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Sunset Steam Express. Selected Tuesdays, July/August 2022 (Windsor trips cancelled)

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Paul.Uni, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Ultimately steam dreams is now just a brand and LSL can choose to do with it as they wish . Ownership eliminates competition and also allows a broader section of the market at the chosen price point . I said at the time and even now I can't see SD as a standalone entity within LSL . Like the fellsmans the trips become part of the LSL offering

    @TheModster's comment above if true is interesting . Would LSL be interested in a "budget" short haul regular operation. The economics and logistics suggest otherwise
     
  2. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    There is Rivera stock listed at Burton, and one owned by LSL, in addition to that at Eastleigh.
     
  3. pete12000

    pete12000 Member

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    You have to feel for the ex Steam Dreams customers, employees and volunteers, the last time I passed Southall there was an unused train of vacuum only stock and a vacuum only locomotive sat idle on the 28th when they'd been requested by the previous SD incarnation to work the Windsor Express trains.
     
  4. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    We don't know, and probably never will, who said what to whom to trigger the sale of the SD business and its one loco, but the situation right now suggests that the deal was then done in much too much of a hurry. Either the SD brand is kept, but will have suffered significantly from the cancellations, or the brand is scrapped and there won't be much to show besides that one loco. And what about the staff? They presumably must either be sacked, with a significant cost to pay them off, or TUPEd.
     
  5. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    David Buck told HR that ill health was the main reason for the sale.
     
  6. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Just so and whilst I know nothing of worth about the ins and outs of it all I wouldn't be so negative.

    LSL wants a presence down south and they also want a southern based customer database. It seems they have both. At a stroke they have also inherited a kitchen car that's a bonus as one of them doesn't cost peanuts to set up from scratch. It all just needs the time to sort out the bringing together of two programmes plus locomotives and stock.
     
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  7. pete12000

    pete12000 Member

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    LSL have been based at Southall for quite some time, there are two separate sheds.

    The SD kitchen car was unusual as there was no corridor through the food preparation area, only the cooking area was separate.
     
  8. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    And that's certainly a good way to get a bigger audience. Speaking for the southern lot, we all know about those steam locomotives in the UK that are always based up north (the Carnforth fleet for instance) and if you ever want to see / get a trip behind them, you have to do the journey north (except for trips like the CME which take you from London and attach the steam at Carnforth). The same scenario happens for anyone who lives up north and wants to see for instance 35028 and has to travel down here.

    Understandably that's because they're based there and its a lot easier to have a locomotive based somewhere than travelling all over the UK from place to place, but having a steam locomotive covering the miles encourages more customers. I'm sure nobody "down south" would say no to having a Crewe based LSL engine taking them from London instead of having to travel all the way to Crewe at an early hour.
     
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  9. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    don't disagree with that . I can see any tours being ultimately marketed under the saphos brand and just use one ticketing portal
     
  10. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    The logical solution, but unless you market the former SD offering as something like "Saphos Light" then you need a common standard north and south for the product. That of course is difficult to achieve and may well take time.
    It is of course a conundrum faced by any brand relaunching, be it an hotel chain or an airline as two examples. Some stuff is up to the new level, some not, which leads to potential unhappy punters.
    Airlines of course made the situation even worse by code share and franchising where the product is sold under the "prime brand" but the delivered product is often way way different. It may survive in the holiday and scheduled travel world, harder to keep people happy with a product that is discretionary spend, also in the middle of an economic downturn.
     
  11. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Have just looked on the Sunset website again on the timings page, and its noted that there's 3 dates:

    upload_2022-6-30_17-32-26.png
    upload_2022-6-30_17-33-5.png

    These dates are also showing as sold out on the booking form. However, if the SSE is still on, it would appear these are the only dates they plan to run.
     
  12. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    The problem is not having the locomotive travelling all over the place, it’s finding the support crews to go with them. Bahamas has to come south to find work but it stretches the Yorkshire based resources to the limit. They have no choice as West Coast aren’t going to pay a steaming fee to a third party for their trains when they have their own fleet of locomotives and there isn’t enough work in the north from tour operators I don’t know how they manage with Tornado unless they have many qualified support crew dotted around the country. As far as I know LSL don’t rely on volunteers and use their paid staff.
     
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  13. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Of course. Though there is the thought that if an engine is travelling around the UK somewhat regularly that it may encourage more people to come forward to support crew an engine for when its in their part of the area. How many people up north with the right qualifications would say no to helping the MNLPS with a trip should 35028 ever go there? Tornado is indeed known for covering the miles despite being up north mostly in recent years. Such a thing could happen with Bahamas if they were to do the trips to the south regularly, but it also depends if they're willing to do that in the hopes more people come forward.
     
  14. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I'm not so sure - Statesman Rail is still a nominally separate entity despite being owned by LSL (or at least part of the group). They still have their contact details for Cornwall rather than Crewe.
     
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  15. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Well-Known Member

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    45231 Sherwood Forester is now listed for 12 July

    Sent from my SM-A125F using Tapatalk
     
  16. bleeder4

    bleeder4 Member

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    Unless things have changed in the recent past, the Riviera Mk 1s are at Burton, the Mk 2s are at Eastleigh. It was how you would always know on Pathfinder trips what type of coaching stock you would get. If the ECS came from Eastleigh it was coffins, if it came from Burton it was Mk 1s.

    Statesman, Saphos, Midland Pullman and Inter City all have the Cornwall address on their website. It's where the LSL booking office is. It's where the tickets are sent from. I imagine it's only a matter of time until Steam Dreams is updated to Cornwall as well.
     
  17. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    A lot of Rivera Mk1's are listed on the Carriage database as at Eastleigh, so to work what there is, and who owns what you have to search by possible locations .
     
  18. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    A number of SD staff who are on the trains , work from there when not on the trains, so I am not so sure this will happen.
     
  19. mattspencer

    mattspencer Well-Known Member

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    It was the other way around. The mark 2s lived at Burton (and Crewe pre-LSL) and the mark 1s at Eastleigh. Now all of Riviera's coaches that are in active use are based out of Burton.
     
  20. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    Interesting that LSL/SD acknowledge the unsuitability of the mk3 rake themselves. It was my thinking that they may be unpopular and it seems so. The sight of a 'five' on mk3s through the Surrey hills may turn out to be unique yet! Screenshot attached.
    115A9881a.jpeg
     

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