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Recommissioning after Coronavirus

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

  1. Davo

    Davo Member

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    Not sure if I'm asking this question on the right thread, does anyone know on nat pres if the Midland railway centre Butterley are operating heritage train rides from Butterley to Ironville in the 2021 season, I dident find the Midland railway centre facebook page much use about reopening for heritage train rides but on their official website just found 3 day event of victorian heritage trains running in August are they in financial difficulty due to the after effects of covid? (I'm only guessing when asking that if that's why they could be not operating trains in 2021)
    Davo 56F
     
  2. bluetrain

    bluetrain Well-Known Member

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    I noticed today on the GWSR web-site that the standard (pre-Covid) timetable will return from 20th July. If I have understood correctly, you can still pre-book but will no longer get a seat reservation. So no more social distancing there? Will be interesting to see what other railways do.
     
  3. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    That is indeed my understanding, and I can't wait personally! Be interesting to see how it goes. Worth noting that the only crowded train we used to run was the first departure off Broadway, the new timetable has an extra, earlier departure to hopefully alleviate that issue, which may have made people uncomfortable otherwise.
     
  4. bluetrain

    bluetrain Well-Known Member

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    Your carriage examiners must be very busy at present, checking-over and re-commissioning all those open coaches that have been sat in Winchcombe yard for the past year!

    In my experience, pre-Covid train loadings on the GWSR seemed to be very much dependent on the number of coach party passengers on a particular train. I don't know how quickly coach party business will pick up again, but they completely took over the AVR last weekend. The other variable may be between mid-week travel (when most passengers tend to be older retired people who will have been fully vaccinated) and weekends (when younger family groups tend to predominate).

    Another issue for railway managements is whether guards and ticket inspectors will be comfortable about walking through potentially full carriages at a time when the virus rate is again rising rapidly.

    Anyway, let's hope all goes smoothly, on your railway and elsewhere.
     
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  5. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed they have! Pad exams have been done over the last month, and we've repainted the lower chocolate panels on the weather side to breath some life back into the paintwork, the sun is not kind to any carriages parked at Winchcombe. :(

    Yes, coach parties are the difference between a quiet day and absolutely packed, so there's still an element of regulation of numbers within our control.
     
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  6. cymroglan

    cymroglan New Member

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    Will the almost complete relaxation of restrictions from 19th July lead to changes within the heritage railway world? I wonder whether compulsory booking, social distancing, mask wearing etc will remain in place? The announcement seems to have caught railways unawares, no references of any changes on railway websites, social media etc that I’ve noticed so far?
     
  7. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    GWSR have as mentioned in the posts above yours - https://www.gwsr.com/Summer_Timetable.html
     
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  8. cymroglan

    cymroglan New Member

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    Goodness, how did I miss that? Thanks for highlighting it. The GWSR have made it all very clear, impressive stuff.
     
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  9. Evan DMU

    Evan DMU New Member

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    The Midland Railway Butterley will recommence running on July 19, initially on Saturdays and Sundays only and with DMUs. Steam may follow later in the year but use of the Victorian train is unlikely.
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Information about the changes bought about post July 19th at the Bluebell Railway:

    From 19 July the Government has moved England to Step 4 of its roadmap, removing most legal Covid-19 restrictions.

    Please see information about how this has enabled us to open up more of our facilities and services with all stations open, turn-up-and-go prices returning to normal, and all-day rover tickets again available. However, it is still possible to pre-book segregated compartments on specific trains for your exclusive use should you wish.​

    Tom
     
  11. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Restoration of more or less normal operations is welcome, but the title of this thread assumes that there will be an "after". It seems more likely that some variants will be with us for evermore, like flu. We can hope that they will be mild and/or mostly preventable by vaccination, but that is not certain.
     
  12. cymroglan

    cymroglan New Member

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    As I’m spending my holidays in the uk this year, I find it fascinating to see the wide range of responses to the opportunities offered by the relaxation of rules from 19th July. I’m not interested in naming and shaming individual tourist attractions, but there is a confusing variety of approaches to the new freedom. This extends far beyond heritage railways to include other places of interest to me such as art galleries, museums, historic sites and live music venues.
    Some railways have gone back to what used to be normal: just rock up, pay your money, normal fares, and off you go. Others have opted to continue operating under the old rules, book in advance, higher fares, allocated seat and lengthy stopovers at intermediate stations. Galleries, museums etc are equally confusing in how they react to the easing of restrictions.
    What intrigues me, is which is the more successful approach in terms of the bottom line? Presumably visitor attractions need paying visitors, but are the public attracted to the pre pandemic normal, which some might think reckless, or do visitors seek a caution which others might regard as excessive?
     
  13. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    Not a railway, but I did my first post-19th July stewards stint at a museum earlier this week. Still advising on mask wearing in the Museum (which 95% were doing) though all other rules, like "you cant get on our buses" or limits on the numbers being allowed in have been ditched. Visitors temperatures taken before they come in as well.
    We were very busy for a midweek afternoon, and visitor numbers are up considerably compared with the last "normal" year.
     
  14. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    It's an interesting question, and I think it probably averages out that there are enough people who would rather go cautious to visit places that are being more cautious!
    Certainly from my perspective, this Pandemic is far from over and thus I am going to be at least very cautious about returning to any places that seem to have gone back to 2019. COVID measures can also make an experience more enjoyable - we went on the Jacobite in early July, and my wife and I had a table of 4 seats just to ourselves, whereas in non-Covid times we would have had two and been sat opposite another two. This meant my wife (who can get a bit travel queasy) could always face forwards, we could stretch out, move round to each take advantage of different photographic angles etc, luxuries we wouldn't be afforded in normal circumstances. If one can afford a tourist attraction now, I reckon many of them will be more enjoyable as the forced visitor numbers alleviates the risk of overcrowding and probably allows one more time to enjoy the experience
     
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  15. cymroglan

    cymroglan New Member

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    Thanks for two thoughtful replies! I suspect a lot of this is down to our individual responses to the whole pandemic? From the very start, for about 15 months I was very careful to follow all the rules and I still think that was the right thing for me and for society. However, now that I’m double jabbed and with the end of most restrictions earlier this month, I have become much braver, going to London by train a couple of times and generally having day trips, eating out etc.
    Continuing with my wish not to criticise railways by name, let me use an example from elsewhere. I find the continuation of ultra strict Covid protocols by the major London galleries & museums very frustrating and I have decided not to renew my Friends membership of 4 of them because they have chosen to persist with rules which don’t deliver the perks I have paid for, notably the ability to walk in without booking.
    Although I have visited a couple of heritage railways, I will probably give them a miss too until they relax their approach. I find it all too much. However, I’m not critical of those who are much more cautious and I understand that lots of attractions want to cater for them. Good luck to them, I really mean it!
     
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  16. Wyreman

    Wyreman New Member

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    A couple of months late here, but I just wanted to put on record that, after my whinging back in the late spring, I decided to put my money where my mouth was. I headed for Cheltenham and did the "Broadway Explorer" (one round trip with a two-hour break in Broadway). Considering the restraints still required at that time, I was pretty impressed. Things felt as relaxed as they reasonably could, with reminders of things like masks but no huge in-your-face billboards shouting at you to behave. The staff were welcoming, the weather was kind and the fare (£25 I think) was reasonable. We were allowed to get out and wander around Toddington station during the 40-minute stop there on the way back, which helped to break up the journey. I rode behind 35006 on the way out and 7903 on the way back, fine by me!

    Even with the journey by NR it was cheaper than a day on the SVR would have been at the time. I'm aware the SVR's offering has changed since then, and indeed I'm about to read through multiple pages about all that in the SVR thread. But I was pleased with the GWSR and I felt very welcome as a solo traveller. Although it will probably have to wait until next year now, the whole experience definitely made me more likely to visit the GWSR again. Well done.
     
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  17. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, said at the weekend that vaccine passports will be required for nightclubs, mass events and large venues in England by the end of September, saying that would allow businesses to stay open during the winter months if COVID-19 surges.

    Depending on the regulations that might extend to include heritage railways events (such as the SVR Christmas shows at Arley)?

    Patrick
     
  18. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum Member

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    The 'end of September' date is important, as before then the over 18s won't have had the opportunity for second dose.

    If they come in, they won't/can't apply to under 18s, & there are likely to be issues around venues proving that their staff have had the jabs.
    (If I have to evidence my status on safety grounds, then so do you)
     
  19. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the Devil will be in the detail. I had in mind the additional work and paperwork if heritage railways were caught in trying to get vaccine passports from several hundred attendees, and whether some might work out it's more economic to change their offering (limit attendance, do everything train rather than venue based?) than try and comply. Let's wait and see

    A tad aggressive

    Patrick
     
  20. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Worth observing that my experience at the Albert Hall last week was of a visual check before entering the building, as a condition of entry. No paperwork was collected, no proofs retained - not even electronic scanning of the QR code on the NHS app.
     
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