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SVR General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by threelinkdave, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    I imagine that the ability to hire an expert in drafting questions might be the issue. Still they will get plenty of useful information and that is the main point really. As long as they dont take the survey as truly representative it wont matter too much h.

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  2. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    SVR monthly newsletters have been published at https://www.svrlive.com/newsletters

    The SVR is working towards a target date of 4th July to reopen its pubs and 1st August for the reopening of the line itself to the public.

    Patrick
     
  3. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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  4. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    There's a nice mix of itineraries available, all of them making for a very full day out; if you can fill the compartment it's a pretty decent price too.

    Hopefully it will sell well as a package; I do wonder, if it does, if this sort of planned itinerary with a reserved compartment will stay as a product beyond our current times.
     
  5. bleeder4

    bleeder4 Member

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    Best of luck to them. I won't be able to go to the SVR until they start running open coaches that cater to single travelers. Until they do then the GWSR will be getting all my money, as their re-opening plan includes using a single open coach in the consist for single travelers.
     
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  6. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    You can travel alone on the SVR, they will happily sell single travellers a compartment. Admittedly it works out more expensive then the GWSR but is possible.
     
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  7. Macko

    Macko Well-Known Member

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    "More expensive" is a slight understatement, £75 for a single round trip Kiddy-Bridgnorth is a seriously expensive for a single traveller or a couple. I cannot see this pricing model being sustainable for more than a few weeks. I'm really keen to see the railway come back to life successfully but this does seem draconian compared to other railways who are restarting.
     
  8. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    Single travellers welcome on the MHR in socially distanced open coaches at the same adult fare price as before.

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  9. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    But if you're a larger party, £75 per compartment is a bargain
     
  10. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Exactly! At the moment they are only releasing the first two weeks and then reviewing it so maybe there will be something more for single travellers then. Let’s just be thankful the railway is reopening at all.
     
  11. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    Personally my worry is that the available packages would all be quite a long day for small children - but with plenty of things to break it up, at least. I think all of the trips give you 6 hours or more on or around the railway
     
  12. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I have two young children (4 & 2) which I am thinking of taking on the Flyer option.

    Kidderminster to the Engine House with a 90 minute break, then to Bridgnorth with a 2 hour break then back to Kidderminster. The longest leg is the return journey , neither of the other two legs are more than about 40 minutes with a decent break in between both of them allowing for lunch and importantly with kids, toilet breaks! I thought that option was well thought out for kids.

    I do agree though that all three options are definitely all day and there is no provision for a half day so it may not be for some, but at least there are sensible breaks built in and you can make it a day out.
     
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  13. Wyreman

    Wyreman New Member

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    As someone who generally visits on my own, I'm not inclined to be too negative here. Clearly the per-compartment pricing is massively attractive to 6-person families and massively unattractive to individuals, that's undeniable. And yes, of course I'm disappointed there's no provision at all made for individual travellers when other railways like the GWSR are doing so from the start - it's no consolation to *me* that £75 is a bargain for a larger family group! Maybe this aspect will be tweaked in a few weeks.

    *However* from the situation the railway has been in for months, with zero passengers and zero passenger revenue, it's a massive improvement. Nobody imagines this setup is going to be the SVR's long-term future, what with the high cost and rigid itineraries. I for one certainly wouldn't be going back if it was! It's merely the first step on what's likely still to be a fairly long road to recovery. Some other heritage railways in the UK won't be opening for 2020 at all. The SVR will be, and in less than a month from now. That's worth celebrating.

    Incidentally, a one-person Loyalty Pass costs £125 and is valid on these trains (there's info on the SVR site about how to use them when pre-booking). So if you buy one now and travel twice in August, you'll already have saved a little. No, it won't make the journeys *cheap* and for most solo enthusiasts it will probably still be prohibitive - but you'd get something pretty rare on a public SVR day: a compartment all to yourself for a full round trip!
     
  14. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    Until they open bookings railways have no idea what the demand might be. What is certain though is that they will only be able to operate a limited number of trains each with limited capacity. By limited I obviously mean reduced. They are therefore going to aim to get the most money they can out of that reduced number of passengers. It is just harsh economics as they need the cash to survive.

    It will be interesting to see what the demand will be. I have to admit that I have been taken by surprise how quickly things have been opened up again. You can go the pub or a restaurant but kids still cannot meet up and play or go to school. I am guessing that demand might be patchy. Places like the SVR which are close to large conurbations might do very well, other which are in more rural areas and reliant on holiday makers might struggle as many in those areas which have very few Covid 19 cases are fearful that those holiday makers will bring Covid 19 into the area. I have a friend whose parents have semi retired to North Wales, closer to the border than the coast, and live in for a good part of the year in a static caravan. They are not going at present as they were basically advised to bring all their own food with them as they would not be that welcome in the shops.
     
  15. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    A well-managed railway should have a fairly good idea what sort of passengers it was getting last summer, and the SVR has already been doing surveys to try to determine what sort of passengers it might get when it reopens. The advertised service that's now available for booking is presumably a result of those surveys.

    I don't know details of the plans, but I would be very surprised if the railway will be running 8-coach sets - I'd have thought it will be medium-length trains and smaller locos at first. However, we'll see!

    There you have a separate issue, in that the lockdown in Wales is still much tighter than in England, with no travel to second homes and no unnecessary travel more than five miles from home (although that is due to be relaxed in a few days). If someone sees you in a shop, and knows you have a caravan nearby but live say ten miles away, they obviously know you're there illegally so it's not surprising they'd be unwelcome.
     
  16. Wyreman

    Wyreman New Member

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    The economics need to be more than short-term, of course. If you charge a very high price and break even for a month, but then people get fed up with the price and don't come back, then you don't have a sustainable business. I'm sure the SVR's people have worked hard on forecasting and so on and are far more knowledgeable than me on such things, and this isn't aimed at them at all. But I think we as railway enthusiasts can sometimes forget that many leisure/general visitors are very price sensitive - if the railway doesn't give value for money in their eyes, they'll happily go to the safari park or some other attraction for their day out instead of the SVR.

    And bluntly, the economic fallout of the virus will mean that a lot of people are likely to have a lot less money this summer/autumn than they had last summer/autumn. £75 is likely to feel like money many can't afford to spend. As I say, I'm sure the people behind the scenes at the SVR have thought of all this and much, much more. That's one of multiple reasons I'm not having a go at them and don't wish to do so - they'll *know* they can't operate like this for too long. So I'm content to see how the reopening setup goes and to wish everyone at the SVR well with their first steps into the post-shutdown world.
     
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  17. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    I doubt previous numbers will really be much of a guide and the services that a railway runs will be limited by the fact that a coaching set can probably only do one a trip a day as it will have to be heavily cleaned between trips. That possibly dictates why the SVR are looking at "full day" offerings. 8 Coach sets are good as it gives more social distancing but in reality it would be only be 7 carriages as why would you include a refreshment carriage as it can not be used. The other main limit on numbers would seem to be the engine house as how many can you safely allow to wander around that whilst social distancing.

    As for locos I think the priority would be to use locos the SVR owes as opposed to ones it has to pay steaming fees for, if any

    Wales are lifting some of their rules so the 5 mile rule is out from Monday and a week or so after that you can stay over night provided the accommodation has it's own facilities. i.e. self catering. My friends parents were thinking of going down in a couple of weeks or so , not now when the restrictions apply, but based on the feedback of the feelings in the area have decided not to. I don't know if such feelings are common place but I expect there is a range of views from those desperate to see tourists to earn a few quid to others who are very anti tourists for fear of Covid 19.

    The next four or five weeks are going to be very interesting. Not just to see how railways who start to open operate but how the relaxation of restrictions affects the number of cases and whether we see them brought back in or the current easing continuing. I think it is just best to sit tight with fingers crossed.
     
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  18. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    If you're relying on compartment stock then spreading your passengers across more coaches doesn't really give you any benefit if you can fit them into a shorter train.

    Not sure about the buffet coach - it might be needed if there are plans to provide a trolley service? I agree it doesn't seem likely that the buffets could offer a counter service.
     
  19. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Visitors will be able to purchase food and drinks at Kidderminster, The Engine House at Highley and Bridgnorth, which implies no onboard catering (at least for the first couple of weeks)

    Patrick
     
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  20. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    It is with the greatest pleasure that we are publishing the July edition of Branch Lines, with all the detail behind the SVR's reopening plans for Saturday 1st August!

    Thank you so much for your support and patience over these long months of lockdown.

    Can't wait to read more? The link is below

    Your July Branch Lines is at https://www.svrlive.com/bljul20

    Stay safe and well,

    Lesley Carr and Patrick Hearn
    Branch Lines co-editors
     
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