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Swanage Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Jupiter

    Jupiter New Member

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    From mobile phones to LED bulbs the railway has to embrace post-60s technology and clearly the key is to do it sympathetically. My own view is that I’d keep fixtures and fittings as “film-set friendly” as possible. I think a subtle arrivals/departures screen is an excellent addition but if I was in the chair I’d want the ability to disguise it back to 60s appearance quickly and easily, if that’s even possible.
     
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  2. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    That is an expansive and obviously disputable assertion to make, especially without justification or supporting argument.
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    There's a time and a place. Should a railway have an up-to-date website? Of course they should. But should they have electronic departure boards in stations? Of course not, that is completely against the atmosphere you are trying to portray.

    Where do think they should modernise next - installing modern ticket barriers at platforms? It would cut down on the number of staff needed ...

    Tom
     
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  4. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody New Member

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    How about finger boards?
     
  5. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Looking at the pictures on the Swanage website, I’m struggling to get excited about this. The screen designs look reasonable, and the brightness/contrast don’t look far wrong - though any screen will always be brighter than paper.

    It will be interesting to see feedback from those who’ve seen this “in the flesh”, and RTT/Swanage will need to be careful to ensure look and feel are maintained - it would be very easy for them to make small changes that would make the screens look completely wrong.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  6. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    If you want to play reduce it to absurd ideas why not ban the modern credit system and demand cash only as 'that was how it was in the 1950s and POS is completely against the atmosphere you are trying to create'. Ear trumpets and shouting for customers who have hearing difficulties?

    How about running authentic timetables, ditching those dining trains. I guess selling historical inaccuracy is far better than trying to strike a compromise between modern customer needs and historical re-creation.

    You don't seem to be complaining about any of the other modern features in the ticket office.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (I don't know if the electronic screen is a pre-existing one or the new one)

    It is a ticket office, functional, sell the tickets, get the information and then walk through the door to the journey. Weird how everyone turns a blind eye to all the other historically inaccurate stuff but all of a sudden out come the pearls over a digital timetable.

    The comments against it read like a prejudice in search of an argument, especially considering what the ticket office in Swanage already looks like.
     
  7. Jupiter

    Jupiter New Member

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    I don't think you can cherry-pick which bits of new technology you want to use and turn your nose up at the rest of it.

    Asbestos insulation anyone?

    "The station's on fire you say?" "I'll send the boy, he'll be at the fire station in 20 minutes."
     
  8. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    I completely disagree with your generalization. Of course you can! That's the whole basis of what we do!

    The logical extension of your argument is that everything should be modern. Does that include signalling? Dispatching trains with white lollypops? Modern traction and rolling stock?

    We chose to use steam era locos and coaches. Most, but not all, chose steam era signalling and station decor. We chose to leave out the less glamorous and dirty bits of the steam era. We carefully chose the bits of modernity that are needed to make what we do acceptable, achievable and safe to modern visitor standards. Modern elements kept out of sight in the back office and works are a no brainer. When introducing modern elements in to the visitor areas a compromise is made and this needs to carefully weigh off the benefits with the negative effects. Can the same end be achieved in a more sympathetic way?

    It's a question of what your railway is selling.
    Is it just a ride on a steam train? Or is it a more complete step back in time experience of a journey in the steam era?
    Does the experience start when you are sat on the train and the loco chuffs away? Or does it start when you cross the threshold to the station?
    Both are equally valid businesses, but to me one experience is vastly more educational, enjoyable and most importantly, valuable than the other.

    I think the danger comes when the railway has forgotten that it was supposed to selling the more ‘all-encompassing quality experience’ and starts making too many small compromises that together amount to death by a thousand cuts. They risk ending up with a cheapened experience wondering why passenger numbers are flat lining and why they can't raise fairs in line with costs.

    I think there is a lot to complain about here. Swanage ticket office is quite frankly dreadful. Its in part because the ticket hall is shared with the buss company and we are not at liberty to do what we like about it. Shame we make such a pigs ear of the bit we do have control over tho.

    In the spirit continuous improvement and keeping up with improved offerings from other attractions in the area, I would hope that the aspiration would be to gradually bring Swanage ticket office UP TO the standard of Corfe. Not to gradually bring Corfe DOWN TO the standard of Swanage. @Monkey Magic I can see what point you are making but even you seem to concede in your post that this falls below the desired standard.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2021
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  9. oliversbest

    oliversbest New Member

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    i rode the 50s Swanage branch. Worn out ex suburban non gangwayed carriages ;clouds of dust when one sat down. Is it any wonder that the bus and private car won out. The SRP pioneers fought long and very hard against the Corfe by-pass.and we need to honour that. It could be that numbers are flatlining but,that would not be only on the SR. I believe that Politics and demographics are swinging in favour of Railway revitalisation.We have a great railway,great staff and we put out a very good product. That product will change because government want some railways to connect up again where it is feasible and Swanage is obviously in that frame. Government money will not come without a cost.There will always be some happy with going just to Norden but as times change; the original objective of a Wareham service must be looked to. A couple of refinements in the booking office surely is not cause for the division which has brought other Heritage Railways to grief. Yes.we share the booking office with the Bus Co;the buses are right outside the door so one would think that is a good decision for public transport users.
     
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  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    If only it were possible to 'like' a post multiple times ...

    Tom
     
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  11. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works Member

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    I think that’s a bit harsh on the railway about Swanage booking office and those who work hard providing a service to customers. It might not be as aesthetically pleasing as other locations but it serves a purpose. If somebody came along with a very generous donation I’m sure the railway would be delighted to pursue greater authenticity!

    It’s great if a railway strives to improve its traditional ambience but given limited resources and other pressing priorities there are always going to be compromises on authenticity. I do think that on some short lines especially, the historic ambience can go a long way to counter the limitations of a short running line. However modern facilities are still needed e.g. playgrounds, baby changing rooms, cafes and so on, given that railways are reliant on the core family market for their existence.
     
  12. DcB

    DcB Member

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    Would that have been the M7 loco with the push pull Maunsell coaches (one day will be recreated!). Before the "Thumper" DMUs and 33/4tcs in the 60s?
     
  13. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    More likely the LSWR stock which pre dated the Maunsell push pull conversions.
     
  14. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I absolutely get your argument. I would just make a couple of points. Do you remember the children's series Mr Benn? There was a point in each episode where he walked through the dressing room door and he was in another world. For me, any visit to a heritage line needs to include that moment, now it doesn't matter where that is. It can be for example walking into the station, or it could be walking from the booking office onto the platform. It might be that moment when the train rolls past the modern housing and industrial estate and is in the fields.

    I think there has to be a balance between meeting the needs/expectations of all customers - be that the casual family who want a ride on a steam train as a change from going to the beach, to the rivet counting nostalgist. To me, the design I think is the best compromise possible.

    I think that the real time trains board is well handled and it is an upgrade on a computer print out stuck with sellotape to a window. A chalk board with the train times might be prototypical but they are not always ideal - hard to read at times. It isn't a huge TV screen, but within the frame. The font is clear and it conveys the information clearly and concisely for passengers so very useful if there are a lot of passengers, especially the casual customers. It is I think ignorable if you want to squint and imagine yourself in the 1950s.

    I don't think it does Corfe Castle down either.

    I'd also say, I think with all of these issues my question would always be 'what would Bulleid or Herbert Walker have done?'
     
  15. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Aye, I recall. Even as a sproggit, barely knee high to a grasshopper, I questioned the Fancy Dress Store's owner's business model! :D
     
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  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The costume hire was a loss leader for the multi-year media deal he signed for a fly-on-the-wall documentary ...

    Tom
     
  17. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    In that case, I dread to think what was being fronted by The Magic Roundabout. :Nailbiting:
     
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  18. oliversbest

    oliversbest New Member

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  19. oliversbest

    oliversbest New Member

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    It would have been early 1950s. Yes a M7 definitely, The coaches afaik were formerly LSWR suburban stock. Some with lavatory and as best as i recall painted red.(as were the push and pull coaches on the "old road" trains Poole to Brockenhurst) The massive old train indicator still stood outside the station..neglect was setting in and everything was covered in a thick layer of dust!!
     
  20. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    At least the Herbs were upfront about what they were all about.

    I see your the Magic Roundabout and raise you Jamie and the magic torch with the unicycle riding truncheon eating Officer Gotcha, and Strumpers Plunkett playing melodies on his trumpet nose.
     

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