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Do railtour operations need a unified voice ?

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by steamvideosnet, Aug 5, 2012.

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Do we need a unified voice for railtour operations

  1. Yes we need the return of SLOA

    4 vote(s)
    5.9%
  2. Yes we need something but not SLOA

    27 vote(s)
    39.7%
  3. No it's ok as it is

    24 vote(s)
    35.3%
  4. No but it is not ok as it is

    9 vote(s)
    13.2%
  5. n/a, don't care etc

    4 vote(s)
    5.9%
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  1. Guest

    Guest New Member Account Suspended

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    What an appalling series of posts. Some of us have moved on to 2012 and the mainstream of debate, not a dead end from eight years ago.

    If others can't move on, that is their business.

    That a thread about railtouring now and in the future, and planning, implementation, delivery etc still has a considerable content about one operator wouldn't have anything to do with the performance of that operator would it - oh no - its Frank airing his prejudices again! Perhaps the list of cancellations for the latter part of this month is irrelevant too!

    Well if that's your take so be it - those of looking over the whole industry are moving on.

    Carry on and keep Steaming Chaps - and Chappesses, whichever way you pee!
     
  2. Northern Union

    Northern Union New Member Account Suspended

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    The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

    Also looking at the thread on cancellations and postponements allied to further data on UK Steam, are the wheels coming off?

    Oh, I'm out from behind the virtual couch! :dance:
     
  3. RalphW

    RalphW Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Welcome Tromba..

    Regarding condition of coaches/toilets. I sorry to have to put it so bluntly but it would seem from my experiences this year that the problem starts with the passengers. Joining the Moorlander stock at Crewe on Sunday night I have been involved in the cleaning up the toilets after the NWCE passengers have departed, apart from wet floors things we have recently had to deal with;-
    Toilets blocked with paper towels, beer bottles and cans.
    Paper towels strewn across the floor.
    In one case a very smelly toilet which turned out to be, to be blunt, a turd on the floor behind the pan......
    OK all these are dealt with, floors mopped, fresh soap and towels distributed ready for the next day. What happens, by the time we get to Preston some floors are already wet, soon after this a passenger will report a toilet blocked. What is going on in there? are some people incapable of doing what they should in the right place??? How do they treat their bathrooms at home, I'll bet it's not like this..

    Rant over, I'll get the mop ready for Sunday night.
     
  4. Guest

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    Ralph - which class was the offending toilet??

    Seriously - what kind of lives do some people lead??? They wouldn't do this in their own home - would they???

    You might expect this on a return footex - not that you should have to tolerate it on any working - but on a seaside day out - the mind boggles!
     
  5. Northern Union

    Northern Union New Member Account Suspended

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    No matter which side of the wider argument you are on, we must all agree that this unacceptable "customer?" behaviour is totally unacceptable.
     
  6. tromba

    tromba New Member

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    That sort of behavior is unacceptable, but how do you police or prevent it? You can't....you just have to deal with it as best you can.

    I am sure the majority of the charters leave the depot with fully stocked toilet paper holders and clean bathrooms...it is the passengers that mess it up.

    In fact, the dining coaches always look amazing, right up until the passengers start throwing coffee and ketchup all over the crisp white tablecloths......wait! New idea! Run the trains and leave the noisy, messy passengers behind!

    Keep the mop handy Ralph!
     
  7. Northern Union

    Northern Union New Member Account Suspended

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    Well if you think that defecating on the floor of the toilets is acceptable.

    Behaviour - the manner of conducting oneself.

    Think I'll keep my bunny well away from you!
     
  8. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    How have you come to the conclusion that tromba approves of defecating on the floor? Unless the phrase "That sort of behaviour is unacceptable" equals approval in your book.
     
  9. Northern Union

    Northern Union New Member Account Suspended

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    It should not have to be dealt with it should be prevented - end of. I like the previous idea of copying many retail outlets with signs confirming the regular times check and asking customers to alert staff to unacceptable conditions. Lots can be done.What type of people are getting on these trains?
     
  10. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    And how do you prevent it? Have a steward accompany each and every person to the WC?
     
  11. RalphW

    RalphW Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Maybe fit a CCTV camera in each one so the culprit could be identified....





















    OK OK I'm not serious.....
     
  12. tromba

    tromba New Member

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    Oh dear. We seem to be straying away from reality again.....

    What shoud they do? Put up a sign "Please don't s**t on the floor"! If it's happening then it needs to be addressed. Saying it's discusting and shouldn't happen isn't going to make it not happen!

    And no I don't think it's acceptable behavour. Please re-read my post "Northern Union".

    Did you read it? Apology accepted!
     
  13. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Member

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    Mind you, its no different from some of the regional service trains out there. On one memorable occasion on a regular service train, the toilets were full to the brim well before the return journey, and they were locked all the way back. The solution was for the train to hang around principal stations en-route for a little bit (but not much) longer- not possible for steam. This is not to mention the problem people seem to have with flushing after use... then things really start to get grim. It should always be the case of 'leave it as you found it', but it only takes one 'little accident' before people start saying 'euchh, I'm not touching that', and it all goes downhill from there as things get worse and worse. I truly empathise with the issue at stake, but in many instances, the problem rests with the 'leave someone else deal with the problem' culture that has developed in recent years. I think I've been quite lucky on all the tours I have done in that the facilities have, in the main, been pretty clean; in many cases cleaner than on ordinary services.
     
  14. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    At the risk of prolonging the subject, "easy flush" (one long flush for full, short jab for short) on domestic toilets and push button toilets on many trains leave your modern Briton unprep[ared for the genuine manual work of giving a Mark 1 to 3 toilet a proper flush - and that is often how they get blocked - successive use without proper flushing.

    Seriously, stewards checking and flushing them as they pass could help - it tends to be an unofficial part of heritage line guards duties - and on the NYMR, we have an instruction to ensure all are flushed (if possible) during the last run of the day to ensure this doesn't need doing whilst stationery in the platforms during cleaning.

    Steven
     
  15. railrover

    railrover Member

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    Not many girls go that far on their first date
     
  16. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    So the unified voice for a railtour has come down to one single complaint..the condition of the toilets on the train ?
    seriously the most common complaint within the 18 pages so far is not the timings, not the loco, not the destination, but the quality of the stock ?
    Maybe this unified voice should be a shemale with a bog brush ? (I saw a Belorussian female shot putter win gold at the Athletics the other night.. she would be a good candidate to keep the loo roll straight on the train).

    on a separate note, I have yet to ever see a female happy with the toilets on any train, new or old. Afterall they are not designed to be a touristic highlight of your day.
    But I have seen train toilet nirvana... the FO on the WCRC stock used on the Train of Hope last October was by far the most luxurious train experience that even Thomas Crapper himself would approve.

    However if we are looking for suggestions for improvement:
    1. Lose the soap, fit a liquid gel dispenser.. far more hygenic.
    2. Add a scent conditioner, it might be stained with pee but it smells nice.
    3. To help with target practice follow the Schiphol airport example.. stick a "fly" in the basin for aiming at.
    4. I read somewhere a long time ago about some fella that fitted a recording of an A4 at speed that played when he pulled the chain..
    5. Maybe the solution has already been presented.. " Brilliant gold taps, virginal white marble, a seat carved from ebony, a cistern full of Chanel no.5, and a flunky handing me pieces of raw silk toilet roll. But under the circumstances I'll settle for anywhere." .. for those who dont know the film was called Trainspotting as well. :)

    As for the quality of the stock.. VSOE sets you back £400 odd quid. Any non-enthusiast will aim for this train over any other steam train first.
    If they can't afford it the standard is lowered. The point I agree with Frank can be improved, any package can be improved, where we disagree is how that plan is improved.

    Network rail is a £6bn a year business why they would ever care about £4mn in revenue stream I fail to see. At best they must consider it a charitable cause, at worse a loss making part of the business. I doubt they will invest more into this side of the business in the current market. I believe they would be happier to see mainline steam go away.. they could earn more money with the staff utilised better elsewhere.

    As for 0800-dial-a-railtour helpline provided by Network Rail... hells bells. Anyone and his dog phones up and requests a 9am path from St Pancras International to Calais with a 35mph prairie, reserve the path gratis for months and refuse all other requests whilst the requestor looks for a 35mph prarie and someone to run it for him ? What you are proposing already exists... it's called a UPS, it works for packages but not for trains.

    I agree with frank the package could be better, but do we need an all emcompassing body to check the train is clean, on time and the company advertising it is "happy and righteous" enough ? - ok we have ABTA, but they don't regulate the onboard experience of the plane,
    Do we have an overarching body that checks taxi's or buses are clean before they go on the roads and that they turn up on time ?

    I wont dissect Franks post unless I have to but I'll wrap up with..
    If you got on a Northern Rail train, is there a body you can complain to about the quality of the toilet and how many here have contacted them ? (I can set up a poll if you like ?)
    If you contacted anything did anything happen.

    I suspect the £bns earned and spent on Northerns trains and any body that regulates the passenger experience will have equal or less impact as any proposed unified group for mainline steam.

    My thoughts are any body at best could give best practice guidance on how to run a railtour and where, or provide a website linking to service providers, but teams of clipboards tapping wheels and wiping hankys across windows.. no. If this body did exist, adoption of it's guidance would never be binding... bit like the builders trade... a meaningless badge on a website.

    If you want to improve the product, go out and make a better one yourself and corner the market.
     
  17. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    Absolutely 100% agree.
     
  18. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    So let's review where we are. This is a topic that, by its title, should at least have the interest of anyone who travels behind steam. It has received a few thousand visits (although no doubt many of these are multiple visits by the same people) but only received about 80 or so votes in the poll.

    I conclude that the vast silent majority may be interested (and having read some of the posts - probably also amazed/amused/bewildered) in what people are choosing to say, but see little point in contributing to a poll as it will lead to nought.

    Had I seen 500+ votes, then this thread may possibly have a future. It seems not so I'm moving on.
     
  19. Northern Union

    Northern Union New Member Account Suspended

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    It is interesting that on the NWCE thread to note that the issue over 6233 simnply needed some paperwork completeing. That could have been done on the day it seems and NR are very apologetic. It strkes me that if we had some form of Industry Organisation, Best Practice would be shared. It may be that the issue of sundays trip had been encountered previously and a resulution was known.

    I work in an industry which has a self regulatory body. Each organisation learns from others and the total is more than the sum of the parts. Successes are shared and issues are resolved collectively. I'm sure that even NR may have a bit more respect if they saw this joint collaborative approach.
     
  20. RalphW

    RalphW Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Don't forget though it was a Saturday night Sunday morning thing, not everybody is instantly contactable or even wants to be over that period.
     
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