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Recommissioning after Coronavirus

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

  1. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    I will add a couple of thoughts to this point based on pictures from Soho (as well other places) at the weekend where once again social distancing and masks seemed to be non existent, so can people be trusted to follow any rules? Also based on a trip on the Sandbanks Ferry this afternoon people are still unable or unwilling to read and observe signs.
    The signs on the ferry read passenger windows must be closed and roofs up. Now I interpreted that as all windows closed, but looking at their website on return the drivers window can be open, something that changed after the service was restarted. Regardless of how you read the sign, there were still vehicles with passenger windows open. There can be no other interpretation of "passenger window". (I have little faith that a fair percentage of Heritage Line passengers will fail to observe the rules laid out.)
    We chose to wear masks (not mandatory in a car) although if I had chosen to open my drivers window a good idea with non compliance going on in the car very closely next to me. I mention this because we were delayed waiting the Condor Catamaran to enter Poole Harbour so we were in the car for about 20 minutes masked. It was very unpleasant I can not imagine what a Mk1 will be like on a Christmas trip when the passengers want the toplights shut and the train is on ETH and journey time of around 5 or 6 hours. It will be interesting to hear how passengers feel after a summer trip without train heat.
    I want Heritage Lines and mainline operators to be successful, but I do wonder if the "new norm" especially on longer Heritage Lines and mainline tours will appeal to many when the novelty of the restart has worn off.
     
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  2. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    TV pictures show us, almost daily, how large parts of the population have no sense of what social distancing is (or even means maybe).
    A comment the other day summed some of it up in that 'drunks do not social distance' !
    At a local filling station, which has a 'Local Shop' despite entrance and exit signs clearly marking what they want customers to do, something like 75% enter via the exit. In a medium sized ADSA yesterday I noticed that the company had gone to great lengths to introduce a one-way aisle system with 'No Entry' signs at the end of some aisles. You guessed it!, most were oblivious to the signage.
    This is what businesses, including heritage lines, are up against.
    Maybe that is why small lines have stayed closed? They have not the capabilities and finance to press on an open. A pity really. However, a remark in a previous post suggesting those n charge of railways know what they are doing, I add that one thread suggests that is not always true.
     
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  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    On phased re-opening, I think that is what most lines are doing, but you are seeing phase 1 - phases 2, 3, 4 etc depend crucially how the first phase goes. Remember as well that the intensity of operations is generally well below what most lines would be running normally in July / August.

    With regard Horsted Keynes, the flexibility of passenger flows you describe is something that is generally exploited in our Santa trains to keep passengers from sequential trains separate. An issue for general usage is the amount of parking. The current plan is for the service trains to run Sheffield Park - Kingscote, non-stop through HK. The dining trains, with presumably lower loadings, will start and finish at Horsted Keynes, thus keeping the two groups of passengers separate.

    Tom
     
  4. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    No but they will have a very good idea of what the costs are have a railway open and running trains, all be it in a restricted capacity, and the railway being closed. Knowing how much revenue they then need to cover the costs they will know how many customers they need to attract to make it worth while. How many they get is an educated guess. The costs of opening for some will be comparatively low. If you are running small or narrow gauge locos which the lines own and mainly operated by volunteers the costs are not great. Running a large hired in standard gauge engine and requiring additional paid staff when operating and the costs may start getting pretty high.

    As I said it is an educated guess for lines what the numbers who want to travel are and most appear to being cautious in that they are only advertising timetables for a few weeks. Once they have an indication of numbers, and with advanced booking required, they will get indications early on they can then look at amending what they are doing accordingly.

    Some railways will be aware that their costs to run a service are such that with the restrictions they are required to put in place will not cover these, others will be very confident that they will. There will then be a scotch of those in the middle who will have their fingers crossed.
     
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  5. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    The longer a railway remains shut the bigger the eventual cost of reopening. Re training of staff of all grades becomes more difficult with time. Equipment deteriorates without use. Re-establishing the inspection regime takes longer. It is already akin to opening a new business, if left until next year, it becomes perhaps too great a challenge. However, the flip side of that is the cost of running the railway. You dont have to go to the SVR to find railways that cost £2M per year to run. That's £150k per month in the summer probably. A lot of that will be spent whether the full service is operated or not. So re-opening also has risks and requires money. Some railways may not have the money to risk on reopening for now. There are those that view the least damaging (financial) situation to be not opening. Time will tell who was right. What we all need to realise though is that visiting as many lines as we can is probably the best way to ensure that some at least survive. The sad reality is that some may not, and the true test may not be this summer, but next Easter.

    Sent from my SM-A405FN using Tapatalk
     
  6. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    The Conway Scenic in the US have carried out an interesting conversion on one of their passenger cars, creating individual 4-seater compartments accessed from a central aisle.
    A photo can be seen if you scroll down a bit (posted yesterday) on the "Ahead of the Torch" (Public) FB page.....
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/AOTTORCH/
     
  7. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Sounds like an eminently sensible arrangement. When (if ever) have announcements or indicators at HK featured "Stand Back, Fast Train Approaching"? :)

    It's just as well the station approach at HK is on a quiet road ..... the bend it's on has got the potential to be ruddy lethal!

    Do initial Bluebell plans permit operation of any of the 'static attractions' (engine shed and museum at SP and carriage works at HK)?
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Engine shed will be open, subject to a one-way system. I doubt the carriage works at HK will be open because service trains aren't stopping there. I'm not sure about the museum at Sheffield Park - it is potentially more problematic than the engine shed due to being in quite a restricted (long and narrow) site.

    Tom
     
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  9. Wyreman

    Wyreman New Member

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    The SVR's General Manager Helen Smith contributed an article to an insert in the latest SVR News explaining the railway's thinking. Quite simply, reopening is in August, and August is peak family outing season. She made it clear that she hadn't forgotten the members etc who are the main readership of SVR News, and that service provision would be kept under review. I thought it was a very clear, well written and encouraging piece. I rather wish it was reproduced on the public website, actually. As the autumn rolls in and the weather gets colder with the number of family outings diminishing, I wouldn't be surprised to see the emphasis shift a bit, safety allowing of course. As you say though, these are unprecedented times. Some factors (one already mentioned: how much will masks impact enjoyment?) railways will only discover with experience. There are bound to be setbacks, but we surely all hope that the benefits will outweigh them.
     
  10. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    There could be many shifts of emphasis which will affect all open lines and those that are closed as well. It will only take one serious breach leading to a 'spike' in infections traceable back to a heritage line to undo the efforts made by most lines too carry people safely. The cooler, colder, weather will be the more critical time I believe. As they say its fine while the sun shines!
     
  11. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    KESR ran test services today, in preparation for next weekend's public service.

    A mixed formation of two TSO, one disabled access coach (Petros), Met 353, SECR 3062, District 100.
    Which gives eight bays of open seating (four to a bay) in each TSO, each with an empty bay either side and across the gangway, for groups wearing masks, plus a few wheelchair spaces in Petros and of course the enclosed compartments in the vintage stock each of which can seat up to eight with masks not required if all from same household.


    https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https://www.facebook.com/918643038264977/posts/2942373742558553/&data=02|01||426c0ec8946b410820cc08d8269c4707|84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa|1|0|637301799926941598&sdata=SQndGOkQFDZe2PpcebkoiQ/RXjMvDxDO9ssXacMI4qw=&reserved=0

    Hope this link works.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  12. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Well-Known Member Friend

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    Mid Hant's opening weekend seemed to go well, this family enjoyed their trip, and, perhaps more importantly, said they felt safe.

    [​IMG](Almost) back to normal by Stephen Morley, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  13. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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  14. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    It was lovely to hear visitors to the Watercress Line saying they felt relaxed, safe and that the railway seemed clean. Exactly what we set out to achieve. Fingers crossed for a busy summer as word spreads.

    Sent from my SM-A405FN using Tapatalk
     
  15. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    So far these reports are most encouraging, especially as seating capacities are reduced. Presumably the number of passengers are in the nature of off peak times and must make a small profit. At least people know that the lines are up and running and not crossing them off their to do list. :)
     
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  16. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    An attempt to upload copies of press releases issued by KESR.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Sunnieboy

    Sunnieboy New Member

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    Steam returns at Swanage Railway this weekend Round trip Swanage to Norden, no stopping at intermediate stations, booking essential on line.

    Sunnie

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  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Bluebell Railway is reopening on 7 August - find out about all our safety measures in the new age of social distancing.

    With special thanks to TV actor and presenter Martin Clunes for his contribution.



    Tom
     
  19. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    That’s a well executed video, entertaining and informative!
     
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  20. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Pity about the NSE upholstery
     

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