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. Ian Monkton

    Ian Monkton Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    833
    Likes Received:
    726
    Location:
    South Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I once had a passenger, standing next to a steam loco at Minehead, ask me if this was a steam train or a diesel!
     
  2. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    4,824
    Likes Received:
    3,036
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I tried without success to explain the differences between starting a locomotive & a marine tripe expansion engine to a 30 year old colleague without success....................
     
  3. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    4,824
    Likes Received:
    3,036
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    What is the relative difference in cost between running a steam/diesel/DMU train?
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    16,631
    Likes Received:
    24,652
    Location:
    21C102
    "Well, you see George, with this 'ere locomotive, to start it you pushes on this 'ere regulator, whereas with a marine tripe engine, first 'ee go down to the fishmonger and asks for a for a pound of his finest offal ..."

    Tom
     
  5. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,126
    Likes Received:
    1,319
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    And the new coaches, especially on the WHR, have passenger gangways and toilets on board. Also a lady came through the train welcoming everyone aboard, in English and Welsh, and telling people where the toilets were, that stewards would be coming along to collect refreshment orders and offering guide books for sale. I passed on the refreshments, but did buy a guide book it's one of the most informative and well produced railway guide books I've ever seen, one of the really nice things about it is the centre page double fold-out showing the route of the line and points of interest along its length.
     
  6. Sidmouth4me

    Sidmouth4me Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    214
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Peterborough
    You were lucky on your trip, we went on the WHR a couple of years ago and had to wait 2 hours for the steward to come round to collect refreshment orders - just drinks and no food and resulting in a 1* TA review. Last time we will visit the WHR.
    Ps visiting the WSR in April, staying in Minehead for a week.
     
  7. toplight

    toplight Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    706
    Location:
    Swindon, England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I noticed that a bit when I had a trip in the isle of wight 4 wheelers train but I wonder how much of that is down to 4 wheel coaches often being put on a donor wagon chassis which often has springing not designed for passenger use. If they had the original chassis then perhaps they would have been better.
     
  8. toplight

    toplight Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    706
    Location:
    Swindon, England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The thing is how many times is it the enthusiast husband who makes the decision to visit on a particular day because something appealing is running at railway x and then dragging along the wife and kids who may be less interested. If it was up to my wife deciding, we wouldn't visit steam railways at all ! I expect many other visitors are in the same situation.
     
  9. Steve B

    Steve B Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,475
    Likes Received:
    827
    Location:
    Shropshire
    Indeed, and the new stock is beautifully built and fitted out. But this is new build stock, built to new designs. The F&WHR has had to develop and build new locos and stock in order to do what it has to. It also has it's heritage stock (also beautifully restored and reinforced by new builds to old designs), but you couldn't run the railway with these alone. The standard FR or WHR train gives a nod to historical style, but is not "heritage" in the normally accepted sense.

    On the standard gauge the situation is different - there is generally enough space for modern passengers (who are a bit wider than their predecessors!) and most SG stock has padded seats (unlike some of the historical NG stock. There is no reason why the standards shown in the new F&WHR stock can't be seen in SG stock, certainly in terms of cleanliness and presentation (paintwork, varnish, decent condition seats, etc). I've no experience of the present day WSR (my last journey was in 1965!), but if what I've observed on the web cams is typical then the present work on repainting is well over due. Hopefully the interiors are kept up to scratch (preferable with no scratches...)

    Edit: Just seen this bit - this has not been my experience on the WHR, but it does go to show how important it is to maintain standards. Even one "off day"can have a lasting effect on what people say about your railway. Word of mouth counts as much as flashy publicity and promotions do.

    Which, of course is why those generally supporting the WSR should be careful about the dirty washing in public scenario...

    Steve B
     
    Fish Plate, Monkey Magic and 35B like this.
  10. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,912
    Likes Received:
    1,385
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Westcountry
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    That's impressive. But somehow, it doesn't quite evoke nostalgia. In the early days of preservation, the ethos was to recreate the past, and authenticity was the goal. I suppose you'd have to recruit some grumpy types, to recreate the true atmosphere of the 1960s. I have to say, there are some railways, which shall remain nameless, where that spirit is alive and well - the WSR is not one of them!

    But survival requires, these days, a more customer orientated product.
     
  11. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    10,355
    Likes Received:
    6,824
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Precisely


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  12. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    6,568
    Likes Received:
    7,450
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Absolutely. I'm still not totally sure how much using vintage stock actually increases general visitor numbers, there's no question that such stock is almost always in pretty good condition, whereas the condition of mk1s can be more variable, more likely to have faded paintwork or tatty interior, and of course only some are wooden panelled. As I've said before I've spent a considerable amount of time riding on some of our Mk1s on the GWSR whilst doing GCSE, A-level, and degree exam revision (free travel, few distractions and cheap tea - what's not to like) and the comments I overheard were very complimentary towards our carriages. I once sat in one of our slightly less front-line carriages, a TSO with formica and some naff upholstery (still perfectly clean and a good paintjob, but a bit naff). I did notice the lack of comments about how great the carriages were that time.
     
  13. oldmrheath

    oldmrheath Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,785
    Likes Received:
    1,549
    For many years an argument against Mk1's was that they did not offer sufficient differential to what people were travelling to work on. The way seating is going on the big railway these days at this rate the upholstered comfort of a 60-year-old Mk1 will become a sought-after nostalgic experience for many...

    Jon
     
  14. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    10,355
    Likes Received:
    6,824
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Isn’t it already?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    oldmrheath likes this.
  15. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,126
    Likes Received:
    1,319
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Hopefully they just had an off-day when you were there, or they've improved since your visit. I was there last year and am visiting again this year. When I visit a heritage railway I go for the journey and to take photos other things don't matter too much, but then I'm an eccentric old gricer not a normal day trip visitor. :)
     
  16. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    4,824
    Likes Received:
    3,036
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Funnily enough in about 1980 I remember coming across a student like me 'line bashing' round Manchester riding in the front of a DMU & doing his coursework.

    To say nothing of the piles of exam marking that you used to see, although I did think that doing it aboard 'Waverley' was a bit risky - it could get blown away
     
  17. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,126
    Likes Received:
    1,319
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I've seen families like that on several occasions at galas. The husband is the enthusiast and wants to see and ride behind as many of the locos as he can, hid wife has decided that it's going to be a Family Outing, but otherwise has no interest in just riding on trains, the son usually would rather be over the park kicking a football about or playing on his games console, the daughter would rather be anywhere else!
     
  18. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,126
    Likes Received:
    1,319
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    When sitting down on a modern train you do so slowly and carefully otherwise you could bruise your backside on what are little more than solid seats with a thin bit of cloth covering them. :mad:
     
  19. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,912
    Likes Received:
    1,385
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Westcountry
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I bought my wife a cushion from Poundland, to make the modern trains a bit more tolerable. I did buy her some other, more romantic, prezzies for S Valentine's Day!
     
  20. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    2,870
    Likes Received:
    2,510
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Deep South
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Regarding peoples observations when visiting any tourist attraction, not just railways, it should be remembered that they are out for the day and are hoping for an enjoyable time. They are not scurrying off to work or school and therefore their attitude usually reflects their mood - that is relaxed. Yes, I know, screaming or demanding kids can make some less relaxed, but even then their minds are not really on what class, colour etc. the train will consist of.
     
    35B likes this.

Share This Page