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Recommissioning after Coronavirus

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

  1. alastair

    alastair Member

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    Well yes, but also very importantly, the govt. has loudly and continually said that service trains are for essential travel only and I have not seen any speculation even about that advice being lifted anytime soon. I've been sorely tempted to have leisure trips out on the many almost totally empty trains I often see but haven't because it seems irresponsible and I don't particularly relish being questioned as to the nature of my trip. For me anyway, those 2 factors totally influence me in "deciding what to do".
     
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  2. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

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    TfL have repeatedly stated that all public transport in London is for 'essential journeys' too. That doesn't stop a lot of people making what I consider to be leisure journeys on my bus.
     
  3. daveannjon

    daveannjon Member

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    Just received the SVR's Branch Lines online newsletter which says they will open their pubs on 4 July and the railway on 1 August.

    Dave
     
  4. Andy Williams

    Andy Williams Member

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    The SVR are proposing those dates, subject of course to the government lifting some of the current resrtrictions.

    Andy
     
  5. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    The way a good many are behaving, as though Covid-19 has gone away, (beaches, protests etc.)we could be on lockdown again by August. :(
     
  6. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Second lockdown will be starting on 7th July

    Domestic Facilities Management has a hair appointment on the 8th
     
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  7. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    SVR monthly newsletters have been published at https://www.svrlive.com/newsletters

    Patrick
     
  8. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    This sounds like an area where I would expect the HRA to make an interpretation. If the government advice is not explicit on the matter, the HRA is best placed to obtain clarification on behalf of us all. As the lockdown loosens the picture becomes increasingly confusing. Is anyone aware of the HRAs opinion on whether Heritage Railways are permitted to operate under current legislation and advice?

    If not what further concession are we waiting for?

    Whilst on the topic, to save trawling through every thread and website, have any railways announced a date for resumption of passenger operations yet?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  9. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    What is interesting is that Zoos are NOT allowed to open, despite as they point out being open air sites unlike (say) IKEA
     
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  10. DcB

    DcB Member

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    The Guardian reported.
    "Asked about zoos in the daily government briefing on Friday, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “I very much hope that we can get zoos reopened in a safe and Covid-secure way, but of course it has got to be done in way that doesn’t allow the R [the virus reproduction rate] to go above 1.”
    So presume once the detailed risk assessments and procedures are looked at by the Government Zoos will be able to reopen?
    May mean some Zoo buildings and enclosures are still closed and extra fencing put up?

    Likewise with Heratige railways the ORR says about risk assessments and procedures which the HRA will also go along with.
    It can be done in stages and pre booked supervised viewing of live steam trains from socially distanced platforms may prove to be the first stage?.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
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  11. toplight

    toplight Well-Known Member

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    Certainly the feeling at my own railway the Swindon and Cricklade seems to be that we probably wont run straight away even if restrictions are lifted. Any running has to be viable, i.e. there has to be sufficient visitors wanting to come so you make a profit running the trains. If you are losing money, then no point to do so. Steaming a loco and then no passengers turn up, as well as making a loss also ties up volunteer time when they could be more productively doing some other task. Many of the operational staff also work on Loco/coach/track maintenance too so will do that instead.

    It might be different with sites that are more a museum like Quainton Road or Didcot as you can charge people to just look around and you don't need to necessarily have anything running and still can get income and then build up from there.
     
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  12. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    The point about essential travel (on our network) as distinct from leisure travel (as on heritage lines) leaves out main line charters (steam or diesel) that also fall into the 'leisure' and non-essential category.

    I know for a fact that Belmond is planning on reinstating its Pullman service (starting with diesel) in the near future so I would expect that all heritage lines should be doing the same even though the government hasn't yet said 'go'. It's daft not to get the starting blocks out, so to speak, as that needs a fair amount of forward planning and by waiting until you are given a date then this simply delays further your eventual re-opening.

    If, as some medical experts are saying, social distancing will last a year....and by the way, I recall one member of Nat Pres was given a very hard time by individuals for even suggesting that this, or something similar, might happen.....then whatever heritage lines have to do will need to be sustainable.

    So getting the plans and adjustments in place now seems eminently sensible. Logically this would include running trains with volunteers from the railway as passengers to test systems before the public is let loose on the Railway.
     
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  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    From the Severn Valley thread:

    “The SVR is working towards a target date of 4th July to reopen its pubs and 1st August for the reopening of the line itself to the public.”
    Note though it is “working towards” not “definitely will”.

    Tom (trawling through threads so others don’t have to”) :)
     
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  14. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum Member

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    Don't forget, the mainline TOCs are staffed, so they just have to roster their staff to run the services.


    How much notice will you need to get a full enough volunteer roster to operate a heritage service?
    (How many of them are local, so not having to travel far? Will there be spares to cover those having to pull out closer to the date? What do you do if some of your core volunteers have to self-isolate?)

    How much work needs doing, & how long will it take, to enable services to run?
     
  15. RichardMoreton

    RichardMoreton New Member

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    Would this be the first line to re-open, on 14 June?

    https://www.trainardeche.fr/en/
     
  16. JEB-245584

    JEB-245584 Member

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    The ELR chairman stated on BBC NW news that it would take approximately three weeks to get up and running again.
     
  17. DcB

    DcB Member

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    First in France?
    Steam trains have already restarted in Germany and Holland.
     
  18. Mike S

    Mike S Member

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    I see that some railways have people back in and working on various loco and rolling stock projects. Such groups have no doubt assessed the situation we find ourselves in and followed guidelines to be able to do to so.

    Many of 'us' from somewhere I am involved with are keen to be getting back to doing things as above, but are being forcefully told that doing so is against government guidelines, that restoring locomotives and stock is in no way essential and that we would be breaking the law if we go on site.

    So, for those of a legal background, are those who have returned to such things acting against current guidelines and 'our' railway is correct or not...?

    I am becoming increasingly concerned at the potential loss of, or much reduced level of, input from volunteers the longer and longer we are kept away, people are steadily making use of their time doing other things and a good number have said their future input will be reduced regardless of any Covid concerns, purely due to realising how much volunteering was making them neglect other things in life...

    Mike
     
  19. 43729

    43729 New Member

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    Ultimately it is down to the board if directors for any railway to interpret the guidance.

    I know that if it was my decision I would wait until I had as much data and evidence from other railways as possible before I let a soul on site.

    There are no prizes for being the first to reopen, there are however many risks to being first.

    Best of luck to all those who have to make these decisions..... I'm glad I'm not one of them.
     
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  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I agree that there is an element of seeing who goes first before committing. On the other hand, school summer holidays start at the end of July, and I suspect for some it will be a case of wanting to be open for that time or not at all. If you then count back and reckon you might need to put in three or four weeks commissioning effort before re-opening, it probably points to about the end of June as being the critical date by which railways will need to make definite decisions, and therefore need some clarity about what is and isn’t allowable.

    Tom
     
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