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Project Wareham

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by David R, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. mattspencer

    mattspencer Member

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  2. 6024KEI

    6024KEI Member

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  3. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    The document is an official one from an organ of government, announcing an intention to do something. I believe it is primarily aimed at existing TOCs, which might have reason to comment, but it appears to be inviting comment from anybody. As such, why shouldn't it be made public anywhere? As far as I can see even a private individual, such as one of us, could write in and say "Jolly good idea".
     
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  4. biggles200

    biggles200 New Member

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    I was sent a email from the railway which included this

    Swanage Railway like nearly all heritage railways relies on a mix of fares and other commercial income, donations, legacies and grants to pay its way. Sadly the decision to suspend our commercial operations until the 1st of May at the earliest will place a huge strain our finances. We are therefore stepping up our fundraising efforts and ask our supporters, friends and well wishers to consider making donations to the Swanage Railway Trust to protect the future of the railway we love and cherish.

    DONATE HERE

    Choose which project on the Railway you would like to help in these very difficult times. There is a link to Project Wareham which still needs funds.
     
  5. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    Guess the project is 95% complete, so a small amount of funds may be needed for training, testing and ORR paperwork? Which may now be delayed.
    the last update was in February without any service dates
    https://www.swanagerailwaytrust.org/post/project-wareham-dmu-fleet-assembled-at-corfe-castle
    The project page on the main SR website has been removed, there is https://www.swanagerailway.co.uk/wareham where it says 'we hope to extend regular train services to Wareham shortly. See the latest Wareham Services updates' but the update link does not work! The timetable from May shows Wareham but no times? Maybe it might now be June if the virus threat is gone and training etc can take place in May?
     
  6. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    I admire your optimism over the virus if nothing else as 12 weeks for those at risk (or in my case living with someone at risk) takes us to the middle of June.
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I suspect that is wildly optimistic. My gut feeling is that all railways are in full-on survival mode this year and probably next year as well, and launching any new initiative - especially one that has significant costs and a degree of uncertainty about take up (and therefore income against those costs) is therefore for another time. What happens if you launch and the public stay at home?

    Maybe I am being unduly cautious, but I’d be amazed to see any public service before 2022.

    Tom
     
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  8. DcB

    DcB New Member

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  9. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    I think 2021 is perhaps more realistic, this summer I think is likely to be a write-off
     
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  10. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    What about the economic fall out?
     
  11. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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  12. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    Tom - I don't think that anyone could seriously disagree with your assessment that all of the UK's heritage railways will be in "survival mode" for a considerable period. My personal gut feeling is that operations will be able to resume some time during the summer of 2020. I don't think that Bojo's hint of a 12-week shutdown has come from nowhere:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-52016139

    I know people are distrustful of news from China, and certainly the Chinese are adding lashings of propaganda, but I think the underlying story is real. Of course, conditions are different in China, and we will have better indicators of our future from progress in Italy and Spain. On the negative side, the situation is deteriorating very rapidly in the USA, whose current political leadership makes our lot look like models of wisdom.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...ecome-coronavirus-epicenter-who-idUSKBN21B1FT

    At the end of the emergency, everyone will be traumatised and some will have suffered major financial loss. On the other hand, folk may be only too keen to get out of the house and visit every possible local tourist spot. So heritage railways could have either lots of customers or very few, and may need some flexibility on timetabling and train lengths (Yes, I do realise how difficult that would be), with perhaps some of the longer lines initially limiting operations to shorter sections.

    There will be a continued danger of renewed local flare-ups of the virus, and re-importation into areas where the virus has been suppressed - the problem that the Chinese are now finding. So tight border controls, and much reduced international tourism, could continue for some time (possibly until a vaccine is available), particularly in view of the ominous-looking situation in USA.

    Difficult to see any precedents for the situation that we face. I can only think of the restoration of services on the RHDR in 1946 after end of WW2.
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes, just for clarity I didn’t mean to imply that Swanage Railway services wouldn’t resume until 2022 - I agree with you that later in 2020 is possible. Rather, I meant I couldn’t see Wareham services starting before 2022, because even if main SR services resume later in the year, 2021 will still be about rebuilding fragile finances and Wareham strikes me as too risky in that light. Hence my feeling of 2022.

    Tom
     
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  14. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    I do hope that people don't rush to start flying around as soon as the borders reopen. In my opinion it would be extremely irresponsible. I sincerely hope that border controls and health checks are amongst the last things to be relaxed.
     
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  15. 007

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    Absolutely no one on the railway is currently suggesting any dates for the Wareham Service. The return to service is May provisionally but god knows if that will be reality.
    The SRC is working on all the paperwork and the final hurdles were being reached as this pandemic struck. Casual observers, who have no idea what is going on and continues to go on from home in order to get the absolute mountain of paperwork sorted out, are wrong to write the railways service off all the way to 2022.

    I agree, a service in 2020 is now unlikely, however Swanage Railway trains I'm sure will run to Wareham in 2020 as part of training. I would expect it to kick off properly next year. The money for Project Wareham has largely been raised, so its just a case of training completion and snagging of the DMUs. This has been on going throughout 2019 and up until 2 weeks ago.

    The Swanage Railway now, like all Heritage Railways face an uphill battle ahead. The challenges that face the people today are of the same magnitude as the pioneers of the railway make no mistake. However we need to turn this round in 2 years, not the 45 years as before.
    The challenge is immense and some railways WILL close as a result of this pandemic. Its a case that as a movement, we must unite, railway to railway, volunteer to supporter in order to bring us through this bruised but not beaten..

    For once, perhaps its not just money we need to worry about, perhaps we need the time to evaluate what we are doing as a movement. Have we all become too commercial or perhaps not commercial enough? You watch the NYMR program and the whole focus seems to be money, which is obviously vitally important, but why does the supporter support? It is a topic hardly touched on. These railways became reality because people loved steam and railways, perhaps that been lost in the mist a little?

    Tough days ahead, but bright ones will follow.
     
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  16. biggles200

    biggles200 New Member

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    Latest edition of Swanning Around is out and from that it is clear that May start will be impossible due to virus You can find it here. https://swanagerailway.co.uk/volunteers-diary

    It is interesting that the Swanage Carnival committee thinks that it maybe possible to go ahead with the Carnival!
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  17. 007

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    It had been widely accepted that the start was going to be pushed back to June.
     
  18. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    Sorry Tom - I'd mis-read your post and thought you were talking about heritage railways generally, rather than just Swanage/Wareham. My comments are obviously more appropriate to the general corona-virus thread. A problem is that the corona-virus thread is so awash with comments that any specific post there rapidly becomes several pages back!
     
  19. biggles200

    biggles200 New Member

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    Is the ORR Notice of proposal to grant license on hold or is work still going on despite the lock down - i.e. work being done at home.? I am expecting it is on hold, but it would be lovely to hear otherwise.
     
  20. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    I notice from Swanning Around
    "Progress is such that, when virus-related restrictions are lifted we should be “oven ready” (to quote Mark Woolley!) to resume, subject to timetabling, financial, and other issues that may appear. Nothing is certain. The world may not return to the previous normality! Swanning Around will endeavour to keep you informed."

    From the 2017 service the SR gained at least a 6% rise in passengers and got valuable publicity.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-england-dorset-41656613
    If the lockdown works and restrictions are lifted may be worth starting in 2020 if there are enough trained volunteers.
    Also if SWR will give special fares like they did in 2019 as SWR will also want to see people return to trains for off peak leisure?. The latest SWR route map now includes Corfe and Swanage.
    Also NT offers for Castle entry?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020

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