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46233 Southend-Gloucester “Cathedrals Express” 10/10/17

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by eggbert, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. eggbert

    eggbert Member

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    Times seem to be up this evening, Round 2 for a Sapperton attack by the Duchess.

    http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/U62980/2017/10/10/advanced

    http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/U62984/2017/10/10/advanced
     
  2. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Home territory (well I moved but still local) and I'm in Wales all next week. Typical!
     
  3. D1002

    D1002 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Quote from Cathedrals Express Twitter account:

    “We're delighted to confirm that this trip (during steam hauled sections) will be running unassisted! Will be a lovely journey over Sapperton”
     
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  4. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    That's a really helpful and reassuring piece of information for those who might be bothered about such things. Sadly it seems to be a sign of the times that Steam Dreams now has to state something like that about their trips almost as an exception when it was once the norm. It remains a pity that it can't be made more apparent from the outset rather than slipped out via Twitter a few days before. This is a customer that they have lost by not doing so simply because of the late notification.
     
  5. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    Steam Drams would gain a few extra customers if they would do this - and not just on Twitter a few days before the train. Next year, the company is offering one or two trains that would be tempting if I could be assured there would be no diesel assistance, such as the Waterloo-Salisbury-Bath run on 3rd May. Bring 35018 down for this and SD would most likely see quite a few old faces who haven't travelled with them for some years.
     
  6. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    It could be that West Coast only make the decision if one is required, after receiving the timings from Network Rail?
     
  7. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    You could well be right on that one and it may simply be the case that all roads lead back to the TOC on such matters and Steam Dreams is only able to say what they can once they have been told. But I would have thought that West Coast has been in the business long enough now and done enough of these trips to know exactly what is likely to be needed. All they have to do is be clear from the outset and share that with the operator so they, in turn, can be up front with the information and well in advance so the customer can decide. It's called transparency, that @26D_M bangs on about all the time, and about which I have some sympathy.

    I can't be the only one who used to travel regularly on Steam Dreams trips, because they were good and the on-board service/hospitality in Standard was also better than other companies. But it is now almost exactly two years since I last travelled with them, that being the B1 to Stratford; a good day out I should add.
     
  8. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    No further comment from me but happy to add my endorsement to your post Alan.
     
  9. hatherton hall

    hatherton hall Well-Known Member

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    Here here. Marcus R regularly asks me why I don't travel with SD anymore. Yes, you've guessed it. The box on the back. Mind you, as posted elsewhere, being barred from window hanging, has also had an impact!!
     
  10. hatherton hall

    hatherton hall Well-Known Member

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    You're not the only Big Al!!
     
  11. Sean Emmett

    Sean Emmett Member

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    Most recent SD trip was Galatea to Glos in March 2017 as a pay on the day after seeing gen on Nat Pres. Prev trip was B1 Victoria to Bristol, ditto ditto.

    I did suggest to RTC they set up email list for gricers and to email operational gen when confirmed, but they weren't interested.

    Remain to be convinced that anything organised by SD/RTC will be box free on the steam sections, and need that confidence to book in advance.

    So have booked ahead on 4 Tornado trips. Would love more variety, but Tornado on its own beats anything and everything with a box on the back any day and every day.
     
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  12. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Well-Known Member

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    The issue I have is that I do need to plan my life in advance a bit - especially for weekdays as it means booking days off work. So the "pay on the day" option doesn't work for me. Last time I mentioned to Marcus that the frequent presence of diesels was a reason for the lack of enthusiasts travelling on SD these days he claimed that the diesels hardly ever assist so it wasn't a problem. From what I've seen both live and on YouTube I'm not so sure.......
     
  13. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Marcus has always had a dry sense of humour...
     
  14. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Marcus is correct in the sense that they don't routinely assist, except when they do, and that seems to vary with circumstances, who the crew is and what is agreed, plus, of course, whether the train is running on time. And you just cannot ignore the impact on the steam locomotive when it is hauling 11/12 coaches plus 3/4 extra due to the diesel.

    That feels far too much like a lottery to me, whatever the reasons for doing it.
     
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  15. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    I will open by caveating this response with the fact that I am very understanding of the sound operational reasons why a diesel may be added to the rear of the train - I am a realist.
    However, are we really expected to believe that for the most part the equivalent of three coach load is simply dragged around in case it is needed? Thereby demanding that it is needed, simply to compensate its own added load?
    Secondly, the operational reasons are likely to be known well in advance mostly so there is no justification for failing to convey the simple fact to customers, is there? If it is accepted diesel assistance is of material concern to customers, the omission becomes a deception where it is a planned occurrence.
    We have, however, been over this ground many times and it seems to rest with the various parties to decide whether any lack of integrity may cause long term conssequences damaging to the business.
     
  16. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    I think that's a bit harsh on RTC. OK there have been a ragbag of operational things which have happened like fire risk, loco failure, shortage of platforms at Carlisle due to engineering works etc but having looked through UK Steam I'd say that putting those few events to one side, their tours have run steam only this year.
     
  17. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Of course what most of us on here forget is that we enthusiasts are now a reasonably small part of the market. From my experience most of the passengers are looking for a good day out and the presence of a steam locomotive at the front enhances this. You only have to look at the number of windows that are never opened these days to appreciate that a lot of the Diners and First Class passengers do not care about even hearing the locomotive at work, so I suspect they may even be unaware of presence of a diesel on the back. However if it has failed and a diesel is on the front you certainly get to hear about their unhappiness with it from quite a few of them.
    I have never travelled with Steam Dreams, but perception (from when I lived in London and photographed many of them) is there is often a diesel at the rear and trips get initially marketed as all steam and then get changed after a few months to become diesel hauled to West London. Southend, Horsham and Lewes originating trips spring to mind, although the Lewes on may have been a gauging issue with the loco.
    The other thing is we all know trips are getting longer at both ends, and passengers begin to worry as the evening moves on about connections (this often happens on a CME around the time of the loco change at Farrington Junction) but SD do seem to like scheduling very late arrivals back into London and I know from talking with their stewards that connections become the big talking point and worry as the evening moves on.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
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  18. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Diesel(s) off in Hanwell Loop???
     
  19. mrKnowwun

    mrKnowwun Part of the furniture

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    Ruddy hell, it just shot through Kemble like a snorting dragon with a rocket up it's jacksy
     
  20. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to the video of that :)
     
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