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GWSR General Discussion and Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by michaelh, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Waste of what exactly? As has been pointed out, none of our locos are taxed on any of our trains anyway, so any coal savings would be minimal. And people always like to have their own bay/compartment - even if there's only one person in a compartment another single person is most likely to move on in the hope there might be one just for them. I suspect that we probably will need seven coaches once we get to Broadway. It is a significant tourist hotspot all year round, so people might come far and wide to Broadway on coaching holiday and take the train from there, or people take the steam train in for a day in Broadway then go home again. Luckily Broadway station is one of few on the route that actually "does what it says on the tin" as in, it's somewhere near where it's supposed to be. And the council plan to run a bus service from the station to town centre as well. I have the number 20% increase floating around in my head, but absolutely no idea where it came from, sorry! :)

    As I said, there's a proper group who are looking at all our needs and changes once we get to Broadway, and they are certainly considering everything, heard some interesting possibilities already about possible timetable arrangements etc.
     
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  2. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    "needed" - You mean passengers should be packed in as if they were on a commuter train? Great for repeat visits and telling their friends!!

    Given that the GWSR has virtually no gradients, the cost of haulage of an extra couple of coaches must be close to zilch, and for me it's a price well worth paying in terms of customer satisfaction.
     
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  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I hope for your sake you do much better than 20% increase! The extension gives you 50% more line to maintain and pay the coal bills for; and the likelihood is you will need to run a regular weekend three train service rather than a two train service, so 50% more motive power and c&w provision needed. It's quite easy to see you could be looking at double the operating costs to operate three trains over fifteen miles as against two trains over ten miles, and you can't necessarily just increase the fares even in proportion to the extra length. (Sample: your current day rover ticket is £16. The nearest comparable line, in geography and size, to your extended line, is the Severn Valley, who only charge £19 for a day rover on a 16 mile line, so I would have thought that is pretty much an upper limit of how much you could increase your fares. It's certainly not a 50% increase that the mileage might suggest).

    Tom
     
  4. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    As I said Tom, I could have just plucked that number from the air, it rings a vague bell to do with something! Maybe it's how many extra TTIs were needed once we get to Broadway - actually thinking about it, I think it might be that... :oops: We already run to Laverton which makes the run about 12 1/2 miles, so not quite that big an increase. We still have virtually no paid staff which helps, compared to the SVR which has about 70. Somewhere I've got an email with the figures from our accounts compared to the Bluebell's, but as they're all entitled "GWSR Volunteer announcement" I'm not searching through all of them! It did make interesting reading looking at the outgoing wage bill for both railways though!
     
  5. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    The SVR may have a much larger wage bill they also have a much larger income as well.
     
  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    There are indeed many ways to skin a cat! In the end, revenue just has to exceed expenditure, if you can do that you are OK. But I sincerely hope that Broadway gives you a pretty hefty revenue boost, because it is certainly going to give a pretty hefty shove to your costs! Whether you achieve it with volunteers or have to take on paid staff, you are going to have 50% more availability of locos and carriages in order to run a 3 train service.

    (Incidentally, on the staff front: make sure you are comparing like with like - quite a lot of our head-count, and I suspect on the SVR as well, are in catering staff, rather than in engineering functions, with catering being its own revenue-generator. As I gather on the GWSR, catering is outsourced.)

    Tom
     
  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Ah, hadn't thought of that, might be difficult to compare though, as we only partially outsource, the Winchcombe cafe and OTC are all volunteer run. Our only paid staff is one operations manager and a couple of admin staff, so not a lot.
     
  8. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    You need to remember that the SVR is a considerably larger business than just the basic 16 mile railway. Its employees include catering & bar staff as well as staff in areas such as Bridgnorth Boilershop where a significant proportion of the work is commercial contracts for the repair of boilers for other railways away from the SVR. When the SVR (and probably the Bluebell) first ran they too were almost entirely volunteer railways. That the GWSR is currently almost totally volunteer run it is a significant achievement but it is unlikely to be able to stay that way as it continues to grow, the current volunteers age or move on and the novelty of extension wears off.
     
  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I agree that it's unlikely we'll be able to stay volunteer run for ever, and I can quite see, for example, the next C+W manager being paid. What I hope never happens though is we have paid painters etc. as once you get that, volunteers begin to disappear.
     
  10. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Its almost inevitable for a number of reasons.
    One lesson well worth taking on board though is integration of paid staff with volunteer input. In Bridgnorth MPD Engineering, for example, this means that the paid staff do not work a simple Monday - Friday but 5 days out of 7 which ensures continuity over weekends. With the blend of paid & vol workforce this means that the MPD Engineering side is a 7 days a week operation.
     
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  11. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    I believe some some market research (cannot verify the source as its buried in a blog somewhere) pointed towards a 25% increase to start with once the Broadway section is brought into operation. As I have no doubt uttered before on this forum, Broadway is amongst one of the top 20 (possibly top 10) most visited tourist locations in England and there is no doubt that some of these visitors will take the opportunity to travel on a heritage railway; the imponderable question is, how many?
    The biggest problem will probably be car parking, although a suitable car park has been located alongside the line on railway land to the south of the Station site. Once Broadway is open, I will use it to start my journeys on the GWSR as I'm coming from the north. I'm sure many will do the same, leaving aside the "honeypot" tourist trade that is Broadway. Time, of course, will soon tell.
     
  12. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    Although the following list was compiled for the 2013 season, it is an indication of tourist attraction totals for the United Kingdom.
    Unfortunately Broadway is difficult to compare as it does not have a specific attraction where visitor numbers are calculated. <BJ>

    1. British Museum 6,701,036 (+20%)
    2. National Gallery 6,031,574 (+14%)
    3. Natural History Museum 5,356,884 (+6.7%)
    4. Tate Modern 4,884,939 (-8%)
    5. Science Museum, South Kensington (SMG) 3,316,000 (+10.9%)
    6. V&A (South Kensington) 3,290,500 (+1.8%)
    7. Tower of London (HRP) 2,894,698 (+18.4%)
    8. Somerset House Trust 2,398,066 (-)
    9. St Paul’s Cathedral 2,138,130 (+19%)
    10. Westminster Abbey 2,020,637 (+13.8%)
    11. National Portrait Gallery 2,014,636 (-4%)
    12. Old Royal Naval College Greenwich 1,803,477 (+1%)
    13. National Museum of Scotland (National Museums Scotland) 1,768,090 (-7%)
    14. British Library 1,475,382 (+4.3%)
    15. National Maritime Museum (RMG) 1,437,725 (+27%)
    16. Edinburgh Castle (Historic Scotland) 1,420,027 (+15%)
    17. Chester Zoo 1,409,249 (-)
    18. Tate Britain 1,378,272 (-10%)
    19. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 1,324,499 (+29.4%)
    20. ZSL London Zoo 1,294,483 (+26.4%)
     
  13. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    Lots of those are free!
    I think the previous poster meant top 20 'destination' rather than 'attraction', although I still find that surprising.
     
  14. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

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    Nearly all these are in London so means nothing to the best parts of the country.
     
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  15. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, I did, as there are several attractions at Broadway as a destination. However, it would seem that I'm actually talking kack here as there is no mention whatsoever of Broadway in the Worcestershire Tourism Report 2013, here:http://mediafiles.thedms.co.uk/Publ...urism in Worcestershire Final Report 2013.pdf
    This document does however, state
    "The West Midlands Safari Park is one of the most important visitor attractions in

    Worcestershire. It is the third most visited zoo or park in the country; in 2009, there

    were over 580,000 paid admissions to the park, with a further 164,000 complimentary

    and free return visitors.

    The park primarily markets towards younger children and families, but there have

    been recent considerations to develop a conference centre, hotel and water park

    at the existing site. The park already includes a variety of attractions such as the

    safari itself, a theme park, aquarium, reptile house, Hippo Lake and a monorail

    system.

    The Severn Valley Railway, located in Kidderminster, is the sixth most visited paid


    attraction in the West Midlands with 225,000 visitors in 2010. This decreased by 4.4% in

    2011, to only 215,000. The railway runs from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth in Shropshire.

    Whilst there have been discussions concerning increasing the length of the track

    and joining with other locations, such as the Ironbridge Gorge in Telford, at present

    there are no plans for any extension, and even if they were undertaken, would take

    more than 20 years to complete.
    Another source of visitors is the Malvern Hills and the other Areas of Outstanding

    Natural Beauty in Worcestershire. The Cotswolds and other extensive nature reserves,

    including the Knapp and Papermill reserve, Tiddesly Wood and the Christopher

    Cadbury Wetland Reserve at Upton Warren. "

    So I must have confused Broadway with Kidderminster!

    I know I've seen something somewhere regarding popularity statistics for visitors to Broadway so I'll just have to keep looking.
     
  16. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    ''So I must have confused Broadway with Kidderminster!'' Easily done.

    Broadway is a beautiful place to visit but would you be kind enough to list the several attractions in the town please. <BJ>
     
  17. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    The main attraction is the village high street itself (see front page of attached link) and its location at the foot of the Cotswold hills but this website may help. http://www.broadway-cotswolds.co.uk/
    The Gordon Russell Museum is one of the larger attractions and Broadway Tower is a famous landmark. A certain heritage railway also features. There are a number of museums and what I would call "tourist shops," but aimed at tourists who like antiques and "bijou" country items rather than the type of shops seen at seaside resorts for example. There are, of course, many other attractions nearby to Broadway and some of these are listed in the link.

    Other useful links that you may want to view:http://www.visit-broadway.co.uk/ and
    http://www.beautifulbroadway.com/
     
  18. Young Philip

    Young Philip New Member

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    How you can confuse Broadway a village, and Kidderminster a town is beyond me. I think the request to list attractions therefore referred to Kidderminster and not Broadway. What will be an interesting comparison once GWSR get to Broadway will be how many travel there by GWSR train as a place to visit as to how many travel on the SVR to Kidderminster as a place to visit.
     
  19. Ken_R

    Ken_R New Member

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    But, perhaps best not visited 'after dark'.;)

    It is, I'm led to believe, a location at which 'Cottagers' congregate.:rolleyes:
     
  20. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    That's what I discovered when I made a visit before. Nevertheless, it's a nice destination for the railway. <BJ>
     
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