Discussion in 'What's Going on' started by Paul42, Jan 14, 2017.
Nice too see the duchess advertised for a couple of tours.
A couple of other good-to-see features too across the newly advertised tours. Very pleased (and relieved) to see that VT are holding what were already very decent ticket prices at their 2016 levels. Standard class fares for these trips, ranging from £59 to £84 definitely help to make the "railtour dollar" go further based on this year's budget, and as such must surely represent the best value for steam rail-tours, in terms of mileage, haulage, and general enthusiast appeal, that we have seen for some time.
But also noteworthy and praiseworthy is the designation of what are described as "Photographic Stops" at intermediate points on many of the tours, including Banbury (Didcot trip), Gloucester (Cardiff trip), Didcot (Salisbury trip), Chirk (Llandudno and Chester trips) and Pontefract Baghill (Scarborough trip). Yes, I appreciate that in some cases these layovers may be there to serve other purposes, but in my view its a thoughtful touch that exemplifies VT's attention to detail, and offers a distant but distinctive echo of the sort of thing that used to be such a highlight of steam excursions in former times.
Couple of updates and apologies (already!)
The 18th Feb and 11th March that were rostered for 4965 are now to be 5043 in anticipation of gauging issues.
We have added a photo opportunity at Chepstow on the 25th March.
The station pickups have been corrected for the Llandudno / Ffestiniog trip on 27th May - we are diesel-hauled to Nuneaton, then reverse for steam on the WCML in both directions.
Regards, Ben - VT
Thank you for your level of professionalism Ben.
The only enthusiast TOC left ! May it long continue. I like the fact that they state diesel assistance on the Llandudno/Ffestiniog trip which lets people know in advance. RTC & SD take note.
Hey does anyone think a Christmas Shakespeare Express weekend would work? the Idea hit me in the head today!!
but VT isn't a TOC...
A winter SE is not beyond the realms of possibility, but asking the staff to volunteer their Christmas holidays....remember the loco and coaches have to be winterised afterwards.
Go for a couple of days of Santa Specials on the Sat/Sun preceding Christmas - i.e. Dec 16/17. You know that yule do it well!
So very droll sir! lol
If the Jacobite can do it why not Shakespeares, and I do believe you have a slightly more highly populated area locally.
It also has the SVR on its doorstep...
So rather than compete why not complement with a Christmas Diner connecting with the SVR at Kidderminster - or possibly running on the SVR with SVR traction ? Tyseley - Kidder with double Panniers then Kidder - Bridgnorth with an SVR loco whilst the Panniers utilise the turntable ? Another thought is Tyseley - Worcester Diner for carols connecting with an SVR service with turning on the Worcester triangle during the carol service ?
The SVR santa services utilise the Arley - Kidderminster section to full capacity on every Saturday and Sunday in December so anything coming off the mainline at that time of year would be a no go.
VT has done a pannier trip to both ends of the Severn Valley line in the past though which is one I'd like to see repeated. Just not in December!
VT have proved they're more than capable of doing their own stuff without the need to use the SVR. And the SVR is pretty busy itself at Xmas, I'm sure any railtours in December would be seen as a hindrance rather than a boost.
It would be nice to see a couple of evening supper trains run in the summer, like is done for some of the test runs. I've done the test run for 5043 IIRC and also visited for L94. A midweek evening out in a summer evening would be quite enjoyable - though having said that could the volunteer gangs make themselves available for such?
Sticking to what is actually confirmed, once my work rota has been released next month I'm looking to book on Panniers in May. Interesting no L94 though (again) is she undergoing maintenance or just taking a break?
Is there an update on 5080 appeal also?
Not sure the SVR have a good relationship with WCR, as the last time there was a WCR/SVR operation there was a falling out. I'm sure it was to do with the operation of 60009 on SVR metals. The tour was the West Somerset Steam Express, which was due to go Bridgnorth to Bishops Lydeard, the tour started from Kidderminster mainline instead. I'm pretty sure there hasn't been a WCR operated tour to or from the SVR since the Bluebell explorer.
Where does WCR come into the equation ? Vintage Trains has its own trainset and crews and WCR is only required for its Safety Case IIRC; once on the SVR any train would be operated under the SVR's Safety Case surely ?
Yes, you're right Fred. The info I got on the 60009 tour was that there was a falling out between the SVR & WCR about the operation/storage of 60009 on SVR metals for the trip to the WSR. That was not far off three years ago, I'm not 100% sure what the relationship is like now, but there's not been any tour operations to and from the SVR since that day, except a couple of LE moves. A pannier trip from Tyseley to Bridgnorth would be highly popular IMO.
Fred, for info, there is now no such thing as a safety case, they were superceeded when ROGs 2006 came in.
It's now safety management systems that railways and operators use.
Got the new brochure through the door today, very nice, I like the new design. A real shame you had to cancel the Zulu/Thomas tour to Didcot, considering the amount that's gone on advertising the trip. The Duchess to the WSR and the pannier trips are the standout trips for me, along with the usual jaunt over the Marches.
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