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Mid Hants Railway Autumn Gala featuring 'Bahamas'

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by pete12000, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. A1X

    A1X Member

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    For me, this is the key argument in this whole thing. We've already seen how public opinion can sour incredibly quickly to people or companies doing "frivolous" things which break rules or cause spikes, and one thing our hobby needs is goodwill from the public.
     
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  2. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    For what it's worth, here is my sixpenneth.

    Organised train travel is infinitely more safe than random train travel, as on the national network.
    The event is bookable. Chances are that it will become fully booked and POTD will not be allowed at all.
    It will be restricting - no hop on and hop off. If you don't like what is on offer then you don't go on the trains.
    People will 'manage' traffic. The chances are that this will be easier to do than on a typical station on the ML.
    It's a managed activity to generate much needed income for the railway. It deserves support.
     
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  3. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    ok, yes we did stop only long enough for the engine to run round couple back up brake test and off, we were running quite late because of a fault with W11 , i suppose re creating the Cowes experience of letting the coaches run into the platform , would not have been allowed anyway,
     
  4. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Member

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    Thank you Big Al - as so often the voice of reason in the strange world of National Preservation! A lot could happen between now and the time when this gala is due to take place. I'm quite prepared that it may have to be cancelled if things are not going well and futher restrictions are imposed. If that's the case, so be it. But if it goes ahead I intend to be there. We are all adults here and can make our own risk assessments. I don't find it particularly helpful when people who have decided not to go post messages on here suggesting the event should be cancelled. I'm sure the organisers will do the sensible thing nearer the time.
     
  5. green five

    green five Well-Known Member

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    I was not suggesting that the Gala should be cancelled completely but perhaps it could be postponed to next year when the situation with the virus might be a bit better than the shambolic one we have at the moment.
    I am well aware that Preserved railways need the money at this difficult time. I have been sending donations to the MHR Covid-19 appeal to support the Railway as I have been unable to visit. I was planning on attending the Gala as I have read excellent reports about the MHR Covid-19 operations.
    However, my recent experiences with the virus still getting through strictly controlled environments have changed my mind.
    Apologies if my earlier comments annoyed some folks on here. That was not my intention.
    I am just concerned for the reputation of the Railway if a Covid-19 case is reported and jumped on by the national press. Other venues have really been getting some bad press after having confirmed cases.


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  6. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The problem with postponing the gala to next year is that we don't know what the state of play will be next year, if we plan for the worse, then that would mean postponing to 2022, its very likily that we will be in this kind of no-mans land well into next year, until an effective vaccine is found, which certainly is not going to be easy.
     
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  7. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    As regards future gala's, sometime in 2022, 499 will be expected to return to traffic, assuming that 53808, and 506, are still in traffic, will the MHR be having a freight engine gala, with the three engines taking turns on, passenger, and freight workings, each at some stage taking the freight rake non stop from Alresford to Alton , where there is an engine change, from freight to passenger ?
     
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  8. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    There are a number of precautions being taken to ensure covid safety.

    1. Pre booked and pre allocated seating
    2. Your seat is yours for the day. You may not use any other. So you can get on and off a the stations, but you must return to the same seat on the same set.
    3. The numbers are restricted. The total number ensures that no train will be more than 50% full if the event is sold out.
    4. The total numbers are restricted so that if everyone got out at Ropley at the same time they would still be socially distanced as individuals.
    5. The trains will be being cleaned roughly every 40mins, with the door handles and window drops being cleaned at each station, which means every 10mins or so.

    However, we are watching the news also and considering what additional measures could be put in place up to and including cancelling the event.

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  9. genealogist

    genealogist New Member

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    With Point 1 the website shows 'on the day' prices. Presumably this means not everyone will have pre-booked.
    With Point 2 this feels like it may be difficult to marshall. I believe the SVR have used coloured wrist bands to assist. Will there be something similar?
    Thanks
     
  10. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    There will only be on the day tickets available in the event that we do not sell out. If you buy on the day you will still be allocated a seat. This is the system we have been using all summer, and it works.

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  11. Martin

    Martin New Member

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    To me it's point 2 that's the crucial one, and the one where I wonder how effectively it can be enforced / marshalled. A few posts back, it was suggested that I didn't have a very high opinion of my fellow enthusiasts, and I can see how my post might have given that impression. It wasn't intended - my greater concern is with the people who aren't dedicated enthusiasts. Galas still attract plenty of people who don't avidly read the railway press and forums like this, and don't study the intricacies of the timetables, but are still interested enough to come along for an enjoyable day out. I can very quickly understand exactly which trains are which, and (once I know where my seat is), will know whereabouts on the line my seat is and and when. I will absolutely stick to those rules, and I know that most people reading this will do the same. What concerns me is the sizeable proportion of people that may not understand the set-up as clearly. Those people might want to head off into Alton or Alresford town centres - if they do that, there is only one out of the following five departures that they should board. Will they understand that? I think it will need very clear explanations to be sent with the tickets, and effective marshalling.

    Incidentally, I truly hope the event can go ahead and is a success. I have a Saturday ticket, and hope that the weather enables the car park at Ropley to be used. If so, my "fall back position" is to observe proceedings from there, and to do as much (or as little travelling) as I feel comfortable with. It will only take one instance of "my seat" turning up with someone in it to make me decide that it's an observing, rather than riding, day. Even if someone asks them to move, I won't want to occupy it immediately after someone else has been sitting there.
     
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  12. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    I hope it works (assuming by next month it is still allowed) as heritage lines do need income, but from my mainline stewarding experience it has taken over two to three years to get MOST (still a few who refuse) to accept and abide by the no heads out of windows rule. I too would have doubts over observance of rules be it enthusiasts or Joe Public. Especially with the fringe elements who seem to think it is all some governmental plot to control the masses, masks are worthless or totally
    bizarrely it is all some big hoax
     
  13. Martin

    Martin New Member

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    A couple of example scenarios. Imagine Mr and Mrs Joe Bloggs have seen the event advertised, bought tickets for a day out, but aren't "avid" enthusiasts - they want to do other things too. For argument's sake, let's assume their seats are in set A. They are a perfectly nice couple, but don't usually need to understand timetables - there are usually so many trains at these events that they just come and go as they wish, and don't really mind what engine is on the front. They haven't bothered to read all the information about how the event is supposed to work.
    Scenario 1 - they arrive at Alton at 11:43 and decide to head into town for some lunch. They strike it lucky, and get a table in a pub, and so don't get back to the station until just after 2. They now can't travel until 4:15 - that isn't going to be easy to explain.
    Scenario 2 - this time, they arrive at Alresford at 14:43 and decide to go into town for an afternoon cuppa. Let's assume they've parked at Alton. As soon as the 15:00 departs, Mr and Mrs Bloggs have no way of getting back to Alton. How is that resolved?

    It's a great, really imaginative solution to a very difficult problem, and I really hope it works - that way I can have a great day out and ride "over the Alps" behind Bahamas. But unless very clear information, which non-enthusiasts will read and understand, is sent out in advance, can it actually be made to work in practice?
     
  14. genealogist

    genealogist New Member

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    Again reported from the SVR, each passenger was given a timetable just for 'their' train which sounds like a possible solution
     
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  15. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    The experience on the ground is that compliance is very very good.

    As to the various scenarios described the railway is being as clear as possible, and will remain as clear as possible about what people's choices are, and it is really simple. You can travel as much or as little as you want breaking your journey wherever you want, but you may only sit in your seat on the train you have been allocated to. In the unlikely event that some people misunderstand this we will help them find a solution.

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  16. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Member

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    How about getting them to clean out the ashpans and smokeboxes at the end of the day? Seriously though - it's not difficult. A simple set of instructions issued with tickets is all that is required. The only problem will be anyone who deliberately refuses to stick to the rules.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  17. green five

    green five Well-Known Member

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    Good luck dealing with the difficult people. We have a few of these at work. Even though we have one employee who is struggling to breathe in hospital with Covid-19 and several others waiting for tests some people still seem to think it is all a government conspiracy


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  18. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    then you drop them off at the next station stop, let the police deal with them , it's a £200 fine each per occasion they break the law, I would have no problem if this was done,
     
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  19. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    All fine, but the question is what position that puts the volunteers in if it gets that conflictual
     
  20. LC2

    LC2 Member

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    We're talking about enthusiasts and perhaps a few parents with kids in tow.
    Not the Intercity Crew coming back from a day out supporting Millwall.
     

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