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Project Wareham

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by David R, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    I will indeed accept that result. FYI an England Rail Pass for 8 days out of a month is 330 gbp. Senior. 1st Class. Let The Train take the Strain!!
     
  2. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    And, if I can't get a cheap advance ticket, my day return from Grantham to London is about £120 (no railcard, Std class). It does have a significant bearing on my travel choices.
     
  3. LC2

    LC2 Member

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    That's one of the first things that GBR should get rid of when they take over the railways in 2023, the cheap tickets issued to foreign tourists that we cannot get as tax paying residents.

    The UK 7 day equivalent of your 8 day ticket (1st class) is £539.90 assuming you have a Senior railcard, and £818 without it.
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    A question (because I don't know the answer). Will the Train Driving Licences and Certificates Regulations 2010 be applicable to Swanage drivers driving on the main line railway? The ORR has the power to deem that the trains are not operating on the mainline railway, which is the case with the NYMR, but there is a big difference between a sleepy branch line to Whitby and a much busier and faster railway to Wareham.
     
  5. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    but the UK ,like any other nation,in normal times wants tourists! Too much money being skimmed off by the private operators!! AND i have a PLM card which will cover me for the Swanage to Corfe section. However in the past 12 months i have contributed to the Carriage Shed Appeal,The T3 tender and bought a SLL share! That T3 would look great at Wareham!!!
     
  6. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Sorry what private operators are skimming off money?
    Most if not all TOC's are on management contracts from the DfT. The fare box is not theirs.
     
  7. 80104

    80104 Member

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    I understand that SR drivers have to be in possession of the European Train Driving Licence and route "qualified" (sorry if that isnt quite the correct word.)

    The PLM covers Swanage <> Wareham if the service is operated by SRC (or on behalf of SRC as was the trial in 2017).
     
  8. John2

    John2 New Member

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    PLMs are one of the problems making the Wareham operation economically unviable . Seats taken by non fare paying passengers on trains with limited capacity. You may have contributed to other appeals but it doesn't help with making the Wareham trial viable.
     
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  9. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    The SR needed my money then and i like many others responded;'the train is operating anyway so PLM are not a burden. Even Heritage Railways have to keep their side of a deal and afaik the PLM only covers the Corfe to Swanage operation. So no guilt trip there
     
  10. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    The private operators are in it for profits. They control what you pay do they not? and how do they make those profits if the fare box is not theirs? If the government is paying private operators for the service please explain how this better than State Ownership how can they display so many fares for one journey?Whatever your politics its a fiasco isn't it. A couple of years ago I was in Portugal,allegedly amongs the poorer EU nations. Excellent prices and an electric service to the Eastern Algarve AND with European money the line to the western Algarve is also to be electrified.
     
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  11. 5914

    5914 New Member

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    This post is written with an acknowledgement that many things have moved on since I was actively involved in matters to do with SR and the Wareham service - of which I am a supporter, but which I think should (and could) be implemented in a way that would complement and not put at risk the existing operation (which, as well as being ag significant heritage asset, already provides a very real transport function within a tourist area such as Purbeck) . A few observations grounded in reality (and which I don't think will substantially have changed):
    * ACTUAL ORIGINAL SCOPE OF PROJET: The original (1990s/2000s) scope of the project to return regular services between Swanage and Wareham started from the premise that the full range of services should be considered - but that only some of them might prove to be financially viable.
    * ACTUAL TRANSPORT NEED IDENTIFIED BY DCC: The biggest concern in terms of local transport needs, and the primary driver for DCC investment, was relieving the A351 corridor of tourist related traffic during the summer months - and it was this that was the economic justification for investment (at nothing like the 'going rate'!)* VIABILITY OF COMMUTER SERVICE: When VXC were looking at introducing Operation Princess they explored whether there was any viability in servicing trains overnight at Swanage and running early morning/afternoon/evening services (which would not have conflicted with heritage operations, and could have complemented other services provided in another way during the day) the conclusion was that there was insufficient demand to merit this.
    * VIABILITY OF COMMUTER SERVICE: From memory the demand forecasts undertaken prior to DCC committing to the DMUs indicated that there was very little latent demand for commuter services from Swanage to Poole/Bournemouth - with a demographic analysis indicating that the number of people living with a 10 minute walk of Swanage, Harmans Cross or Corfe Castle stations and working at a location within a 10 minute walk of either Poole or Bournemouth stations was at very low level - and that attaining modal transfer from their existing modes of transport was unlikely to result in many changing to rail even if a large number did make the transfer (my memory fails, but the figure was very low). The reality is that, while there is some commuter travel, there is not a huge commuter flow from Swanage to Poole/Bournemouth - and that which there is would not necessarily be served well be the location of stations at either end (much of Swanage's housing being towards Herston or Ulwell/New Swanage, and many offices and other workplaces being not well placed for the stations in Poole or (even worse) Bournemouth.
    * VIABILITY OF NATIONAL NETWORK SERVICE: Even with a very enthusiastic attitude from SWT (not SWR), they could not justify any regular service without requesting an adjustment of the premium they were then paying to the government (or local funding from DCC). As this was politically a no-go (and I imagine will be even more so at present), any service between Wareham and SR will have to wash its face in commercial terms in order to happen. It is my understanding from conversations with former colleagues that the only reason that the Saturdays only service was able to be justified as a combination of 'route-knowledge retention' and PR value - in other words it was a non-viable service that was run for with non-financial justifications.
    * VIABILITY FROM HOLIDAYMAKERS: Arguably, the financial dependency on holidaymakers was one of the problems that led to closure in 1972. The number of potential people travelling to their holidays in Swanage can be nowhere near enough to cover a service. The number of overnight beds in Swanage is significantly less than it was in previous years - with closure of many hotels that existed into the 1980s and a decline in the level of overnight accommodation (B&B etc) in recent years. The economic driver of the tourist economy is now day tripping and short stays (with longer breaks often combined multiple centre holidays). As someone who comes to stay in Purbeck regularly (and committed to using the train when possible) I could envisage perhaps 4 journeys (i.e. 2 return trips per annum). Do make a meaningful contribution to the annual costs of a service, this would probably require a significant number of people staying overnight in Swanage to travel to and from their holiday by train. The fact that people do not do this, is I think contributory to the lack of additional summers services on today's railway to places such as Skegness, Cleethorpes, Scarborough, Blackpool, Weston-super-Mare, Paignton etc. The day of Summer Saturday specials underwriting non-viable year-round services have long gone!

    However, having said all that - which I admit is fairly negative - I do believe that there is a potential role for a service from Wareham to Swanage to play - and it behoves SR to pursue any possibility unless that possibility threatens viability. It needs to complement the existing Norden to Swanage service, and will need to be financially self-sustaining. In order to do this it cannot be year-round, and will need to be made up of a variety of different service configurations to capitalise on multiple markets - whilst the DMUs might be ideal for a peak period Swanage to Wareham service to fulfil DCCs aspiration to relieve holiday traffic on the A351, at other times of year there may be potential for a very different service - perhaps offered using loco and coaching stock. Equally, there might be economic benefit to a Swanage-Bournemouth steam service - al la Jacobite/Waterloo-Windsor services. However, no matter what combination of services all of them will have to wash their faces in financial terms, because in a world where services on mainlines are being slashed (which will be the reality over the coming few years) I cannot see any central or local government revenue funding coming forward for anything that does not have overwhelming economic or social benefits. (On this latter, I don't think that the Okehampton reopening sets much of a precedent, as Okehampton itself serves a huge hinterland and economic activity in Exeter has been hampered by long-standing issues with congestion going back many years. (Having commuted into both Poole/Bournemouth and Exeter - there is a quantum of difference!)

    Finally, whilst a supporter of a sensible through service, I am more than willing to cut SR some slack. Surviving COVID will be achievement enough for 2022, and I would fully understand if the changed situation means that efforts need to go into rebuilding the resilience (in all ways) of the existing operation. It would be far better to have a well thought out trial in 2023 (whatever its outcome) than one which fell on its face in 2022...
     
  12. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Adverts on trains and stations, car parks, and income from renting out coffee shops are basically their only extra income. They say at the start of the franchise how much it will cost them to run the services for the period. All the ticket sales go to the government, and the TOC is paid out of that. Any extra the government keeps.
     
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  13. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    This is where perspective matters. Ultimately, as @5914 sets out so clearly, a Wareham service succeeds or fails based on whether it takes enough money to justify itself. Unfortunately, concessionary fares undermine that viability, no matter what the other contribution of the traveller to other appeals, simply by reducing the income generated by those trains. No one doubts your love of or support for the SR; the only question is over the analysis.

    Similarly, and without comment on the merits of the situation, mainline fares exist within a regulated environment very tightly controlled by government. Tempting as it is to blame profiteering, the reality is that most of the operators would have been bankrupted by Covid without the government support they’ve received. The price of that support is tight government control, with the operators funded on a concession basis, not by keeping the fares.

    In normal times, tourism is very valuable extra income, but it is never more than the icing on the cake. I don’t volunteer on a railway, but I do help organise events for my church. When I do so, I have to be careful to draw a line between what I’d want to do, and what people in general want to do. That’s because I need to make sure I’m looking at a properly representative view of demand in the round, not just my own preferences - especially if I wouldn’t actually be a paying customer. Provide it and they’ll come is a great philosophy, but history shows that it is by no means always true.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  14. Jupiter

    Jupiter New Member

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    I wonder how opinions would change if SR announced abandoning the DMUs and planned to use a class 33 and a 4TC set for the trial?
     
  15. DcB

    DcB Member

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    The class 33 and a 4TC set will be more historically correct for the service, but needs work to complete and add locking doors and toilets.
    The 31806 with the MK1 carriages just need locking doors so could ocassionally used in 2022 (used with the 33 top and tail) if the doors can be sorted, toilets can be updated later.
    The advantage of the DMU is the multiple engine resilience and the almost panaramic view for passengers. Seems they were used for hikers charters to Purbeck so there is some history.
    The advantage of a trial in 2022 ,with a repeat in 2023, it may benefit from the "staycations" as people are uneasy about overseas holidays.
    Last year DCC made record amounts at car parks.
    https://www.dorset.live/news/dorset...muW4b3EV4yqmDICKWPUmwgjvTlfsK8C6b76WkqAkabRIQ
    "A recurring theme throughout the car parks with the highest income is how they are large and in tourist areas, namely Purbeck Park being near Corfe Castle"
    The car park may need increasing and roads more congested if the Wareham DMU service does not get going.
    Also the sooner a service gets going word of mouth recommendations will boost numbers on the SWR and DMU service to visit Swanage, Corfe or go hiking or cycling (renting at Norden).
    The downside is getting people confidence to use trains?.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2022
  16. 80104

    80104 Member

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    PLM definitely covers Swanage <> Wareham when on an SRC operated service. This issue has been thoroughly investigated by the SRT and a definitive answer provided. This was why PLM was closed to new applicants in / around 2010 and eventually replaced by LTTM (Life Time Travel Membership) which does NOT provide free travel to / from Wareham.

    Many PLM's signed up to provide the SRT with the capital it needed to pay back the bank under "Operation Millstone" and put the SRT on a sound footing back in the early 1990s? / to reach Corfe Castle when its very existence was in jeopardy. Offering free travel to / from Wareham was the incentive to encourage take up.

    The chances of a PLM depriving a cash fare paying passenger from travelling is infinitesimally small.

    The danger of such a scenario is DC increasing the car parking charge at Purbeck Park to the point it discourages use and thereby passengers to travel on SR.

    The number of times capacity at Purbeck Park / Norden Park has been reached is very very few and then in the peak season only. The biggest problem since the car park wardens were withdrawn has been the lack of common sense shown by people parking reducing the available spaces.

    A lot is said about relieving road traffic congestion on the A351. However the section of A351 that is the most congested is the section from the Bakers Arms Roundabout to Wareham (ie the section through Sandford). Congestion on that section caused by visitors to CC and Swanage will only be relieved by rail if passengers travel by mainline service to Wareham and then change for a SR service to Swanage.
     
  17. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    But, in the context of some of the discussion here, their important historic contribution does not translate into a contribution to the sustainability of the service itself. Deals absolutely must be honoured, but those benefitting need to consider the distortion that the benefit places on their analysis.
     
  18. DcB

    DcB Member

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    Part of the increased the income (to £48k) of the car park is by not having wardens. Part is the increased use of the car park due to Staycations.
    I have seen the A351 congested between Corfe and Wareham in the evenings.
    So does help the case for connecting SWR and the SR steam trains by DMU during the summer if SWR can promote it well..
     
  19. Martin Adalar

    Martin Adalar New Member

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    Get around that problem by not having insufficient seating capacity.
     
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  20. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    So that works out at £41.25 per day. Which I would agree is a cracking deal and I believe has no time restrictions and I think you can even use the Hex and Gex (if it returns).
    However viewed against these type of fares, (disregarding advance which will link you to a specific service and may not be available at the time date you want, and a large number of people seem to not know how to hunt out anyway.)
    Waterloo - Wareham return standard off peak £71.20, first £221.40 return. Yes with buying singles, using advances to restrict yourself to specific trains this can be significantly reduced but your £41.25 a day is something most residents would probably pay for a First Class trip from London to Wareham.
    So you need to view the costs of getting to Wareham in addition to whatever fare is then charged.
     
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