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Swanage Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Rumpole

    Rumpole Well-Known Member

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    I read the reference in the quoted post as to the SR’s Mk1 stock that has so far run ECS on a test run on the main line, but not in passenger service.

    As I understand it the DMU’s are being fitted at Eastleigh with essentially the same Secondary Door Retention system as the former Lymington CIG’s and the LU TC set.
     
  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Didn’t the railway obtain a grant from the Department for Transport a couple of years back to equip a set of carriages for use on the mainline? Presumably that would have included fitting central door locking?

    Tom
     
  3. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    Yes, we won a 75k grant to equip a loco and 5 coaches for mainline use. The majority of the grant was for the OTMR, TPWS, GSMR and certification costs on the loco. The remainder was to test and overhaul 5mk1 coaches to mainline standard, fit buckeye override brackets and secondary door bolts. Note this is just the drop bolt solution not the centrally controlled electro magnetic system as being fitted to the DMUs.

    The DMUs are still being completed at Eastleigh I think awaiting return of some of the engines.

    As Rumpole points out the Mk1s cant be spared from the internal services. Additionally to run to Wareham an operating company would need to be hired in and two main line locos dedicated to the service.

    Under the circumstances I think the rail replacement buss service is a ironic, pragmatic and very amusing substitute.
     
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  4. alastair

    alastair Active Member

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    Thanks for interesting post. But surely the whole point of the Wareham services was that the Swanage Railway would achieve TOC status itself to run the trains using the refurbished dmu's, and I was under the impression that public funding had been provided to make this happen? Wasnt hiring in a TOC shown to be far too expensive after the 2017 experience?

    The time scale of this whole project has been (even by heritage railways standards) incredibly drawn out. From BBC news over 6 years ago:


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • 11 February 2013

    A Dorset train service is to be reinstated 41 years after being axed thanks to a £1.47m grant.

    A regular service on the 10-mile stretch between Swanage, Corfe Castle and Wareham is set to be restored by Spring 2015.

    Government funding will pay to upgrade track and bridges and two 1960s heritage diesel bus trains to mainline running standards.

    The project is set to create an estimated 50 jobs in the area.

    'Historic news'
    Peter Sills, chairman of Swanage Railway Company Ltd, rode on the last British Rail train from Swanage to Wareham in January 1972.

    He said: "We are elated at this tremendous and very historic news because the Swanage Railway has been campaigning to bring back regular trains from Swanage and Corfe Castle to Wareham since 1972 when British Rail controversially axed the service."
    He added: "It took British Rail just seven weeks to lift the seven miles of track between Furzebrook, Corfe Castle and Swanage but 30 long years for the Swanage Railway to relay it."

    Trial services are planned for 50 days in 2015 and 90 days in 2016. It is hoped a year-round service will follow,

    Purbeck District and Dorset County councils have allocated £3.2m for a new track point at Worgret Junction. It was installed by Network Rail in December to enable passenger trains to use the route.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------



    I do wish the railway would be more upfront about what is likely and planned for 2019. Surely somebody must know. With the summer timetable only a few weeks away, it would also be good to know if the SWR shuttles to Corfe Castle will run in 2019, again nobody seems to know.
     
  5. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Well-Known Member

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    Its to keep people in suspense, I think the Swanage Railway is a great line, anything it does is fine by me. :)
     
  6. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    did you just write keep people in suspenders :eek: you Dorset people do get up to some strange things :p
     
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  7. 007

    007 New Member

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    The railway is dealing with this, but just remember, Project Wareham is a stakeholder lead project. Many different organisations are involved and all need to agree and work together to make it come together. Running trains to Wareham is the most complex project yet undertaken and its execution has been incredibly difficult. The Swanage Railway is aware of its commitments and is working with its partners to manage expectations.

    The SWR services are totally up to that company to organise and promote.
     
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  8. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    We all feel your frustration. Unfortunately are dealing with a number of unknowns and external dependencies which we have no control over.

    Developing the rolling stock and capabilities to become a Mainline operator is a complex business. To make matters worse we have had several disappointments and unwanted surprises in the delivery supply chain. We have learnt to be very careful about setting expectations on this project. Your post above clearly illustrates the pitfalls of over optimism.

    I can assure you that as soon as something can be announced it will be. If indeed there is anything to announce for 2019.
    For the SR to operate services according to our original plans three main elements need to be in place.
    Infrastructure
    This is completed and ready. (Edit Baring the DMU maintenance pit currently being constructed at Corfe)
    Rolling stock
    We are endeavoring to get the DMUs commissioned and returned to us ASAP but even on the current schedule expectation this will not be in time for us to operate a service until much later in the year and the schedules have slipped many times so its hard to be confident. Hiring in replacement rollingstock as we did a couple of years ago makes the costs unsustainable.
    Operating Licence
    This in itself is complex involves many pieces that need to be in place. Driver training on the DMUs, when returned, Maintenance facilities & processes, access and operating agreements, ticketing agreements and arrangements, arrangements for disrupted services, the list is endless. We are working through these and hope to submit the application later in the coming months.

    When we are confident of being able to bring all these elements together we will make an announcement. We don't want to hire in as the costs exceed the revenue.

    As for SWR, IF they are interested in running a service like last year and IF our management finds that to be compatible with what we hope to achieve this year then that will be up to them to announce and market. That will be their service and we would only be the infrastructure provider and benefit only from additional customers delivered to Corfe. Track access fees, if charged, won't add significantly to the bottom line. It won't be part of our timetable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  9. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    If you want strange Dorset customs here's one for you. A Dorset Knob Throwing competition.
    http://www.dorsetknobthrowing.com/
    I quote "SUNDAY 5th MAY 2019 KNOB DAY! IT`S ON!"
     
  10. alastair

    alastair Active Member

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    Many thanks for a comprehensive reply, and for your candour - very much appreciated. I wish nothing but the best for the railway which has so much going for it, and holds very happy childhood memories from the mid-60's for me. I'll definitely be on it again soon, hopefully from Wareham, but let's see!
     
  11. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Well-Known Member

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    That's just your kinky mind racing ahead of you, that sea air must have gone to your head. :rolleyes:
     
  12. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    I visited the Swanage Railway once when West Coast were providing a service from Wareham, on the Swanage Railway's behalf. I am very unlikely to visit again unless and until someone provides such a service, and I suspect I am not alone in that. Therefore, until the Swanage Railway is ready to run such a service itself, it should do what it can to encourage SWR (or indeed anyone else) to do so.
     
  13. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Well-Known Member

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    Judging by the numbers of people on the Swanage railway over the last week seemed very happy with the service they received, those who did go to Wareham looked very happy with the bus service, those people who choose not to visit because there is no direct service from Wareham seem very few. Just my opinion of course. :)
     
  14. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    So does that mean the Mk1 coaches can't take passengers on the mainline till the door locking is sorted?
    Guess there is no timescale for getting the DMU engines fixed and at least on DMU back to Swanage?
    Anyone used to rail replacement buses on SWT or SWR will have experienced the poor service from the cheapest bus contractors they could find; poor signage, uncommunitive drivers who don't know routes and clapped out uncortable buses. Hopefully the Swanage bus service might be better, but the term does not give many potential passengers confidence.
     
  15. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Now that sounds sensible, but how is one supposed to know that a bus service exists, and whether it makes reasonable connections with the trains at both ends, unless by starting a web search from scratch in the hope that a visit may be practicable?

    https://swanagerailway.co.uk/wareham-timetableandfares says
    "Swanage Railway plans to operate a diesel service between Swanage and Wareham in 2019.

    "Details of days of operation and timetables will be announced during Spring 2019."

    No mention of a bus service, or where the buses stop, let alone a link to a bus timetable.
     
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  16. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Active Member

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    Its all there
    https://www.swanagerailway.co.uk/getting-to-us

    Just remember the 50 is an open top all year, so bring your arctic survival suit, full waterproof woolly hat as appropriate! My fellow senile delinquents also seem to work the "Italian Queing System"( ie everyone is first) at Swanage, so be warned.
     
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  17. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    Setting aside how you know how many people chose not to visit, if the rail connection is unnecessary, that would imply that the money spent on rolling stock etc. has been wasted - presumably not the official line?
     
  18. Herald

    Herald Member

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    I suspect the real issue with such connections is more about their frequency and quality rather than the mode of transport provided. The user of public transport will often be put off by the discovery that independently run bus timetables do not integrate well with mainline rail times or the services of the heritage railway they are attempting to visit. Often they will find that an hourly public bus entails very long waits at interchange points rendering the day out unattractive. Add in experience of cancellations or buses so overloaded that some people are left behind and it quickly dissuades potential users.

    The one-way and peaky nature of day out visits often means that several journeys are very lightly used and unless a wider market can be tapped with direct through services between major centres or as part of some form of "round robin" tourist trip any operator will have difficulty in making an adequate return.

    The history of heritage railway connections is littered with examples of connecting services (including bus operations) which have not stood the test of time so one can only deduce that this is a much harder issue to crack than most armchair pundits believe.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  19. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    Pleased to see you back on the forum.
     
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  20. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    OK, fair enough, but see also post#2538.
     

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