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WSR Autumn Steam Gala - 'A Country Railway' - Thurs-Sun 3-6 October 2019

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by JBTEvans, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. 37401

    37401 New Member Account Suspended

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    Was only thinking about going because of the Hymek,

    Too many double headers with kettles for my liking and not using it Saturday the day I would have gone.

    Can't support the railway otherwise not interested in the rest.
     
  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Several reasons for that.

    The first is that most railways (and certainly a big one like the WSR) would expect to be busy with regular trade during the summer. No point holding a gala to attract different business if you are already busy. So galas are timed to try to stretch out the season and create a busy weekend in a time that might otherwise be quiet - hence the popularity of galas in March and October. The cost effectiveness of galas is sometimes questioned on this forum; all I'd say on that is that while spending a considerable sum to boost traffic for a weekend in March or October is one thing, spending a similar sum just to end up with numbers that you might have reasonably expected to carry anyway in August is a different matter.

    The other point is availability of locos and rolling stock. For a railway like the WSR that bases its galas around visiting locos as a major attraction, those locos are unlikely to be available during the peak season, for the simple reason that the host railways can't spare them. So typically, if you want the pick of gala visitors, that is easier to accommodate if you choose an off peak time.

    Carriage availability is one of those little seen things with galas as well. I don't know precisely how the WSR runs its carriage fleet, but assuming it is carrying out regular mileage-based inspections, that means at any one time a proportion of the nominally operational fleet is out of traffic for inspection. A gala may require more or less the complete operational fleet to all be available at one time, something that requires juggling of maintenance schedules from months in advance to arrive at the point where everything is available at once. If the peak season finishes with the end of the school holidays, a quiet-ish month in September before an October gala allows that maintenance schedule to tackle the last jobs to ensure maximum carriage availability for one weekend while still leaving enough carriages for a low season service in September. Holding a gala in the summer holiday, or immediately afterwards (i.e. in September) may well see carriage resources stretched too thinly. By contrast, if the railway holds an October gala and then more or less shuts down for maintenance through November, the available carriage fleet will then have high availability for the next peak in demand - Santa season. After that you will probably start to need to do some more inspections, but January - February will be quiet (or closed) so you can again hope to get back to peak carriage availability for a March gala. Then you are into the summer running season.

    None of those factors is unique to the WSR, but maybe explains why many big railways prefer March and / or October for their big "run as much as possible" enthusiast galas. Special events in the summer tend to be things that can be delivered without too much additional railway infrastructure, often "family friendly" type events.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  3. Captain Fantastic

    Captain Fantastic New Member

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    Please excuse me quoting myself, but the 0905 is 6412&4612 and the 0955 is 7752 and the 1140 is 7714

    For people wanting to go to Lydeard station to pick the gala brochure they are being sent up from Minehead on the last train this afternoon and the station shop is staying open until 6pm for sales.
     
  4. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Only on a West Somerset thread would we have someone complaining about lack of diesel haulage during a steam gala...
     
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  5. 37401

    37401 New Member Account Suspended

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    We've had to put up with a 2 round trip kettle diagram in the middle of Diesel galas for years.
    Cause the socks and sandals lot on here complained,
     
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  6. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Member

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    Thanks Tom for your well informed reply. All makes good sense. Once railway that does things slightly differently is the Gloucestershire Warwickshire - they have just the one steam gala at the end of May so that one does happen outside of the usual March/October windows.
     
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  7. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Member

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    Very true - always thought it was an odd idea. The pairing of the Hymek and 53808 on Sunday is even odder. Lack of Hymek on Saturday is a good incentive to attend!
     
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  8. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe but it seems that some diesel orientated folk have especially exacting requirements for particular traction types - and not just on the WSR. At times their sense of personal entitlement is little short of breathtaking.

    The more generally interested steam support is a lot less fickle and generally supportive of the considerable efforts which organisers put in voluntarily to stage these events.
     
  9. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Methinks you are thinking about the wrong gala. :)
    This weekend is the Autumn STEAM Gala, it's even advertised as such, so it's a bit strange that the Hymek is even taking part. :)
     
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  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed, and it is always a nightmare to get visiting locomotives for the reasons @Jamessquared explains, and I'm told by volunteers who have been at the railway since the year dot that it was always our busiest weekend of the year even before we held a gala on it, so, go figure!
     
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  11. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Socks AND sandals? :eek: :)
     
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  12. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    The favoured footwear of my old Maths teacher, who was indeed also a steam enthusiast, so I guess the h̶a̶t̶ sandals fit!
     
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  13. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Member

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  14. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    And 3 posts since joining July 13
     
  15. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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  16. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    It seemed an unusual start to a Steam Gala as a diesel departed from Minehead with the first departure of the day. :rolleyes: <BJ>
     
  17. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    0820 goods is Hymek? Is there diesel on service train
     
  18. 37401

    37401 New Member Account Suspended

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    I didn't realise I had to reach a certain number of posts a day/week.

    I'm sorry I've let you down by not reaching my quota.
     
  19. 37401

    37401 New Member Account Suspended

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    Then how do you justify a steam turn during a diesel gala.....
     
  20. black5

    black5 Well-Known Member

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    Because of the average family wanting to take trip a trip on the steam train to the seaside.
     

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