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Saphos Trains

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by JBTEvans, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Me too.
     
  2. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    While I agree it’s a big increase you have to remember that it was launched with the bargain fares as a loss leader in the first place so not a surprise the prices have gone up.

    I’m not sure how much of a loss they were incurring though or if it justifies the increase that has happened, or if they are just trying to increase profit margins.
     
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  3. jsm8b

    jsm8b Well-Known Member

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    The Pilkington set was used by the short lived 'Days Out' tours into the early 1990s so appeared regularly behind steam. Not sure I've digitised many of the shots though !

    32ct93c097 4498 Kirkby Stephen 110993.JPG
     
  4. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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  5. jsm8b

    jsm8b Well-Known Member

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    I doubt we were that polite at the time, I had literally only just photographed 60532 going south with a full maroon set - and you couldn't get a more extreme contrast.
     
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  6. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Does the exterior paint job cause the passengers any problems, probably not so it's only the linesiders/photographers that complain.
     
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  7. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    I'm not so sure Ralph. What would Belmond Pullman passengers think if they were presented with a rake of coaches painted in a ghastly livery. First impressions are very important. <BJ>
     
  8. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    First impressions?...Absolutely right. Saphos is smart and it makes a difference. West Coast was tatty once before they discovered the screwdriver and paint pot. Belmond is in a different league from both and has its own expectations of its train and what is on the front.
     
  9. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    The Savoy is in a different league to Travelodge. It’s wrong to try and compare a luxury mobile dining experience (Belmond) at fares way out of reach of most people to TOCs largely catering for the enthusiast market.
     
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  10. Butler Henderson

    Butler Henderson New Member

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    I can


    Definitely correct. I remember seeing it leave Stockport and thinking how lightly loaded it was considering the rarity of the destination. Got a video of it somewhere
     
  11. John Merry

    John Merry New Member

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    Well said that man. I have sampled saphos first hand in standard class. Sat in an air conditioned carriage behind steam is not for me.
    As far as the Pilkington sponsored set goes I am happy to be educated. I never saw the rake behind steam except this one occasion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  12. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    But isn't it a variegated market, not just two levels? There is the full VSOE experience. Then there is the Northern Belle and Saphos league. Then there is the WCR fleet, clean, well-presented, basic but (big plus point) Mk 1 and aiming to be diesel free. Then there is Riviera which the last time I went on it was a bit tired, but who cares if Clan Line is on the front? Thing is, some sub-markets do, others don't.

    Are the TOCs 'largely catering for the enthusiast market'? I think that varies, but I doubt very much if Saphos sees its main revenue stream from there. Surely it is aiming at the special day out market, competing with a weekend away at a decent hotel, a high level sporting event or whatever.

    Hopefully there is space for the range from the enthusiasts over to the up market brigade. What would be a bit sad would be if the enthusiasts were priced out of riding behind their favourite loco. Or worse if we were priced out of the entire market.

    Enjoy it while you can folks.
     
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  13. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think it's fair to say Saphos don't want standard class passengers. Just look at the prices. The income from a 64 seat TSO at £155 each is nearly £10k. A first class coach is 42 seats at £195, just over £8k. Either someone has got their maths wrong, or the lower end is being deliberately priced out.

    Even the dining price now is Northern Belle territory, and isn't far off Belmond Pullman prices.
     
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  14. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Don’t forget in first class to guarantee a table for two there is an additional fee of £40 per person which offsets some of the difference.
     
  15. iancawthorne

    iancawthorne Well-Known Member

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    Something tells me what was the Pilkington set is now basically all in West Coast red livery. Someone may be able to confirm? At least it was short lived!
     
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  16. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    I disgree that these days the enthusiast market is big enough for a TOC to be largely catering for it. Sure there are enthusiast geared tours, the RTC trip last Sunday being one I suspect, but things like endless repeats London to York, DCE, and many of the SD trips are aimed more at the casual traveler market and those wanting a different day out. Even the CME whilst having a higish enthusiast content in Standard has mainly non enthusiasts in up to six coaches of dining and First Class.
     
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  17. neildimmer

    neildimmer Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think the Peaks express only had 2 coaches of standard class (tell me if i am wrong please), the buffet car (half a coach) , 1 open coach and a brake open, 1st and standard had sold out
     
  18. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think there were plenty of enthusiasts travelling in first on the Bahamas trains I was on. The Belmond fares are a lot more and cater for an entirely different market.
     
  19. 5098

    5098 Well-Known Member

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    Certainly true for at least seven of them, Ian, if you compare the 997xx numbers in these two links: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/137496-traintours-pilkington-green-mk1-set/ and http://www.railtourinfo.co.uk/coach.html

    Interesting to note from the first of these links that somebody is actually making models of the Pilkington coaches, despite admitting they are "hideous"!
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
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  20. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    You are right Neil, the buffet and the TSO had just a few odd seats spare and the brake had I think all but one compartment occupied, oh and by the way those of us slumming it were very upset that you did not come and say hello. :( ;)
     

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