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Recommissioning after Coronavirus

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

  1. gwralatea

    gwralatea New Member

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    In the first months no, because no one knew what they were dealing with. Recommissioning on the other hand...

    IIRC (and it's a week or two since I read it in detail) for sport restart can happen on the heads of the governing bodies, and with individual clubs (and any contractors like physios) showing that their liability insurance covers their employees against corona related issues. What they have to do with spectators hasn't been clarified yet AIUI.

    There is some talk in the richer sports that they will get around it by using their own money to indemnify themselves, because that insurance bar is incredibly high.

    So actually, I'm not sure we are being held to different standards. It's just that it's only now becoming clear (sport within the last fortnight) what those standards might be.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    The scientific advice seems to have changed over time. Initially it was thought that the virus could last 6-7 days in the right conditions but this now seems to have dropped to 72 hours on surfaces such as hard plastics. Current PHE guidelines say contaminated waste should be left for 72 hours before being disposed of as ordinary (household) waste so this seems to be accepted as the safe period at the moment.
    Like sport, the heritage railway movement is waiting and watching for the first railway to take the plunge. Many are now re-starting volunteering and thinking how they can accommodate members of the public. They have a slight advantage over the network in that many of their passengers are family groups and not individuals, which is more the norm on the big railway. That should mean they have a higher practical payload whilst maintaining social distancing. Possibly still not enough to be economically beneficial, though.

    It would be very difficult to prove that a heritage railway was the source of any contamination. If a railway has a robust risk assessment and complies with it that should be sufficient. After all, a surface is only definitely Covid-19 free at the moment it is successfully cleaned and the probability of it becoming contaminated increases with use until the next clean.
     
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  3. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    I've seen reports that it can survive in viable form for 48 hrs on hard surfaces, but less on porous surfaces. Sorry I don't have links though.

    Given the incubation period it would be difficult for anyone to prove that they caught the virus on a train, though of course that doesn't mean heritage railways should be any less rigorous.
     
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  4. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    It might be difficult to pinpoint this for individual cases, but as track and trace locks into gear spotting the sources of outbreaks will become easier - as is being seem in other countries (particularly in the Far East) at the moment. It is those outbreaks that the HSE will be interested in.

    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
     
  5. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    Thanks @Steve for that, clearly I am out by some way if it is 72 hours!

    On your last point, it would seem reasonably simple to identify if people are passing the virus at a heritage railway by virtue of their being in the same place at the same time, but a different matter to suggest that the railway itself 'contributed' to the spread beyond just by being open - a good risk assessment and cleaning regime seems the way to go.
     
  6. gwralatea

    gwralatea New Member

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    completely agree, although that highlighted word couple to the underlined bit is where the thinking needs to be IMO.

    Like I said, I'm glad I'm not trying to sort this out for a preserved railway!
     
  7. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    I believe the government may have some statistical information regarding heritage railway rolling stock and Covid-19. How accurate that maybe I cannot say.
    Recalling the Cheltenham Races, shortly before lockdown, which despite many saying they should not have gone ahead, but did, the G&WSR did carry punters to the races. There have been suggestions that the racing event did spread Covid-19 and if those who travelled on the railway and contracted Covid-19 are included then maybe there is useful information for heritage lines to consider. Maybe the HRA are in possession of any worthwhile information and have passed it on to heritage lines?
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
  8. daveannjon

    daveannjon Member

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  9. trevorgower

    trevorgower New Member

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    KWVR 43924 on test run today; a start has been made!
    SAM_0996.JPG
     
  10. MikeParkin65

    MikeParkin65 Member Friend

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    Grant Chaps has just announced compulsory face coverings on 'public transport'
     
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I can already picture @Paulthehitch arguing with Mr Shapps that heritage railways aren't public transport and thus exempt! ;)
     
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  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Hmmm - there is a serious point though in the flippancy about the VAT situation, a point that has been frequently discussed on NP. Conceivably those railways making use of the zero-rating on ticket prices would thereby be deemed to be public transport, and those that charge VAT as an admission price to an attraction would not!

    I can see a bit of head scratching over that one.

    Tom
     
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  13. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Although it is off topic, I am still scratching my head over heritage train fares and Gift Aid. As Tom has said, heritage railways come under transport systems and thus, the tickets are vat free. There are an increasing number of railways that are now claiming gift aid on the sale of tickets but I am at a loss to find anything that allows you to both claim gift aid and have zero rating. The NYMR has just started doing it and I'm aware that the Talyllyn and KESR do or, at least, did. Are there any more? Do we have any experts on the subject on here?
     
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  14. Young Philip

    Young Philip New Member

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    To claim Gift Aid you have to be a Registered Charity, so if a heritage railway is operated by and 'tickets' to travel are sold by a ltd or plc company then it cannot claim gift aid, even if the company is owned by a charity.
     
  15. twr12

    twr12 Member

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    Fortunately VAT and Gift Aid are completely separate entities.

    Rail travel, like all public transport; is zero rated for VAT.
    If the rail journey is on a heritage railway which has “operation of train services” as a charitable objective, approved by Charity Commissioners, the charity can ask ticket purchasers to complete a gift aid declaration to enable the charity to claim gift aid.

    Museum admission is also zero rated VAT. For example; Royal Yacht Britannia, now a charitable trust, encourages visitors to complete a gift aid declaration while buying admission.
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Thanks for clarifying the situation. Isn't museum admission vat exempt, which is subtly different but then has repercussions in claiming back vat paid?
     
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  17. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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  18. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum Member

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    The issue is whether that level of cleaning can be maintained for long enough with volunteers.
    If a railway tries to operate in August, September, October, as many would usually do, 5 days a week with only 1 set in use, that's 60 lots of good/deep cleaning to be done.
    Not only does that need the people, it's also going to need PPE for them, & all the cleaning materials.
    High-touch points like handles will need to be done between each trip, so that it can be seen that cleaning is being taken seriously.

    Then there's a risk if the cleaning doesn't happen one day, or not done completely, & a customer the next day finds some rubbish or a dirty window/table/etc & posts about it on social media...

    All of that for an at most 50% capacity.

    So, more costs, more volunteers, for very little, if any, profit. Possibly even a loss.
     
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  19. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum Member

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  20. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    According to the BBC news web site:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52927089
    mention is made of buses, trains, aircraft and ferries, it make no distinctions. There are exemptions for some people as the article relates. The 15th. June date only applies to England, at present. There will will be some need for further clarification, as usually happens with daily briefings. An earlier BBC article mentioned 'enclosed spaces' but I see that is not in the link posted.
     

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