Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Will RL, Dec 16, 2020.
Am I missing something but I can’t see the outline times in the website?
There are no outline times. There was a time when they didn't give me outline times, then when Ben was working for them, they started giving them. A backwards move. For anyone who lives a fair distance from a pickup point, outline times are essential in deciding whether to book a trip or not.
It's worth remembering that it may well be that some (many) of these trips are not yet on the radar of Network Rail. There is a lead-in deadline of about three months by which time a proposal has to be in place. Anything later just won't happen. It may well be that no outline times have been suggested to NR so they can't tell us.
Agree with this. VT is my 'local' tour operator, but as a non-driver, my only option to join a tour is by public transport.
I can very easily hop on a train to Birmingham (and sometimes even Tyseley) but it's really useful to know if the tour is planned to arrive back before the last train home. (with enough contingency to allow for delays etc).
It allows me to know far enough in advance whether a hotel booking is required (and be able to secure cheaper rates), and whether the dog-sitter needs to be booked for one night or two.
(Travelodge cost about £130 for two nights for the tour I've booked in October, and that sort of sum can make the difference between booking/not booking, or upgrading from Standard to First/Dining. I'd much rather see the money go to VT than Travelodge!)
Obviously, if Network Rail throw a curve ball and the timings massively change in the last couple of weeks, there's not much you can do about it and a last minute hotel booking might still be needed, but at least a rough idea of what's been asked for/requested would be better than nothing!
I have normally joined VT tours by train from Southampton as I no longer want the long drive north so without an indication of times I won’t be able to book any of this years trips. It is most unusual for any tour operator not to give pick up points with times. Hopefully times will appear later
Wont many of these planned excursions be kiboshed if the Government decide to stick with mandatory face masks on public transport after June 21st ? This would surely be a non starter for many, considering the prime target audience will be jabbed to the brim.
Don't see the problem. I think that many operators are assuming that face masks on transport will be in place for a while and even if they are not I'm prepared to bet that many people will choose to continue wearing them, as has been the norm in some other countries for years.
The vaccine doesn't give 100% protection from catching the virus . you can still get it albeit it should be a far milder form and at less risk to your life . Given emerging variants irrespective of government guidance I shall be retaining my mask
I'm hoping that masks on trains won't be necessary after June 21st but if they are then I'll just have to bear it. I wore one for 12 hours for the SVR Spring Steam Up - 3 return trips in a TSO plus the service train in the morning and evening. It was the longest amount of time I'd ever worn one before and although it wasn't exactly comfortable wearing one all day it proved to myself that I could at least endure it if needed. However, I'm really hoping they're not required after June, time will tell.
If this becomes the case I'd imagine compartment stock will go pretty quick on Vintage and Saphos hauled trains. Have West Coast got any compartment stock ? I'm sure I did a WCME in 2015 in a compartment. I expect the glamour of steam hauled specials from June 21st and beyond will be high as will staycations, I just cant see how mandatory mask wearing on board private excursions for in excess of 12 hours will be tolerated. Fingers crossed it's all optional.
The only compartment stock in regular use is the brake.
I also find that whilst many enthusiasts may like the compartments, especially if at the end with the loco, most "normal" passengers having a day out prefer an open coach mainly I suspect because of the table and unless you are a group of six sharing with fewer others. I have experienced many requests for re seating, which of course is not possible if the train is full.
Of course Covid concerns may alter that view going forward.
I've booked on a couple of these trips now and I've noticed that they don't assign you seat numbers anymore. Instead you just print the order confirmation email and turn up with that, like the Shakespeare Express or the Jacobite back before Covid. Presumably the stewards will be picking seats/tables for people on the day.
I assume these have en route pick up unlike the two regular tours you mentioned? It will be interesting to see how that works out on the day.
Murder on the Shakespeare Express
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I see there is still no sign of fares or booking for the SE yet though. I really wish VT could just tell us how much it is (surely they have an idea by now).
"The work of over 60 volunteers at stations along the route between Birmingham and Stratford upon Avon, the railway known as 'The Shakespeare Line' is being transformed." Did they mean to say that the railway being transformed by the work of the volunteers?
Shakespeare Express dates now available for booking on-line.
Great news for VT and all of us who have been waiting for these to appear.
Only Sundays available at moment
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