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Steam Dreams 2019 - New Summer and other tours

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by jackshepherd, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. Andy Louch

    Andy Louch Member

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    Good to meet you at St Cross! Excellent videos and you just made it at Worting tonight!
     

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  2. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Mayflower on today's Steam Dreams Excursion to Eastleigh. Seen at Egham and Addlestone, both with the engine powering and whistling!
     
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  3. CLN_WVR

    CLN_WVR Member

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    I had to wait on the Reading footbridge until almost the last minute for this one and then move quickly, a Class 387 was due to move from the London end of Platform 14 to the Swindon end at the same time. Stand in the wrong place and I'd could have been bowled (on Platform 14) or have Apple Green against GWR Dark Green (from Platform 13), neither of which really appealed. Mayflower at Reading. Oh and I think the lady commuter in the 3rd shot managed to get some video as she saw what was coming well before I briskly passed behind her to get myself in position.


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  4. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    The Top And Tailed excursion to Portsmouth and Salisbury, seen at Wimbledon and Surbiton with 61306 Mayflower leading
     
  5. 60525

    60525 New Member

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    61306 seen passing Wraysbury with the first of today's trips........ IMG_1862.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2019
  6. mrKnowwun

    mrKnowwun Part of the furniture

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  7. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Yesterdays Windsor and Sunset runs, including being onboard Shuttle 2, filmed safley of course with myself and my camera inside the train at all times.


     
  8. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Clearly these day and evening trips are popular enough to merit running, so well done Steam Dreams for thinking of the idea and getting it off the ground.

    The other thing that is also clear is that these are steam and diesel trips - not simply because steam is one way to Windsor but also because, as the Chilworth clip shows, the diesel is there to provide power. I guess it shows that the public doesn't really care and the enthusiast market is not what's important any more. Maybe it never was. Steam Dreams doesn't need the steam enthusiast, just the public who want a ride with a steam engine in the mix somewhere.

    A sign of the times.
     
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  9. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Having been on one now, I can say they are certainly causing attraction. Must've been because the schools have broken up! As far as I know the diesel didn't do anything during our run, but was helping Mayflower up the Surrey Hill banks as it was running a bit behind time.
     
  10. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    There must be people here who have been doing steam on the main line for decades. I had a look at Six Bells and counted 56 main line trips in 1982, probably an underestimate, but I reckon the market must have multiplied by say five since then--- and that's leaving aside the Jacobite as a phenomenon all of its own.

    My recollection is that steam trips were unusual events, marketed through the railway press, and therefore must have been enthusiast orientated. That has completely changed now. A trip to Windsor is like a football game or a rock concert, the market for experiences. If that helps to sustain more 'interesting' trips from a performance or destination/route perspective, that's a bonus. Imagine if the only market now was gnarled weatherbeaten spotters from the 50s and 60s. How big would it be?
     
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  11. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    You can't have travelled on many. The enthusiast was never the majority on trains from the 80s onward. There were always a few trains a year aimed purely at enthusiasts but the rest had a real mix of folk from all walks of life. Many like us missed steam on the mainline and only know it from the preservation era.
     
  12. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    Yes I agree with that. I was asked recently if the DL involvement with the Vintage trips was the reason for the poor loadings and I said it was not the main reason as enthusiasts are in the minority. The market is oversubscribed. The UKRT charter on 10th August is one of the few this year planned with the enthusiast in mind
     
  13. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Quite right I didn't travel behind steam on the main line between 1963 and 2012, nor did I read the railway press. I do recall discovering by word of mouth that if I went down to Apperley Jct or to Headingley at xxxx hours on so and so date, there would be 5305 or 60007. It was a spectator sport in those days. With a young family our few trips were on the Worth Valley and the NYMR.
     
  14. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    We're lucky that two of the 'staple' trains appeal to both the occasional, regular and enthusiast market - The Cumbrian Mountain Express with Shap and the S&C and the Royal Duchy with the South Devon Banks. We can do them with few addon costs. August the 10th is very much for the Southern Enthusiasts or those who live near the 2 pickups. For us it would involve 2 nights in London and I hate hotels. As well as the hotels there's getting there by train and parking charges, and extra £150 for us. My reliable math tells me it would cost us way more than double the ticket price. For the majority of folk who don't have fairly bottomless pockets the overall cost would probably be prohibitive.
     
  15. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Where you live is a definite deal breaker for getting to steam, especially if you try to avoid overnight accommodation.

    That said, I find that operators are increasingly flexible on part journeys at negotiated prices. For example, on August 10th, Salisbury (water stop) is accessible from Bristol/South Wales and there is bound to be another stop in the Bristol area on the return. RTT may be your friend in this respect.
     
  16. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Probably going to do the CME Don.
     
  17. 73082

    73082 Member

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    Bit late, but here is my take on Tuesday's "Sunset Steam Express", seen at Ashford, Staines river bridge, Woking Junction, and Coulsdon South.

     
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  18. Where's Mazeppa?

    Where's Mazeppa? Member

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    In terms of enthusiast appeal, I think that the perception that UKRT’s 10th August outing with Clan Line falls towards to the enthusiast’s end of the enthusiast/ excursionist spectrum is probably right. After all, it’s all the “hoi polloi” are going to get from Clan Line this year anyway, so right now this “For the Many not just the Few” event does have the sort of rarity value in 2019 that would encourage this conclusion.

    But thinking about the “by enthusiasts/ for enthusiasts” overtones of this trip, surely most of Tornado’s outings would occupy a similar position on this same spectrum?? OK, maybe not the forthcoming Blackpool Illuminations trip, and perhaps not outings like the “Bard of Avon”, which featured a destination that has real tourist trap appeal to the average civilian excursionist. But most of the other Tornado outings I think would qualify. And I am certain that A1SLT are critically sensitive to this part of their customer base, and seem to know and understand how to communicate their tour programme in a way that will promise enjoyment and fulfilment for the average enthusiast, judging by the content of the material that they publish on their website.

    I haven’t given up on the belief that planning an enthusiast-orientated outing whose appeal lies in a combination of motive power, routing, the presence of challenging sectional timings where possible, the appeal to the enthusiast of what the destination has to offer, and finally the uniqueness/ rarity of any part of the offer structured around these attributes, remains feasible and well within the gift of the main players in the days-out-with-steam-on-the-main-line brigade. It just maybe doesn’t happen as much or as often as we would like these days.

    Looking at the extent to which enthusiast-focussed excursions have become synonymous with diesel haulage, be it the pursuit of rare mileage by track-bashers, the tie-in with special events, or even just the “lets-show-you-how-many-miles-a-Deltic-can-do-in-a-day” variety of excursion, UK Railtours, including its “Forgotten Tracks” programme, and Pathfinder with its steady flow of outings aimed at the enthusiast market, continue to show the way with this. And seemingly without forsaking the profitable excursionist First Class/ First Class Dining sector either. Whether that part of the market is oversubscribed or not, I don’t get the sense that they struggle to fill their trains!!

    It convinces me that with imagination, effort, and careful planning, the same can still be done with steam. And that viability can be achieved with a balanced appeal to enthusiasts and excursionists alike. Let’s hope, and in doing so confound the rather gloomy but understandable conclusion (Big Al, Post #308 above) that “the enthusiast market is not what's important any more. Maybe it never was. (Steam Dreams) doesn't need the steam enthusiast, just the public who want a ride with a steam engine in the mix somewhere….A sign of the times”.
     
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  19. Kylchap

    Kylchap Member

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    It depends on how we define an "enthusiast" compared to other travellers. There is a not uncommon perception of the "steam enthusiast" as a man of a certain age with poor social skills, and even worse personal hygiene, who spends the trip stuffing himself with junk food. I've been breathed on by a few. At the other end of the spectrum there is the "dining set" who have the resilience to spend twelve hours on a trip eating and drinking heavy meals whilst rarely moving from their seats, talking loudly amongst themselves whenever there is a chance of hearing the loco working. I doubt if anyone on NP falls into either end of this spectrum, but my point is that the distinction between enthusiast and non-enthusiast is not a matter of sheep and goats.
     
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  20. jackshepherd

    jackshepherd Member

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