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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. Anne C-B

    Anne C-B Member

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    I note today's news reported earlier today in this forum. My only comment, for now, is why do we have to learn this from a third party and not the PLC itself? The PLC needs to get its communications to supporters sorted out with some urgency or it's going to lose even more good will from its supporters. The PLC is starting to look like the Ex6+1 to me.
     
  2. Anne C-B

    Anne C-B Member

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    Those in south Wales should be aware that we're regularly getting last minute engineering works and they should check connection times during the week of travel.
     
  3. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    The close towns, listed in previous timetable posts seem to have a reasonable start times (Bristol, Exeter etc.), bearing in mind you have to get to those stations and park cars, but anyone with, or who has had, young families will know how difficult an early 6am - 7am start can be.
    The return home times do make a long day for youngsters. Maybe the publicity would be better aimed at those within a much easier time scale. Are promotional advertisements made, by the GWR and PLC in the nearby towns?
     
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  4. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    A pointless observation. How many heritage railways resemble the lines they once were. As we all know, if they did they wouldn't survive and modern day operations have to reflect the increased demand. Perhaps the IoWSR can cope with wooden bodied 4-wheelers and Terriers but I suspect they'd be less of a success on a longer run.
     
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  5. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Inadvertently, you are acknowledging my point. If you are running somewhere like the Mid-Hants, Dartmouth or Great Central, then trains hauled by large machines are not out of place. Similarly if you run a long route that's your choice but don't expect the outside world to pick up the extra costs of so doing.

    My real problem is with the expression "heritage". In most cases more honest would be "tourist" or "leisure".
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  6. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    Whilst I sometimes think that the Plc could improve the way in which it communicates with its supporters, I feel that in circumstances like this it would be totally wrong for them to say anything.
     
  7. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    The PLC must have said something to someone. How else did the magazine get to know? No track side gossip allowed now on the WSR so it had to be an approved (by someone) for release.
    I can see Anne's concerns. The PLC are appealing for lots and lots of money and the primary source of that money will probably be from existing supporters. There does appear to be an alienation for many of their supporters if reports here are accurate.
     
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  8. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    And since you mention it, the Dartmouth Steam Railway definitely does not push the 'heritage' dimension. It is a tourist/leisure railway that happens to run steam locomotives. Even their website is more about combined rail/river tickets and much more, rather than just a train ride on heritage stock. And apart from their observation car, the purists would have an issue with their rolling stock as well.

    Is it not true that the WSR now typically runs trains of 6/7 vehicles when in BR days it was 4? No doubt that is a business/demand decision so (iron) horses for courses, therefore, in terms of the size of locomotive that is needed.
     
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  9. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Knock the buffet car off and there is a truer comparison.
     
  10. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    A mk 1 RMB seats 48 or 44 seats - that the same as a typical SK so I don't see that it is making that big a difference.
     
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  11. Another Yorkshireman

    Another Yorkshireman Member Friend

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    I do hope I am not betraying any secrets, but I can say that volunteers who receive HOPS eMails were made aware, well over a week ago, that a [named] person would be away from his desk for the time being. This, it seems to me, was the right and proper thing to do, for operational as well as personal reasons.
     
  12. greenslade

    greenslade Member

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    sorry robin but what is a TLA?
     
  13. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Three letter acronym
     
  14. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Tare weight comparison please.
     
  15. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    I’m sure I’m not the only person on here to have worked out how this disclosure has developed.
     
  16. Mike West

    Mike West New Member

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    This thread has been discussing the fact that the WSR is desperately hard up ...

    Is it preferable for the WSR to run 4 coach trains with small engines to recreate yesteryear, and hack off paying customers turning up for a day out on a steam train ride, only to find there are no seats? Sounds like commercial suicide to me.

    Trust me, as a frequent visitor to Bishops Lydeard station, the first train or two on a Saturday / Sunday can be very busy and they warrant the length of train provided and hence, the locos needed to pull them.

    There is an important point to note here, as this is more 'heritage' than you seem to realise - the Minehead line saw long trains on summer Saturdays in BR days, which were pulled by 53xx / 63xx Moguls and 5101 / 61xx Prairies.

    The latter, the railway has had in the form of 4160 and it would be great to see it back again. As for the Moguls, the closest thing we can hope for is 9351, which is a really fine engine (although I'm sure you're horrified as that's definitely not heritage). 5322 is, I believe, out of service at Didcot and the only other surviving close relation is 7325, also out of service at the SVR.

    Failing that, a Manor isn't a million miles away as they were of course built from parts that came from 43xx moguls. Beyond that, what are the options?

    Either the railway generates the revenue needed, or it will be gone and there will be nothing left for the likes of my 4 year old daughter to enjoy in the future. I know which scenario I prefer.
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    For Mark 1s, the biggest cause of variation in tare weight is what kind of bogie they are on - Commonwealth bogies being heavier than BR1s. But comparing like with like, we have a TSO and an RMB both running on the same bogies and both listed as 37 tons. So RMBs aren't heavier than normal carriages.

    In any case, train weight is a very small factor in the overall operating cost of a railway; the odd ton makes negligible difference to the coal consumption, and the coal consumption is in itself a small part of the overall per mile operating cost, which is dominated by repair costs of the rolling stock and infrastructure. Running fewer carriages will save some cost, but not for the reason you think; and there is a reductio ad absurdam at play: the best way to cut the cost of running trains is to run no trains at all.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  18. mdewell

    mdewell Member

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    Didn't Dr Beeching say something similar. ;):)
     
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  19. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    According to to Wiki about 1 ton if comparing like for like in terms of bogies. Not a significant difference, I suggest. If, on the other hand you were looking at a Mid-Hants formation with a a griddle car and a BSK in a 5-coach set then effectively it becomes a 4-coach set.
     
  20. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    "Manors" are classified as "Blue" route and are perfectly adequate. There certainly will be nothing left for your four year old if resources are expended other than as really needed. This should take precedence over whether or not it would be "nice" to use a Hall or a Castle. Up until now the railway certainly has not earned enough money for re-investment.

    I am less horrified by the tank to tender conversion as disappointed.

    There are always "good" reasons evinced for long trains and big motive power on tourist railways. The only one I have ever travelled on which justified a train with the order of eight carriages was the Dartmouth Steam Railway and the motive power was, guess what, a "Manor".

    Incidentally, it can be quite illuminating to compare the weight of a vehicle as set out on paper with what the measuring device actually shows.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019

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