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Recommissioning after Coronavirus

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by johnofwessex, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. Cosmo Bonsor

    Cosmo Bonsor New Member

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    Yes but like I said before, you can't keep your distance in the cab, you are in close proximity for an extended period of time and one of the crew could be an asymptomatic carrier.
    This is the whole point about testing.
    Most of our turns have a cleaner rostered, cosy enough in a big cab let alone one of our antiques!
     
  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Gradually it seems that the evidence is that pointing towards enclosed spaces being more risky than outdoors (presumably because outside, aerosol droplets disperse more rapidly); in that context I'd take a cab as being an "external" environment, whereas a carriage is "internal". Hence my own view is that I'll be happy back on the footplate if the guidance is such that it is considered safe for passengers to return to carriages.

    Cleaners: certainly not a long-term solution, but for an interim period, rostering only two man crews would be possible. That stores up future problems (of retention / motivation for those affected; and succession / progression, i.e. creating a gap in the regular promotion through the ranks) but might be a possibility for six months or so - though that conceivably means some cleaners might not get a turn 18 months, especially those who didn't get a rostered turn in February / March).

    One thought that did occur to me about the risks of returning to service is fitness. While I think technique is probably one of those skills you do subconsciously, fitness isn't: many of us are likely to have lost muscle tone / flexibility / stamina etc. I think monitoring fatigue will be very important during a return, especially if it happens to be at the height of summer.

    Tom
     
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  3. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    The is also the question of health. It seems that more who have died had underlying health conditions so there is the possibility that staff, permanent and volunteer, may need a health check before being allowed to work in some areas. Maybe this is already done on some lines? Also age may well become another factor. The employer has a responsibility of care towards those who work on the railway. There is a lot more to all this, it appears, than simply clearing overgrowth and dealing with rolling stock maintenance and off we go!
     
  4. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    I found when I took ten years off, that I was unable to regain the fitness necessary for footplate work.
     
  5. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    I would certainly expect that all railways would require a minimum of a health questionnaire.

    My volunteering at KESR is subject to periodic medicals. Normally conducted by a nurse from the local GP practice, referred to a doctor if necessary. The records of those medicals would soon reveal any known underlying health conditions.
     
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  6. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    That’s probably a very similar medical to the one I had for a mainline PTS cert.
     
  7. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    Would love to visit the Brocken, looks a beautiful place.
    Germany seems to have a good testing and tracking system to contain the virus so the steam railway should be safe if the social distancing works.

    On the news Easyjet will soon be restarting and the curator of the Roman Baths in Bath said they were looking at reopening scenarios running at 30% normal capacity.
    It is expected UK holidays will have a "bumper time" when restrictions ease.
    On the downside the crowded scenes at English seasides is not good, and the UK system of testing and tracking has major problems which need sorting otherwise a 2nd peak will occur.
     
  8. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    It would appear that the scenes from UK beaches (and also apparently European beaches) proves that the general population cannot be trusted regarding social distancing.
    I suspect we could be further away from a reopening than maybe we expected as the travelling public may be very difficult to control.
     
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  9. Cosmo Bonsor

    Cosmo Bonsor New Member

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    Cabs are yet another variable.
    I would argue that a cab of a Wiltshire Tank Class is really quite enclosed therefore indoors and a Wiltshire Tender Class cab is very open and could be considered outdoors.
    It comes down again to Risk Assessment.
    Regarding fitness for duty after time off, well resuming driving after a year off was no trouble at all. I was surprised how easy it was. I imagine that I have reached 'unconscious competence' as a driver. Firing I agree is harder, I was probably at the top of my game a decade ago which is why I almost never pick the shovel up. In this case I think skill will be much more important than fitness. I really struggle in hot weather and I used my skill as a fireman to compensate for the physical difficulty.
    I think there will a need to think about PNB's and washing facilities and the impact on the timetable and crewing.
    I'm glad I don't have to plan and implement all of this, much easier to sit in the corner and operate the controls.
     
  10. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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  11. tor-cyan

    tor-cyan Member

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    This just landed in my in tray its from the Production Services Association (a bit like a Roadies union) its a small glimmer of hope that the government is looking in to help and support for the entertainment/heritage/art/culture industries

    It’s so easy to just copy and paste a press release but perhaps this time it’s good to put the last paragraph in before the headline. The taskforce is one thing but we, more than anyone, should know that the real work goes on behind the scenes. Here goes the last paragraph...

    The first meeting of the Cultural Renewal Taskforce will take place this Friday 22 May, and will meet on a weekly basis.

    The work of the taskforce will be supported by eight working groups chaired by DCMS Ministers, which will include representatives from key sector bodies – including the PSA - and organisations and focused on areas like sport, entertainment and events, museums and galleries, heritage, tourism and libraries.

    It’s also important to point out that a great deal of work has already been done on developing guidelines and protocols.

    Culture Secretary announces Cultural Renewal Taskforce
    The Culture Secretary has today announced representatives from the arts, cultural and sporting worlds who will join a new taskforce aimed at helping getting the country’s recreation and leisure sector up and running again.
    In total, five new ministerial-led taskforces have been set up to develop blueprints for how and when closed businesses and venues can reopen safely, following publication of the UK government’s National Covid-19 Recovery Strategy to help rebuild Britain.
    Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), will be chairing the taskforce responsible for the recreation and leisure sectors, and joining him in this important work is:
    • Tamara Rojo (English National Ballet)
    • Alex Scott (former England international and Arsenal footballer and now a Sports Broadcaster)
    • Sir Nicholas Serota (Arts Council England Chair)
    • Edward Mellors (Mellors Group Events)
    • Neil Mendoza (Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal, Entrepreneur, publisher and philanthropist)
    • Lord (Michael) Grade of Yarmouth (TV executive and former Chair of BBC and ITV)
    • Baroness (Martha) Lane-Fox of Soho (Founder of LastMinute.com)
    • Mark Cornell (Ambassador Theatre Group)
    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
    We are determined to do all we can to help our sectors that are such an incredible part of British life in their recovery. The Taskforce is made up of some of the brightest and best from the cultural, sporting and tech worlds. Experts in their fields, they’ll be instrumental in identifying creative ways to get these sectors up and running again.
    The taskforces will be crucial to the reopening of sectors of Britain’s economy. They will support the renewal of DCMS sectors and help develop new COVID-19 secure guidelines for the reopening of public places and businesses, where and when it is safe to do so. The focus of the groups’ work will be on:
    • ensuring that COVID-19 secure guidelines are developed in line with the phasing ambitions and public health directions, building on the existing (work settings) guidance and providing intelligence and sector-specific expert input
    • develop creative solutions, including digital solutions, to drive the return of sectors whilst maintaining consistency with the medical advice
    • agreeing and ensuring alignment of all relevant sectoral guidance
    • providing key sector stakeholders direct access to ministers
    As the nation’s economy begins to move towards recovery and regeneration, the Taskforce will look to see how creative new approaches could help sectors thrive in future, building on existing channels of government support (like the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants, a 12 month business rates holiday, and £200 million of emergency public funding through the Arts Council, Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund).

    The first meeting of the Cultural Renewal Taskforce will take place this Friday 22 May, and will meet on a weekly basis. The work of the taskforce will be supported by eight working groups chaired by DCMS Ministers, which will include representatives from key sector bodies and organisations and focused on areas like sport, entertainment and events, museums and galleries, heritage, tourism and libraries.


    Stay well
    All at the PSA

    colin
     
  12. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    Although there is no heritage railway representative it will probably be covered under museums?.
    Hopefully this guidance with Risk assements for each railway, taking in account whats happening with steam trains in Germany, the UK test and track rollout and procedures for protecting the vunerable. The UK heritage railways will be able to predict with a bit more certainy when a limited service can commisioned?
    The Swanage railway chairman (from the Swanage thread) mentions maybe a "limited public service this summer".
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The Bluebell's twin railway, Stoomtram Hoorn-Medemblik, is planning a re-opening on 6 June.

    https://www.stoomtram.nl - "We gaan weer rijden", roughly "We are going to run again" Looks like Saturdays and Sundays in June, Daily in July.



    Tom
     
  14. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum New Member

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    Disneyland Shanghai (China) has re-opened after being closed for 4 months.
    However, you need a clear health passport, pre-booked tickets, temperature check on arrival, facemask worn at all times (apart from eating).
    The park is open at 20% capacity, queuing systems in place, tables marked as out of use, your told where to sit on the rides etc.

    We don't have, & won't have, a health passport system. You'd need security people to operate the temperature check & stop those that fail it. You'd need signage, & people, to nudge/enforce the mask wearing.
    So there's 3 issues already. Lets say each one enables opening-up a month earlier, so without being at the level of China, you would be closed for 7 months.

    We'll also assume that it takes a month to add 5% to the capacity, & that it could be financially viable for a heritage railway to open at 25% capacity. (Half timetable, half seating capacity). That's another month of closure.

    So, that's closed for 8 months, April-November. That's the season gone.


    That aligns pretty closely with what the big employers are thinking & planning. The Civil Service have it as 6-12months before all their staff are back in offices. IT firms, who can work from home easily, are looking at 6months/end of year before a phased return.
     
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  15. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    I did think this was quite a good survey but it did seemed to be geared at families who may want a compartment for six.
    Of course some of the options maybe do collide. For example if you have pre booking and no on train toilets what happens if you have to get off at an intermediate station to use the toilet? Do you hope there is space on the next train which may be some time away with a reduced service level, and what if all the seats on there are pre booked when it arrives?
    Good on the SVR was launching it to help them make decisions, but unless you are local of course (out and back from home in a day) there are other issues such as hotel accommodation restaurant availability to consider as well.
     
  16. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    To reply to a post made a little while ago, the pictures of crowds on beaches looked a bit shocking, then I took a second look and... hang on, this is a telphoto lens shot. We know how that foreshortens distance on railway pictures, it seems it does the same to families on the beach!
     
  17. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I think the compartment idea in the survey is based on the premium Santa operation of last year, does seem a sensible way of managing things.

    Also thought the survey was a good idea as it was mailed out to everyone on the mail list and showed the railway was trying to do something while taking peoples views onboard.
     
  18. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    I do not think this ITV news item on Youtube is with a telephoto lens.

     
  19. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    The proof of whether this attitude by some of the population was sense or not will be revealed in the figures, or lack of them, of new cases in a week or so's time.
     
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  20. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    I was interested to read in Railway Herald (although could find nothing on the website) of Statesman Rail's plans for their tours.
    "Four across each bay of six seats" I presume refers to a First Class Open, or maybe a compartment, and is people at window seats only Does this mean no groups of 4 seated together even if they are a family group. No mention of what standard would be if they are still offering it as shown on the tour page.
    Be interesting if it is possible to make a profit at only 60% capacity. I assume this must also depend on the "no essential journeys" restriction being lifted.
    It mentions additional cleaning of toilets, but train toilets, even on modern service trains, requires that you to touch the door lock and handle after you have washed your hands. So unless the toilets are going to be cleaned inside and out after each use not sure how you guarantee a germ free surface. I thought the virus can live for up to 72 hours on a metal surface. Also how to you stop people queing in the vestibules and presumably not social distancing?.
    Two seaside towns as a first destination as well, which may or may not be rammed of course depending on the weather on the day.

    This I suspect will be a lot more challenging than a shortish Jacobite trip.
     

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