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Steam Dreams 2023

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Sam 60103, Nov 16, 2022.

  1. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    You could always join MNLPS, become a working member do the PTS course and then you can travel on the Belmond. No Champagne lunch but the pie and chips in the support coach is pretty good!
     
  2. malc

    malc Part of the furniture

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    Just received this e-mail from Steam Dreams...

    "The Helicon Club

    A PRIVATE ENCLAVE OF EXCLUSIVITY AND DECADENCE

    For one night only, our new Spirit of Christmas train comes to London Paddington on the 20th December. Join us for a sublime evening of indulgence in our new class; The Helicon Club. A private enclave of exclusivity and decadence aboard the only vintage steam train departing the capital this Christmas.

    As we prepare to steam forth, criss-crossing the night, join fellow ‘bons viveur’ for an unforgettable epicurean adventure of Champagne and culinary delights.
    Start your evening in the stylish Hippocrene Bar, which strikes the perfect balance of history and contemporary spirit, accommodated in the beautifully restored 'Pullman Car 6708; Mt Helicon'. Mingle convivially and enjoy bespoke entertainment, whilst delighting in an intoxicating prelude of Champagne, cocktails, and mouth-watering canapes before being escorted to your dining carriage.
    Our gracious stewards are the embodiment of refined hospitality, ensuring discreet attentiveness as you savour an exclusive four-course Pullman Dining menu, served with a bottle of wine per couple, chosen from our Sommelier’s selection. Created with a pastiche of seasonal delicacies, the Pullman Dining carte du jour is artfully prepared on-board by our talented Executive Chef Nicholas Allen and his culinary team.
    After this indulgent repast, make your way back to the Hippocrene Bar and wind-down your epicurean escapade with digestifs, before disembarking the extraordinary world that is The Helicon Club."

    UGH!!!

    (but for those who like that sort of thing, it's £400 per person, with a £150 supplement for a table for two)
     
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  3. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Not mine either but I could see a number of companies may feel this is a different way to entertain clients for the festive season. There will also be many to whom I suspect this will not seem an expensive night out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2023
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  4. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    Belmond seem to be able to fill a lot of trains with those sort of people. Now that the cap on bankers' bonuses has gone there might be a few more.
     
  5. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    A few expenses accounts will be going ouch in the morning, :) do they take diners club :D
     
  6. JonathanH

    JonathanH New Member

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    The pictures accompanying the words above show a refitted mark 2 lounge car from the Caledonian Sleeper as part of the offering, which is presumably the 'Hippocrene Bar'.
     
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  7. NathanP

    NathanP Member

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    Yes, it's Mk2 6708, previously part of the Caledonian Sleeper set as you say. I actually went in it briefly once in its new guise as The Hippocrene Bar. It was part of the rake on a Saphos trip I was on and it had been hired out by a private group. During a leg stretch stop I "accidentally" forgot which coach I was on and boarded 6708 by mistake. There's a piano in there, sofas, armchairs, a swanky looking bar. It all looked top dollar.
     
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  8. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    What I find more surprising about The Helicon Club than the price is that SD do not feel the need to actually say where it is going.
    Still as it will be dark perhaps they are just going to pop back to Southall and berth it in the shed yard for a few hours:D
     
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  9. Romsey

    Romsey Part of the furniture

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    No doubt the saloon 6708 is very exclusive but there is a nagging thought in the back of my mind.
    Can a 1970's BR mark 2 coach really be referred to as a Pullman Car? I guess it's painted umber and cream, so 99% of the patrons would not realise it was a recreation.

    Cheers, Neil
     
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  10. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    I wonder if the Hosking set-up will be seeking to acquire some real Pullmans - after all, nothing beats the real thing. (Does it already have one? the Hadrian Bar or whatever?) The Bluebell put two on the market recently. Admittedly, they will need a lot of work but obviously, the money and resources are available. It would be a much better future for surplus Pullmans than yet more "glamping" vehicles.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2023
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I believe both the Pullman's put on the market by the Bluebell have both now been sold. However, anyone wanting either for railway use would have faced the same problems as the Bluebell. In the case of "Aquila", a very nice interior but a body estimated at £600k to overhaul, and all that to give a carriage with only 22 seats. In the case of Carina, a very substantial body rebuild.

    Aquila has gone to a garden centre where hopefully the interior can continue to be appreciated, and the condition of the exterior (as a static vehicle) is of less consequence. As per another thread:

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2023
  12. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    For understandable reasons we worry about the escalating cost of loco overhauls. However if you have a fleet of rolling stock to refit, suddenly everything gets put into perspective. As for Pullmans, that job is not for the faint-hearted. Ask Belmond...
     
  13. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    He already has some Southern ones in the form of the ex- Brighton Belle train that is being recreated at Crewe.

    Peter
     
  14. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    which can presumably be hauled by steam, diesel or 25 kV electric on lines without the third rail.
     
  15. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I suspect getting "real" Pullmans plated for 100mph might be an issue
     
  16. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    How hard would it be to fit modern bogies, for example from scrapped MkIII coaches?
     
  17. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    No idea, but I suspect that might bring other questions into play if the result were higher speed running.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Thinking a bit about the other side of the equation - is there actually a market? Belmond already run one luxury train; and the Brighton Belle is coming. That might actually be getting to the limit of what the market for luxury travel in Southern England will support. I realise that Jeremy Hosking seems to prefer to bat more towards the quality end of the market than the other, but even so, I suspect there is business sense in allowing some degree of diversification in what is offered, so you aren't completely exposed to only one market sector. In other words, the 5-Bel may be sufficient exposure to real Pullmans, and any more in the same stable may just cannibalise the market for that train rather than expanding it.

    (Watch me now be proved wrong as someone goes on an anonymous buying spree of every redundant Pullman round the country!)

    Tom
     
  19. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I'm not sure LSL have the staff or depot capacity for much more stock either. The Blue Pullman HST, Mk1 set and Mk2 Statesman set are out most weeks, so they'll need a fair bit of regular maintenance. Admittedly the hauled stock spends a lot of time away from home, often at Southall. The 5-Bel is still being overhauled, so that's taking up shed space. The Chairman's Train is almost permanently in the carriage shed. Despite the size of the place, Crewe doesn't have a lot of space for day-to-day maintenance, and major overhauls/refurbishments are done at Eastleigh.

    Be interesting to see what their plans are for Upperby - they did have other plans away from Crewe that haven't progressed. At the moment it's little more than a few sidings and a couple of pits.
     
  20. NathanP

    NathanP Member

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    He is actively working on getting a second Midland Pullman set ready for service. I was chatting to one of the stewards about it on the last Saphos trip I was on. He now has 5 power cars which have been/will be painted in Midland Pullman livery, and a second full rake of HST Mk3s which are in the process of being painted in Midland Pullman livery.

    By the way, all the LSL trips for next year will be on the various brand websites tomorrow, so watch out for that.
     
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