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Recommissioning after Coronavirus

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by johnofwessex, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    The SVR is in the West Midlands, many people can visit it within a 2 hour drive -

    Birmingham (massive population)
    West Midlands
    East Midlands
    Shropshire
    Herefordshire
    Warwickshire
    Bristol/Cheltenham/Gloucester areas
    South and north eastern/mid Wales.
     
  2. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    Misleading headline. For Britons see English!
     
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  3. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    You could see that a conventional Standard Open with four seats each side could work with a maximum of four (2 plus 2) across the coach at the windows. If it were a family of up to four then you would only have two on the other side so a maximum of six. Compartments would only work with one family unit. With First Class Opens you would have a maximum of four across six seats - either 2 plus 2 at the windows or a family of up to four in the four arrangement with nobody in the singles.

    This all assumes that at some point social distancing will be redefined to state that 'strangers' should not be adjacent to each other - i.e. the social distance will shrink to a metre on a train.
     
  4. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    The Statesman Rail website now says the rail tours are postponed till September
     
  5. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    July 18 tour quoted as being their restart in the article still shows available for booking and no mention of delay until September. Mind you the website does show two tours before that date still.
     
  6. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    Thanks only saw the first page.
     
  7. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Posted yesterday on the GCR website

    "Added on Friday 22nd May...


    Today we have taken the first very careful steps towards our eventual return. Although the railway remains closed to the public for now, and majority of departments remain closed to all for the time being, a very small number of the team have returned to work in a carefully-controlled way as we begin to restart our operations.

    With precautions in place, including Driver and Fireman wearing face coverings, and Guard alone in the coaches, BR Standard Class 2 78018 completed some important test runs along the line today to confirm the success of repair works."

    This seems the very sensible first step towards recommissioning after coronavirus.......I would quite happily pay to park my car in Quorn station yard and watch the (empty) trains go by for a couple of hours!
     
  8. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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  9. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    I think it will be a long time before some people will be happy to be close to others and operators are correct to try to maintain Social Distancing by limiting access and altering seating plans. Many others may well accept the slight element of added risk and gather together regardless, that is the choice of individuals. However lots of people enjoy just seeing trains running and have been able to just turn up at many locations and see them. I expect many of these locations will now have some element of payment to benefit the railway. Also, there are different income streams which do not require large numbers of people travelling i.e. photo charters, carriage hire for a day, testing, filming, donations, share purchase, bequests etc.
    Therefore I hope and expect that most heritage lines WILL survive....somehow.
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    The GCR have had 78018 in steam and on test this week. The NYMR have similarly had No.29 in steam. on VE 75 day, Schools 926 was also in steam on test. Are these the only occurrences so far, or have there been others? In particular, did any loco steam during April or was it a totally steam free month for the first time since (probably) June 1812?
     
  11. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Member

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  12. mikechant

    mikechant Member

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    On many modern service trains you *could* operate the doors/lock button with an elbow. Or course this doesn't apply to e.g. MK3 and earlier stock unless converted like the XC HSTs.
    On such stock you could potentially have hand sanitiser mounted on the outside of the toilet.

    The other thing is that recent advice has downgraded the chance of contact infection, saying that the evidence is most infections are via breath etc.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  13. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    I recently had a conversation which re-emphasized what I think several other people have pointed out; what the government will allow isn't as crucial as whether the passengers will show up - and my recent conversation makes me think they might not.

    So my son and his wife were scheduled to fly to Ireland in August, to visit her parents - but they now are probably going to cancel. Why? Well, his response was sort of 'why take a chance'. My guess is that with the level of public concern about getting COVID, a lot of potential vintage rail passengers will probably have the same reaction. Of course, that's just a guess; to know for sure, we'll probably have to just try it and see.

    But if so, vintage rail as a viable attraction may not work; it does (or used to) bring in a lot of cash, to pay for trains and infrastructure, but lines may have to cut back on all that - whether 'back' or 'out', we shall have to see. Maybe we'll be back to the age of 1'=12" scale train sets for the enthusiasts only; lines may want to have a plan prepared for that if the passengers don't re-appear..

    Noel
     
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  14. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    It seems to me that those lines who have class 116 or 117 type carriages may find it easier to maintain social distancing of their passengers. Each set of seats has, as I recall, its own doorway to and from the platform. Guidance (marshalling) for passengers can be achieved at platform level and I believe seating restrictions could be maintained in each small bay - 4 passengers instead of 8 with no access to other parts of the train allowed. Quite a few lines have these type of carriages, DSR/SDR/G&WSR etc. Of course the crux would be whether, or not, those passenger numbers would be enough to maintain the service: the downside is that to maintain the required distancing a more intensive service might have to be operated even in the quieter times of the year. Tickets could be checked before boarding which would restrict movements of TTI's/Guards ensuring their social distancing. Most of the time this would be satisfactory, as far as I can see. Times when things go wrong should, hopefully, be few.
    Maybe those longer lines, such as the WSR might have to consider shortened journeys. Shorter journeys cut down the need to use toilets and also less time on the train. Families will find some of the arrangements - such as children wearing masks (and keeping them on) and staying still - difficult, in fact almost impossible, to maintain. Shorter journeys would be at an distinct advantage in such instances. The idea of a day out on a steam train is usually an enjoyable event; but that might be something that could appear a hardship and therefore a factor that could deter visitors.
    Shorter lines also have the advantage - less maintenance and less operating costs.
    Churches are mooted to be open to worshippers in July, (they are already open in France) but that is an environment that can be far more easily controlled with services duplicated to overcome crowding. Duplicated train timetables are, as far as I see it, not an easy option.
     
  15. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    That might be possible, but I'm struggling to get any kind of enthusiasm for such an operation. As a member of the public I certainly wouldn't bother, as a volunteer to staff it possibly out of a sense of duty to help the railway, but I doubt I'd enjoy it in the same way I normally enjoy my turns. The model railway is more appealing. Certainly the GWSR only has one DMU anyway, so any service would be terrible frequency. I just don't see why anyone would bother to turn up to be herded into a DMU to spend an hour going in one direction and then come back again. Yes it would be cheap to run, but so's a bus - it would be about as exciting.
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    This is starting to rear its head. We did a survey of our volunteers and the majority said they would re-start as soon as they could. Now that we've opened the doors to volunteers in a controlled way, with work zones, social distancing and restricted numbers in the mess room, several of those who said they were willing to return are now saying that they won't with these restrictions in place as it would spoil their enjoyment and being with friends, a main reason for volunteering.
     
  17. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    I would agree that some railways may find this as bit easier than others.

    We have (optimistically) got a week booked on the Isle of Wight in August, and the thought of being in a compartment on the IOWSR just for my family, and paying a premium for this privilege is fairly appealing. No on train toilets, no other people you could get the virus from (though I suspect I would remain anxious about whether any residue from previous occupants had been removed).

    Being in a TSO would make me much more anxious at the moment.

    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
     
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  18. Southernman99

    Southernman99 New Member Friend

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    A TSO can be managed fairly easy with opposite bays closed off creating the distancing required. You can also instruct people within each saloon of the TSO to exit from a certain door thus reducing the contact points.
    A compartment coach will be just as challenging because of the contact points with the door handles unless you can somehow prevent the compartment doors being used.
    In past experience a DMU is not what the general public want to travel on. This is not a dig at DMU's but observations on platforms and not all railways have class 116/7 units or Mk1 suburbans to maintain a compartment only service.
    I myself would be happy to travel in a TSO with the opposite bay closed off.
     
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  19. Kingscross

    Kingscross New Member

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    There may be an opportunity here for places like Didcot and the the Bucks Railway Centre, where the train ride is only one element of the day. What chance of converting a couple of wagons into open carriages, like those at the Bristol Harbour Railway, to facilitate post-pandemic steam haulage?
     
  20. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    If you can safely run a DMU, I dont see why you cannot run a steam hauled train. The only difference with a diesel is that you would need fewer people to break even.

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