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Corona Virus - Railway reopening poll

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Sidmouth, May 19, 2020.

?

If Railways can resume operation this summer will you travel on them

  1. Yes

    40.8%
  2. Yes and I'm happy to pay a bit more to cover social distancing loss of revenue

    40.0%
  3. Yes , also happy to wear a mask if needed

    35.4%
  4. Yes , Happy to pre-book tickets so the railways know and can manage volumes

    32.3%
  5. No , I'd rather wait longer

    26.9%
  6. No , medical guidance for me is to self isolate

    7.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Afternoon

    lets answer the $10000 question

    assuming the government allows heritage railways to operate, or they decide to operate having satisfied themselves that risks are managed would you be willing to travel ?
     
  2. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    many thanks to those who have already responded .keep them coming , it is anonymous
     
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  3. mikechant

    mikechant Member

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    I voted 'happy to wear a mask' but what I really meant was 'willing to wear a mask if I have to'.
    Same applies with 'happy to pre-book'.
     
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  4. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    I know what you mean. I have finally been issued with a pack of masks to wear if necessary on my bus.

    I have so far only once worn one, it was only for 25minutes but even in that time I was getting overheated. I am therefore grateful that for a bus driver the instructions say 'only consider wearing a mask if you are unable to socially distance'.
    There is no way that I could work a spell of up to five and a half hours solid wearing one.

    Even more grateful that the bus companies are in the process of improving the sealing off of the cab from the passenger saloons, as this will allow a resumption of front door boarding. The resumption of front door boarding will mean that passengers will again be able to tap in to pay their fare, this will discourage the freeloaders who have been unnecessarily using buses for non-essential journeys.
     
  5. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    Was looking for the 'happy to volunteer' option!
     
  6. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Have no idea what this poll really means as multiple responses are possible. However it looks as though about a third are not keen on things restarting anytime soon and that makes sense because generally the phased release of lockdown is getting a mixed reaction. People are cautious. And for heritage railways, it is those (older) people with more disposable income who are cautious. Tricky.
     
  7. Footbridge

    Footbridge Member

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    I think it's unlikely that heritage railways will be opening anytime soon. Lots of children running amongst 'older' enthusiasts may not be a good combination. Until/if a vaccine is found the problem will not just go away.

    Keeping infrastructure and rolling stock in good order by volunteers is perfectly possible but ultimately I hate to say that some railways will cease trading. It still costs lots of cash to pay utilities, insurances and essential salaries.
     
  8. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    I think that social distancing measures will detract from the experience of a heritage train ride, and I'm not sure I would enjoy it. However, if any railways are operating I will be happy to buy a ticket and then take photographs. In fact I would be keen to join photo charters rather than travel on the trains.
     
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  9. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    I'm inclined to think 'Footex' will start up again much sooner than travel for the general public.

    Those railways with high numbers of paid staff will be hoping the government's furlough scheme continues, otherwise I can imagine there will be redundancies especially for things like catering which rely on large volumes of people coming through the doors. Ironically, the smaller railways with lower overheads and more-or-less wholly run by volunteers might find it easier to adapt to these strange circumstances.
     
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  10. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I would be happy to visit a steam railway, as long as everyone else is remembering to social distance if possible, if I had to sit closer than 2m from someone, I would wear a mask, and expect them to also, Allowing bored little Johnny to run up and down the corridor is a no no, things like on train catering, limited to say pre packed sandwiches etc and drinks, should not be a problem either if there is a clear screen between the buffet car attendant and the public, with a opening hatch, they can slide your food through, and a contactless terminal, to avoid handling cash, stations should be able to segregate passengers via a one way system . in one way, out another
     
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Good luck getting signal I suspect for many railways!
     
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  12. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    It will be difficult to mitigate the risk to the footplate crew or maintain anything like social distancing.

    Sent from my SM-A405FN using Tapatalk
     
  13. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    I would be willing to go back to volunteer as signalman or crossing keeper. Not so sure about guard though, impossible to remain completely socially distanced while doing the job effectively. I no longer have any footplate role.
     
  14. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    Vouchers could be purchased online / at the ticket office, either for a particular item or a credit amount, to allow less cash being used. Contactless isn't going to be an option for many railways simply due to cost.

    Either that or items are prebooked and delivered to prebooked seats.

    I think railways might have to get a bit inventive, because a big feature is being able to hop on/off as you please for many of them.
     
  15. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    Would have thought it would help recreate the heritage "experience", - empty trains dawdling through the country side, calling at empty stations, with nothing to eat or drink apart from week old sandwiches.

    On a more serious note, maybe getting more money out of photographers might be the way to go, even though it will not fill more than part of the hole.
     
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  16. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    You are assuming of course photographers may want to stand adjacent to a bunch of people they do not know. After all we all seem to gravitate to the same places.
    Mind you after 10 weeks of our total lockdown I am now so unfit that I am unsure I could actually walk back up the hill from my favourite Swanage location anyway.
     
  17. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    Some of us will be desperate for a fix, and happy to pay a decent amount for a photo charter. Even something as simple as a diesel pickup freight would be attractive. Shouldn't cost much to run, and could raise a decent sum for the railway's survival fund.

    Social distancing will be easier on the lineside. Bring your own refreshments. Make your own way to photo locations. Railways to provide bushes as needed. ;)
     
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  18. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Not really sure contactless/card payments are that hard or expensive to implement. Square terminals can be bought for around £20, then you just need a cheap smartphone to connect it with and the processing fee is 1.75% so hardly mega money band certainly worth considering if you have an alternative if not being able to make sales safely.
     
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  19. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    A lazy analysis of a snapshot of a self-selected sample of about 107 railway enthusiasts seems to be a 64/36 split between 'a form of yes' and 'no'.

    All other things being equal, if a railway had a break even point of 100 passengers and was normally attracting 156 (making a surplus to carry it throgh non-trading months), it could now expect only 100 and not make the necessary profit.

    This doesn't mean too much as it's the family and non-enthusiast market that's the baseload demand - but it illustrates the concerns. It will be interesting to see the SVR's survey results, if it shares them.

    Patrick
     
  20. I. Cooper

    I. Cooper Member

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    I appreciate it's a moving target, but currently (11:23) there are a total of 201 votes cast: There are 4 'yes' options that have attracted 162 votes and 2 'no' options that have attracted a combined 39 votes. By my maths that's 80.6% towards a 'yes' option and 19.4% towards a 'no' option. How the hell the percentages on the poll are calculated is anyone's guess, they total well over 100% when combined!

    On a practical level, it's easy to click a tick box on a forum when bored. Translating that into customers for leisure attractions is another matter...
     
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