Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by 14xx Lover, Jan 4, 2010.
On a nice day a drive is its own reward in that part of the world...
For the record, most people arriving at the GWSR via the motorway will always park at Toddington as it's free and more convenient. I don't see that changing any time soon, and nor does our management going by the plans for Toddington site currently in development. Broadway is mostly a destination, those starting their journeys there tend to be more local. To the extent that Broadway has shifted starting station passenger number patterns, a greater proportion of people now start at Cheltenham and go all the way through to Broadway for a day out.
Assuming Corwen has good parking then I'd have thought it would be more profitable to make Corwen the starting point of people's journeys, taking them into Llangollen for their day out. People like to take the train to go somewhere, even if in reality it doesn't make much difference to a car journey, it gives the train ride a purpose.
They could be seeing this and do this in the new space at washford. People get bored going all the way so a car park there would be a grate solutions. To get to minehead and it’s next the road they just need open the level crossing
Ha ha keep em coming
I've driven up the A39, and the right turn into Washford station is one I'd avoid like the plague. The right turn out would be worse.
Sometimes they can make the road so you can only turn left and have to use the next roundabout
Why bother going all the way if you can just pull one off on the platform?
What's all this got to do with the LLangollen Railway?
It's down to a condition posters suffer from, I think the name for it is Nationalibus conservatiom agnovimus filo subtegminis , or something like that.
That depends where you are coming from. From Yorkshire, if I was going to Corwen I wouldn't go anywhere near Llangollen and the same would probably apply to anyone coming from Lancashire. That's a good total population. And, as several have said, Corwen has more available parking and is a better starting point. .
Looking at Google maps your journey would be 6 miles longer and take 15 minutes longer to travel. On the Corwen vs Llangollen debate. Obviously completely upto you as an individual, and maybe I'm completely wrong (we can have a discussion in 5 years when there is evidence to support each decision) but to make Corwen more attractive to start your day from, wouldn't you need to also start the services from there too? And Change all the time table to show it as the place to start from? Because for many enthusiasts, especially if we are discussing events rather than the single round trip type Joe public passenger, you want to get in as many trips as possible. So starting at Llangollen makes sense on this also as the sheds and stock all start here.
I can't remember who posted it, but the point about coaches who do a single journey starting at Corwen is a good idea, as it means you can go to llan, then have a walk about then rejoin the coach to go to the aquaduct. That does make sense and should be good.
Ideally, you would be better off starting and finishing your service from Corwen. How this challenge is overcome can be debated endlessly. Other railways suffer from the same problem. For many years the NYMR used to send light engines or ECS through from Grosmont to Pickering each day. In recent times it has provided a semblence of a depot at Pickering. The same problems arise on the WSR and GWSR and, to some extent, the Bluebell where there are major traffic flows from termini away from the main depot. I'm sure there are others.
It is indeed something of a challenge in timetabling terms. Given the more or less zero likelihood that we could ever build a suitable base close to East Grinstead, it is just something we have to live with. The first up and to an extent the last down train are more or less ECS, particularly at weekends. It's unremunerative mileage (and an earlier start if you want to arrange a reasonably timed first train) but ultimately every railway has some combination of operational difficulties it has to bear.
The interesting thing with Corwen will be to what extent it causes a rise in traffic, and how much it just moves existing traffic from starting in one location to another.
We shall see.
Do you think a first/ last train discount at the bluebell would get more punters in ?
I think we did do that (as I recall it was first up train was £5; return by either of the last two trains of the day). Can't remember now if or why it stopped. Everything BC(*) is a bit of a blur ...
(*) = Before Covid
Would a Corwen based DMU for the first train to Llan last train from Llan be practicable?
The joys of running a heritage railway. People say that you need a destination, which is probably true for longer lines but that destination needs to be at the opposite end to your depot. Shorter lines probably don't need that destination as the railway itself is usually the focus of interest. You are unlikely to stop 2 miles from a destination just so you can ride there on a heritage railway.
Presumably there is a saving in staff/costs running the train ECS? (station opening/signal boxes?) otherwise you might as well run it as a train, even if thinly-loaded.
It always intrigued me that late at night on the northern line it was possible to go to East Finchley much later than to the city centre/west end. It's not because East Finchley has a thriving night-time economy, it's just insufficiently cheaper to run them empty than full to make it worth running them as ECS.
Coming back to Llangollen - how much info does the railway has on where it's customers come from, where likely sources of more customers might be, what the existing customers want, and how much will they accept being directed by the railway
not just passengers - tour operators, people who come with passengers but don't travel, cafe users, shop purchasers etc etc
 usually, I can't stand NR calling passengers customers, but when you are undertaking a commercial analysis, you need to cover it all in the round.
They are generally run as passenger trains though when there are next to no passengers, they are often referred to as running as empty stock because the purpose of them being run is to get the train to a starting point. Signal boxes still need to be open so the only potential saving as a true ECS is a later start for the (usually) volunteer station staff.
You could perhaps draw an analogy with the way that local bus services used to operate. At one time many routes in London had odd workings to and from the garages labelled as 'when working'. This meant that buses travelling to or from the end points of a route covered roads which weren't normally part of that route, but ran 'in service' rather than empty. Nowadays the buses just run empty to the normal ends of the route, which gives the flexibility of empty routing as well as saving time.
(eg Barking DX garage empty to Chigwell Row, a run of between 25 and 35 minutes dependant on traffic levels. As opposed to running in service for the 4 miles to the middle of the route, then running the remaining half of the route, total running time about 50 minutes but probably only picking up half a dozen passengers at most)
There's no saving in cost. A "passenger train with no passengers" would be a truer description. The trains are shown in our public timetable and if you turned up, you could ride. You still need loco crew, guards, signalmen etc, and the station staff are probably booked on in time in any case.
The only real operational difference is that our operating practice is that all passenger trains between September and May are steam heated for at least an hour before departure. (At the discretion of the guard - if it is already a warm day, they aren't, but the off shed times reflect the requirement to do so). The only concession we made was that the steam heating allowance for the first up train could take place while it was underway. So in practice, off shed, take water, hook on and go, and you get your hour of steam heat in the 40 minutes journey plus 20 minutes allowance at East Grinstead. Without that allowance, off-shed times - and by extension crew booking on times - would have had to be about 45 minutes earlier, which is not only very early, but also potentially made the days long enough to require a split shift.
As @Steve says - "the joys of running a heritage railway."
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