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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 Part of the furniture

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    Is the MHR ticket not a day rover? The SR price for that is comparable but of course if you only want one round trip then the SR is cheaper but the round trip is just over half the length of travel.
    That of course raises a whole interesting debate of what the non enthusiasts wants, is prepared to pay, what is the "right length of a journey" etc. It would appear from casual observation here many coach tours only travel one way, so 5.5 miles is seen as acceptable.
    On a non HR issue, but related, I would have normally gone to photograph Clan Line tomorrow (Templecombe or Yeovil area probably) and whilst the £20 or so it would cost is luckily for me not an economic issue (i.e. it is not Clan Line or eat) it is an amount in my own personal values I am prepared to pay for one image of a steam loco.
    That is the conundrum for any attraction in 2022, but especially for one reliant on coal or diesel where prices have rocketed economically.
    Who would want to be an HR FD at the moment?
     
  2. 80104

    80104 Member

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    Yes some very good points. It highlights the problem that there is no "good way" (and by that I mean robust and reliable) of assessing what impact a change in price or offering has to the passenger numbers and bottom line. Evaluating elasticity of demand on heritage railways seems an impossible task.

    Unfortunately due to reasons / circumstances mainly beyond their control (which have been endlessly debated on this forum) SRC does not benefit from secondary spend to the same extent as other visitor attractions and thus offering "cheap" fares to get more passengers on the railway(and thus potentially lower total fares revenue) isnt compensated for by increased secondary spend.

    Annual memberships offering a substantial discount seem to be a good idea but I would be fascinated to know the actual takeup. Likewise I think keeping family fares low (ie adult price plus a very small add on for the children) should attract good patronage but I do wonder about elasticity of demand.
     
  3. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    Indeed, but sponsorship is normally agreed well in advance as part of the planning of events.

    This appeal came only 2 or 3 weeks before the event, and came across as a panicky last minute appeal for funds to run the event.
     
  4. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Understood, though I've encountered the odd event which has looked very smooth on the surface but been very fraught to organise up to and beyond the last minute.
     
  5. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Seemed to be a diesel day yesterday as far as my photography went.
    In a scene familiar on the locals into Paddington near the end of the 117's, yesterdays DMU service was a 117 drive car and trailer and the 121 seen here passing the shed with the 12:00 service from Norden.
    The ECS from the Northern Belle approaching and heading away from Holme Lane and at the RRIC at Norden, the length of the train really stands out at this location.
    No unrebuilt Bulleid Pacific on the Belle, but it did get close to one as 257 Squadron ran round its service train.
     

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  6. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I'm wondering why the ECS was taken all the way to Swanage rather than somewhere nearer to Bournemouth such as the sidings near Poole.
     
  7. buzby2

    buzby2 Well-Known Member

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    Suspect Bournemouth Station turnback sidings and Sterte Road sidings at Poole might not be long enough for this train [11 coaches plus locos topping & tailing] and/or they might be in use already with scheduled services awaiting their next duties.
    Bournemouth EMU depot would probably charge quite a bit - assuming they had spare capacity in the first place to service the train. Reduced scheduled services at weekends tends to 'fill-up' depots like Bournemouth.
    WCRC's 57314 was scheduled to be re-fuelled and the coaches needed 'tanking'. I believe Northern Belle 'servicing' at Arne Road sidings occurred last year so, presumably, the organisers were happy with arrangements.
    Also, it brings a little bit of additional funds to the Swanage Railway.
     
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  8. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    If Bournemouth is anything like the sidings at Hove of a weekend (Gatwick Express units work form them), probably full off peak.

    Whatever, a nice little earner for Swanage .... and some equally nice piccies for us! :)
     
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  9. 5914

    5914 New Member

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    The question would be where on the current infrastructure is there somewhere that would provide an accessible location that has capacity.

    Both middle sidings at Bournemouth are normally required every hour (by stock from Waterloo services and terminating XC services), whilst only only of the sidings at Poole is currently serviceable (the second has been OOU for some time). In both cases accessibility for re-fuelling would be tricky if it required road access in any form.

    Using Bournemouth depot would almost certainly cost a lot more than Swanage (and involve two reversals on the mainline) - and the capacity of the depot to do routine servicing may not be what it was since it specialised in overhaul work rather than routine maintenance with the introduction of Desiros (maintained and serviced by Siemens at Northam) by Stagecoach. The other possible option would be Weymouth - but that would involve dodging the single track between Moreton and Dorchester and then (assuming the formation was not too long to clear the platforms) reversing out of the station into the sidings. Again road access, if required, would be an issue.

    All round servicing on SR is both operationally convenient for the national network and almost certainly financially advantageous to both SR and the mainline operator.
     
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  10. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Thanks for the explanations.
     
  11. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Plus getting the train stabled somewhere away from a very busy mainline means it makes the operation safer, and with no penalty if your holding up scheduled services whilst accessing sidings, reversing etc, so berthing the train at Swanage make sence, locos and stock can be serviced theres road access if needed and your not dodging round an electrified main line with units haring past at 100 mph.
     
  12. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    To me, thats where furzebrooke sidings could play a role. The out in the middle of nowhere location doesnt help but if the ability was there to stable a complete set off the mainline and then off the Swanage when Wareham is fully up and running would be very hand.
     
  13. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I've rather lost track I'm afraid ...... What, if anything, is happening at Furzebrook? Who actually owns the sidings and does the site have any future role in the SR's plans?
     
  14. ady

    ady Well-Known Member

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    Nothing is happening. As has been told several times before

    • Its still owned Perenco, an Oil company.
    • The railway had hoped to use them for carriage shed/works and/or as a depot for the mainline diesels.
    • The previous oil company was not adverse to the idea as they were pulling out, but the current Oil company still uses part of the site so possibly aren't interested.
    • And the railway aren't leading the negotiations as for reasons its coming from the Council who would be the buyers of the land and then lease the site to the railway like the rest of the trackbed.
    • Also when the siding were constructed, there was agreement that the land has to be returned back to heathland officially. This planning point would have to be over-ridden.
    Wouldn't hold your breath its been going on for about a decade now.
     
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  15. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Thanks. As I said, with everything going on down thataway, I'd lost track.

    Any idea whether (planning conditions aside) the sidings actually lies within one of the several SSSI protected areas? I recall certain conditions being imposed on the PW across a 'listed' area. There seem to be a lot of such protected places in Dorset, which is a critically important stronghold of nationally (and internationally! endangered flora and fauna.
     
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  16. ady

    ady Well-Known Member

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    I been led to believe it is within a SSSI, but the site hasn't been heathland for years...
     
  17. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    If you'd watched some of what I've seen on 'Rewilding' proposals here and there recently, that's just a minor hurdle. ;)
     
  18. 5914

    5914 New Member

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    I'm afraid it is more than a decade now! (But probably a decade until the known next steps became apparent - and therefore since the project can be assumed to be in abeyance).

    The key issue with any change of use for the site at Furzebrook will be the planning issues. Currently, it has its rights on the basis of minerals extraction - and once this purpose is over there is an absolute and binding commitment to return the site to nature. At present, the site remains in partial use (and the wider oilfield is still operating) - but when that finishes, the site returns to nature.

    Therefore, any planning application for railway use would, in all probability, start from the legal assumption of the site having been returned to nature (even if, in fact it hadn't - but failure of the planning application would result in that happening). Given almost all the surrounding land is protected, this means that the planning decision would be on converting a SSSI into an industrial site - which would be a high bar to surmount!

    The only possible planning justification would be on the basis of an application, supported by the local authority on the basis of the need for additional public transport infrastructure (as it is demonstrable that the current level of service between Swanage and Norden (and limited services, such as the Wareham trials represent) an be serviced from existing facilities). In reality, this is dependent on a successful trial service to Wareham, the acceptance of a long-term proposal to operate this service, and proving that there was no other possibility for maintenance and servicing of the stock that had a lower environmental impact. Even if this scenario were to pass, the assumption must be that the planning process will be prolonged, expensive, and dependent on the opinion of a minister of the crown!
     
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  19. twr12

    twr12 Well-Known Member

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    In a nutshell, it seems unlikely that Swanage Railway will ever get to use Furzebrook sidings.
     
  20. 80104

    80104 Member

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    Unfortunately the building of the DMU servicing depot at Corfe Castle Station - given its very specific stated purpose - makes proving that there is / was no other possibility for the maintenance and servicing of the stock a somewhat difficult argument to sustain.

    Given the issues referred to above, any application for the use of Furzebrook sidings is bound to involve a thorough examination of all the rolling stock SR posesses - whether in use of not - and all the facilities - operational, storage or maintenance - SRC has access to. An objective appraisal may simply conclude that the issue (lack of facilities) could be resolved by the relocation or disposal of underutilised / surplus stock. Whether SRC has underutilised / surplus stock would undoubtedly be a matter of great debate though fundamentally SRC would need to prove that additional storage space is needed and that there is no alternative.
     

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