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WSR 2020 Spring Steam Gala - Thurs-Sun 23-26 April 2020

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by Hemerdon, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    In your dreams.

    The gala appears to be shaping up very nicely with visitors 92134, 76084 and 78018. I'm looking forward to it. <BJ>
     
  2. Ganger

    Ganger New Member

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    Due to work commitments and not being free all weekend, I had intended to visit Swanage for the diesel gala on the Friday but return home via the WSR in time to travel on the 9f hauled mega train, but at £28 for one round trip I'm afraid that wont be happening and I'll stay longer at Swanage now. I appreciate the need to both recoup costs and make a surplus to help the ongoing recovery on the line, but at just a few pounds less than a full day rover, the charge for the single round trip is too high.
     
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  3. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    I have to agree, although I know that there are issues regarding the positioning of stock.

    For many years our visits to the Railway involved using accommodation in Minehead. We now have our own accommodation at Blue Anchor.

    The ‘special’ trains always run from Bishops Lydeard, which would necessitate a drive to BL and back to BA later.

    I have a significant birthday on the Saturday of the SSG and a (first ever) trip on the QB for dinner would have been a great way to celebrate. I shall have to content myself with waving to the train as it passes my window.

    As I said earlier, I fully understand why things are done the way they are, but it would be great if just now and again those of us staying near the seaside end of the line were not made to feel excluded or disadvantaged.

    My thanks go to those who are working so hard to present, what will no doubt be, another great WSR Gala.
     
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  4. malc

    malc New Member

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    Even worse if you are staying in Minehead and have to rely on public transport. Far too late back in BL to get a bus back to Minehead and brilliantly timed at Watchet (the only stop on the return journey) at 21.11 - 6 minutes after the last 28 bus back to Minehead.
     
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  5. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    Below are the details about the GCR fish and chip Saturday evening trains -

    "Tickets are only £22* per person and your supper of fish, chips, and mushy peas + 1 tub of ice-cream is included. Don’t forget, it’s two round trips....and £18 is our normal runabout fare."

    Okay, so the WSR offer a near 40 mile round trip behind the 9F, so about another 11 miles or so compared to the GCR, but I think it goes to show how over priced £28 is for a round trip behind a 9F.
     
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  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I guess no-one is forcing you to buy a ticket though.

    Value is basically subjective: what’s value to you may be worthless to me, and vice versa. The key metric is whether the train fills or not at that price.

    Tom
     
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  7. SebWelsh

    SebWelsh New Member

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    You miss a key point there, our evening jolly will have a heavy load of 12 coaches, which is enough to make a 9F work nice and hard - worth it in my book for that very reason! How often can you travel behind a 9F on 12 on a railway with steep grades like ours?

    The fare for the Mega train is only an additional £10 if you have a day rover for the Friday. In my humble opinion (slightly biased of course being that I wrote them) Friday is the best timetable of the four days. Why not view it as £45 (£42 if prebooked) for a full day 08:50 to 21:50 (or 13 hours) of steam action? You'll have the best chance of doing high mileage with all the locos this day, we have worked hard this year to make this possible on all 4 days. We've got more Goods trains than ever before at a Gala, it does 78 miles on the friday in it's own paths without detriment to the passenger service (details in the program). We have 2 x extra Williton Local round trips as well! When you compare this to say watching a film in a cinema (2 hours at not much change from £15 these days), watching a 90 minute football game is around the £50 mark is it not?
    Also just to add that a significant figure is being spent on low loaders and hire fees to bring these guests locos in. Norfolk and Yorkshire are a two day trip for a low loader, hence the price we will pay to the haulier is significantly more.
    I hope that everyone considers the above when thinking about booking, it will be worthwhile, we are pulling out all the stops for this gala!

    Best regards
    Seb Welsh
     
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  8. SebWelsh

    SebWelsh New Member

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    Just to add, if anyone was interested, I've worked out the maximum mileage possible for the Friday timetable, I think it works out at 140 miles including the mega train! That sort of mileage has never been possible before at a WSR Gala... works out at 32 pence per mile, or £3.46 per hour if you stay all day. You can't say that's bad value at all? A standard day rover with 2 or 3 locos out at £28 doing 80 miles is 35 pence per mile, so you actually pay less per mile at the gala and you've got 7 engines not 2!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  9. Mike S

    Mike S New Member

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    Pretty much any visiting tender engine is going to consume £6-10k plus just in return road transport, add on numerous tons of coal which is heading towards £200 per ton, steaming fees that for short term 'star' engines can be getting towards 4 figures per day, representative fees/expenses, splitting and shunting costs etc etc and it's not hard to see why ticket prices have to be what they have to be.

    Have one guest to keep ticket costs down and some will say 'it's not really a gala'; have three and some will say 'too expensive'. Hard places and rocks for gala organisers come to mind....

    Mike
     
  10. malc

    malc New Member

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    ..which reduces to 100 miles if you are staying in Minehead (as many people with multi-day rovers will be) unless you just do the mega train one way, in which case it's 120 miles.

    Is there a one way fare on the mega train available for anyone who is staying in Minehead?
     
  11. SebWelsh

    SebWelsh New Member

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    No single tickets to be available for the mega train. Putting on a bus from BL to MD after was considered but was decided against on the grounds of the extra cost.
     
  12. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    So why not offer a single instead?
     
  13. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    Seb I appreicate you wrote the timetable, and it looks a good gala, but sorry for me you are giving a politican answer here.
     
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  14. Mike S

    Mike S New Member

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    Quite so, one thing is for sure, (I have no connection with the WSR so this is a general gala related observation)these events have to wash their own faces for any railway. What you can almost 100% guarantee is that the detractors would be the first to be lamenting the loss of a gala event at a railway next year if it was decided it just simply isn't worth the significant financial risk and effort for little return by the hosting railway....

    Also worth baring in mind is that with the majority of any such events there is a passionate team, usually made up of volunteers, working their backsides off trying to put on an event for visitors to enjoy, often with a whole load of stress and hassle chucked in for good measure. Naysayers can often drag such people down to the point of throwing the towel in when it seems their efforts are not being appreciated and constantly criticised, I've seen it happen and that too can prove negative to future events...
     
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  15. Woolley

    Woolley New Member

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    I’m pretty sure 92134 will be working hard most days at its home railway won’t it? I was tempted but it’s to expensive I feel for a family of 5 that also would be stopping in minehead
     
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  16. SebWelsh

    SebWelsh New Member

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    Define politician answer? I am merely defending the railway that I love and a gala that we have put a lot of effort in to organising. As Mike says above we are all volunteers under pressure to get these events right. I am new to this, my first event I was involved in being the WSF last year, so I am trying to make a positive impact to galas in general. Hoping that my enthusiasm for the event will be contagious and will encourage people to visit.

    I do not think that a comparison with the Great Central's Fish and Chip service is fair, but each to their own, if you think that the experience of a 9F on 12 up a 1:65 gradient will be on par with a loco on 5 at the GC (a flat line), that's your opinion. (No disrespect to the GCR of course)

    Have you made your views known to the commercial department at Minehead? I would suggest that if people want a single ticket for the mega train they contact the office to enquire officially. This forum is not monitored in an official capacity.

    Additionally, the railway have taken on the feedback from non rover ticket holders and the price has been reduced to £25 each. Now £3 less than our usual return fare, with a guest loco on the front.

    Best Regards,
    Seb Welsh
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  17. lil Bear

    lil Bear Well-Known Member

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    There's more to running a gala than a train service. And having been organising galas now for over 10 years, the difference between a good gala and a great gala is actually the general public - can you entice them to pay that extra amount for a gala instead of visiting on a quieter & cheaper day? Usually your hardcore gricer is going to cough up no matter to support "their" railway, much like football fans support "their" teams.

    So to ensure you get those with only a passing interest, your gala needs to run on time, have plenty of attractions to keep interest when not travelling, and be affordable. This is far from the case for WSR SSG2020 in terms of affordability at least, I myself have been put off attending at the high price - for my family would be £87.50 for the day just for travel, and that's not including the evening run - and there are several others saying similar things !

    You can say you get steam mileage at 32p/mile, but there's lies, dam lies and statistics. Using the GCR Gala analogy, for their £28 ticket you got 22x passenger departures with 10x locos in action. WSR for £35 you get 10x departures with 7x locos. Now what's better value?

    North Norfolk have cunningly introduced "Kids for a Quid" at their galas, but then upped their adult ticket prices. So a family ticket works out at no real difference to a standard day, but they still get the extra income from single day trippers.

    A balance needs to be found, GCR upped their adult ticket to £32 in 2019 and reduced it to £28 in 2020 despite having 2x guest locos compared to 1x. I appreciate that this appears to be a new team trying new things, but suspect this will be one area to review for 2021.

    There's also secondary spend to consider, if people feel they've paid a large amount before even starting their day they are unlikely to buy from tearoom/shop. Yet if they feel they've got value for money at entry, they'll be more prepared to spend later on in the day - sometimes surpassing more than what a higher suggested ticket price would of been.

    I wish the best of luck to Seb & team at the WSR with this, but on face value it just comes across as concentrating on one thing - that being money. It's the punters that bring money to the railway though, and so this is what should be concentrated on by ensuring the offering is something that entices as many people as possible - not just the hardcore WSR fans.
     
  18. garth manor

    garth manor Member

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    Simple option buy a return and get off, effectively giving a needed donation to the railway.
     
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  19. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Not just for the WSR , but given the steady escalation of coronavirus , we could in a similar position to Italy and lockdown , or under restrictions of event sizes by april . I hope some contingency planning is taking place . A packed railway carriage with a carrier on board is not a place I would wish to be
     
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  20. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Member

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    I would concur Sidmouth.
    As part-time carer for one over-ninety year old and two in their eighties, I'm close to the point of my own self-isolation for their sake as much as mine. It doesn't seem very smart to me to just carry on regardless until you're found to test positive at which time you will likely have infected many others, some of which may succumb.
     

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