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Severn Valley - New Station

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by David R, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. David R

    David R Well-Known Member

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    I'm intrigued by the reference to a new station on the Severn Valley Railway to serve West Midlands Safari Park and to be served by West Midlands Trains:

    https://www.expressandstar.com/news...s-to-merry-hill-and-west-midland-safari-park/

    As the Safari Park is "drive through in your car" how on earth would a railway station be of any benefit to anyone - or am I missing something. A few days ago and I'd have said it was an April Fool!.

    David R
     
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  2. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’d imagine a stroll around the lion enclosure would be an invigorating experience. :)
     
  3. JayDee

    JayDee Member

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    They're going into the outdoor fitness business. If you can outrun the lions on a starvation day you get your entry fee back.
     
  4. David R

    David R Well-Known Member

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    Roaringly good entertainment. No doubt it's best to "Prey" before entering :)

    David R
     
  5. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    Sounds like the lunatics have taken over the asylum.
     
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  6. David R

    David R Well-Known Member

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    Otherwise it's a one way ticket up Mane St. [​IMG]They get worse from here!

    David R
     
  7. David R

    David R Well-Known Member

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    Have you heard about the new craze for Park Runs

    David R
     
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  8. JayDee

    JayDee Member

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    What do you mean taken over?
     
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  9. D1039

    D1039 Part of the furniture

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    WMT raised the subject last September when it was announced they would take over from the old franchisee, though a station there was mooted long before that. Here's a link to a 2011 article https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/plans-to-link-west-midland-safari-155081 and one from 2013 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-24026487

    The SVR has confirmed to its members that discussions have taken place with the TOC, but only to explore possibilities. They said no decision will be taken in isolation, and would require consultation prior to any decision being taken.

    Patrick
     
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  10. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I believe that going back to the 1970's there was a plan to open a halt even then.
     
  11. Robin

    Robin Well-Known Member Friend

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    A rather more oddball scheme than a halt. From SVR News in Summer 1974 "It is interesting to note that the Station at Bewdley will shortly be available for the use of visitors to the West Midland Safari Park by means of a footbridge recovered from the former Burlish Halt, to be erected on the island platform. It is hoped that by this means, and the projected terminus and interchange at Kidderminster*, visitors to the Railway and to the Park will be able to park their cars in comfort at Kidderminster (or Bridgnorth or Highley) and thus avoid, or even prevent, the current traffic jams on the Kidderminster-Bewdley road."

    *Which didn't open for another 10 years.
     
  12. Andy Williams

    Andy Williams Member

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    Hopefully this proposal will 'wither on the vine' like its predecessors. Whilst it may benefit the Safari Park and West Midlands Trains there is little if anything to be gained by the SVR, who would incur considerable expense in enabling these proposed services to operate without prejudicing their existing heritage operation.
     
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  13. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    The main problems with these proposals is line ocupation on busy days and manning Kidderminster Town signal box. I doubt we could find sufficient volunteers for a regular comercial service. There is a likelyhood that paid staff may be required which would eat into any financial advantage.

    There woul also be route knowledge training so main line crews could sign for Bewdley - Kidder
     
  14. mikechant

    mikechant New Member

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    I understand that at least some safari parks offer bus tours as well as car access. If you think about, even ignoring people who might arrive via public transport, quite a few car drivers might prefer to go round on a bus rather than have bits torn off their car in the monkey enclosure.
     
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  15. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    There is no monkey enclosure. Giraffes however...
     
  16. Charles Parry

    Charles Parry Member

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    Yes you're right. West Midlands Safari Park currently offers guided minibus tours for 6 quid extra. More interesting and you don't risk damaging your car. The park also has exhibits you walk around as well, and a small theme park too. So the idea of connecting by rail isn't as daft as some people here might think.

    As to if it viable... that section of the line is congested, particularly on gala days, although it doesn't use tokens but acceptance lever so trains can be fired through quite quickly, especially if line upgrades allowed for a higher speed limit.

    I think surely a beefy bus service from Kidder would be a better option, perhaps going on to Bewdley for people who want to do a little train trip and a trip to the safari park. At least that might help indicate if the demand was there.
     
  17. Andy Williams

    Andy Williams Member

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    The section would be limited to 4 trains per hour if an intermediate station stop was introduced, i.e. 2 trains in each direction per hour. It is not just gala days when that section is at full capacity.

    Any thoughts of an increase in line speed for passenger trains would mean that the Kidderminster-Bewdley section of line would cease to be a light railway, and would thus loose the current derogations from ROGS associated with 25 MPH running. I am sure that no-one at the SVR would wish for that.
     
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  18. Chris86

    Chris86 Member

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    Thats a relief, I had images of locos having all their brass/fire irons stolen by the animals......... ;-)
     
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  19. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    Where does those minibus tours start/finish currently?
     
  20. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    The main entrance.
     

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