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Project Wareham

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

  1. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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    I'd imagine he's referring to steam services between Swanage and Norden - naturally the railway don't want it to undercut fares for the steam service and confuse passengers.
     
  2. stephenvane

    stephenvane New Member

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    Yes that's exactly what he means. The Swanage railway are worried that if the Wareham services are cheaper, then it will take custom from the exisiting steam service passengers travelling from Norden/Corfe Castle service to Swanage. However if the Wareham services are to become a normal public service, then fares need to be competitive with the buses. It's a difficult balance to strike.

    I think most current passengers come to the Swanage railway wanting to ride on a steam train though,not to simply get from Norden to Swanage. So I'm not convinced it would be a big issue having cheaper fares for Wareham services

    There are other steps the Swanage railway could take to alleviate the perceived problem. Not stopping Wareham services at Norden for example. Or painting the DMUs in a modern looking ' Purbeck Line' livery.This would further differentiate them from the steam service by giving them less of a heritage look. The public might perceive then them as boring modern trains, so they'd rather pay more for the steam trains.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Depends what you mean by a normal public service but I'm not sure that this holds true. NYMR fares from Pickering - Whitby are considerably higher than the bus services from (say) Leeds or York to Whitby but that doesn't deter people. A majority of people consider that the railway part of the journey is part of the day out by the seaside and are willing to pay significantly more for it than they would have to if using public transport all the way. As to whether the trains are well patronised or not, it is usually down to the weather. A fine sunny day in October or February will draw the visitors despite the higher cost of rail travel.
     
  4. stephenvane

    stephenvane New Member

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    The NYMR trains from Pickering to Whitby are tourist trains, that happen to run over part of network rail. However the Swanage railway's aspiration has always been to reopen the Swanage to Wareham line with a daily public service for shoppers, commuters etc.
     
  5. Rumpole

    Rumpole Well-Known Member

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    Playing devil's advocate, any level of SR fare to Wareham will be more expensive than the bus for most local residents, as a sizeable proportion of local residents are of the age to benefit from bus passes.
     
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  6. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

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    If the Swanage trains are still running to Wareham in five years, a pound to a penny the passengers will almost exclusively be riding for pleasure and no other reason.

    Sawdust.
     
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  7. WishIHadAName

    WishIHadAName New Member

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    I can see the only way for it to be a success is if its steam. Commuters will never use it and most people dont want to ride on a boring DMU.
     
  8. alastair

    alastair Active Member

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    Well if they are not running in 5 years time, surely that would be a major embarrassment not only to the SR, but the heritage railway sector as a whole, given the substantial amounts of public money that were put up specifically to reconnect the line to the national network, and to refurbish the dmu's to use on it?
     
  9. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Active Member

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    That is your personal opinion...but it is a know fact that whilst not as popular a steam trains, some of Joe public do enjoy riding on a DMU as they like to see the ups and downs and curves of the line.......
     
  10. twr12

    twr12 Active Member

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    Each to their own, I suppose!
     
  11. 007

    007 New Member

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    I think the DMU is great argument was lost long ago....
     
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  12. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    On normal operating days, the DMU should be fine, and the costs should be less than hiring in the 4tc and Two Locos from West Coast,
    on a limited number of days, once the U class is registered, and the running round problem sorted, and with a suitable mainline approoved rake, i would think it may be an option to run the wareham shuttle with one DMU and a steam set, of course, if you have the DMU running the bulk of the wareham shutles that does open up the option of trailing using the U class on Swanage to maybe Southampton if a 45mph path can be found if one way has to be tender first to assess the market for tourist trains from Southampton and Bournemouth how long would it take to travel between say Swanage and Southanpton/ Eastligh not every day, but as an special gala type operation ? assuming you have drivers who are signed for Wareham to Eastleigh ? could you say do a twice daily shuttle? Swanage eastleigh, where the engine can turn , or return tender first , back to Swanage an Afternoon return trip with the Wareham - Swanage section being in the path of one of the shuttles?
     
  13. WishIHadAName

    WishIHadAName New Member

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    If only we could park on three platforms a TC, Steam loco and coaches and a DMU and see which people would choose. I think Id have a safe bet on which would have the least people on it.
     
  14. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    My money would be on the TC - none of the steam character, but none of the advantages of the DMU.
     
  15. WishIHadAName

    WishIHadAName New Member

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    Should be able to compare the TC to DMU with next years passenger figures.
     
  16. twr12

    twr12 Active Member

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    My money is on the DMU being like Marmite. Some people love DMUs, some people hate DMUs.

    Me? I can't say I like / love DMUs. But I do love Marmite!
     
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  17. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    That's what they did on my homeward journey recently, apparently for reason of regulation.

    I was planning to catch the last train from Swanage to Wareham, but when I got back to the station the previous steam service to Norden had not yet left, so I got on that instead. I got out at Corfe Castle to wait for the Wareham service. After I had been there a few minutes, and the steam train was still standing at the up platform, passengers for Wareham were informed that the diesel service to Wareham would leave from the down platform. So we crossed over, the train arrived, we got on, and off it went to Wareham ahead of the steam train. It then ran non-stop through Norden.

    I surmise and hope that anyone who was intending to stay on the steam train through to Norden and change there to the Wareham service would have been warned at Corfe Castle to get off and cross to the other platform.
     
  18. buzby2

    buzby2 Active Member

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    For clarification ...
    The first meeting of the Swanage Railway Project supporters in 1972 was held at The Mowlem theatre in Swanage and I attended it.
    Regarding the mainline - all that was agreed was to re-instate the connection to it. That is still one of the Aims and Objects of the Swanage Railway Trust I seem to recall.
    No commitment was made to run heritage trains to Wareham as we couldn't. Don't forget, British Rail ran main line services and did not allow heritage railways to operate over BR tracks.
    In 1972, one of the main passenger flows we thought was likely to be senior citizens but there was never a thought that a Concessionary Travel Scheme would be introduced - especially when it was extended to allow free bus travel throughout England from 1 April 2008.
    Running a commuter service has never been discussed by Swanage Railway's management in all seriousness so far as I'm aware - but I'm willing to be proved wrong. As has been mentioned elsewhere - there is no proven viable commuter 'market' in the area to exploit.
    Heritage Railway fares are unlikely to match, let alone beat, bus companies in view of much higher overheads/lack of subsidies/etc.
    Journey times - Swanage has a 25 mph maximum speed whereas buses are able to reach up to 50mph on several sections of road between Swanage and Wareham. Despite this discrepancy, railway times between Swanage and Wareham stations averaged around 44 minutes whereas Morebus Route 40 takes 36 minutes so not too bad in my opinion.
    The [railway] World has changed dramatically since 1972 so it was perfectly sensible, in my view, to run what some people might regard as a less then perfect trial timetable to ascertain likely demand.
    With the lessons learned in 2017 it will be interesting to see what is planned for 2018.
     
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  19. biggles200

    biggles200 New Member

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    I think most people writing on this subject have ignored the situation on the roads of Purbeck. There are only 2 ways into Swanage by road via Sandford and Corfe or by the ferry both big bottlenecks in peak season and the ferry is not cheap. Swanage is connected by rail via Wareham to Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Southampton ( and stations beyond) All these are stations connected to large populations. For a day Swanage is attractive but will be more attractive without the traffic queues by tavelling by rail. During the trial period, I spoke to many people who had come from those places and were not even bothered what type of train they were on. They were happy to know what time they would arrive and what time to leave Swanage to get home. They were happy to avoid those traffic queues and even cost was secondary provided they had a good day on the beach. I believe the trials were very much a sucess and I understand that they have shown that with a few points to change and improve on, the future looks very rosy for the service. I think the main problem is fitting in with both mainline and steam services needs careful planing should either be late. The fact that you can travel between Wareham and Swanage either by diesel all the way or changing on to steam has surprised many travellers to their joy. These my opinons and we have to await the official reports if they are ever made public.
     
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  20. biggles200

    biggles200 New Member

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    There are a large number of people using the car park at Norden that do not use the railway. You can hire bikes to go riding in Rempstone Forest, Many people park to go for a walk. The car park is used as an overflow car park for Corfe when all other car parks are full with people walking to Corfe. It would not be fair for Railway passengers to pay for the upkeep of the Car Park while others used it for free. The council who owns the car park wish to make it a "Welcome Hub" (one of several in Dorset) and are carrying out a survey of users http://www.dorsetcoasthaveyoursay.co.uk/norden-welcome-hub. I think you will see from this the Railway has little control over the car park even though it was only built for the railway to reach Corfe.
     

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