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Project Wareham

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

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think you are deluded.

    But, wearily, just picking apart a few things:

    "Government policy at all levels is addressed towards climate change"

    At a national level, our Government is paying lip service to climate change at best. But even were it true, encouraging additional travel does not seem to me to be what you would want to do.​

    "I cannot see Governments at any level giving up political points for not easing the life of commuters."

    Governments have lots of pressures to meet, but I don't detect sympathy for commuters as being a particularly pressing concern. At a local level, "potholes" almost invariably features high on lists of local concerns - hint: those are a roads problem, not a rail problem.​

    "how much money was solicited for the Worgret signalling?"

    I don't think you really understand how Council budgets work. Whatever DC (or DCC before it) has spent, that is all water under the bridge. What matters is next year's budget, and the year after. Nothing they do in the future can recover what has been spent, but decisions about a new rail service can have a very profound effect on their future budgets, particularly if it comes to needing to subsidise a loss-making service. That loss has to be covered. The opportunities Councils have to increase Council Tax are distinctly limited; money from the Treasury won't be forthcoming, so that means an equivalent cut elsewhere in the budget. That's likely to be from the Transport budget, so every pound you put into the rail link is a pound from somewhere else, most likely subsidising local buses. So in effect you are asking them to cut one transport subsidy in order to put in place a less effective one.​

    "How does not having a direct connection to the main line WSR.,SR or wherever provide any benefit the people that actually live in that particular area?"

    Opportunity cost. Very few people would directly benefit from such a connection. So at a local level, you have to weigh that against, say, a library or swimming pool closure; poor state of repair of roads, reducing the bus service etc. Generally, for a council just looking at its transport budget, bus provision is likely to be more cost effective than rail - cheaper, and easier to adjust to changing demand patterns; and easier to focus on where people actually live (rather than where teh stations are).​

    "One would imagine just the possibility of being 25 minutes or so from a London connection will have a very positive effect on property values in some areas of Purbeck"

    One of the significant problems in many English holiday areas (and I have no reason to assume Purbeck is any different) is high property prices driving young local people out of the area. While that is primarily driven by people having second homes, I'd suggest anything that further causes property price increases is strategically a bad idea for the area.​

    Additionally - have you ever commuted? 25 minutes journey to get to a place where you change (which is going to add another 5 - 10 minutes even if the connections are well thought out) and then at least another 25 minutes to the nearest town with significant commutable jobs - it's not a great journey. Times have changed, it is possible to work from home now for jobs where previously commuting would have been required.
    Tom
     
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  2. 80104

    80104 Member

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    All of which rather does beg the question would SRT SRC be better off (1) asking DC to be released from the commitment to operate the second year of the trial service and (2) cease any form of expenditure on PW preparations until such time (if ever) the financial prospects of such a service look significantly better ie not to incur the significant losses that would seem to be inevitable from running PW.

    Arguably all resources should be devoted to enhancing and protecting the core offering and endeavouring to reduce operational costs e.g. completing the building of the carriage shed (to protect rolling stock and reduce maintenance / restoration costs), completing the water tower (to reduce water costs), investing in the 6 car railways works (so that fewer trains need to be run thus reducing operating costs), completing the restoration of the T3 (so that one fewer loco had to be hired in).
     
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  3. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Yes, judging by the price of properties for sale in and around Swanage, I don't think they need any more positive effect.

    https://www.rightmove.co.uk/propert...=&mustHave=&dontShow=&furnishTypes=&keywords=
     
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  4. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody Member

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    What 6 car Railway works is this and where would it be situated?
    Fewer trains need to be run? Sorry, but I don't understand that bit. During the low season we run a One train service, one loco in steam, during the summer it is a two train service with either a second loco in steam or the second train is Diesel hauled.
     
  5. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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  6. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    i have no idea of the distance involved Oswestry to Gobowen but the Shropshire Star reports that the Cambrian Heritage Railway is having a study done regarding reopening this line and using Ultra Light Rail. Funding coming from the Restoring your Railways initiative. cue the Naysayers and their mountainous molehills!
     
  7. 80104

    80104 Member

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    To increase the platform lengths at all stations so they can take 6 carriages if they can not already do so. I understand that considerable track work adjustment would be needed at Swanage including the installation of a double slip.

    This would enable the number of green timetable days (2 train service one steam one diesel) to be reduced with more blue timetable days (one steam in service). This would reduce the resources required (both traction and crew). It would also mean that the occasional overcrowding (with standing passengers) from Norden on the first down train could be avoided or at least reduced.

    One of the challenges is that the first one or two down trains in the morning and last one or two up trains in the late afternoon can be very busy and yet during the middle of the day many services are comparatively empty. Having greater capacity services may enable some further reductions in service levels and equally be useful when there are large groups travelling,
     
  8. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    It is 4.6km about the same distance as the end of the world as we know it,Norden to Worgret.
     
  9. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    So your answer is that you do not wish to see the SR make a viable connection at Wareham? Should SR therefore ask DC to sell the DMUs?
     
  10. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    Without wandering onto another thread re your story of dwindling services. If you elect Tory governments and Councils unfortunately that is what you can expect. Its an old truism. "Tories, they know the cost of everything and the value of nothing" Reading the Echo it appears as if Poole Bus Station is becoming a no go zone for the elderly. A discussion well worth reading!
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I want to see the Swanage Railway have a prosperous operational future, and I see SR services to Wareham as a distraction and threat to that aim.

    I also happen to believe that on the SR, as on most heritage railways, they can make their greatest contribution to the local community by being a thriving tourist attraction. There are many studies of the positive financial impact that a heritage railway can have on its local area. I’m sure the pub and cafe owners of Swanage are much happier to see a train arrive in the station and disgorge 250 passengers than they would be in seeing a near-empty service leave the station early each morning, particularly if that service was also being subsidised by their business rates and council tax.

    Diesels - my views on those are well known, but I’m sure many people like them and they deserve preservation as museum pieces I guess.

    Tom
     
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  12. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    Let us err on the low side and say that 80% of those 250 passengers arrived at their starting point by car. Is that in line with current government policy? Is that Restoring our Railways? Given current costs(and they will only increase) can a steam only operation meet financial aims? It would seem that some culling of services is contemplated if not already under way. Its Railway Darwinism.Adapt or die.
     
  13. 5914

    5914 New Member

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    In short, the answer to the question is passengers arriving by car in line with current government policy, the answer is almost certainly YES. Significant investment is being made in EV cars - and the public transport needs of Purbeck are best met on a year round basis by a good hybrid or EV bus service which would also have the advantage of going to/from/through/near the places people want to go to. Any place for the railway in public transport terms is as a high season way of relieving peak day visitor traffic flows.

    The chances of DC reducing or cutting the subsidy for the route 40 and 50 buses in order to subsidise the alternative rail alternative from Swanage to Poole and Bournemouth (that would not realistically serve Herston, Langton, Kingston, the larger end of Corfe Castle, Wareham town, Sandford, Holton Heath, Organford, Lytchett, Upton, Ulwell, Studland, Sandbanks or Bournemouth town centre) are I suggest zero. Any suggestion that local authority funding would be available for a commuter rail service is demonstrating a lack of understanding of current travel patterns and local authority funding methods. No local authority would redirect its limited funding to deny such a wide range of communities a regular public transport service for an alternative that would be less regular, take as long (and probably require a change of train as well as change of mode at both ends), and not serve most of the places people need. Taking the example of someone living on Northbrook Road and wanting to travel to work in one of the finance offices in Bournemouth:
    Current: Walk to bus stop - Bus to Bournemouth Square - Walk 5 mins to most of the larger offices
    Proposed: Walk to station - Train to Wareham - Train to Bournemouth Central - Bus from Bournemouth Interchange to Bournemouth Square - Walk to office​
    Alternatively, a pensioner living in Langton and wanting to shop in Poole:
    Current: Bus to Poole town centre (free)
    Proposed: Taxi to Norden Park and Ride - Train to Wareham - Train to Poole (all at cost)​
    Local authority funding for public transport is focused on the travel demands of the local population. Such funding for a commuter service (or indeed such a service) was not a part of Project Wareham - for which the local authority investment was only justified on the basis of peak tourist flows.

    The example of Okehampton has also been cited. The significant different is that Okehampton acts as a railhead for a significant are of North Devon - whilst the railhead catchment for which Swanage would be more convenient that Wareham is mostly sea.

    This is not naysaying, but reality of the geography, politics, transport needs and transport funding of Purbeck (and was reflected in the business case that led to DCC investing in Project Wareham as a seasonal peak service).
     
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  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    So said the good doctor Beeching. What he, and even more so his acolytes, overlooked was the importance of promoting growth and new services.

    You instead posit a retreat towards a commuter future that is dependent upon more subsidy, conflicts with what has been preserved, and would be in competition with the public transport that exists - on a railway that has been developed for high season operation, with the staffing requirements that go with that. If that isn’t a recipe for decline, I’m not sure what is.

    I live 45 minutes drive from the GCR & NVR. Despite the easy train journey to Peterborough, my trips are to the GCR (no particular reason, just habit) and the thought of restricting myself to going by train is wholly alien. That’s on my own, let alone with family. I very much suspect that I’m in a majority, and that being told that I must pay a further train fare and constrain myself would be a deterrent to travel.


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  15. LC2

    LC2 Member

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    This thread is incredibly amusing when the protagonist is on ignore, so you read the replies trying to guess what (idiotic?) comments are being responded to (and probably failing to reach the right level of idiocy).
    More of you should try it. It does raise a wry smile.

    NB. I'm playing the ball not the person, I am referring to the comments being in all likelihood idiotic, not the person who I have no thoughts about whatsoever.
     
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  16. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    So the Wareham to Corfe 90 day trial should start in 2023 to help relieve road congestion if car users could leave cars at home (or SWR mainline stations).
    I have been searching for the aims of the Wareham Project and they don’t seem defined?
    Seems the main aim of the Wareham link is not for commuters, but a feeder DMU service from the Mainline services to the heritage operations at Corfe for leisure, where visitors can either change to the steam train, visit the castle and village or do some cycling or hiking.
    The community aspect for those living in the Purbeck area is not so clear as there is duplication with bus services.
    Interesting what Gladiator was saying about the comparison about getting to the Bluebell railway from London by car or train.
    But Wareham is on the SWR mainline, so can be easier to get to from say main towns like Basingstoke, Farnborough, Woking etc by train rather than car, especially onward to a daytrip to Corfe and SR on a heritage DMU if the connection goes well
    This week SWR reinstated 2 trains an hour weekdays at Wareham as well as the current Saturdays which could help connections
    There has been a “Great British rail sale“ promotion for 50% discounted advance tickets. From
    https://www.independent.co.uk/trave...assenger-discount-covid-b2060272.html?r=94781
    There are calls for more sale promotions.
    It's the same as you said where rail return costs from main towns like Basingstoke, Farnborough, Woking etc are more expensive weekday than at weekends, also some who work 9 to 5 will look for something to do weekends. So if the trail does start 2023 weekends will be busier.
    SR thread post #5860
    "Assuming that SR put their Swanage <> Corfe Castle Adult Return fare up for 2022 (based on the announcement earlier today) to say £17 then that will make the Wareham <> Swanage Adult Day Return Fare £23."
    If I have understood correctly.
    For someone from Woking to Swanage at the weekend with a SWR Gold annual or other railcard, that, would be a total of £46 return (SWR to Wareham, Heritage DMU to Corfe, then steam to Swanage) compared to the recent Railtours 4TC Sunday specials at £75, (plus £4 parking at Woking).

    It's possible many rail users may just go the Corfe for the castle, bike ride or hike which will be £29 total return.

    But with the insurance cost then the Wareham to Corfe return will have to be more, hopefully some way to reduce the insurance cost will be found?.
    For the 2023 90day trail to be successful it does need to be on a joint promotion with SWR and if there could be another “Great British rail sale“ promotion then will help.

    Beyond 2023 seems train operators are now getting fixed price contracts with "GBR" taking the risk of selling enough tickets, rather than the old franchises, then it is possible SR could also run the Wareham to Corfe heritage DMU off peak leisure/tourism 3 or 4 trains shuttle as a GBR contract?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
  17. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I would be shocked - the change to GBR is about how government controlled railways are operated, so that would imply GBR control over the SR.


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  18. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    No just the Wareham to Corfe heritage DMU shuttle (as it partly goes over the mainline, but helping take some risk from the SR), but will help selling joint SWR - SR tickets and promotions to make things easier for day trips.
     
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  19. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    It's a well established fact that people prefer personal transport in the form of cars to public transport of any type, and electric or hydrogen-fuelled cars are pretty certain (in most people's eyes) to replace oil-fuelled ones, so perhaps the best use of the Swanage branch would be to convert it to a road to provide a Corfe Castle bypass and a park and ride link to both Wareham and Swanage. I'm surprised no-one has thought of it before :D, I'm sure it would make @oliversbest a happy man!
     
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  20. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    Aims of the Wareham project? v The Swanage Railway A brief prospectus 1 July 1981
    Swanage Railway Company.I am sure that there is a copy in the Montagu Jones library
    #1 To Restore the Rail Link To Wareham
    #2 To run a daily service to connect with the principal main line trains between Weymouth and London and to bring the Isle of Purbeck into rail contact with the rest of the Country.
    Perhaps,as Henry Ford is reputed to have said "history is bunk!"
    However do we not have a duty to at least have a seasonal trial and respect the time,effort and money put into this project over the years.
    The chuffers to Norden Gates people might not be happy,who knows the experiment could be a colossal flop.OTOH it might well serve as a pointer for other LH lines to consider widening their horizons. The Restoring your Railways crew might even use the experiment as an example of what they are prepared to do.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022

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