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West Somerset Railway Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. dinmore7820

    dinmore7820 New Member

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    And if you happen to ride on BSO 9227 (Carmine & Cream) or recently outshopped BSK 35257 (Maroon), you will find baby change facilities! (Agree though it only works with these larger toilets).

    Ben
     
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  2. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I'm not sure it helps with the discussion, because in general, no-one expects to find a toilet on a bus and everyone expects to find a toilet on a train, so they prepare (or don't!) accordingly.
     
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  3. Barrie the Beer

    Barrie the Beer Well-Known Member

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    BCK W21174 could also accommodate such facilities in the spacious ex-1st class WC.
     
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  4. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, a fair proportion of the passengers on heritage trains seem surprised to find toilets on them.
     
  5. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    This conversation really has gone down the pan ;) If we are now discussing toilet facilities my view is that you really only need maybe one toilet in a 5 car rake, or maybe two if you run 8, or 9 coaches, so why not, convert a brake vehicle, to have a disabled / accessible toilet, and changing table, with less seating and room for wheel chairs/ buggies, then take out the toilet compartments in the TSO'S, ETC and have buggy stowage areas and have one vehicle with a normal toilet, that way, you can provide enough toilets and increase stowage area, and by having a disabled toilet in the brake, you only have one vehicle to convert .
     
  6. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Experience says different.


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  7. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    When passengers need a toilet, it is likely to be relatively urgent. If not urgent they would often prefer to use station facilities. They tend not to want to walk through more than one coach to get there. This means one working toilet per two coaches.

    If a train has one coach equipped for disabled access, and also an accessible toilet (with changing place possibly too) then a five coach train needs two other toilet equipped vehicles. One problem to factor in is the re-marshalling of sets to accommodate different pre-bookings, such as coaches which can be laid up for meal service if there is a group booking for cream teas, or a compartment vehicle for private occasions such as a small birthday party. Such re-marshalling ought to be feasible without double shunting to retain the toilet distribution in the correct places. Thus it is helpful if more than half of the coaches have at least one working toilet each.
     
  8. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I think you'd struggle to fit a full spec changing place on a train.

    We run 8 coach trains on the GWSR and normally we manage a set of toilets per 2 carriages. In the winter though when we have to drain the tanks every night, to save water and a significant amount of time refilling tanks every morning, we half the number of toilets in use. I've never really noticed any problems when we've done this or had any complaints. I can think of one occasion where someone had gone past a set of toilets which had a sign saying out of use who merely enquired if we did have any working toilets on the train, I directed him to some which were and he was fine.

    I've also found that even on a nice day in the summer holidays the number of buggies that get brought along can usually be satisfactorily housed in the two storage areas of a BSK if wheelchair users are accommodated elsewhere, so I don't see it as particularly essential to go ripping out toilets to provide more buggy space.
     
  9. dhpaul

    dhpaul Member

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    As a Ticket Inspector I would suggest on a mostly full train you need at least one per two carriages. I can assure you they get used. People expect trains to have toilets. In the same way that they expect unlimited storage space for the increasing number of ever larger buggies and motorised wheelchairs. But that's another issue.
     
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  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    As another TTI I know they all get used, but I'm less convinced that getting passengers to walk another carriage or so is that much of an issue, especially if it saves the conversion cost of a few carriages to retention tanks, which is how we started off talking about this. As I said, for the few weeks around Christmas where we run 8 coach trains with only 2 or 3 sets of toilets I've never had any adverse comments. As you say, adequate space for buggies is also important, but this is probably a judgement for individual railways to make rather than a one size fits all depending on location, clientele etc.
     
  11. bluetrain

    bluetrain New Member

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    That is certainly true for mid-week travel on heritage railways, including a lot of grandparent with grandchildren groups. But for weekend travel, there seems to be a higher proportion of young adults with their small children.
     
  12. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    As usual, the best information comes from the front-line troops.
    If Visitors expect toilets, then toilets there should be. On a 90-minute WSR trip, if 50% of the coaches are so equipped, that seems about right.
    Is it ridiculously difficult or expensive to add retention tanks?
    With average use, do they need to be emptied every day/week/month?

    As for the 8-track, coffee-cup-holder, leather seated baby buggies, can you imagine getting a 'pram' into a Mk1? Or onto a 747, for that matter.
    No - because the expectations, back then, were that it would go into the Guard's van.

    Wheelchairs & mobility scooters are a little different & it seems to me that the modifications the WSR has made are quite appropriate.

    Please research 'Changing Places'. http://www.changing-places.org/
    It's rather more than could be accommodated on a train. Minehead station could be a Somerset leader.
     
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  13. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Another carriage - fine. Further, hmmm...

    Having been with kids caught short, the experience has seared itself in mine and my wife’s memory. Some of it is genuinely practical - what if..., on a decent length run.

    But to those who’ve suggested station loos should be enough, I give you the scrum at Pickering after a Whitby train arrives. That kind of melee - there is no other word - is difficult and stressful to manage, and a significant deterrent to repeat travel.

    Likewise, and back to west Somerset, I would avoid the 28 bus with small children if at all possible. And, to the WSR or any other railway, I would suggest that they ought to aim rather higher than the bus - especially as the trains they preserve include facilities lacking from the bus.


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  14. Anne C-B

    Anne C-B Member

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    My suspicion is that those who cannot manage one hour and 20 minutes do not use the number 28 bus for the complete journey.

    Edit: I see from a subsequent post that I'm wrong!
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  15. Paul Kibbey

    Paul Kibbey Well-Known Member

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    I do believe it was the bay platform used when under BR .
     
  16. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Another aspect of this 'lavatorial' subject is this.
    Those who experience discomfort due to lack of toilets on trains with long journeys, such as the WSR - there are others of course - and those who have youngsters who soil their clothing due to no toilets, will remember this as an unpleasant and uncomfortable day. 35B mentions some of the difficulties his family has encountered.
    An unpleasant day, will for the most part, be a factor why a return visit is not anticipated but a visit to somewhere else that is more 'user friendly'.
    There is more than 'a ride behind a steam locomotive' to be considered by those offering a heritage day out experience.
    A few years ago toilets on DSR were taken out of use. Things are far different now. Obviously these passenger necessities and requirements are now in the forefront.
    https://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk/visitor-info/parking-refreshments-toilets/toilets
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  17. granmaree

    granmaree Member

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    11 males held up the 28 at the top of Halsway Hill preventing the traffic emerging from the side road.
    Only 3 pictured for obvious reasons!
    Another instance a driver was reported for leaving a passenger behind at Eastcombe, he asked to be let out because he needed a slash. Driver obliged, closed the doors and drove off. 'He didn't ask me to wait, and I was not going to subject women and children on the bus to indecent exposure'.
    One count for a Saturday morning journey was a total of 32, 19 of those requiring a second stop.
    Butlins response is that if the males can be identified they will be removed from the resort.
    DSCF9318.JPG
     
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  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Isn’t the general heritage line mantra “loos, views and brews” - i.e. get any of those wrong and they will be disproportionately reflected in visitor feedback.

    Tom
     
  19. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    An interesting assumption that it is only those who'd go to Butlins who'd need to stop like this... But I suggest proof that there is a genuine need that can't just be ignored.
     
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  20. Anne C-B

    Anne C-B Member

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    There must be some better slogans than I can think of:-
    Don't get caught short on the bus, travel on the WSR
     

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