If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,260
    Likes Received:
    14,755
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I dont have the passenger count, only observations from Bishops Lydeard box.

    The morning incoming and evening outgoing shuttles had standing passengers.

    The middle of the day carried about a 50% load.

    Robin
     
    Paul Kibbey and Black Jim like this.
  2. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    5,045
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Comfy chair occupant!
    Location:
    No moaners please!
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    As I said it does not seem relevant. However you might like to consider the following. If the service is to be financially viable then it has to attract passengers all year round. Are people really going to pay to travel during the time the WSR is shut from much of November to March? Apart from the Xmas trains BL is not a tourist destination. As for commuters year round what will be the attraction? The Silk Mills Park and Ride has a fare of £2.40 into the town centre. Most of TAUNTON is remote from the Railway station so commuters would need to pay bus fares on top of the rail fare from BL The population of Bishops Lydear and Cotford St Luke is unlikely to generate much commuter traffic nor large amounts going further afield. Much as I would like to see the mainline connection used it seems a dead duck to me. I know some will cite what has been done at Swanage but that has had a huge public subsidy that is unlikely to be repeated in these difficult economic times
     
  3. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,260
    Likes Received:
    14,755
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    I think you are getting at cross-purposes.

    As I understand matters, Tom @34098 has been questioning whether the shuttle holds its own at Galas against the alternative of using the triangle for loco turning.

    A different argument is whether extending the Cardiff - Taunton service to Bishops Lydeard is likely to viable, and if so when.

    As far as Galas go, its a difficult call whether chimney first running, beloved of photographers (how many of them ride as well?) is a better attraction than a shuttle to Taunton.

    As far as using the BL - NFW - TN section for public service the recent public statement suggests a trial in 2018. Speaking only as an interested observer, lets predict that might be peak summer months and over 'high days and holidays'.. Lets see.

    One thing for sure, interesting times ahead for the WSR and one or two surprises in store for 2017 that haven't even been hinted at on Nat Pres yet.......;)

    And lastly for the 'doom and gloom' merchants, here was the group shot of most of the participants on the recruiting day for Guards and Signalmen held last Sunday. 25 new faces in the pipeline....

    kind regards

    Robin

    IMG_3627.JPG
     
    Paul Kibbey, Black Jim and Matt37401 like this.
  4. 34098

    34098 New Member Account Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    138
    Occupation:
    ,
    Location:
    82G
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    So there wasn't a record kept that anyone knows of,
    That makes things difficult for both sides of the party, to table their sides of the argument story call it what you will,
    There must be a way of having cake and eating it even with a single line, but us on the fringe of things don't know if for example gwr stipulate they will run shuttles as long as nothing else runs on the Section up to BL.

    I'm not against the shuttle running not at all if it brings people in who don't wanna do the buses,
    but if its to the detriment of the gala weekend, losing the ability to turn at both ends,
    Then that leaves me personally and potentially others in a difficult position,

    An edit sorry missed the point about how many people who lineside travel on the line,
    i personally do travel at least 1-2 days of a gala as a means of getting around because I don't drive and sometimes dont have a friend who drives going to the gala,

    I could work out how much what trips Ive done as well as lineside, but even when I don't whatever station I end up visiting always gets a fair chunk of the change in my pocket so I'm putting more money to photograph as well as the £50 for a lsp,

    its a many handed beast, keeping myself and my community of linesiders(those who hold lsps) happy and the general public who are interested in traveling on trains happy,

    There's steps to be made in both camps, but for the moment lets focus on the shuttle,

    I'm not sure if the lineside pass holders issues is a good thing to discuss here, I haven't had chance to think about it properly, I dont really wanna be the spokesperson or whatever its just an idea I had to alleviate the problems of lack of information,while talking to other lsp holders about general stuff,
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  5. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    5,045
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Comfy chair occupant!
    Location:
    No moaners please!
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Great news about the recruitment days. I hear what you say about the trial TN-BL service but I am not convinced that extending the Cardiff service to BL is likely to be commercially viable though I will be happy to be proved wrong. As for the gala shuttle v turning engine argument AIUI the return fare of £5 did not cover the hire costs. Personally I did support it as it was an opportunity to see part of the line I had not ridden on before. Although there was the novelty appeal I wonder if it would be viable long term. Of course I agree it is right to try the Cardiff experiment.
     
  6. 34098

    34098 New Member Account Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    138
    Occupation:
    ,
    Location:
    82G
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Didn't if I remember correctly , didn't GWR offer the service for free or waive the unit hire fee, I'm pretty sure the WSR didn't approach GWR, GWR approached the WSR,
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  7. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,260
    Likes Received:
    14,755
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    You really must stop jumping to conclusions.

    The facts that I don't have the loadings to hand (which would involve looking up the guard's log) or that Peter @Yorkshireman (an interested and regular WSR traveller but not an active member of the Operations Department) does not have them, does not lead to the conspiracy theory you seem to want to justify.

    Rather it means that we have other more important matters to focus on such as the volunteer recruitment day that Steve Bailey and I ran on Sunday.

    Happy to answer your questions if we can, but the absence of a ready answer, or the fact that I have not rushed off to look out the loadings for you as opposed to taking the proportionate approach of giving you an eye-witness account of what they were should not be interpreted as anything more or less than that.

    Discussion here is interesting, but it is not where the real work is done.

    Now, off for the 05:11 Yeovil to Waterloo....!

    Kind regards

    Robin
     
    Paul Kibbey, Wenlock and Yorkshireman like this.
  8. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,641
    Likes Received:
    2,281
    Location:
    Bristol
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    What about PlusBus?

    In principle I agree with you, but I do think the PlusBus ticketing scheme tends to get forgotten about.
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    9,775
    Likes Received:
    5,587
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think that you'll find that lineside pass holders are things that heritage railways tolerate but would rather not have them. Given that some photographers will inevitably trespass to get their photos, it is better to try and control them than let them wander at will. At least they will (or should have) gone through a safety induction and PTS course so that they are a bit safer and the railway is fulfilling its H&S duties. Hopefully, those photographers wanting lineside access will follow this route and not simply trespass.
     
  10. burmister

    burmister Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    241
    Like Yorkshireman I too cannot see a TOC service turning back at BL being attractive to customers apart from just WSR passengers. Empty stock then when ever the WSR is not running as its far more convenient and quicker to car it or bus it.

    The only way I can see this working is for the WSR to upgrade and let a TOC run to Minehead at say 40 mh ie Taunton Minehead in an hour. WIBN, but hang on a minute that's operating the line much as BR did in the years before the line closed. It closed because of low passenger numbers year round against the cost of signalman and track maintenance costs so what has changed in 2016 to increase the demand to make such a service profitable ?

    Brian
     
    Black Jim, Matt37401 and aldfort like this.
  11. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    3,950
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    First - let's be clear that visitors to the railway are vital, if nobody came then there would be no railway.
    As to ideas to improve the show or to discuss line side photography needs and wants, well the best port of call has to be the plc in the first instance. I am sure the SEPT team would also appreciate any help that could be given in planning gala's.
    As to matter of cost, and this is not a moan, I'm going to travel to the railway tomorrow in order to prep a loco very early on Saturday morning (04.30 book on) steam heat stock and work the first BL Santa train down to Williton and back. That one day is going to cost me about £35 in fuel plus an evening meal plus my digs. My point - well this is a very expensive hobby for all of us, crew, photographers, station staff, you name it.
    If we want to see heritage rail survive and prosper in the 21st century then more helping (by whatever means) and less moaning is probably going to be the answer.
     
    Paul Kibbey, michaelh, 1472 and 9 others like this.
  12. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    3,950
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    A few points here.

    The first one would be the question of cost. Who is going to pay to upgrade the line to 40 mph?
    Who's going to pay for the paid staff and is the potential mix of paid and volunteer staff going to impact volunteer recruiting in the future?
    Many lines that were closed in the late 60's are now being considered for re-instatement. Where I live in S Wales the valley lines (which were industrial) are now a booming commuter service. Add to this the exciting SE Wales metro project and it's clear that there is a bit of a resurgence of rail as a means of mass transit.
    What's more valuable to the citizens of Somerset? A vibrant heritage railway that is a major tourist attraction or a regular commuter service. Could both things co-exist on the same metals?

    I think there are a lot of questions still to be answered. Careful study of the options will be the next sensible step.
     
    michaelh, Yorkshireman and nanstallon like this.
  13. 34098

    34098 New Member Account Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    138
    Occupation:
    ,
    Location:
    82G
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Exactly , hopefully a solution can be found that pleases everyone,

    if it co-exists with use of the triangle great, if its not taken into consideration, then its a giant middle finger to us who put our hands in our pockets to support the railway and not freeload taking photos,

    problem is without knowing the loadings of the shuttle at the gala, we could end up with the same situation in april, I mean if theres a shuttle planned theres also 4 months before the event to plan making both co-exist,
    I mean someone should have been around or traveled up and down on the shuttles noting how many people were on said trains,
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    18,346
    Likes Received:
    30,498
    Location:
    21C102
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Why do you assume that wasn't done? The fact that such numbers have not been published on this forum isn't evidence that they don't exist - one assumes that both FGW and the WSR Plc would have a keen interest in the numbers.

    From my experience, heritage railways undergo a lot of record keeping and analysis. Lots of it is of operational interest and rarely makes it into the public domain (and would probably be pretty boring if it did for the average visitor) but it doesn't mean that the data don't exist.

    Tom
     
  15. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    4,106
    Likes Received:
    1,902
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Westcountry
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It will be worth keeping an eye on the Swanage Railway, when at last a commuter service is started; on a trial basis.

    John
     
  16. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    We shall see whether or not "commuter" services turn out to be a "W.I.B.N." this time round as last.

    PH
     
  17. 34098

    34098 New Member Account Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    138
    Occupation:
    ,
    Location:
    82G
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Not making any assumptions, more thinking out loud,
    My point is, we was talk both operations can't co-exist, is that can't or won't,
    Cause IF the the shuttles ran empty in the middle of the day at what was the point, they could have been suspended to run first thing and late evening,when the demand was,
    then there's scope to turn the locos,
     
    Black Jim likes this.
  18. 5914

    5914 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    146
    Should just be pointed out that the service from Wareham to Swanage was not planned as a 'commuter' service, but as a specific seasonal response to particular local transport needs. It is on this basis - and the economic benefits to the tourism/local economy that support was forthcoming - not providing a year-round all day service, which is something very different.
     
    Mogul, Yorkshireman, Adam-Box and 2 others like this.
  19. Robin

    Robin Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Messages:
    857
    Likes Received:
    887
    Location:
    Stourbridge
    Some old WSR operations - not sure if these have been posted before, but BFIPlayer includes these three old Westward TV news reports on the attempts to run a commuter service in the 70s.

    1976: Reporter John Doyle visits a dilapidated Blue Anchor station on the West Somerset Railway ahead of the reopening of the line as the longest heritage railway in England.

    http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-the-west-somerset-railway-company-part-i-1976/

    1976: John Doyle returns to announce a reshuffle at the West Somerset Railway. The Company has failed in its attempt to run a commuter railway service on the Bishops Lydeard to Minehead line.

    http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-the-west-somerset-railway-company-part-2-1976/

    1978: John Doyle visits Taunton Railway station to interview two representatives of the West Somerset Railway Company on averting closure.

    http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-the-west-somerset-railway-company-part-3-1978/
     
    45076 likes this.
  20. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    5,045
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Comfy chair occupant!
    Location:
    No moaners please!
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    With a multi-million pound subsidy from a source unlikely to be available to the WSR. There really is little similarity with the Swanage line in this respect.
     
    34098 likes this.

Share This Page