan Bennett Member

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    Through ticketing is not permitted for charter trains, which of course the Wareham services were run as this year
     
  20. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 New Member

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    I have no connection with the Swanage Railway other than living in Swanage for the past 3 years and purchasing a Purbeck Residents card each year, however my comments on the remarks made by Mr Doe are detailed below. I am sure someone from the Swanage Railway will give the official viewpoint.


    Trains don't run Monday and Friday thus eliminating "going for the weekend" business.


    Very true, Friday now seems to be changeover day in the holiday let market in Purbeck, but not sure if many of those who would be renting a property for a week would come by rail as this does not really give you the facility to bring your own food, bedding etc.

    From my daily visits to the Post Office (which of course always includes going via the station area) seem to show these are the two quietest days of the week. This I guess is borne out by the fact that in the shoulder season trains do not run those days.


    First departures too late and last departures too early making "daily" usage impossible.


    I am not sure if the implication is that this service should be offered as a commuter option. If so then what is being said is that there is a market of commuters in Swanage, Harmans Cross and Corfe Castle who want this service. One problem with that I would suggest is frequency and reliability (including those of the SWR connecting services). Likely commuter destinations would be Poole or Bournemouth, however most of the work locations are unlikely to be close to either of those stations based on their in town locations. Connecting with the 07:27 from Wareham for example gets you to Bournemouth at 07:54; you may then need to get a bus to the office. To achieve that the train would have to leave Swanage around 06:30, unless you have more than one set of stock that would be it in the morning peak and the same problem would exist in the evening. If you get delayed in the evening (I never knew when I would be able to get away when I still worked) and miss the Swanage train you have an hourly bus, or in the case of Harmans Cross no public transport at all, as one option or an expensive taxi fare.

    There is little street parking in these areas, Swanage is £8 per day in the car park, Harmans Cross £1 and Norden P&R £3.50, (but that would need longer operating hours). This seriously adds to your commuting costs, so your market becomes only those close enough to walk to the stations.


    I regularly see the 07:45 bus to Bournemouth leaving Swanage (which is the second of the day) and it is usually virtually empty. I also quite often use the 07:27 train from Wareham and whilst there are commuters for stations to Bournemouth numbers seem very low.

    I do not believe a commuter market really exists.

    If by daily usage he means day trips then a connection with the 11:15 means you have to get the 08:35 from Waterloo which is 09:00 from Woking. That is of course before the new franchise removes one of the direct Weymouth services (according to their ORR route application) and makes passengers change at least once to get to Wareham, further increasing journey times. Likewise the 16:26 return from Swanage does not get you back to London until 19:52. This is a very lengthy day if you are a family with children, let alone to cost, which even off peak (before any railcard discount) is currently £57.80 from London or £32.20 from Basingstoke to Wareham.


    Lack of through bookings from national network.


    It was a trial service; I would not expect it in the first year.


    Abandonment of an apparent prior commitment to have differential fares for the diesel and steam services to segregate the market, thus leading to "extraordinarily high" fares, with child fares more than 50% of adult, and no acceptance of railcards or reductions for seniors.


    As said above it was a trial service. Currently there are no mainline approved locos at Swanage so the steam fares comment is not relevant as no steam service was offered this year. Does he have some insight into next years fares or service offering? I doubt it!



    Swanage like many railways does not offer a senior discount on its regular fares, what should the Wareham service be different? The railcard site says National Rail on it, I am not aware that the Swanage Railway is part of that organisation!

    There is also the issue that has been discussed at some length over the inability to have trains traverse the foot crossing at Wareham and thus offer both the same platform interchange hoped for and the ability to use the siding that NR refurbished.
     
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