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Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Freshwater, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    Having the steam railway as a day attraction via an updated Island line and special offers will help the SWR lines to Portsmouth and the ferries boost passenger numbers.
    Having it recently featured on Great British Rail Journeys repeat looked good.
    https://iwradio.co.uk/2018/01/06/mi...-british-railway-journeys-reaches-isle-wight/
    Unlike Micheal hopefully any potential day visitors to the steam railway will also get off at Havenstreet for the museum (which hopefully will eventually host a working preserved 1938 train) rather than just travel each end of the line?
    The modern Railways magazine also says there are issues with disabled access to Ryde St John's platforms 2 and 3 to be sorted by 2021?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  2. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    It seems it cannot be repeated often enough to stubborn gricers that the majority of visitors to the IOWSR do not use Island Line. A glance at the map will reveal why. Obviously an Island Line in better condition should carry more people but don't expect any kind of Damascene moment amongst "normals". Naturally, Wightlink and Hovertravel have offered inclusive travel to the IOWSR (plus umpteen other tourist attractions in the IOW) for very many years. Neither organisation is daft.

    The Portillo programme was constrained by the presence of a film crew at Havenstreet in connection with the Channel 4 carriage restoration series. Goodwill at a personal level enabled the BBC crew to shoot f0otage at other locations on the line.

    It was inevitable that there would be W.I.B.N. suggestions about 1938 stock. The IOWSR has expended money,work and time in clearing its site of unusable pieces of equipment and transferring it to covered storage elsewhere. Additionally, permission from the regulating authorities to any further 3rd. rail electrification is most unlikely .The London Transport Museum has a complete set of this stock in working order.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  3. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Does that not ask the question why? why do people, the majority who I assume are holiday makers on the island choose to arrive by car, is it because public transport is to expensive or not convenient? for instance your holidaying in say Newport, or another part of the island that does not have a railway station now, you only have two choices use your own car, or the bus, the bus will only drop you off at Wotton, and could involve a walk from Wotton Bridge, if you get the wrong one, where as the car takes you right to the main attraction, obviously the car will win, But if say your holidaying in Shanklin or Sandown, the modern looking new trains, with hopefully a better ride that you know will drop you off at a certain time, might persuade people out of their cars . and on to the train, And at the same time, during the summer season, would it help it there was a direct Cowes pontoon - Newport - Havenstreet- Ryde esplanade service to try to take some traffic off the road ?
     
  4. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I really doubt that's the reason so many people don't use the train Martin. There's a conceivable argument that extending to Ryde might increase passenger numbers (but I completely understand Paul's scepticism) but I don't see how more modern trains will entice more people to take the train to the steam railway in and of itself from Shanklin and Sandown. There may be a case that with the new trains comes a anew marketing push, but that's different.
     
  5. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Just checked Wightlink site. For a smallish car, no trailer, 2 peeps staying for a week, you're talking £49.50 to £63 for the ferry (that's at this time of year). I'm guessing if you've already shelled out to get the car to an island location where you're not necessarily familiar with the vagaries of local buses or trains, the car wins hands down, every time.
     
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  6. mikechant

    mikechant New Member

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    The majority of visitors may arrive at the IOWSR by car but when I visited, on my return journey the platform at Smallbrook was near capacity for the Island Line connection, and there was a good mix of various types, families etc., not just obvious 'gricers'.
     
  7. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    This is all "If, If, If" which is closely related to W.I.B.N. I am afraid. Things have changed utterly since 1947 when the multitude went to the seaside or lumped it. So attractions like Robin Hill, or Godshill village have come about with no rail service and althought these places, picked out at random, both have bus services, neither would flourish without coach parties or the family car. How many times does it need to be said that "normals" will do what is convenient to them and not what various finger waggers think they ought to want.
     
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  8. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    To which add motor coach passengers (Shearings etc.) People using Smallbrook seem to vary dramatically in numbers day to day.
     
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Martin - in answer to your question: have you ever tried going on holiday with young children without your own independent source of transport? A day trip where you can plan all your journeys in advance maybe, but once you go somewhere for a week, plans change - last thing you want is for a rainy day and then you find you can't reach a good indoor attraction in West Wight because you are limited to the Ryde / Shanklin corridor. So of course a car is necessary; and once you have it with you, you'll use it for all journeys even if a public transport alternative exists. And that is before you consider the logistics of getting to wherever you are staying in the first place, from your home which might be hundreds of miles from Portsmouth.

    So it isn't cost; it isn't the shininess of trains; or whether they contain free wifi; or anything else. It is just convenience. The train service will I suspect always be largely confined to day trippers from Portsmouth with a specific plan for the day, and people maybe wanting an evening out in Ryde and the ability to not have to worry about driving home after having had a couple of pints with a meal. But to go on holiday with a family by public transport and then rely exclusively on public transport for a week or so is I suspect an attractive option for a vanishingly small number of families.

    Tom
     
  10. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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  11. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Indeed. And I see plenty of those families changing trains here at Grantham en route to/from Skegness. It's fair to suggest that the majority of them give the impression that they are using the train because they lack any realistic alternative, rather than from choice. And that's for a single resort, not an area.
     
  12. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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  13. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Is that return? that's another possible reason, if you have say 2 people and kids, a family ticket on the foot ferry could very well cost you as much, where as if you just pay that per car,
     
  14. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Yep ..... its 2 people, 1 car, 1 week, though from first hand experience, the Lymington - Yarmouth service is very very popular with caravaners .... as the road down the east side of the New Forest all too readily testifies.

    Most of my trips were train Brighton - Portsmouth & Southsea, the fast cat and train from Pier Head to Smallbrook (change for civilization). The next trip (health and permission permitting!) will be by car tho'. The modern EMUs do ride much better than the old 423s, but the constant PA announcements and overly open plan, coupled with bl●●dy uncomfortable seats in the modern things have ruined the experience of a Coastway trip these days. The sheer cost of tickets doesn't help much either!
     
  15. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby New Member

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    If staying on the island for a holiday, I always bring a car over. If visiting the IOWSR for a day trip, I find the Catamaran and island line more convenient and cost effective.

    The importance of Island Line to IWSR shouldn’t be under estimated. Even if only 10% of passengers come via Smallbrook, that’s still 10% of revenue that IWSR might not otherwise be getting.

    It’s a shame the plans to extend to Ryde St John’s have fallen through. The costs and risks of doing this seem to far outweigh the benefits at the moment.
     
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  16. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Hovercraft snd bus are equally convenient and get you to Havenstreet an hour or so earlier in the day.

    Yes I agree that all sources of revenue are important. My only concern is that people should be fully aware of the most important access point and not succumb to wishful thinking.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  17. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

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    It depends, the Hovercraft is far from equally convenient if your travelling to or from Portsmouth by train.
     
  18. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Connectimg buses between rail and hover make this no problem at all.
     
  19. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    To those who know the drill, or who are traveling light, perhaps. But just as you say not to overestimate the significance of an easy rail to rail transfer, so you should not underestimate the challenge of extra changes.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    That ignores the fact that if you are using public transport, minimising the number of changes is the key to journey speed and reliability.

    So from the mainland to the IoWSR:
    • train to Portsmouth + FastCat to Ryde Peir Head + Island Line to Smallbrook is two changes.
    • Train to Portsmouth + bus or long walk to Southsea + Hovercraft to Ryde Esplanade + bus to Havenstreet (or Island Line to Smallbrook) is three changes.
    Last time I went to the IoW (in the summer) we were coming to Portsmouth by train. I seriously looked at the Hovercraft, not least because it is on my "bucket list" and I reckoned it would be fun to do with the children. But the twenty five minute walk or the risk of relying on an unfamiliar bus service mean that the Fast Cat was a much safer alternative.

    Tom
     
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