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RTC 2018

Discussion in 'What's Going on' started by Paul42, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Wow, what a right old misery guts you've turned into since you changed your forum i/d.
    I'll admit the relaxed attitude to "window hanging" on German tours is a refreshing change from the UK scene but I disagree entirely that the main line steam in the UK is a lame beast. We still get treated to some astonishing performances that are up there with the best from the heyday of steam. And tell me where in Germany they have the equivalent of the Jacobite? IMO the UK equivalent of a Plandampf.
    As for the EU bit, I'm a remainer but I can't see what Brexit has to do with the ability to go and see German steam? I first went there in 1969. No problem getting there and no problem getting around and that was before we joined.
    Cheer up lad. :)
     
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  2. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    I think that this is an unduly pessimistic assessment of the situation. As others have pointed out, the UK railway infrastructure rules out anything on the scale of a German Plandampf but there are a lot of positives about the UK main line scene, especially if you have a long memory and can remember what it was like in the past. Speaking as a southerner, we had hardly anything down here in the 1970s and 80s. It was 25 years ago when Taw Valley ran to Bournemouth in the dark and after this cautious start, it took some while before anything like regular steam began.

    There are a few negatives, one cannot deny. The retirement of some well-loved locos from the main line (Green Arrow, City of Truro. 73096, Taw Valley and SVR-based engines like 7802, 42968 and 45110) has been sad; the prices of trips has shot up and of course, there is the contentious "Diesel shovage issue" which has been debated ad infinitum. The bottom line is that this may well be a factor with some operators, but by no means all

    But if you want a good day out behind main line steam. even if you are rather picky, there will be something to satisfy you. Vintage Trains has a loyal clientele and deservedly so. What is more, I don't think you should dismiss their share offer on the grounds that it looks too optimistic. These chaps are businessmen, as well as enthusiasts. They know their market very well and wouldn't be planning to operate an increasing number of trains if they were not expecting to fill them.

    Then there is the prospect of LSL/Icons of Steam bringing something new into the market. It's early days yet, but we can be sure that this set-up will be offering a good product.

    Meanwhile, UKRT, which organises/co-ordinates tours with Clan Line and Tornado, has a range of offerings from which most people would find something which interests them. There can be no better proof most people don't share your negative outlook than the total sell-out of the 90mph York trip behind Tornado on April 14th MORE THAN FIVE MONTHS before the train is due to run!

    What is more, even if, like me, you probably wouldn't want to book on a train which did have the potential for a diesel to be pushing, it doesn't put some people off. Here is a comment from someone about last Friday's SD Salisbury train behind 45212 where there was some serious shovage:-

    So if you pick the right operator an the right train, most people can find something on the main line which they appreciate and with loco owners seemingly happy to jump through the new hurdles which are placed before them (ERTMS being the next one, I suspect) and experienced tour operators knowing their markets, I see no reason for the situation to deteriorate - at least, not in the near/medium future.
     
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  3. 30567

    30567 Well-Known Member Friend

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    Exactly. So in the last two or three years I've picked/ been lucky to get from RTC/WCR

    46100 Preston--Ulverston--Carlisle--Preston

    46115 Hellifield --Carlisle and return

    60103 York-- Tyne Yard-- Carlisle and return

    61264/76084 York--Whitby and return

    the riley 5s Tin Bath

    All excellent trips which did what it said on the tin. It is true that there are fewer one offs than there used to be. Variety has declined a bit. But in sheer volume terms main line steam must have done as well as ever in 2017.
     
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  4. jsm8b

    jsm8b Active Member

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    Just for comparison; The way the main line steam world was 40 years ago in 1978. ( makes me feel old :eek: )

    22 proposed tours on the SLOA pamphlet plus whatever happened north of the border. In addition BR ran 10 weeks of Carnforth - Sellafield and 11 weeks of Harrogate circles. In all less than 50 trains in the whole year, a total which can be exceeded in a single month these days despite all the issues that promoters and TOCs are faced with.

    I know much has changed but we should appreciate what we have today.
     

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  5. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    Quite noticeable how short some of the steam legs were on many of those trips as well. Nothing like some of the Tornado epics of 400 miles of steam in a day that you can now get.

    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
     
  6. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    My take on the issue of what passengers may want (from a train steward perspective) I guess is somewhat different to what most on here would want, or in fact myself if I was a passenger. But we have to remember the market is no longer enthusiast based, but heavily weighted towards the grey pound who are having a day out. I would say the vast majority of passengers enjoy their day out, even though they are ever longer days. Or at least it seems that way and most will tell you they enjoyed the trip when they get off.
    The main "complaints" or at least those that get mentioned to the stewards are:
    Heat.
    It is either far too hot or far too cold, often in the same coach and sometimes in adjacent bays. Yes some of this will be down to how the person feels heat or cold (what my wife finds too hot I find tepid). However the issue is that on a long day this can be a major problem. Steam heat is often quite chilly and ETH so hot it burns peoples legs. Neither are pleasant experiences for 12 hours or more.
    Toilets.
    Often there are one or two not working or fail during the day. Long trips mean they run out of water and in the modern railway it is often difficult to get them refilled. Once did a Cumbrian Coast where we were not allowed into Carlisle due engineering works on the ECML meaning diversions, and most toilets out of water by Sellafield, from where it is a long way back to Euston.
    Draughts.
    Those at the end of a coach suffer from passengers and catering staff leaving the sliding doors open. Also since the advent of no heads out of droplight windows many more issues where the sliding windows are open and this creates draughts for those further down the coach.
    Lack of chance to view loco.
    A large number want to see or photograph the loco, endless water stops in loops and then 10 minutes or so on arrival does not help this. For example at Weymouth on the Dorset Coast Express we have 8 minutes platformed on arrival and about 10 on departure, if SWR & GWR are running to time.
    Diesel on the back.
    I would suggest most non enthusiasts are unaware or do not care. They will be able to say they have been on a steam train, and with luck gets some pictures to prove it. We may not rate First Class BR Mk1's but they are regarded as quite luxurious by most passengers, especially when laid up for the meal service. Although when we once arrived at Colchester with a diesel as 44932 had failed and I did think the Train Manager was going to be physically assaulted.
    Connections
    Outside our control really but on the way back on most trips people get jittery. They also seem to think that if they buy a ticket from say Euston that if the tour is late in someway it is our responsibility to get them back home to Kent or Sussex. Not sure VTWC would see it that way.
    Mobile device charging.
    A growing number of passengers seemed quite disappointed there are no points where they can plug in their phone or ipad!


    All in all I think we should be grateful that NR still allow these trips to run.
     
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  7. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    Very grateful for the genuine insight from "the sharp end". As I did enquire once before, is this type of feedback sought or given by/to the charter operators? Obviously some are totally beyond direct control but others could, perhaps, be improved.
    One thing that is unavoidable for RTC and more so SD is that they do not have much leverage over stock hire or related matters. They might well both have genuine desire to improve some of the aspects mentioned but unless the train supplier reacts favourably nothing will change.
     
  8. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    I would be amazed if anyone were to take issue with that analysis. It reflects exactly what I believe that a typical passenger might think. I am not a typical passenger and most on here probably are not as well so our views will be clouded by our particular preferences. It's interesting that on the few multiday trips I have been on with SD and the RTC, an additional factor that plays heavily is the companionship of those around you. When I travelled regularly with SD I was aware that the seating was not random and the office staff did seem to think carefully about where to put people. It's an important factor if you are with the same group for a week!
     
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  9. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    Yes 26D feedback is given to the Train Manager whom I know passes this along. Also defects with stock are notified to either the guard for recording in the defect log, or the travelling mechanic if we have one. It is sometimes quite surprising the defects that can be fixed en route that seem quite large, whereas other than may appear simple at first glance cannot be fixed "on the go"
     
  10. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    Thanks for the reply.
    It would be interesting to know whether stewards on other operators trains such as VT, TBEL or UKR have similar experiences and indeed whether the next charter operator sets new standards.
    Having travelled on RTC & WC services my experience is positive but travelling companions less so, for some of the reasons you cite. Perhaps I am more "cheese butty" in expectation.
     
  11. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    Interesting to note the majority of RTC trips in the fells in 2018 announced so far allocated to 5Xs.
     
  12. iancawthorne

    iancawthorne Active Member

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    I was intrigued by the statement in Heritage Railway that 6233 will be entirely based in the south of England in 2018 because there's no work for it in the north. It's down for the CME on 21st July according to the RTC web site, but that's the only none London starting CME I can see on the list on a quick scan through. Seems all the Euston originating ones will be Jubilee hauled.
     
  13. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    Yes I think the 21/7 turn ties in with a planned 80th birthday run to Perth as well?
    Good as the Jubs are its a poor show there is not enough work for 6233 in the north given the amount of turns in total. Its possible RTC may reconsider as circumstances change of course.
    No mention yet of Carnforths biggest green machine either.
     
  14. iancawthorne

    iancawthorne Active Member

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    If 2017 is anything to go by, it'll be used on the Dalesman's, otherwise the 8F's going to be heavily relied on.
     
  15. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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  16. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Always look forward to the CMEs and they certainly qualify as enthusiasts trains to us, but not so much when they are reduced to struggles on the banks with 12. I hope for 2018 that RTC will restrict the load to 11 so we'll get some decent climbs of Grayrigg, Shap, Southbound S&C and Langho but I have feeling it will be 12 due to the passenger demand on the route. Variety of motive power would be good. Be good to see No9 feature on a couple and wouldn't double headed Jubilees be something.
     
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  17. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    Totally agree with that and while it is pleasing to note demand justfying 12 RTCs choice of motive power should be matched accordingly. Planning for a 5X on 12 is akin to a second marriage
    Of course there is 45596 due to emerge as well so it will be interesting to see if its owners impose any load restrictions different to 90 and 99.
    I guess the big hope is 35018 proves its fitness and enters the fray.
     
  18. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Seems to be a couple more on the website (haven't noticed them before) surrounding the end of Southern steam in July, including this:

    http://www.railwaytouring.net/uk-day-trips/the-bournemouth-belle

    Providing the number of stops are minimised to water only and a Waterloo departure secured, this might actually prove a decent day out.
     
  19. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    5 Waverley's have also been added, loco from following pool 46233 Duchess of Sutherland or 45596 Bahamas or 45690 Leander
     
  20. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    Good too hear 46233s reported exile from the north seems to have been unfounded.
     

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