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Jacobite 2024

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by alastair, Nov 29, 2023.

  1. Andy Williams

    Andy Williams Member

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    At the moment, pasengers are not allowed to sit in the Mark 1 coaches that form part of the set. These are only there to provide toilet facilities, as the Mark 2 coaches are not fitted with controlled emission toilets. None of the current Jacobite trains can be 95% loaded as circa 50% of the seating is unavailable for passenger use. The profit margins on the current operation must be severely curtailed.
     
  2. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Having half the coaches with controlled emission toilets but no CDL and the other half vice versa makes sense, if at all, only as the least worst very short term arrangement. We should all be hoping that West Coast have a better plan for the near future, one that doesn't depend on an ORR U-turn.
     
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  3. acorb

    acorb Part of the furniture

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    My 95% loading comment was based on previous years where past April, it is virtually impossible to pre-book a seat. With 2 train sets in operation each day that is a lot of income and people being carried.
    I totally agree, the current operation must be marginal at best, but this is the best they can currently do. The fact they are persevering though is an indicator of how valuable they see the service and they know full well if they didn’t maintain a presence someone else would.
     
  4. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Did I say it was a business decision? I thought my comment "and often those wishes may not seem logical to the outsider" made it clear it may not be a simple business decision.
    Bums on seats does not necessarily mean profitability. I worked for an airline that had a phase of chasing bums on seats rather than profitability. It is not always a given, as a lot of bankrupt airlines around the world have discovered over the years.
    A third service would be sweating the assets more so may give a higher return than the other two.
    That is like asking my employer why they took a case all the way to the Supreme Court that was over the pension trustees authorising an adhoc payment as allowed in the scheme rules. Cost many times more than what was at stake. Just one side trying to be macho.
     
  5. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    As NR paid for CET any idea why WCRC would not have had the mod done of the Mk2's? Free money isn't it.
     
  6. acorb

    acorb Part of the furniture

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    Neither West Coast or LSL are charities. The fact they are fighting over the right to run trains there is a big enough indicator.

    Let's phrase this another way - with the Scenery, History and Hogwarts connection, the Jacobite should be the most profitable steam operation in the country and any company with decent business nous would be able to make a decent return from running trains on it.
    Whether West Coast's recent business decisions fall into that category will be revealed in their next set of accounts.
     
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  7. class8mikado

    class8mikado Part of the furniture

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    Imagine in the small print it the grant was allowed towards vehicles currently in use, think that most of the Mk 2s are relatively new additions, there are at least half a dozen more awaiting attention at Carnforth.
     
  8. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Yes I thought it for those coaches registered on the network at x date, rather than which TOC had them at the time. So where did these come from then as I never heard anything about any Mk2 purchases, only the Riviera Mk1 's
     
  9. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    Most likely because it was not, at the time, envisaged that they were needed in the future.

    Peter
     
  10. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Sorry to disagree but at the time it was obvious to the world that they would be needed in the future. Unfortunately for every third party that has been affected directly by the current situation - please don't ask for the list as it's rather long! - that decision has come home to roost. It's the fall out for others that is the sad thing about all this. Putting a price on that is really difficult but it's not peanuts.
     
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  11. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Thanks Peter I thought they would have still be done to make them more saleable
     
  12. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Unless Rileys switched allegiance to another TOC, I think there's quite a big entry barrier. Another operator would need to commit full time a minimum of two Black Fives, let's say a pool of a dozen coaches, and a willingness to operate an outstation 500 miles from base. That's very different from running the Midland Pullman up there a few times a year.
     
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  13. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    And that, I think, is a much bigger undertaking than any of us can appreciate, particularly starting from scratch as it would be.
     
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  14. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    Not least of which would be providing engine crews and other staffing
     
  15. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    From a photo I saw the other day, it appears the set is currently formed of 4 air con Mk2s, one pressure vent Mk2, Mk1 buffet and Mk1 brake. So 298 or so seats rather than about 356 in the full set.
     
  16. Chris86

    Chris86 Well-Known Member

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    It seems fairly evident that the budget behind Saphos/LSL is very large, but planning & logistics would be quite challenging.

    They have enough suitable locos to do it if they wanted, 61306 is in traffic, but 45231 is due overhaul, 6960 as an outsider is also due overhaul- it's a long time since 5972 graced the West Highland so who knows what's happened with gauging in the intervening period.
     
  17. acorb

    acorb Part of the furniture

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    I think the platform edging stones had to be removed at Corpach to accommodate 5972 even back then!
    But potential motive power at Crewe is perhaps a distraction.
    If the operation were to switch elsewhere (& incidentally I think this is very unlikely), then why wouldn't a private loco owner try and follow the business? And why wouldn't another operator hire it in? Don't forget the Ian Riley locos come with their own qualified drivers, support personnel and have all the experience of running the service.

    West Coast also have their own suitable locos based at Carnforth, but for many years have chosen to hire in motive power at Fort William. The day to day operation of the trains is effectively sub-contracted and the (considerable) wear and tear is on someone else's motive power allowing them to target their own resources elsewhere - this is one aspect of the business that makes a lot of sense to me.

    A betting man would expect to see Riley locos hauling maroon stock to Mallaig in 2025 though, not carmine and cream.
     
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  18. class8mikado

    class8mikado Part of the furniture

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    Please remind me what have Carnforth got that would be suitable for that route, a black 5 and an 8F ?
     
  19. Just_Sayin

    Just_Sayin New Member

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    44932, 44767 and if the rumours are true 45110. Not sure the 8F with its long wheelbase is as suitable as the 5s are.
     
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  20. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think that’s a gross underestimation of the logistics of operating the Jacobite. The full service needs 14 coaches plus a couple of spares, Ian Riley’s engines come with one part time driver (Ian Riley) and it needs three steam and at least two diesel locos to run the full service. The diesels are needed on the back during dry weather working and happened last week.
    The only other operator likely to be interested is LSL but they haven’t got the stock, crews or locos in anywhere near sufficient numbers. It’s not just enginemen, there are stewards two guards plus one relief. If anything goes wrong it’s a long way from home so I assume West Coast have got workshop facilities up there which any new operator would have to replace. As someone has already pointed out, working the odd train to Mallaig is one thing, operating a regular daily service is not that simple.
     

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