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Severn Valley Spring Steam Gala: 21st - 24th April 2022

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by WesternRegionHampshireman, Feb 15, 2022.

  1. Robin

    Robin Well-Known Member Friend

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    The first train out of Kidderminster was declared full and the gates shut about 10 minutes before departure, so obviously it was a busy day. It's all about commercial decisions these days, but you have to ask if it was a sensible idea to agree to an incoming railtour in the middle of the gala Saturday which disgorged a load of passengers at Kidderminster who only had time to get to Highley (or cross at Hampton Loade) and then all return on the same train which was already standing room only before they needed to join it.
     
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  2. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

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    I agree with the above. Great but busy day, shouldn't agree to hosting a railtour in the middle of a gala.
     
  3. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I avoided today for exactly that reason and Thursday was fine with the SNG trips the busiest.
     
  4. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

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    SVR has confirmed 7714 will replace 813 tomorrow on the double heading turn with 71516 "Welsh Guardsman"
     
  5. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I was one of the TTIs on the 9.00 :eek::rolleyes:
    And yes there are some opinions on the suitability of the railtour visit. I'll leave it at that.
     
  6. neildimmer

    neildimmer Resident of Nat Pres

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    Second visit of the gala for me today this time I was travelling on the railway
    very busy as other people have said i kept out of the railtour's way at Bridgnorth, but all trains virtually standing room only

    Just a couple of phone pics for tonight and a video, rest of Camera photos on Sunday

    Talking point of the event Taw Valley in Purple
    https://tinyurl.com/537wx8bs
    2999 Lady of Legend
    https://tinyurl.com/5ffkrj6p
    short video of Lady of Legend
    https://tinyurl.com/4va7ry8e

    Neil
    https://tinyurl.com/537wx8bs
     
  7. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    The railtour couldnt gain access to Worcester depot. We agreed it could come onto the railway for its layover. The railtour was advertised as visit the SVR gala or Black country museum. They definitely got the visit the gala spot on. It was down to 2 choices, cancel the railtour or allow it to come to the SVR.
     
  8. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    I do feel for any railway in their planning and whatever you do it is almost the wrong decision. other gala's have seen lower passenger numbers and capacity and a guaranteed 200+ passengers probably warmly welcomed . The timetable with an hourly ish service could probably have benefited with a shorter gap albeit I do get the need to maintain some wiggle room if the timetable starts to slip .
     
  9. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    I dont think we have worried about passenger numbers. Most of the trains I have seen over the weekend have been packed out.
     
  10. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

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    Wasn't aware that the tour couldn't gain access at Worcester. I suppose the positive is that it added additional revenue to the railway and everyone seemingly enjoyed themselves. Would love to know the full passenger figures for the gala this time around. Certainly seems to be the busiest for a while.

    Having my third and final day tomorrow, looking forward to it. Particularly enjoyed 813 and 506 this evening.
     
  11. malc

    malc Well-Known Member

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    The charter caused delays to two trains at Hampton Loade as there were a number of passengers off the charter who wanted to cross to the return train to Kidderminster, but they were in the rear of the train which was of the platform and both trains had to wait for them to walk through the train to get off, cross over and join the other train (which was already full and standing).
     
  12. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Well-Known Member

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    I late booked a seat on the UKR railtour expecting the departure from my pickup station to be earlier than turned out. Arrival at Kidderminster Station was 12.28 and train backed into Kidderminster station platform around 12.40ish.

    The UKR booklet gave train options for the gala which were limited since the first (and only) gala train for Bridgnorth didn’t leave Kidderminster until 13.35 due into Bridgnorth at 15.05. The booklet also warned that there was a risk of missing the return excursion if the 15.40 from Bridgnorth with 4498 SNG was running late and there was a short window where passengers would need to walk ‘rapidly’ between stations. As it was, 4498 arrived on time but many decided not to even try to get to Bridgnorth and those I spoke to only got as far as Highley or Bewdley in another case.

    The 13.35 departure from Kidderminster was with 813 & 7714 and there were no seats at all meaning I didn’t choose this option since I didn’t want to stand for 90mins. I chose instead to stay all afternoon at Kidderminster where I could at least see the locomotives running and get a few photographs. I’m personally happy to purchase a day rover and not travel but others would not.

    I enjoyed my day and am glad the gala will have raised some much welcome revenue for SVR. I do think though that I wouldn’t choose to visit SVR again if a railtour would result in certain trains being ‘sardined’ as was inevitable. No one’s fault but it was also disappointing as one of the main reasons I like to visit is to see progress on restoration & overhaul projects but conclude that this was not for today.
     
  13. neildimmer

    neildimmer Resident of Nat Pres

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    Went for second visit to Steam Spring Gala at Severn Valley Railway on Saturday 23rd April
    This time I was travelling with a gala rover ticket
    Highlights included the Gent and the Lady (4498 & 2999), main talking point purple Taw Valley
    4498 Sir Nigel Gresley at Highley
    https://tinyurl.com/zpaj4283
    2999 Lady of Legend
    https://tinyurl.com/2xwh4wzz
    70 (the engine once known as 34027 Taw Valley) on display Bridgnorth shed 23rd April 2022
    https://tinyurl.com/yckn6zkn
    Neil
     
  14. Robin

    Robin Well-Known Member Friend

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    It's not just a case of 'wanted to cross' About 5 minutes after the 13.35 arrived at HL, there was an on-train 'walk through' announcement that railtour passengers needed to cross there as they would not have time to get to Bridgnorth and back. I'd already spoken to several near the back of the train who had intended to go to Bridgnorth, who then had to get through to the front of the train (which was still full of standing passengers) to cross over. Obviously that added to the delay you refer to. Possibly it was a late decision to give that announcement based on how the timetable was running, but certainly nothing had been said on the train prior to arrival at HL.
     
  15. Robin

    Robin Well-Known Member Friend

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    Thanks for the confirmation. On any day but a gala weekend it would be a lot easier – the lunchtime departures out of Kidderminster are usually reasonably quiet even if the return journey might be more crowded. I understand the commercial decision to stable the railtour stock and so on, but I hope those who thought they would have a pleasant trip up and down the railway weren't left with a poor impression of the SVR as a result of what they found.
     
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  16. frazoulaswak

    frazoulaswak Member

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    A selection of images from yesterday at the SVR Spring Gala. A full set can be seen on my Zenfolio website at: Mick Rogers | SVR Spring Steam Gala (zenfolio.com).
    As always, my great thanks to everyone at the SVR who helped in putting on a great event.

    EOS 5D Mark IV_220423_2915.jpg EOS 5D Mark IV_220423_2935.jpg EOS 5D Mark IV_220423_2965.jpg EOS 5D Mark IV_220423_3002.jpg EOS 5D Mark IV_220423_3033.jpg EOS 5D Mark IV_220423_3078.jpg EOS 5D Mark IV_220423_3136.jpg EOS 5D Mark IV_220423_3170.jpg EOS 5D Mark IV_220423_3209.jpg

    Cheers
     
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  17. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Member

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    Indeed it was absolute cracker of an event!
    It was to be out and about again after weeks of just work and family.
    Have to say, 2999 "Lady Of Legend" was the star attraction for me, have been wanting to get behind her for quite some time.
    506 really showed her stuff when leaving Arley, 4498 was on top form and as for 813 + 7714? It was just great seeing double headed tank engines. :)
     
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  18. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    Choosing Saturday to go was a bad move, no Sun, wind against what light there was and SNG not on the Teaks until late on. Here are a few images from the day. It was nice to see a Southern rugged workhorse doing its stuff. To use a motoring analogy, if SNG is the equivalent of a Jag then 506 is a Land Rover.

    513 75069 Approaching Arly Up Distant 23-04-22.jpg 514 506 approaching Hay Bridge 23-04-22.jpg _DSC6064.jpg _DSC6111m.jpg
     
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  19. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Well-Known Member

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    I won’t be critical of SVR nor UKR but I think many will have felt they got a rough deal given the money laid out for the tour + gala (£109 + £32 each in standard seating).
    It may have worked better had there been a Bridgnorth train scheduled to leave say 12.50 which would have known to have full patronage from the rail-tour alone. When UKR visited SVR in November 2019 on a non-gala day, Taw Valley was waiting to depart Kidderminster to cater for incoming rail-tour customers. I write this however with no knowledge of how much notice those planning the gala schedule had with the timings for the arrival & departure of the rail-tour.

    Equally, had an earlier path been possible whereby the rail-tour arrived at Kidderminster around 11.30 then this would have made a big difference to gala options.

    One area for improvement was the mixed messaging. On the rail-tour, the UKR booklet gave a sense of high risk of venturing to Bridgnorth as the train home would not wait. Those of a certain age with mobility constraints would have been further perturbed with the need to move swiftly between stations to avoid being left behind. This was then countered with an on-train announcement as the rail-tour arrived at Kidderminster that 4498 would be made to get back to Kidderminster on time given that the Operations Manager for SVR was travelling on the rail-tour too. It seems there was then further confusion as the ‘don’t go to Bridgnorth if you’re on the rail-tour’ was relayed as an announcement on the 13.35 train with 813 & 7714.
     
  20. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I’ve never understood the logic of scheduling rail tours to visit heritage lines during enthusiast events, there’s always far to much potential to go wrong on both sides.
    I have a feeling that those that want to attend will have done their homework and booked cheap tickets and worked out how to get there by service train rather than try and cram in a rushed trip by charter.

    Plus if you have x amount of people already arriving at a well populated site all at once, it’s not going to be the best experience for all involved is it?
    I’m very much reminded of the time something similar occurred during a Diesel Gala at Keighley about 20 years ago has nothing been learned on both sides since then?
     

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