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Saphos Trains.

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by JBTEvans, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. RalphW

    RalphW Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Defining a livery as ghastly is surely in the eye of the beholder, I consider that the 'rainbow' livery that adorns an Avanti set is awful yet many seem to like it.
     
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  2. 61994

    61994 Member

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    I think its more support for what the Avanti ''Progress" Livery stands for instead of just liking the look of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
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  3. sgthompson

    sgthompson Part of the furniture

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    If that’s the Pride set yes it’s horrible but obviously some folk will love it Ralph ;)
     
  4. RalphW

    RalphW Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Didn't the 'Pilkington' livery stand for something, the corporate identity?
     
  5. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    No I think they just had the misfortune to have employed a painter high on drugs!
     
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  6. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Yes Pilkington K glass branding.

    Lol, I suppose it could be the result of Lucy in the sky with diamonds :D
     
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  7. neildimmer

    neildimmer Member

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    ;)sorry:( how come there was so few standard class available?
     
  8. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed, I remember the Pilkingtons being used on a set of Carnforth - Barrow shuttles with 48151 in 1992.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    For someone like myself living in the south of England, Saphos has been the latest in a long series of disappointments. Things were pretty good for SR-based fans in the early 2000s but after about 2005, things started going downhill. SD seemed to take less and less interest in the south of England (Some people may recall Marcus Robertson, in an interview with Steam Railway, talking about daily running to Canterbury in the summer season!), Past Time Rail folded, Kingfisher Rail folded, Wessex Trains (the company formed to operate trips with 34067 Tangmere when it was first restored) never really got off the ground and the Mid Hants stopped running their "Daylight " tours. For those with serious money, even the British Pullman offered more steam-hauled destinations n the early 2000s, with Canterbury and Southampton both featuring regularly in their programmes. Given that this part of the world is meant to be pretty affluent and there are several destinations which can be reached by steam without undue pathing or turning problems, notably Canterbury and Salisbury, the lack of interest in running steam hauled trains in the south is surprising and hugely disappointing, especially for those of us who live here and want to travel behind main line steam.

    Saphos, I hoped, would plug this gap. While the company's nerve centre is Crewe, it does have a base at Southall, but its first two years of operation saw only a couple of its trains visiting the south of England and hardly any that could be joined easily from this part of the world. The 2022 programme has absolutely zilch apart from English Riviera and Welsh Marches trips that pick up at Poole and stations to Salisbury. Not what I had hoped for - and that's without raising the issue of diesels on the back!

    Thank goodness for Clan Line! I hope that UKRT manages to organise a few non-Pullman trips with it next year.
     
  10. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think you had a fair innings with Bahamas and the B1 has been around a bit
     
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  11. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Fair comment but as the outfit is Crewe based there's little sense in them doing anything out of any other base even if they stray south, meaning towards Bristol.

    It seems clear that Saphos is going for its own business model and that leans towards the higher end of the market where, of course, money is to be made. Steam and sandwiches is so 1960s.
     
  12. Paul42

    Paul42 Well-Known Member

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    I believe they took on 2 ex DB drivers one of which is Fred Lewis - who drove some of the Torbay's. The other was Crewe based I think so is not surprising where their tours start from. For anything in the south east they will have to hire DB, and I expect Belmond have first call followed by UKR. There is also the issue of where the support crews are based.
     
  13. Paul42

    Paul42 Well-Known Member

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    Marcus discovered that people did not want to keep on going to the same destinations, so his plans changed to keep them coming back.When York became viable without a silly a clock start ,York became the most popular destination, followed by Bath according to Graeme Bunker. He said if there was sufficient demand they would run to York once a month, but I do not think this happened.
    A number of years ago UKR tried some shorter trips to Salisbury with a fast outward path, a number of people from this forum were on one including me , but there was a lot of unsold seats in standard. I do not think they tried them the following year.The cost of the trip appeared high, due to the high fixed costs, compared with other longer trips .
     
  14. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    The only thing with LSL trips as a whole, some of the days are very very long and I have to question why they think people want to spend £405 each for a table of 2 and have a 18-20 hour day out.

    There's a mid December 2022 day trip from Cardiff to Edinburgh and return using the Blue Pullman HST, can imagine that leaving Cardiff circa 0530 rather than the advertised 0645, and with the whole return in the dark I just don't think that is an attractive trip.

    I did The Fellsman back in August, which was a long enough trip leaving Crewe at 0750 with the only comfort break at Appleby around midday, and arrived back at Crewe approx 2130, but on the return there were no comfort breaks, so 6 hours straight on the train after a 1545 Carlisle departure. Don't get me wrong, it was an enjoyable day but I think that was the limit for such a trip. Next year they have extended the journey to go via Chester, which means an earlier start and later finish from Crewe.

    The costs are going up and on a lot of Saphos trips the steam miles are declining. Just doesn't add up. I don't understand how they come to the conclusion of charging double for a 3 day tour either, although they have knocked £20 off the 2021 prices. The London-Kingswear 3 day tour this year was cancelled as presumably not enough passengers wanted to travel.

    Will be interesting to see how their tour programme goes next year.
     
  15. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    I guess this is a bigger issue than just Saphos, it is the whole railtour scenario (even diesel tours it seems). Certainly something like a CME is not too bad if you join at Crewe or Preston, but from London, Watford or MK it is between 14 and 15 hours. Even a DCE is 14.5 hours from Victoria, although you should get around 3 hours in Weymouth. As the "big railway" has got busier then everything is now longer with in some cases less time at the break point.
    I have no answers and I guess the TOC'S/tour comapnies do not either.
     
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  16. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    If the residents in the south are so concerned why blame Saphos when the major problem IMHO is finding a suitable path within the intensive timetable(s) operated around London. With many lines operating services at less than 1-minute intervals it is hard to find a path where a steam tour can fit in; the fact that 35028 is able to operate on one such path and 61306 has managed to find one out of Waterloo for its Windsor wanderings is much to be praiseworthy especially when not all services emanate from a main-line terminus or straddle routes from more than terminus. Even up north with its lesser frequencies there are only a small number of paths available to mix high speed services with the slower steam traction schedule required for main line steam. There is good reason why trips up north have an electric locomotive on the front to reach Preston or Carnforth - the changeover point - where the infrequency of services allows for the inclusion of a slower steam-operated path with its demands for 20-minute water stops.
    Sadly those in the south have to choose between an intensive public service with no room to include a slower steam-hauled service or a less intensive service that allows for the inclusion of the slower steam-hauled service. Sadly the local Train Operating Companies have made their choice to provide a public service to the exclusion of steam.
     
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  17. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Which, being blunt, is the railway industry responding to it's primary purpose.
     
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  18. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Indeed, paths are always going to be a compromise, there is the common problem with the regular path over Shap getting caught up with the TPE train, but that is obviously the best that can be done fitting open access around scheduled services.
     
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  19. 5098

    5098 Well-Known Member

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  20. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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