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The Border Raider with 60163 - 16/09/17

Discussion in 'What's Going on' started by LMarsh1987, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. pjhliners

    pjhliners Member

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    As a passenger on the Border Raider, I received the following email from UK Railtours on Wednesday 6th:

    Dear Customer,

    This is just a quick note to apologise for the fact that your tickets have yet to be posted.

    This is due to a serious backlog of work at the Network Rail timings office at Milton Keynes, which is affecting all main line steam tours.

    As soon as we receive the timings we will forward them to you in a further email.

    Tickets will then follow by first class post.

    Apologies once again. We are doing everything we can to speed things along.

    Thanks for your patience in this matter.

    Regards,

    John​

    Further information still awaited

    Peter, on a grey and showery Monday morning in Manchester
    pjhtransportpix.zenfolio.com
     
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  2. Groks212

    Groks212 Member

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    Thanks for that Peter. Thought the late timing problem had been sorted after the move to MK.:rolleyes:
     
  3. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Active Member Friend

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    Hopeless trying to plan trips this year. They don't seem to appreciate that charters are not just 'local trains' but attract people from all over the UK. It's pathetic not having timings until the week of the tour, sometimes not until Wednesday. It's about time NR Management got a grip on things. They did promise to sort it earlier this year but it's gotten worse.
     
  4. Groks212

    Groks212 Member

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    Doesn't make it easy for sorting travel arrangements to and from tours, or in deciding if overnight accomodation may be required for those travelling from a distance, especially if they don't drive.

    I wonder how they prioritise working out timings, in order of tour dates or from when the requests are received? Is it easier to work out timings for diesel hauled charters than steam bearing in mind no water stops are required?

    As I said before I'm on a diesel hauled tour 5 days after this and I got my tickets and timings almost a week ago.

    Dave B
     
  5. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    Slotting in a steam path is, I believe, more complex than any of the many and various other charters that Milton Keynes has to deal with. There is, of course, the additional matter of gauging even for what is supposedly a gauge friendly loco like Tornado. The chances are that the timings suggested to NR for such a long day may have been extended even further by NR and DBC may still be in negotiation with them over this.

    All the above is conjecture but I think we know that planning steam is not straightforward on the ML so we just have to wait. I agree though that when you are looking to sort out accommodation and/or advance tickets to get to the train, this lateness is a (financial) pain.
     
  6. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Well-Known Member

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    Dear Customer,

    Further to my earlier email, I am sorry to have to tell you that Network Rail has still not provided finalised timings for this train, which runs just five days from now.

    It is completely intolerable that a state-owned monopoly supplier should treat its customers in such an appalling manner.

    To ensure tickets reach you in time, these will be posted to you by first class post today (Monday) along with seat reservation details but without timings. Finalised timings will then be emailed to you when known.

    We acknowledge that this is not a satisfactory situation and we thank you for your patience.

    Regards,

    John

    UK Railtours
     
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  7. Groks212

    Groks212 Member

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    I thought that might be the case and I had forgotten about the gauging side. This delay in issuing timings though is also a pain for the tour operators, as non enthusiasts who may not understand what running charters on NR entails , may look upon it as a bad

    reflection on them which may discourage them from booking in the future. Also if the finalised timings don't suit some of the passengers there might be late cancellations that the tour operator has to try and fill.

    Dave B
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  8. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Active Member Friend

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    I agree Al. It's probably the TBP to Crewe section that's the issue. There are well 'trodden' paths from Crewe to Carlisle via Shap and back via the S&C to get back to Crewe by 2030. This suggests we are not mistaken in our view that Steam Charters have absolutely no priority with NR's Timers whatsoever. They've had over 7 months notice on this one.
     
  9. bleeder4

    bleeder4 New Member

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    A bit of a debacle really, and clearly the chap in their office is as frustrated by the whole situation as we are. Given the circumstances, I think sending out the tickets today without timings was probably the right decision to make. I think the number of steam charters I've been on where timings were out well in advance (over a week) can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
     
  10. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    To be fair. On many RTC trips, I have had tickets and timings around Tues/Wed for a Sat trip. So I'm expecting RTT to have something up either tonight or Tues night and UKRT confirm basic times by Wed.

    It'll make printing of the brochure and timings a bit tight though.
     
  11. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    I note that the ECML is shut north of Newcastle on Saturday, sending Edinburgh services via Carlisle which might be causing platform occupation issues.

    As another poster has commented, there are likely to be pathing challenges in the West Midlands - unless the plan is to loop back through TBP after leaving New Street.

    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
     
  12. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Active Member Friend

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    Just looked at the Ravenglass train and it has taken the path DB would have probably expected for the Raider:
    Stafford 0858
    Crewe 0920
    Carnforth 1048
    No wonder the timings aren't out. Might be a much earlier start.
     
  13. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    What's wrong with water at Barton and non stop to Carlisle? WC charter turns left at Carnforth so a gap may still be possible.
     
  14. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Good job I have a hotel booked fairly nearby... I think on this occasion, it goes to show that no matter how far in advance NR requests details, it means nothing if they don't act upon it in good time.
     
  15. bleeder4

    bleeder4 New Member

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    Myself and a couple of others from Worcester were hoping to go to/from Birmingham on service trains, but the closer it gets to the date the more uncertain I am about making the connection. As I'm the only one of us who can drive, I think I might just drive us all to/from Tame Bridge Parkway instead just to be on the safe side. Hopefully the roadworks on the M5 will be kind to us that morning!
     
  16. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Had an email with seat details as I'm away from my flat. Apparently timings are nearly ready, and that attention should be paid to the website.
     
  17. bleeder4

    bleeder4 New Member

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    According to the letter that came with the ticket there is only one person in the whole of NR who does steam timings, so perhaps that sheds some light on things! I'm in coach J.
     
  18. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    I would be optimistic that this is all just Network Rail being slow rather than anything to worry about. This is, after all, DBC, who tend not to get messed around too much and NR does rely on them for other work.

    Can't see why the normal Shap path won't work - i.e. with a Carlisle arrival between the TPE at 1204 and the Glasgow Pendo at 1245. It's then just a matter of working it all backwards to Crewe and Birmingham although a little birdie whispers that it might be nearer 0700 away from Tame Bridge than 0730. But we all probably guessed that anyway.
     
  19. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    I must admit that I am getting a little nervous. My personal prediction is that - assuming we get underway at all - we will be off TBP an hour early but that the path over Shap will be as Big Al suggests. I suspect heading 'home' will be somewhat easier.

    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
     
  20. iancawthorne

    iancawthorne Active Member

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    I wonder if as mentioned earlier, the platforms access in Carlisle around the noon arrival time into Carlisle is a factor? A unlikely outcome, but an outside chance of going straight to Appleby via the avoiding curve (which takes time to get approval for use) in Carlisle?
     

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