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Mid Hants Railway Operational Matters

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by NightRail, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    My lords Dave, you’ve made a Class 47 look half decent!
     
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  2. kwrail

    kwrail New Member

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    Great photos. The LED lights are a stroke of genius. Hats off to whoever's idea it was. Not for the purists, but great publicity (and therefore revenue) for the railway and cheers everyone up.
     
  3. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    "Blimey, you've got those lamps going well. They must get through a lot of oil though..."

    I don't like trains of lights, so I don't go. I wish them well and hope it makes them a hatful of cash.
     
  4. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    Presumably by turning the lights out you'd make it fully decent...
     
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  5. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

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    Bitch! :)
     
  6. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    What he means is replace the lights with the glow of cutting torches :D
     
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  7. Shoddy127

    Shoddy127 Member

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    And there in lies the problem, if railways solely relied on enthusiasts to keep the money coming in then they wouldn't exist! I guess it's like the Scotsman effect, the engine might not be everyone's cup of tea but after seeing the response at Swanage and the Mid Hants earlier this year, the people who do moan certainly don't mind the money coming in so it secures said railway for the next few years allowing them to continue to drive, fire and carry out all the other tasks involved in running a railway.

    Personally I think it's a belting idea and looks outstanding, certainly a positive end to what's been an extremely disappointing year on many fronts and I can't wait to take my two young sons behind the S15 on Friday evening.

    Well done to those people who have made this event happen!
     
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  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I worked out that for the Bluebell's SteamLights service, it was not far off the same loco and carriage miles as we did for our Flying Scotsman event; the difference being it was spread over 6 weeks or so rather than one week. I don't think it is quite my cup of tea either, but OTOH, it is operating at a time (particularly through January) when we probably wouldn't be running a service anyway, so it is not as if such services are pushing "more authentic" events off the calendar. And when all is said and done, a Santa special is not precisely recreating bygone times at Sheffield Park / Alresford / Corfe Castle either (delete according to taste); it's just that because they have been on heritage railway calendars for years people don't notice the incongruity.

    If it makes the difference between railways continuing or not, I'm for it. It is also pretty clear that such events are generating good regional and national coverage far more than a Santa event on a damp December day would. Hopefully some of that will translate to people coming in the summer as well.

    Tom
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Are the railways putting this on providing illuminated tableaux along the line? I've been on one as a passenger with little in the way of tableaux and found it quite boring after a few minutes and I think a significant number of others did. I will admit the trains look spectacular for those watching them pass, though.
     
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  10. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    I will refer to my post #2958 :) certainly in my job at the mo we’re trying to think of other ways we can sell our products.
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Can’t speak for anywhere else, but ours does - there are a series of illuminated tableaux along the line, plus some theatricality at the station before departure.

    Tom
     
  12. Nick C

    Nick C Member

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    Agreed - these kind of family events (including things like Thomas, Wizards etc) bring in the money that lets us enjoy our hobby.

    I took my wife on the Illuminations service on Sunday, and she thoroughly enjoyed herself (as did I for that matter!) - she's not an enthusiast, and would be thoroughly bored at a normal Gala, but she loved this, and loved the "Christmas Leave" event last year.
     
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  13. kwrail

    kwrail New Member

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    The Mid-Hants had big financial problems in the nineties. It was Thomas the Tank Engine days that helped the line get out of the hole that it was in. Like it or not, it's events like these - such as sticking LED lights on Santa specials - that keeps most lines afloat. It's a matter of give and take, and having a good balance between 'regular' services and special events.
     
  14. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Well-Known Member Friend

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    Yes the Steam Illuminations trains pass a number of lit scenes during the journey, plus also the passengers have glowing bracelets that flash in synch with the music and outside displays. Powerful lights attached to the solebars also light up the countryside as you go by, again these are visible from the train (at least they were when I went on the test run back in September!
    Also of course with two services running, you get to see the outside of the "other" illuminated train at Medstead or Ropley
    Picture below taken from over 1 Km away, these lights are bright!

    [​IMG]Steam Illuminations near Alresford by Stephen Morley, on Flickr
     
  15. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    As the Watercress Line ran pretty much the only enthusiasts gala this year I don't think it could be said that we are short changing either the heritage of the railway or the railway fan, and we have many developments planned in 2021 with some fascinating arrivals early in the New Year which will add much interest.

    Steam Illuminations appeals to a huge range of people, and is introducing the railway to new people all the time. It is also bringing a lot of pleasure to a lot of people.

    From a financial perspective it is like running a steam gala every day for a month, but without the same level of cost or risk (from the weather, locos not turning up etc etc).

    Steam Illuminations is not like other train and lights events. The videos of the outside show less than half the story. Some of the outside lights are visible inside and there are lights fitted inside the carriages as well. In addition wristbands sync with the train and the passenger becomes part of the show. All the lights sync with the sound show played on board. This isnt just lights on a train....this is Watercress Line Lights on a train!

    Two trains in fact!

    All credit for design of the lighting system to Simon Horn one of the volunteers on the railway, but also a professional lighting designer. 14000 individually controllable LED lights per train. GPS location so the show syncs with the railway, and a bunch of other novel stuff.

    As I said before, we're all having too much fun bringing happiness to care about any negativity. Why not come and join us?



    Sent from my SM-A405FN using Tapatalk
     
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  16. fb1969

    fb1969 New Member

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    I went on the first Steam Illuminations train from Alton last Friday, alongside a 5 year old boy.

    Creating an interest in trains in children is the only way the way the heritage world will continue. Agreed it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but then what is? To see the look on a young boy's face with all the lights, and the LED wristband that changed colour as the train did, was more than enough to make it worthwhile. Pristine and precisely recreated trains from years ago with a "do not touch" attitude will never attract youngsters, events like this can generate a long lasting interest.

    I have only seen positive publicity for the event and most trains now seem fully booked. Well done to the Watercress Line.
     
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  17. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    And when you see positive reports like that from someone who has taken their family to the attraction, it shows the brains behind this and having management prepared to give it ago, is what counts now , because with Covid , nothing can be the same again, and its adapt or die.
     
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  18. 73129

    73129 Member

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    This week’s YouTube video returns to boilers again.

     
  19. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Yes, 'enthusiasts' seem ready to moan about many things that don't suit them. Strange how they don't moan about a railway having a gala - when galas never existed in past times. Then you often hear them moaning about the food or catering on offer when all that there used to be were the traditional British Rail curly cheese sandwiches...
    It's about time everyone realised that, no matter what they think of themselves, the 'enthusiast' contingent only makes up about 10% of the annual passenger numbers and that 'their' railways would not survive without the general public - unless, of course, they were willing to pay ten times the price they pay now (and probably donate at least ten times what they do now) so they would not need general public support. Somehow I don't think that will happen.
     
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  20. Shoddy127

    Shoddy127 Member

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    Well, after experiencing the event last night all I can say is WOW!

    Everyone who have put this event together deserves a huge pat on the back as it was an amazing experience and well worth travelling. The wrist bands working in tandem with the music is just something else and what makes them even better is that they are reusable with changeable batteries and not one event wonders.

    The lights inside & out on the coaches are fantastic and there is just enough lights on the loco's to make them feel just right for the occasion, not too unlit or over lit. The staff were friendly and nice to see Driver Smith enjoying himself on the handle of 506.

    From an enthusiasts perspective, this isn't really the event for you. We were sat very close to 506 but couldn't really hear the engine very much due to the onboard entertainment but then it's not aimed at enthusiasts, that's what galas are for.

    Good value for money with the effort that's been put into the event and I would definitely go back and recommend you to travel. My two sons, 7 & 4 absolutely loved it and once the Covid situation starts to settle in 2021 (fingers crossed!), I can't wait to take the rest of the family on it again around this time next year if the railway decide to do it again, I think they would be daft if they didn't!

    If you have a family or grand children, get booking!
     
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