Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by David R, Jul 31, 2015.
Perhaps oliversbest is in a position to underwrite the scheme. After all, he knows best!
I wouldn’t trust him to run a Hornby train set!
That may be all that is left of the UK Rail system if the present scenario persists!
So in summary Project Wareham for 2023 depends on:
1. The SR doing well for 2022 with a good surplus.
2. Getting TOC status, safety plans updated, insurance at a reasonable cost and other contracts on place.
3. Getting the DMUs fully mainline approved.
4. Updated accessibility plans.
5. Deciding if it will be Wareham to Corfe, or Wareham to Swanage.
6. Volunteers in place with training done into Wareham (quite a bit has already happened).
7. Thunderbird rescue tests with a 33.
8. SWR passenger numbers back to precovid levels.
9. Joint publicity with SWR and maybe ticketing offers.
I do feel that we are going round and round in circles on this thread. There are a lot of points on which everyone is agreed (largely because they are indisputable facts) but the areas of disagreement will probably never be resolved except by waiting to see who is proved right.
Here is a summary of all the points of agreement:-
The track on the Swanage branch has been fully reinstated to Worgret Junction with the Dorset Coast resignalling scheme ensuring that through running from Swanage to Wareham remains an option for the future. No one is proposing ripping up the track north of Norden or the River Frome Bridge
The DMUs intended to work the through services have now been refurbished and a maintenance facility has been built/is being built (Not sure which) at Corfe Castle and five Mark 1 carriages have run over the main line after suitable modification, although these could not be used to carry passengers until central door locking is fitted.
A trial service in 2017, operated by West Coast, did not cover its costs, but the use of SR crews and stock should reduce the overheads when the second year of the trial service finally happens
There has been no statement from any senior bigwig at Swanage to the effect that the long-held ambition to run through services to Wareham has been abandoned permanently; only that the second year of the trial running has been put back to 2023
No party involved in the Purbeck Community Rail Partnership has pulled out of the project
The Coronavirus pandemic has messed up the planning
The current surge in inflation and the likelihood of a recession will mean that money is likely to be tight in this year, the next and possibly for longer still - as far as the Swanage Railway, Dorset Council and Joe Public are all concerned
The operation of largely steam-hauled trains between Swanage and Norden is likely to be the main source of revenue for the Swanage Railway for the foreseeable future
Without massive investment which would compromise the operation of the steam-hauled services, any regular service to Wareham is never going to be able to offer either as quick or as cheap a transport facility from Swanage and Corfe to Wareham and beyond as the buses currently provide
The operation of trains by a heritage railway over an electrified main line - albeit only for a mile or so - is a huge challenge not thus far attempted anywhere else. In such circumstances, there will inevitably be enormous hurdles to be jumped, but the SR has already dealt with quite a few of them
The differences really boil down to whether by not operating the trains in 2022, the Swanage Railway has failed its supporters and the local community so MUST ensure that the full 90-day trial happens, come what may, in 2023 or whether it is best to agree to be flexible in view of the economic uncertainties. Let's face it, we have discussed all this ad nauseam but we can be sure that the Swanage Railway's Council of Management is fully aware of all these issues, is in regular touch with its partners and may well not feel it appropriate to put all its discussions on this matter into the public domain. Personally, I think that some degree of flexibility in any plan for running the trial service makes sense but also I remain hopeful that one day, a limited through service to Wareham will happen, but it could well run on a lot less than 90 days of the year and won't be aimed at commuters.
A most comprehensive precis @John Petley .... thank you. I'm genuinely not trying to be awkward here, but do the downside sidings to the east of Wareham Station still feature in SR thinking in any way, shape or form?
At the moment, the outlook is still going to be financially very uncertain, people faced with ever increasing cost of living costs spiralling only one way, upwards, are going to be making a lot of very hard choices over the next 12 months, and beyond, and day trips and holidays might have to be curtailed, Now this might mean more families staying in the UK, instead of holidaying abroad, markets might have to change, for instance, high end fine dining, might actually do better, because those not effected so much, are still going to be prepared to pay for the right product, And of course people will still want something to do on holiday,
It might be prudent to wait and see how 2022 pans out, possibly 2023, before thinking about services to Wareham, and instead look at what can be improved on and what additional markets the SR can attract without putting its core business under threat.
Thanks @John Petley. A very helpful summary. I guess that it is wait and see how the trial pans out and then make a sensible decision as to what the way forward should be. It's just that some of us are not very hopeful that it will lead to much in the way of regular workings to Wareham, based on the experience of other preserved railways trying to do something similar. The main thing is not to bet the SR's future on it and risk what has been achieved.
My only comment on your excellent synopsis is if by 2023 the Mk 1 coaches would also need retention tanks, or if just locking the toilets out of use would be acceptable to NR if they were ever used to Wareham.
Are you saying (especially for us seniors) don't have a couple of pints before boarding!
You must have never travelled in a non-corridor coach then.
Mind you they were ideal when courting and were the only occupants.
..... last train Gravesend to Dartford on a 4EPB .... long before they put red stripes atop the compartment carriage in sets!
My first memories of the Swanage Branch were the old but comfortable ex suburban coaches;. I distinctly remember that some(ex 1st class?) had en suite toilets! And just to show how we have regressed one would get off the down main line train,walk a few paces and on to the down Swanage Branch train;reverse for the up journey. Now some bright spark is suggesting that i get off with cane in one hand,luggage in the other and change again at Corfe! Progress??? and more than likely busting for the loo also!
reminds me of the title of Fr Huddlestone's commentary on Apartheid
"Naught for your comfort"
... Excerpt from post #1423
Why change to a Route 50 bus at Bournemouth? You could use National Express service 35 from London Victoria.
Service 35 is, primarily, a service to/from Weymouth but one daily trip each way serves Swanage Station direct. Admittedly it gets to Swanage quite late and the return service to London is early but at least it's noticeably cheaper than train fares and I'm sure the coach driver would help with the 3 items of luggage.
Also, some thought has to be given to the not inconsiderable 'competition' of Morebus Route 40 which is hourly all day between Swanage and Poole via Corfe Castle, Wareham railway station and Town centre.
From this Saturday the Route 40 will be augmented by two Summer-dated routes providing roughly 10 extra travel possibilities: https://www.morebus.co.uk/services/WDBC/35?date=2022-05-28&direction=inbound
Route 30 between (Dorchester and) Weymouth and Swanage via Corfe Castle, Wareham railway station and Town centre.
Route 35 between three Wareham Touring/Camp sites and Swanage via Corfe Castle, Wareham railway station and Town centre.
Finally, it is unintentionally fortunate that operating a trial service was postponed for this year. A major union [RMT] announced yesterday that a recent ballot of it's railway employed members voted in favour of strike action: https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/rmt-declares-overwhelming-mandate-for-national-strike-action-on/ IF this does go ahead very few, if any, trains across the whole of the UK will run on (yet to be fixed) strike days as large numbers of signallers are members of RMT. Also, most of the non-driving grades are RMT members.
Some signallers are still TSSA, I believe, but I'm not sure if they would make any material difference to operating trains.
It would have been truly ironic if Swanage Railway services had decided to run and the National network wasn't there to 'accept' them.
thank you for your research
Have not bought my Britrail Pass,perhaps Bojo will sort it fairly quickly(ha ha)
I am going BA to Heathrow and then NE to Parkstone (Lilliput) where my kindly airbnb host is picking me up
I can get to the 50 via Sandbanks Ferry route from Poole
you aare absolutely right,this would NOT have been a good year for the Trial. Hope springs eternal for 2023!
Col Lawrence is one of my heroes, last visited the grave about 65yrs ago. The Flowers then read "From Those who remember" My dad and I rode there on our bikes from Poole!
anyway its a pretty cheap day ticket train Parkstone to Moreton, bit of a hike then but doable.
Then its a choice. Tea at the Moreton Tea Rooms or beer at the Frampton Arms. Dry weather day requested!!
Another reason that it may be beneficial that the trial is not running this year is that the summer bus schedules has a new route the 35 which this year runs from Swanage to Wareham Forest Tourist Park. This when combined with the 30 to Weymouth and the 40 to Poole provides a 30 minute interval service to Wareham Rail Station for a lot of the day. Although in a somewhat bizarre piece of scheduling (apparently confirmed by my observation on Saturday) the first 30 and 35 both leave at 10:30 and run together to Wareham Station before heading to their individual destinations. This I guess is to provide a reasonable inbound first service from Wareham Forest Tourist Park to Swanage. Both routes head via the "direct route" along the Valley Road and hence only take 33 minutes. So for the peak summer period a far better link to the SWR services than has existed before.
It will be interesting to see if the 35 survives more than a year in this form though.
Of course the main issue is that SR still at this moment in time waiting for permission to operate the class 117/121 over NR infrastructure between bridge 2 and Wareham. I am assuming that permission will be given sooner or latter this year.
I think the railway never assumes anything.
Permission/Licences will arrive when they arrive and I guess there is very little, if any, persuasive powers available to a heritage railway.
We'll all just have to wait and see what comes out of ORR/DFT/Network Rail/etc. , and when.
So, my advice is don't hold your breath just in case it's not sooner!
Additionally, RSPB Arne have just announced introducing a minibus service for the Summer between Wareham Station and their reserve. Some days it will also serve Purbeck Park (new name for Norden Park & Ride):
https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/arne/ - scroll down to the "How to get here" section where a hyperlink to the summer-only service can be found.
Local media - https://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/20175954.connecting-nature-easier-ever-shuttle-bus-rspb-arne/
With the hourly Route 40 bus that makes four bus routes serving Wareham station and various destinations to Norden and beyond.
Carries on like this there will be no room on the A351 for delivery vehicles, etc.
Gets coat .........
Separate names with a comma.