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Mid Hants Railway Operational Matters

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by NightRail, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Member

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    What I don't get is why it is necessary to pre-book seats at all when it wasn't necessary at the Spring Steam Gala. Can anyone offer am explanation for that? I appreciate that some kind of social distancing is still supposed to be in place by why at one event and not another?
     
  2. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    It is a question of what people are happy to do and different types of visitor have different preferences.

    Whilst the criticisms aimed at us are entirely fair about our ability to communicate which has been curtailed at times recently, one thing we are paying a lot of attention to is learning.

    Experimenting with what works and what does not is essential if we are going to work out how to succeed in this year which is as challenging in many ways as last year was.

    Sent from my SM-A405FN using Tapatalk
     
  3. Swan Age

    Swan Age New Member

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    The new website does indeed look great. Once the missing "coming soon" gaps have been plugged and the relevant info has been fitted into their category sections it should be a great improvement over the previous one.

    One small observation. On my modern 1 year old Samsung tablet I found the website froze for periods of up to 30 seconds prompting Chrome is not responding messages on Google chrome, hopefully this will get better with optimization.

    Overall though, a good job.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
  4. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Just write about it in your column Don. That’ll sort it.
     
  5. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    Maybe, but I think the answers on here from those in the know are sufficient. Those who read HR will have seen that I wrote a very supportive piece about 1st May
     
  6. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    If you have worked in transport for 57 years then you should know better.

    The reality is that every organisation is faced with a rapidly changing set of rules and an environment. What was allowed or not allowed last year or even this spring is different, what people expect or will tolerate is different. Moreover, none of us know what even the next month will bring in terms of how we plan - we have no idea if B.1.617.2 is going to go out of control or if it is going to do nothing, we have no idea what kind of response the government might impose or what the next set of rules will be. There is no template that anyone can rustle up and say 'yeah just follow the formula', so everyone is trying to find their way. Inevitably that means that things are not going to run smoothly, there are going to be things go wrong. To expect things to go off with no problems is unrealistic, to throw your toys out of the pram when things don't go perfectly is unhelpful.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  7. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Well-Known Member Friend

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    I had to pop up to Alresford station this morning to meet one of my fellow MHN team, and I have to say that despite the weather, the trains seemd well patronised, seat allocations seemed correct on the departure I witnessed, and 41312 was present and correct on the demonstration freight, although it did leave rather seadately, understandable given the wet rail though! Much still hangs on the Government announcment of 14th June about what actually will be allowed and when, which will impact on an printed information available. The new Website is more in the modern idiom, and quite General Public oriented, and I know the railway are working hard to get more info on there and increase the flow of information. It is unfortunate (although not unprecedented) that such a big IT related upgrade has taken longer, and not gone as smoothly, as had been hoped/planned for. This has, as 21B said upthread, meant some interruption to the flow of information.
    It was good to see a large number of family groups with children on the trains today, admiring Ivan the Ivatt and boarding the "King Alfred Climber"
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
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  8. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    Yes it seems as though there has been a definite move towards a family focussed railway. Certainly yesterday there were lots of families on the trains and itineraries such as the KA Climber appears to be attractive for them. I hope it works for the MHR but it means that we will no longer drive the 30 miles to Alresford for a spur of the moment day out with steam but wait for the free to roam days, if any.
     
  9. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    F26A0C08-6A98-4C72-AFF7-0D077D9ADE9A.jpeg
     
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  10. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    Families represent both the largest group of visitors by far and the future. We have to be attractive to them if we want to encourage the railway interest in future generations.

    That said I wouldn't want anyone to have the impression that the enthusiasts are no longer welcome. Given the number of events we have put on for steam enthusiasts in the last year that would be a wrong impression.

    One day very soon I hope there will be more ticket and travel options. However, with the positive reaction our current services get I think this is likely to be in the form of an "all day rover" to use the King Alfred Climber and Austen Adventurer and Watercress Wanderer in any order you like on the day. But, not until the public are comfortable with that approach and the guidance has relaxed a little further.

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  11. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    I can see both sides of this situation and in normal times I would see it as no issue at all and this is not intended as a criticism of the MHR but a learning point.
    However in current times and with the MHR being the closest "big" heritage line to West London (where I lived for most of my life and hence made many trips there and is the latest surge testing area) then the issue of the Indian variant does I believe comes into play. Anything that causes people to come closer than they need to has to be avoided. Don has not told us how people reacted but my experience from mainline trips where a coach is mislabeled or laid up wrong is that non enthusiasts do not take it well, and often want to stand around in groups debating or arguing why something is not as expected or they are not sitting in the seat number on their ticket. They are also often very unforgiving and some tend to moan about it all day.
    Hopefully this is just a glitch, but I to am interested in the question asked earlier as to why the steam gala was travel on what trains you want yet this event, like most lines at this time, is allocated seats.
    Are enthusiasts deemed as expendable or was it a trial event, like the FA Cup Final, and if so should it not have been marketed as such?
     
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  12. goldfish

    goldfish Resident of Nat Pres

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    Not sure how close @21B or [mention]Hampshire Unit [/mention] might be to the folk responsible for the website but I’d be encouraging a bit of pressure be applied on the supplier to look at performance. The site is very slow and it looks like there’s some fairly simple optimisation that would drastically speed it up.

    Main issue is that it’s a bit overweight – big files, uncompressed images, so it’s ~ 2mb to load the first page. That’s pretty awful, and it should be the supplier’s responsibility to get it sorted IMO.

    Simon
     
  13. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    No they are NOT!

    The level of safety from infection is priority 1 and as assured whichever method of operation is used.

    The level of acceptance by the public is different.



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  14. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Hey everyone, here is a different take.

    The MHR is working through a tricky time to improve its website experience including booking tickets. It was half decent before so if it improves further then well done for that. I can wait.

    As far as I can make out, either by design or chance, the MHR has been trying out different arrangements for travel:
    1. A given seat for multiple trips as the locos are cycled around the trains. Primarily for galas.
    2. A pre-booked ticket and you choose your train(s) whilst having to accept some management of movement in the coaches.
    3. An allocated seat on a specific service that actually may be what many typical members of the public want.

    Standing back from it all I think that's a pretty sensible way of trying out the various options to help decide what is best going forward.

    If we all care about personal space and 'health safety' then I reckon that a heritage railway will think very carefully about going for a free for all, 'turn up and travel' in future. When we once had a party event on the railway for 36 people it was all pre-booked on specific trains and quite right too.

    I really don't see the problem and will rely on the MHR to do what is best for the railway and the public.
     
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  15. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    One of the reasons I survived 57 years in transport was because I didn’t tolerate mistakes by others or indeed by myself
    Yes Al but have you forgotten that the Gala at the end of April/beginning of May was a free roaming event with no seat allocated.? It worked well so why isn’t it an option. Don’t say the Indian variant as Govt say vaccines work against this. Time we moved on.
     
  16. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    You are confusing your own sense of entitlement for mistakes.

    Odd how that zero tolerance for mistakes doesn't apply to your own work.
     
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  17. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Just out of interest, how many pandemics did you have to deal with during that time?
     
  18. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    This is a slightly interesting point. I suspect it might be down to the number of trains running. It was feasible at a gala because there were lots of trains going up and down, so you could allow a reasonable number of people in safe in the knowledge that they wouldn't all crowd on certain trains. On a normal, quieter timetable, to achieve the same level of risk you might have to have your overall cap significantly lower, at which point it becomes unviable, and more profit in assigning individual seas where you can get more people on for the same risk level.

    I am however surprised that it's not been considered more widely as an intermediate step between what all railways are currently doing and going straight back to normal in July which is what some railways seem to be planning, that might be tricky to implement satisfactorily if some sort of social distancing rules are still in place.
     
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  19. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    ??
     
  20. gricerdon

    gricerdon Member

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    1968. Everyone forgets this. Check it out. Life continued as normal
     

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