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Catering facilities on Heritage Railway trains (ex WSR and SVR Threads)

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by paulhitch, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Actually Gary, thats another maybe, if the Hastings line had been electrified and singled through the tunnels, when the rest of kent and sussex was done, you would have had the sub class of 33-2's surplus to requirements, no need to change the railway layout, just replace the steam locos with the crompons
     
  2. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    One of these is coming to the diesel gala at the end of the month as a "might have been".

    PH
     
  3. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Well-Known Member

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    Why do you characterise this clear WIBN as 'what might have been? To avoid your own inconsistency?

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  4. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    You just don't understand what a WIBN is, i.e. a wheeze that inflicts others with work, expense or both. One of the principal organisers of this is very much an active volunteer.

    PH
     
  5. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    When will you accept that virtually the whole of the heritage railway movement grew from a few WIBN ideas? Even today it relies on that principle. WIBN to be a steam engine driver (other volunteer posts are available) and that's where your volunteers come from. They don't do it because it makes economic sense or from some sense of masochism. But I and many others have said this over and over again but it's like talking to a brick wall. A WIBN doesn't inflict others with work unless they are willing participants. Nobody is forced to volunteer or get involved with any project against their wishes.
     
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  6. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Well-Known Member

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    Do you not see that WIBN lies behind the EXISTENCE of every single heritage railway? The WLLR with its Austrian carriages and the IOWSR with its main line station connection etc. Why are you so blind to what you yourself are involved in?

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  7. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I suspect he does but if there's one thing that's guaranteed to get people going, it's telling them they're doing it all wrong. I reckon PH enjoys this game and we make it worse by taking the bait every time.
     
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  8. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    posts removed that were not pertinent to the discussion

    please avoid getting personal and think before posting . Provocative posts are best reported and not responded too
     
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  9. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    Big difference between a WIBN and a creation of a "might have been". I dont see an inconsistency here. Yes everything we do starts as a WIBN, but there are many many WIBN that simply do not make any sense, and others that can only make sense once they have been through a hard filter of reality. Someone said WIBN to have a 33 for a trip or two over the IOWSR. It was filtered through the lens of reality and found to be achievable. It didnt remain a WIBN because it was achievable with a degree of effort that was acceptable to the group of people that had to make it happen, and the consequences of doing it were something that people could live with. WIBN to rebuild the Meon Valley Railway....yes it would, but it would take more effort and money than is ever likely to be available in any future that most people can envisage so it remains a WIBN.

    I think that we need a balance of dreamers and skeptics, but that we should listen to neither with full attention.
     
  10. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree with you. And good on the IOWSR for realising that it is ok to have a little fun in preservation.

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  11. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Well-Known Member

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    Just to follow up from my own post, the running of any heritage railway should be done on sustainable business grounds, and the evidence I have seen from visiting the majority of railways in the country over the last 5 years is that by and large that t happening.

    But if preservation isn't fun, and doesn't have dreams, it will be worthless because this is ultimately something that is a hobby and an interest. It was a dream to preserve engines and railways, and when the resources existed, that was done. The achievements of those early dreamers is astonishing. Every time I go on a heritage railway I think how amazing it is that it was formed by a few people thinking 'wouldn't it be nice...'.

    So no, the Meon Valley shouldn't be rebuilt. But yes, the GWSR should extend to Broadway. Good for them, and good for everyone who has turned dreams into reality.

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  12. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Every single preserved railway, every single vehicle, bit of equipment started as an WIBN , then someone sat down, with others of a similar thought and turned it into a viable idea, signaling systems, coal trains, restored engines, but at the same time every single one somewhere must have gone through the process where its dissected and looked at in fine detail, and the question asked, is it viable? can we do it, can we raise the funds, if the answer is a resounding yes it moves beyond being a WIBN, to being a viable project, Now i don't agree with PH, on a lot of things, but i do remain civil, and on some things we do agree, others we agree to disagree, and thats how it should be, We can loose sight of the bottom line, but at the same time our hobby does need to learn from mistakes, and never stand still, No one makes the public decide to have a day out at a preserved railway, we are all different, and should play to our stregths, not every line has the same set of wow factors.
    The IOWSR, is i think a stand alone, it has the historic disavantages of being on an island, but at the same time the advantage that it was able to remain historically accurate , its the only railway i can think of where you will travel on engines and coaches that did see service on the island, and they have been able to retain an island charm, even down to the re creation of the saturday peak season when you crammed in to every compartment at the beginning , or end of your holidays .
     
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  13. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    Yes we can disagree civilly which is great.

    There is much about railway preservation which reminds me of the man who was asked why he was climbing Everest and replied "Because it is there". He died.

    PH
     
  14. toplight

    toplight Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of railways have quite poor catering, both buffet cars and cafes. The problem is (which I have seen from the railway I volunteer at) is that volunteers mostly don't want to do this kind of work. They want come along and drive the trains or work repairing them not serve burger and chips. When you think about it if you want to do that kind of thing on a Saturday you can probably find a job doing it where you are paid to do so. I don't want to do this kind of thing myself, hate cooking even at home.

    However when I go to another railway I often want to eat something, Some railways have very little choice, chips, sausage rolls and beans etc. Some railway shops don't even sell say a bar of chocolate or some crisps . I don't want to buy a souvenir pen or something but I wouldn't mind something to eat.

    Often I bring sandwiches and lunch with me. Railways I have experienced good catering are the Bluebell, NRM, I quite like the little cafe and Quorn and Woodhouse under the stair, has lots of WW2 atmosphere.

    but in General railways are missing out on a lot of cash by not offering good catering, Proper food not chips and beans please. Some only offer tea + cake. I expect a lot of people leave the railway and have lunch in pubs etc.
     
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  15. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    It gets us all eventually!
     
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  16. LC2

    LC2 Member

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    It takes all sorts. I agree, many volunteers may initialy see the pinacle being that they become a train driver or to work in restorations, but equally many may have no inclination in that way.
    In the group of volunteers I work with, perhaps 50% are involved with the heavy engineering side of the heritage railway, but the other 50% are more than happy to spend their time purely in customer facing roles, such as manning an RMB.
     
  17. LC2

    LC2 Member

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    I had an interesting observation put to me regarding the inclusion of on board catering and the family market.

    Experience has shown that when it is a family based event (such as TTTE etc.) the on-board catering will not be as busy as on non event based days - even though the trains are more heavily loaded.
    The reason being (seemingly) that when Mum is included in the activity, there will be a cool bag or something similar with lunch. Whereas when it's a spur of the moment trip, generally with Dad, the assumption seems to be that they buy food when they are there. They may necessarily expect a vast range of sandwiches, but cans of drink, biscuits, crisps etc. can sell quite well and help to convert a 'suddenly' hungry child into a happy one until reaching a station with the full buffet service.

    Even if for this reason alone, I think it's worth putting the effort into manning the RMBs - especially on longer lines - as it is likely to encourage return visits. It can turn "I couldn't even get a drink / crisps / chocolate bar when little Jonny was hungry - we had a miserable day because he was grumpy" into a happy day out. Happy customers are repeat customers.
     
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  18. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    Or Dad visiting on his own, will buy a sandwich and something to drink.
     
  19. toplight

    toplight Well-Known Member

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    The thing is as well with catering, is that you need someone to organise things and take responsibility for it. They have to go to the cash and carry regularly and get the food/drinks in advance and stock up. Clean everything. Often hygiene certificates are needed etc as well. If full hot meals are offered it is even more work. Washing everything etc. It is often difficult to find people willing to do that. Yes they might be willing to turn up and work behind a counter occasionally but they don't want to take responsibility for it. My own railway had someone very good who organised things and it was a great success for many years but then that person left and it was a huge problem to find a replacement 'doer/organiser' and still struggling with it now.

    Often the railways own volunteers would eat in there and have a Sunday lunch etc but now they don't, so they have lost even the money from this.

    You get this lots in volunteer organizations, people want to see things done and people to take responsibility, but they want someone else to do it (not them).
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  20. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    When they were younger a visit to the 'Cooking Carriage' was an important part of my sons visits to the WSR

    These days its mostly an attempt to bilk me but middle son (9 tomorrow) still looks forward to a sausage roll
     

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