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Swanage Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Rumpole, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    The U Class starts this years Santa season off with a steamy departure from Swanage, on yet another miserably wet Purbeck day. IMG_0298.JPG day.
     
  2. Leafent

    Leafent New Member

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    Not as good as last year in my eyes - two class 33's and unheated trains? And it is slightly concerning that the U, Sir Keith Park and 80104 aren't available.
     
  3. Rumpole

    Rumpole Member

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    The Class 33’s will be on an ETH-fitted set, so heat will be provided.

    The Winter Warm Up has traditionally been a 2 steam, 2 diesel event; there have been exceptions where either sufficient ETH coaches haven’t been available, or one of the 33’s ETH hasn’t been working (33202 rings a bell, so we used 31806 effectively as a steam equivalent of an ETHEL), but this is back to the original ethos of the event. It was felt that 34072 hasn’t done a Winter Warm Up before, and the T9 is always a popular engine; as such, this brings the event up to its planned number of steam locos.
     
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  4. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    I see there are three Sundays next November shown as a special timetable. As next year is I believe the 40th anniversary year of the shuttles to the park and back is it linked to that does anybody know?
     
  5. stephenvane

    stephenvane Member

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    One of the sets at last years event ran unheated all day. A stuck valve on one on the coaches I believe. ‘Winter warm up’ was something of a misnomer!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  6. Peter James

    Peter James New Member

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    Very late to this thread! As a member of a different heritage railway but an enthusiastic and frequent visitor to Swanage I share the deep concerns of many about the SWR operation to Corfe. Even having one of those units on the railway (except possibly as an occasional novelty) is surely damaging the Swanage brand? Whilst some may claim that Swanage has a public transport function, it is first and foremost a heritage railway - in what is effectively a heritage area of the county. UPVC conservatories would not be welcomed in Corfe...

    On another note, considering the heritage success that has been made at Swanage, I think it is time to move on from the "it should never have been closed" narrative. Had Swanage remained part of the national network, it would have been reduced to a long siding with multiple unit operation and no railway infrastructure; it would also have no through service to Waterloo. Even freezing the railway in time, in the tragic 1960s and 1970s of BR, would have been a waste. Instead, a fantastically immersive living museum has been built up which (despite all the BR black) recreates the wonderful days of LSWR and Southern Railway steam. I'm very supportive of Swanage running HERITAGE services to Wareham but sacrifice the fantastic success for a NR ticket that says "Corfe Castle" on the bottom... I think not!
     
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  7. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    So you'd prefer day visits to the railway from London, Southampton, Bristol, etc to be impossible unless by car?
     
  8. Peter James

    Peter James New Member

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    I understand your point but 1) An end-on connection at Wareham would solve that. 2) There is a park-and-ride facility and visitors have driven to the railway for 30 years. 3) Most importantly, what is the point of getting visitors to Swanage if the heritage operation is compromised? Did people put all of that effort into restoring Corfe Station to see it filled with modern multiple units? Would you support running SWR to Swanage? If you want to be part of the national network then that is your choice but (as somebody said above) it is incompatible with heritage operation.
     
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  9. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    Is there any suggestion that this might become a permanent arrangement? I understood that it was just a fill in until Swanage Railway have their own units that can operate in and out of Wareham hopefully from next year.

    Anyway I thoroughly enjoyed the trip I made from Sherborne to Corfe Castle back in the summer on a through train - certainly beats driving there through summer Saturday traffic. Despite being an ardent steam man I can appreciate the need to operate DMUs, be they of 1950s or 1980s origin, and I feel that Swanage manage the balance pretty well.

    Peter
    (another Peter James)
     
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  10. HerstonHalt

    HerstonHalt New Member

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    As a supporter and occasional volunteer, I thought it was great.
    The line was rebuilt initially not as a heritage railway / working museum etc but because the good folk of Swanage wanted to remain connected to the national rail network.
    Over time, the heritage product has grown up to become one of the best available and I believe the railway to be in the premier league of steam railways.
    Which gives the dilemma of being part of the national network vs heritage operation and I think the Saturday-only SWR service fitted into both. It had the effect of allowing folks from Wilts /Somerset /Dorset to visit Purbeck by rail and at the same time delivering a steady stream of customers to the Corfe-Swanage heritage operation via a cross platform change, customers which would otherwise perhaps not have visited. Worth noting that the unit didn't go further than Corfe, so the majority of the line remained a steam-only heritage experience.
    The big disappointment to me was that half the services were cancelled owing to industrial action.

    Sent from my SM-A300FU using Tapatalk
     
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  11. oliversbest

    oliversbest New Member

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    I live in Canada and my visits to Swanage are few and far between. I am an original PLM. I certainly agree with the argument laid out by Herston Halt. In fact just looking at the Santa Specials advisory on the SR website it advises of the Studland Ferry out of Service and road works at Bakers arms. What easier and (increasingly important) environmentally friendly way to get to Swanage than by train. Once those heritage DMUs are up and running the citizenry will thank DCC for its foresight in providing this facility.In fact Swanage will usher in a new era for heritage railways. As in many areas of an organisations objectives time and circumstance sometimes necessitate change. Being personal,for myself it means not humping a suitcase onto a Bus at Wareham enroute to Swanage. And Yes the Heritage operation will continue to flourish
     
  12. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée?
     
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  13. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    I am afraid I do not agree with your views. In 2018 the Swanage Railway had (and still has) insufficient mainline approved stock to operate a Wareham service, which I know a lot were hoping (expecing?) for. That of course disregards all the training activity that would need to be undertaken before services could start (something I am sure Northern or Thameslink passengers are all to well aware of!). As others have mentioned road traffic down in Dorset is a nightmare and will only get worse, so any method of getting people here without adding yet more vehicles to the roads is an excellent idea. Since moving here 4 years ago I rarely now leave Purbeck due to the traffic, and that is after 60 years of living with London traffic.
    It also depends on what you call Heritage. Is a first generation DMU heritage?,or the WCRC Class 33 and 37 that operated the Wareham service last year, these are still current mainline loco's. That is ignoring the two 08 shunters and two Class 33's based on the railway. Should the Wareham service just be steam then?
    The SWR service supplemented the timetabled steam service and extra passengers had the chance to visit (on a great very cheap deal from SWR) who would probably not bothered. So the Swanage Railway got extra passengers, revenue, and publicity and the Purbeck shop keepers and pubs benefited as well.
    As you could say "No steam services were hurt in the operation of SWR services"
     
  14. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    You are not comparing like with like, though. If the mainline services ran only to the Norden interchange and passengers then swapped to a heritage train I think no-one would complain (apart from those having to change trains, but that isn't the long term goal, is it? I think it would be a different story if the mainline service extended through to Swanage. Harmonising fares would be very difficult, given the relatively expensive nature of the last few miles, and the heritage service would have to lose paths to provide ones for the mainline service. Considerable revenue might be lost to the Park & Ride/Bucket & Spade brigade who really only want a cheap ride and to see (not necessarily ride behind) a steam engine.
     
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  15. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    For anyone planning to be down to photograph the Santa and Dorsetman trains this weekend, 257 Squadron now faces Corfe, as does the rest of the steam fleet.
     
  16. mikechant

    mikechant New Member

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    I thought, unless something has changed, that the long (and medium) term plan was basically to run heritage DMU (and eventually some steam) services between Wareham and Swanage? So there would be no regular non-heritage services on any part of the branch? Or am I missing something?
     
  17. HerstonHalt

    HerstonHalt New Member

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    The conversation started because the OP complained about the use of modern DMUs into Corfe as part of the SWR summer service and has developed from there.
    You're right in your understanding of the intent to run Wareham services using the heritage DMUs nearing completion at Eastleigh

    Sent from my SM-A300FU using Tapatalk
     
  18. Peter James

    Peter James New Member

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    Well you must be a splendid chap with a name like that! I don't know if the services will continue but the precedent will have been set.
     
  19. Peter James

    Peter James New Member

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    Please don't misunderstand me: Swanage is a spectacular railway with brilliant heritage features which is friendly and well run. I will not comment on the competing issues of revenue abstraction and potentially improved market because there are others who are more qualified; I do believe that modern rolling stock on Swanage rails is contrary to the aims of preservation, moreover -should this become in any way regular - NR services will necessarily take precedence. If NR decided to reclaim the Swanage branch (and no, i'm not saying it's likely) it would be a horrible loss, not a gain. On the other hand, I don't see a problem with a well managed Swanage service to Wareham or (who knows?) one day a joint station. On which note: when are the upgraded stock expected? Nobody has commented on this recently...
     
  20. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    A few images from the second weekend of Santa trains. The sun paid me back today by going in at just the wrong time, as it had allowed me to photograph a train in about the only 5 minutes of sun all day yesterday.

    IMG_0386.JPG IMG_0390.JPG IMG_0396.JPG IMG_0407.JPG IMG_0436.JPG
     
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