Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by David likes trains, Jun 25, 2019.
I'm only a week late... Bahamas crossing the Severn at Worcester.
Times for the 20th July
Interesting to note that there is an "as required" path for the 47 to return to/from Tyseley
I appreciate that Vintage Trains don't have a diesel tagged on the back just for the sake of it but perhaps passenger numbers are falling for reasons that include the dreaded imposter. <BJ>
I wrote at the beginning of the year that I was concerned - I personally feel it's more of a case of too crowded a marketplace. We almost have too many promoters offering to many tours - as a punter it's fantastic and we are spoilt for choice. But there are only so many of us...and the overall price of tours is not exactly cheap.
VT's core service was always the Shakespeare Express - a bit of a shorter tour in a way designed for giving friends/family's a nice day out to a pleasant location with a bit of steam haulage thrown in - it is in a way rather sad to see that A N Other company has kind of muscled in on this - so I give full credit to VT for trying something different - especially given that this is their first year operating as their own TOC.
Let us not forget that in essence this is the same company that gave us the Bristolian, Cheltenham Flyer, 1Z48, Lickey Banker/Panniers and I for one hope that they are able to carve out their own niche once again.
Diesel or no diesel on rear of the train and steam locos such as bahamas or clun castle its still well worth going on the tours with vintage, with 2 locos that have a famous preservation history amongst them both.
I agree, two fantastic locos that have both recently returned to the main line after many years. So why are their tours being cancelled ?
In my opinion the popularity of travelling on a steam railtour is not so enticing in recent years due to pricing, diesel at the rear and not being able to freely stand by an open window. <BJ>
These tours are marketed to people who want an enjoyable day out with a good lunch/dinner. They certainly don't want their day ruined by people in goggles hanging out of windows.
Well I dont want people who want an enjoyable day out with a good lunch/dinner ruining my day out with goggles on standing and looking out,not hanging, out of windows...
Its obvious from many tour companies they dont really want standard class passengers on trains, they dont make enough from them dispite some tours being over £100 standard.. So I dont do tours now..
I would also say that for me VT were slightly later than all the other companies getting their tour itinerary out into the public domain - this would have meant that potential customers (and I’m certainly in this boat) had already committed funds/booked tours with other operators.
Others may well be put off by the prospect of diesel assistance and are waiting to see if VT will switch to operating (where possible) without a diesel next year
The real problem for me with railtours is that we scarcely get to see the loco. On my my most recent tours, I only got a half decent view at the destination stations, and there a brief and very ordinary shot. Remember run-pasts, planned and organized lineside photo stops?
Perhaps we should start a separate topic because there is a lot we can say on this, operational issues, H&S, station barriers etc. are all relevant, and as supporters of steam our views are not unimportant
Sadly for us the tours keep being announced on days we can’t do, and well after we’ve booked our leave for the year. The only tour we could do, was todays Welsh Marches so we booked but as it was cancelled we find ourselves onboard RYTCs Cumbrian Mountain Express instead.
We always love our trips with Vintage Trains, and have been looking for a chance to go with them again but the relatively short booking windows coupled with dates we can’t make mean that we haven’t been able to book anything with them.
The trip I want to do, and have a booking to use from the one cancelled last year, is 7029 to Chester. The date in April was the same day as a photo charter on the Isle of Wight I had booked last October, the date in June which I could do was cancelled (so I went to Didcot to see the Saint instead ), and the one in October which had a provionasl date of the 19th ( A date I could do) has been brough forward to the 12th which I cannot.
We have timings for next Saturday...
Dorridge to Hereford: http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/U10734/2019/07/20/advanced
Hereford to Dorridge: http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/U10737/2019/07/20/advanced
There are also timings for the Saphos Welsh Marches run on the same day, if all runs to time Bahamas should pass it around Midday somewhere near Cwbran. http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/sea...0/0600-2000?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt&toc=LS
I agree with a lot of the comments above. We hear a lot about the market for steam tours being mainly the "fine dining" and "day out" brigade rather than enthusiasts. I'm sure this is correct in terms of money spent on tours. On the other hand, whenever a group undertakes a loco restoration, major overhaul or new-build, their appeals for funds know where to find the enthusiasts. I think both constituencies need to be cultivated if steam operations are to continue - fashion for using disposable income can change quickly.
I think though when kinlet hall and 71000 are completed from their overhauls it will strenghen the fleet up at tyseley and give more choice wether or not to tailgun with a diesel at rear of their trains.
Gauging though will continue to count against former GWR locomotives . At some point all operators will need to be thinking of gauge friendly 75mph machines .
One real example was a scenario where computer said no based on gauging train and margins , yet the engine was comfortable
Are you saying that the data from the gauging train was wrong Martin? If so that's worrying as the computer could also have said that the clearance was comfortable when indeed it was not.
Perhaps the computer used a clearance tolerance that was larger than expected for the locomotive and therefore rejected it as out of gauge. <BJ>
Vegetation and rubbish do get picked up by the scanning lasers, so if the vehicle gauge profile clashes with them it gets flagged up as a fail. What should happen next is a check of the data, including a site visit if needs be.
I looked at moving an odd gauge vehicle from Eastleigh to Ruislip five or so years ago and had a gauge check done against the most recent data. You can normally tell vegetation as it comes out as odd data points when compared to solid obstacles such as platforms, bridge structures, ballast shoulders and even trackside signs.
I really cannot believe that overgrown vegetation causes a gauging failure - there is simply far too much of it all over the network for this to be the case. Vast sections of Scotland would be shut down for a start. It is not too noticeable with smooth sided modern stock but sit in the guards compartment of a Mark I coach and listen to the racket caused by leaves and sometime quite stout branches catching door handles and grab rails and you realise how bad some places are. I cannot help but feel that the issue is somewhat overlooked by the use of the Network Rail Inspection Saloon, Caroline, which covers the entire system at least annually. As a former Hastings line gauge vehicle it is only 8'6" wide instead of the standard 9'6" so does not detect the extent of this particular problem.
Here is an extreme example of what I'm on about - taken at Stirling after the train had come over the rarely used Longannet branch in April.
As i understand it the track is essentially live (as in it does move) so if the line has not been measured , once a period of time has elapsed the tolerance is reduced and a loco once in gauge can then fall out of gauge
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