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Project Wareham

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

  1. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Yes I agree highly unlikely as Swanage is not to the BCP conurbation what Rossendale is to Manchester.
    Also having read this afternoon that the Durlston Bus will only run for 6 weeks this year as the council cannot afford to fund it for any longer, I suspect not likely to be any money in the pot to support the Wareham rail link either.
     
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  2. 80104

    80104 Member

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    Agreed. As the demand for statutory services grows and grows I think many councils will get to the stage that they will only be able to fund statutory services and everything else will have to go. Unless of course they apply for specific project funding from Central Government.

    One point about Project Wareham though is that all the infrastructure, DMUs etc etc are extant. In that respect (except for the licence) Project Wareham could be seen as a turn key operation and thus appealing to DC who may have to be seen to be "doing something". Given how long it takes for bus priority schemes or even the most basic of highway / footpath schemes to see the light of day Project Wareham could be a "quick win".

    Of course there is always the totally unexpected that could come out of the blue. What if a developer approached DC to build 1500 new homes at say Harmans Cross or Norden (Farm) and rather than putting in new road infrastructure offered to fund PW instead? DC has to allow 30,500 new homes to be built in Dorset (not including BCP) by 2038 so there is real pressure to allocate sites. Offering to subsidise the rail service could be appealing to DC rather than the building / upgrading of roads. Obviously this is a highly fanciful piece of speculation but who knows.
     
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  3. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    Dateline 1981
    Swanage Railway Company
    1. To rebuild the link to Wareham and operate a DMU service connecting to the main line
    I was reading the manifesto just this morning. it talks about bringing goods and services into Purbeck. It talks about making transportation available for the disabled. It talks about providing a service for those without cars.even providing a service to the Purbeck school at Worgret. Going back to the Rossendale story i did not detect any friction between the ELR and the borough., It might well be that HR services can only operate at weekends and holidays and at other times the line is given over to commuters . The greater good must prevail and County Councils and similar bodies are elected to provide services for all their residents and for the greater advantage of their citizens. Given the immense cost of Heritage operations can a segue into more practical use of an existing infrastructure be dismissed?
     
  4. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    So Swanage will remain on the outer reaches of the 21st century universe? Accessible only by cars and buses? Not exactly Government Policy these days in the First World.!! Heritage operations can survive if they are mixed in with a dose of practicality. I do believe that,as the founders envisaged, the SR will participate in some form of a rail service to Wareham. The odds against Norden remaining the end of the world are mounting.
     
  5. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    Many heritage railways started with the idea of providing a 'public transport' service, even the Tallyllyn did at one time.

    But either the demand wasnt there or the costs didnt add up - usually both
     
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  6. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    The Press release said
    https://www.swanagerailway.co.uk/news/view/wareham-trial-train-service-postponed-to-summer-2023
    “The current challenging economic reality has affected our plans for operating a trial 90-selected day trial train service from Swanage and Corfe Castle to the main line at Wareham during 2022 and we are working to deliver that service during 2023, trading and economic conditions permitting."
    “The business case does not currently exist to place external contracts to provide the trial train service to Wareham but we remain fully committed to securing all necessary consents and commencing services with a view to operating to Wareham during 2023."

    Some of the SWR trains I recently have been on to London have been full, so as leisure travel increases on SWR, perhaps having just some limited weekend DMU leisure day trip service Wareham to Corfe in 2022 to link with the steam trains, plus visits to Corfe Castle, hiking cycling etc may have been viable?
    Hopefully by 2023 the 90-selected day trial will be viable?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2022
  7. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Not sure what government policy you refer to. Certainly not making walk up fares a viable alternative for those that cannot or are unwilling to book non refundable advance fares. As an example an anytime day return from say Woking to Wareham is £49.90 for those who have no railcard of some sort. So even just two travelling together are likely into to way more money to travel by train than drive, then they will still have to pay a Swanage fare on top of that. It does not make "lets go to Swanage tomorrow" that cheap an option by rail, especially when you may need to park at your joining station, which if it is somewhere like Woking will cost you £12.10.
    The treasury are screwing the DfT down on costs so I do not see things changing anytime soon. Yes petrol is shooting up, but so will rail fares next year based on the inflation rate unless the government decide to step in. However with so many in the UK struggling to either heat or eat then rail fares may not be high on the list of things people want government help on.
    I hope the Swanage trial proves a success but there are many many things outside of the railways control.
    As for you point about 1981, historical news not really applicable to the economic conditions in 2022 and I suspect 2023 will be even worse.
     
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  8. buzby2

    buzby2 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure to which manifesto (sic) you are referring. Would you mind revealing which document it is and quoting the relevant clauses/phrases verbatim please rather than your apparent precis of it/them.
    A) In 1981 the Swanage Railway Project did have the proposal to re-connect with the main line - which has been achieved.
    B) In 1981 the Swanage Railway Project would have been most unlikely (if not impossible) to get permission from British Railways [and the relevant unions] to operate it's trains on BR tracks with Swanage crews. Therefore, I find it difficult to think that anyone would write something that could not (then) happen. So despite what you may, or may not, have been seen in the manifesto (sic) for all practical purposes NO Swanage railway trains (of whatever sort) could have been operated over main line tracks unless it was crewed by full time paid BR staff at quite some expense. Railway privatisation had not been talked about in 1981 so the potential to operate trains on the national network, with one's own crews and stock, only really became practicable 13 years later after privatisation procedures began in 1994.
    C) In 1981 no-one in the entire country had talked about free bus passes for pensionable age people which came in under the Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007. Otherwise, this group of people may well have formed a sizeable proportion of travellers using Swanage Railway tracks to/from Wareham.
    To refer to anything in 1981 and not apply the changed conditions and factors pertaining in 2022 [some 41 years later] is so naive as to be laughable.
    Please stop pleading that this or that was promised in 1981. The World has moved on considerably. We might, or might not, like the World as it is now but it's the one we all have to live and operate trains in.
     
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  9. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    I am thinning my collection of SRN. in fact I.m bringing them over. However you can go to the Montagu Jones library and read the agit prop for yourself. On to Wareham etc etc. As i said SRN from 1997 up 2005 makes great almost delirious reading,no thoughts of reneging on Project Wareham,no thoughts of running only as far as Norden. heady days ? Would it be so awful if DCC finally wanted to see some return on their investment in the DMU's and ownership of the trackbed. These definitely are changing times and SR is going to have to look beyond a six mile steam operation or some other body will make that decision for them. The Document to which i refer is
    The Swanage Railway. A Brief Prospectus
    The aims of the Swanage Railway Company Limited
    1. To restore the rail link between Swanage and Wareham
    2. To run a daily DMU service to connect with the principal main line trains.......to bring the Isle of Purbeck into rail contact with the rest of the country
    et sequo
    This document is dated July 1981
    Believe it or not,despite changing circumstances the SRC should be held to its objectives and become what the pioneers envisaged, a Railway operated for the benefit of the people of Purbeck. Is that on the horizon?? Or is it the tourist oriented heritage steam railway operation
    currently facing steeply rising costs that is desired and if so is it sustainable in its present form
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2022
  10. Musket The Dog

    Musket The Dog New Member

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    Why should they though? Do you have a logical reason or is it just what you want to see on your train set version of the Swanage? As even you begrudgingly seem to accept, circumstances have changed beyond what anyone could have predicted in the last 3 years alone, never mind comparing modern Britain to 1981. The pioneers had the gumption and the foresight to get up and revive the railway but I don't think any of them would have guessed what 2022 would look like. Do you really want to hold them to running a daily service? Even if that requires subsidising the loss with funds from the other projects you also bemoan the recent lack of progress?

    Out of interest, did the reconnection feature in DCC's 1981(ish) manifesto? By the same standards, should they be held to that and just accept that the whole thing is very difficult to make viable and write the whole thing off as a loss while they can still get out?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2022
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  11. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Posted here by mistake and moved
     
  12. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    If the service starts in 2023 most people will visit from SWR stations in Dorset or Hampshire
    The weekend day return price from Woking to Wareham is £35, or with a Railcard £23. Most Woking commuters into London will have an annual gold card which will also give this. So a good day out if SR and SWR can give a joint discounted ticket.
    Parking at Woking Saturday is £6 or Sunday is £4
    A lot of people in the new flats in Woking will not have cars.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2022
  13. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan Member

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    What they need is something to grab the people in like when ye used to do Thomas. Or they should do special day visit which give better day out from London where people can have it on the beach and then go home but go on swanage reailway to get there
     
  14. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I didn't know it was that sort of beach... :Wideyed:
     
  15. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Studland Naturist Beach is a short walk from the Sandbanks ferry...
     
  16. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Certainly in Tom Rolt's eyes, "for as long as one local passenger remains".

    The Talyllyn has experimented with an over winter diesel hauled FO shopper's service a few times, but the lack of any such working in recent years tells us all we need to know. :(
     
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  17. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Yes but you are only talking about weekends, what happens all those other days of the week or are you just proposing a summer weekend service, because as much as I like living here it is not a destination I would necessarily recommend for a day trip in November or February. Which is probably why railtour companies to not run Swanage Belle's or DCE's except in the summer, and a number of the bus routes locally are summer months only.
    Please explain the basis of your assumption that most passengers will come from Dorset or Hampshire, although I may not necessarily disagree with you.
    As and example when I lived in West London (adjacent to Heathrow) I looked forward to the Bluebell extension opening to East Grinstead. But I actually never went there by train as it was just too difficult or expensive. To be "green" I would have needed to take one bus, a NR train, one or possibly to LU trains and another NR train, then of course repeat the whole thing on the way back. Yes using my freedom pass I could have only had to pay from South Croydon to E.G. (which may have required another change if the booking office at Victoria were being difficult) but the whole thing is too time consuming when I could drive in an hour or an hour and 15 minutes, and get up later and arrive home far earlier. That sort of highlights the issue for non rail enthusiasts, and really once you have had to get the car out many will say lets drive.
    The trial will prove if there is a good volume in Dorset and Hampshire to warrant a service, but based on the recent "quiet feel" in the town (last weekend excluded) we have to hope that the economic experts are wrong and 2023 is not a worse year financially for the population at large than 2022 is, but better.
     
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  18. Morris_mad

    Morris_mad New Member

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    Don’t really see how something like this is possible given all track/infrastructure is SRC/T owned, any service would need to be done in co-operation with them, imho.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. 80104

    80104 Member

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    The track bed is owned by Dorset Council (as successors to Dorset County Council) from the Network Rail boundary to (IIRC) Northbrook Road Bridge, and by Swanage Town Council from Northbrook Road Bridge to Swanage Buffer Stops.

    I do not know all the details of the lease(s) or the agreement with the then DCC to operate two trial services (one of 60 days and one of 90 days) but it is a reasonable assumption that there are clauses within the lease which would permit DC to effectively compel SRT SRC to allow a third party track access to operate services between Swanage and Wareham if SRT SRC were unable or unwilling to do so. SRT SRC has been the beneficiary (direct or indirect) of considerable amounts of public funding in pursuit of Project Wareham and it would be somewhat perverse for them to stand in the way of a service being operated by a third party if they (SRT SRC) were not able to do so.
    As I have explained in a previous posting a joint discounted ticket could put SRC financially in an invidious position if they earned less from a "Wareham" ticket than from a "Norden" ticket given the additional cost of operating to / from Wareham compared with operating to / from Norden.

    The ratio of "Wareham Only customers" (those who travel to / from Wareham only because there is a service to / from Wareham and would not have done so otherwise) versus "existing branch line customers" who have decided to travel to / from Wareham but would have travelled on SRC anyway using one of the existing branch line stations if Wareham was not served is crucial. All the revenue from Wareham only customers would be attributable to the Wareham service but only the difference between Swanage <> Norden and Swanage <> Wareham fares would be attributable to the Wareham service if those customers would have chosen to travel to / from Norden if the Wareham service was not operating.
     
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  20. buzby2

    buzby2 Well-Known Member

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    The Swanage Railway used to organise successful "Friends of Thomas" events when the franchise was arranged through Britt Allcroft.
    Gullane Entertainment then took over.
    Currently it is part of the HIT Entertainment group.
    I understand their percentage take of event income has increased over the years such that Swanage Railway could not make enough profit to warrant the amount of time and effort organising it.
    Several other heritage railways no longer organise 'Friends' events either so this must tell you something. What was successful in the past is no guarantee of future popularity.
     
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