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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    When the Paignton line started naming their locomotives many 'enthusiasts were - some still are - quite annoyed and commented accordingly.
    However, many travellers on the line, especially youngsters, like to know and relate that Goliath, or whatever loco, took them on their journey.
    As I have mentioned before on NP, the naming gesture cost little but has proved a great marketing tool.
    Heritage/tourist lines need to embrace the 21st, century, even if many of the lines supporters mindsets are still in the early 20th. if they are to survive an steer clear of complacency that seems evident in some quarters.
     
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  2. Athelwulf

    Athelwulf New Member

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    On the Severn Valley, Ffestiniog, Bluebell and Isle of Wight Steam Railway passengers can experience restored vintage carriages with compartments - on the South Devon too. That's what they will remember and that's what will help encourage return visits, rather than travelling on tired British Railways TSOs - which provided the capacity for 'bums on seats' but are a less satisfying experience. I can't speak for the NYMR as I haven't visited it. This has to be more important for the tourist than the type of locomotive hauling the train, surely.
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Looking at a map, I'm struggling to work out where you would put "Butlins Halt" that would be any easier for the residents than Minehead station already is.

    Tom
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Quite - if you admire a loco for five minutes and then sit in a carriage for 90, then it is the carriage that will form the lasting impression, positive or negative. Doubly so if you are in a household where the distaff side is instrumental in vetoing suggested return days out.

    Tom
     
  5. The Man of Kent

    The Man of Kent Member

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    Personally I am convinced that people recognise and appreciate variety.
    Loco A.jpg Loco B.jpg Loco C.jpg

    Loco 2.jpg Loco4.jpg Loco 1.jpg

    Tell me you don't think they'd notice.
     
  6. Conversely, on our visit to the IoWSR it was the experience in those carriages that did not encourage a return visit. The kids didn't like being effectively locked in for an hour (they do like being able to stretch their legs during the trip and go to the buffet and maybe to the toilet). Those vintage carriages are a work of art and lovely to look at and the restorers deserve much praise, but as vehicles of carriage, maybe not everyone's cuppa. Other passengers may love the experience but not my lot.

    Steve
     
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  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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  8. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    I consider myself an enthusiast, but there is more to a railway than locos; one great attraction of the WSR is the set of well restored country stations. Even if all the present stud of steam locos were sold and the Bagnall saddle tanks brought back, I would still keep coming back. With the two D95xx and dmu's to maintain the diesel interest, 1984/85 was a fascinating time to be there. Mind you, the WSR almost closed down then. No such thing as a Golden Age!
     
  9. Dennis John Brooks

    Dennis John Brooks Member

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    I feel certain that if a brake van was included with each consist people would pay a premium for that expierience, the same would apply to footplate rides on each journey, money for nothing at no expense.

    DJB.
     
  10. pgbffest

    pgbffest New Member

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    That's the main reason why the main fleet on the FR is being replaced with modern comfortable vehicles. The last standard saloon to come out had double glazing, eberspacher diesel heating, legroom and USB sockets to keep your phone charged so you can take photos. People look for different things nowadays and comfort is high on the list
     
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  11. toplight

    toplight Member

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    The IOWSR carriages are mostly non corridor but remember many vintage coaches do have corridors. One thing with the IOWSR carriages is that all of them ran at one time on the island so is definitely an authentic experience. Personally I would rather travel in them than a Mark 1 just for the novelty value alone.

    I had a ride last year at the GCR (ex LNER line), behind the LNER B12 in a LNER gresley teak buffet car. Great stuff !
     
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  12. Paul42

    Paul42 Member

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    Like the Bluebell's Maunsell Open Third No.1336 https://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/pics/1336b.html which is the most comfortable coach on the line
     
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  13. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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  14. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    Pretty sure most would notice the difference between an S160 and Standard 5
     
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  15. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    On this, I am with you. But I know at least 50% of my family would not. Beware assuming that because you would do something, so would others.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  16. The Man of Kent

    The Man of Kent Member

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    Are you saying that they can't tell a black engine from a green one and need someone to tell them which is which?

    Damn! They are thicker than I imagined.
     
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  17. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Not thick. Unobservant.

    Deviating slightly, I knew someone 30 odd years ago who didn’t notice the difference between blue grey and NSE liveries.


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  18. Steve B

    Steve B Member

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    Quite possibly! But how many outside of the enthusiast community would really care?

    Steve B
     
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  19. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Well-Known Member

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    The secret is perhaps to offer something for everyone (or as wider group of people as possible).

    In the end the best lines can offer unique heritage locos and rolling stock but also something for those who need a morning or activity with the family. There are some lines that offer a tourist experience (Paignton springs to mind) and others that offer a heritage experience ie Tanfield, IOWSR.

    But I am not sure what the WSR's selling point is?

    I am sure that every line would love to have the vintage rolling stock that the SVR, Bluebell or Ffestiniog has but the reality is that many don't and it is MK1 TSOs. In which case you have to do more with less.

    I get the sense that there is some complacency within the WSR, an attitude of almost 'but we're the WSR' and the reality is that things move on. Just as the Ffestiniog is now rolling out stock with USB ports for recharging to keep with changing passenger demands, so it is with every other line. PDSR with the train of lights, GWSR extending, ESR doing their own thing. The WSR seems to rest on its laurels.
     
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  20. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    On one of the years my friend and I went to the Bluebell's Branch line weekend and on one trip along the line we rode in one of the old four wheelers. I thought it was great fun, you could almost feel every track joint, my friend who is also a railway enthusiast, was less than impressed with the journey. I tried to convince him that it was all part of the genuine pre-grouping branch line experience, but he wasn't convinced.
     
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