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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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    Daddsie71b: I don’t understand what point you are trying to make. I don’t understand if it’s tongue in cheek or sarcasm or what. It’s a difficult read and you probably need to spell it out.
     
  2. 80104

    80104 Member

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    A few points to ponder:

    1. The comparison with Tankfest / The Tank Museum is quite an interesting one because the popularity of Tankfest seems to be growing (or at least stable) and the Tank Museum seems to be doing very well. Good for them and I mean that sincerely. However it is worth remembering that there is only one Tank Museum and one TankFest whereas there are a great many heritage railways and a great may heritage railway events.

    2. I am advised that the new chairman of SRC has stated in a widely circulated email that the finances are not in as good a shape as would be liked and that this may impact the future.

    3.
    These are good points especially the last one but are indicative of the challenge that SRC faces.

    SRC can survive but it needs to stop the sniping, take decisions that stand up to scrutiny and get on with the job in hand.

    IMHO it is spreading itself too thinly, trying to please too many people.

    It needs to decide on the core things it has to do (and the provision of the resources it requires) and focus on those even if it means declaring some activities non core and thus receive no support until times change and there are the resources to devote to them. If this upsets some and they decide to take their bat and ball home well that is the risk SRC has to take. IMHO it may even be a good thing because it means that all the available energy and resources will be channelled into the core activities.
     
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  3. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    Why not lease the BNB? There must be enough punters who would pony up some cash to refurbish this facility and return it to its rightful spot. If the venture fails SR still owns the coach! And yes peeling carriage roofs ARE noticed just as rusty cars are noticed. The questions that arises in the mind of JQP" is this indicative of general maintenance on the vehicle" As HR are in some respects theatre put on the best show possible!...and get those trains rolling in from the big world outside!
     
  4. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    BNB?
     
  5. 80104

    80104 Member

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    Birds Nest Buffet.
     
  6. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    Ah, thanks
     
  7. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    So called because a birds nest was discovered in it during renovations for use at Swanage.

    Never the most appealing name for an eatery I’ve always thought, nor the most appropriate for one based on a railway line.
     
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  8. Rumpole

    Rumpole Part of the furniture

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    Why? It's at Corfe, where the SR deems it will contribute best to the bottom line, being run by the SR and making profit for them.

    You don't half come out with some utter rot.
     
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  9. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Setting aside that the SRC have moved it to where they think it can generate the best return, have you considered that if a lease fails, the loss to the lessor is not just about the asset, but also the revenue and reputation lost while replacements are sorted?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  10. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    It would seem that a number of preserved railways are looking at visitor experience and not just a nice ride in the countryside on a Steam Engine, purists may not like some of the ideas around but maybe it is the way to survive. I would suggest a lot of museums are going that way also.
     
  11. 80104

    80104 Member

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    Enhancing the Visitor experience is quite a challenge for SRC (beyond polite and friendly staff, well kept stations) because of the lack of physical space to add additional attractions / points of interest.

    Having a good catering offering and suitable toilet facilities are important and these are areas SRC struggle with; some for reasons outside of their control and arguably partly within their control.

    Examples of broadening the appeal include the Falconry at IOWSR and the transport museum at ELR (though this is less of a stretch). The Purbeck Mineral Mining Museum at Norden has some appeal but arguably it is more of the same whereas the need is to expand / broaden the appeal to cater for more interests.

    One of the challenges of museums etc is the risk they add more cost than the additional revenue they generate.
     
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  12. 007

    007 Member

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    Maybe we should hire the Tiger tank and use it to blow up the birds nest. Bet we could sell plenty of tickets for that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022
  13. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    You mean rot like the nearly 400 that signed the petition? I would much sooner have "cafe und kuchen" overlooking Swanage High street and in a great location then in a coal yard at Corfe. Just my( and 400 others) opinion of course
     
  14. 007

    007 Member

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    Yeah yeah yeah.
     
  15. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    One hopes that the Carriage Shed is not ,yet again,deferred. Car #14 has returned. SRC needs to accommodate such vehicles in the best way possible.
     
  16. 80104

    80104 Member

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    In Swanage whilst busy in the summer and very quiet in the winter the BNB struggled to make a contribution after costs. The issue, like in nearly all catering establishments, was the cost of labour. It required 3 full time paid members of staff to operate it.

    By comparison the Norden Kiosk made a contribution because, with its small range of hot and cold drinks, cakes and confectionery, it could be staffed by volunteers (often just one on duty) thus the labour cost was avoided.

    It appears that SRC is endeavouring to replicate that success at Corfe Castle Station (with the relocated BNB) and eventually at Swanage (with the kiosk in the booking hall once washing facilities have been established).

    The recruitment and retention of paid catering staff in Swanage is very challenging and this when combined with the ultra high level of catering competition in Swanage has compelled SRC to switch to operate the "kiosk" model rather than the "buffet" model.

    As much as I would love to see a traditional cafe at Swanage Station, the commercial reality dictates otherwise.
     
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  17. twr12

    twr12 Well-Known Member

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    ISLAGIATT
     
  18. Jon Lever

    Jon Lever New Member

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    That might depend on how many "colonials" are sitting in the Birds Nest at the time
     
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  19. 5914

    5914 New Member

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    In some of the recent postings, there seems to be a demonstration of the prejudice and level of assumption of those on this forum who seek to criticise SR at every opportunity.

    First of all, the positive report of actual events:
    This seems quite reasonable on a day when the timetable has three trains in operation.

    However, an assumption is then leapt to that the railway has more locos in steam than the service requires (and implying that SR is therefore wontenly wasting resource and money):
    Then, acceptance of this false assumption leads to a rabbit-hole about the propriety of having standby locos in light steam:
    And then the interjection of a passionate 'supporter', who would rather see a loss-making activity retained because the like to make a (very) occasional visit, rather than it relocated to offer a revised customer offer that (being volunteer resourced) makes a contribution to the bottom line rather than requiring subsidy from the railway operation to keep it open:
    I would not blame some of those who give of their time and energy to maintain and develop what is (certainly on my visits) a popular and high quality visitor attraction that also fulfils a real transport function in the Isle of Purbeck from being dismissive of many of the comments on here that seem motivated by a desire to be critical and negative - especially when those comments are grounded on assumption and ignorance rather than informed comment. Well-informed, positive criticism and comment are helpful - but this thread seems too often to descend into assumption, speculation and decidedly negative criticism - even when the facts are readily available (For example, it took me only a matter of seconds to pull up yesterday's timetable to see how many trains were operating)
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022
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  20. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    I am All for positivity. Negativity unfortunately is a by product of failed promises and ambitions. A lot of faith will be restored when work recommences on the Carriage Shed.....to be followed by....?
    And no, in my late 70s I do not want to be standing in a kiosk to obtain refreshment, or sitting outside in that lovely Dorset Rain. The location at Swanage Station was unbeatable for a relaxing interlude.a lot of people thought so,but,on to the bottom line which will not be a great deal different from the last bottom line one suspects.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022

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