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Saphos Trains 2018

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by gwr4090, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. mattspencer

    mattspencer Well-Known Member

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    https://www.facebook.com/groups/529362033745478 You'll need to join. Also on the group for 40013 https://www.facebook.com/groups/365131506431/
     
  2. 60017

    60017 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    That was my thought too! Booked prem for the 'William Shakespeare' from Preston. Nice opportunity to dress Britannia as 70004?
     
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  3. Kingston Flyer

    Kingston Flyer Member

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    Well I have just treated myself to one of the English Riviera Expresses in 1st class whilst the prices are down.

    I have treated my parents as well, but that is partly to be able to get to/from Brizzle.
     
  4. Waterbuck

    Waterbuck Member

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    Are we all still waiting to pay ?,
    I haven't heard from them since I booked on Jan 3rd
     
  5. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Yep. Still waiting.
     
  6. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Well-Known Member

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    Does the English Rivera include inclusive travel to kingswear or do you have to pay extra.

    Steam coming on at Taunton isn’t a problem when the train there will be hauled by a two tone green 47, super bonus for me.

    Although I’d wouldn’t complain if they used the Deltic lol
     
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  7. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    Same here.

    Booked online on 31 December.

    Last week I rang them to ask if I could pay, in case they rang at a time which wasn't convenient, but the gentleman I spoke to declined to process it, simply saying they would phone within 28 days of the booking, and would ring back if it wasn't a convenient time.

    He said a phone call would be the first option, and email contact would only be used if they were unable to get a response to thier phone calls.

    Struck me as a bit strange that they would refuse to take a payment, it would have taken little more time to do so than to explain that they couldn't and he didn't offer any reason why he wouldn't.

    All I can assume is that they have not yet got a system in place. I wonder if anyone who booked by phone was asked to pay?

    If not, my theory might be correct.
     
  8. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Had my first conversation with the Saphos booking team today. Thought the exchange was worth sharing as a 'caveat emptor' message.

    I phoned to make a booking in Standard on one of their trips. I asked about whether it was possible to have a window seat (GPS, mileposts etc) and was told not.
    "If you are booking one seat then you will be on the aisle with a group of three".
    Thinking of ways around the problem I then asked about standing possibilities.
    "You will not be allowed to stand in vestibules (between carriages) and there are no other windows at which to stand as the stock is Mark 2"

    So there you have it. Of course I understand all the passenger management issues and as a new TOC they will have had to be explicit about such things. But what surprised me was their inflexibility over seating. To be fair to Steam Dreams, the RTC, UKRT and TorbayEx, when I have asked a similar question in the past, they have always said that they will see what they could do. That said, I have never been given an aisle seat on any occasion when I have travelled on my own.

    Of course, these trips are not made for the benefit of timers, even 'old timers' - did you see what I did there? But I was unimpressed by the polite but firm tone. Left the conversation feeling a bit as though I'd done them a favour by booking a seat and if I was really lucky they might put me by a window. So we shall see what transpires and my advice if you are hoping to keep a log on a Saphos trip is "take a friend!"
     
  9. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    They more or less said that in the T and Cs.

    Conclusion I came to was that £25 to upgrade to a Mk 1 first was not a bad deal.

    Did they actually take your money?
     
  10. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Money is taken later, it seems. A Mk1 upgrade still presents the same problem though. All fair enough at one level but will not gain friends at another.
     
  11. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    Suspect they may not yet have the Credit Card Merchant handler in place and running if they are not taking money yet.

    Steven
     
  12. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Interesting Al. I was told that "All trains will feature a mixture of rolling stock with MK2 carriages used for Standard and First Class and MK1 carriages for Premier dining, however this could change nearer the date of operation". So I didn't book at all, despite my love of the Marches Route. Mk2 'Coffins' and a diesel on the back? Hardly supports their claim on the front of their brochure of providing: THE CLASSIC STEAM EXPERIENCE.
     
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  13. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Possibly so, yet you can book Statesman on line which whilst I know is a 'different company' but part of the same group and thus could easily process payments on behalf of the other.

    I remain somewhat cynical why LSL etc needs to be made up of so many different subsidiaries and Trusts, no doubt there are accounting reasons for it which possibly one of our accounting correspondents could explain, I assume costs and charges can be offset etc?
     
  14. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Part of the furniture

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    Agreed ! A while back I was informed that LSL had acquired a generator car to go with their stock so to negate the need of a diesel. I have also heard rumours that the charter attributions fee has gone up to the full amount meaning if their train sits down on the network and causes delays they have to cough up the full amount in penalties. Only hear say at present but it could spell the end for pure steam on high risk routes.
     
  15. alastair

    alastair Well-Known Member

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    But you can open the toplight in a Mk1. The standard class in the Saphos rake is nearly all MK2d with no opening windows.
     
  16. 26D_M

    26D_M Part of the furniture

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    I might very well share your cynicism but it is by no means confined to the LSL 'group' in this context and undoubtedly offers a tax efficient means of indulging the passions of private individuals whom enthusiasts all, ultimately, benefit from in the form of main line heritage operations.
     
  17. bleeder4

    bleeder4 Member

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    I read that condition in their Ts and Cs, about single bookings being allocated an aisle, and so that is the reason why I haven't booked with them. Even with the cheap price, it's not worth the extra cost of getting from Worcester to Crewe just to sit in an aisle seat for the North Wales coast etc. At least with VT, RYTC and UKRT if you book early enough and contact them at the time of booking and ask for a window seat they will usually give you one. The only time I haven't been able to get one with them was when I left it really late for the booking, which was my own fault.
     
  18. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    No standing in vestibules + no opening toplights = no booking from me.
     
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  19. BR 73082

    BR 73082 Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experience Al, I had spotted in the T&C's about single bookings being allocated an aisle seat and wondered how amenable they would be to a request to being allocated a window seat so I guess that answers that! I may still make a booking if nothing other than to "review" this new offering.
     
  20. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    By coincidence I also booked on something today with UKRT. Asked the same question - "Yes that's ok - no problem".

    Compare, contrast........
     

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