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Sunset Steam Express. Selected Tuesdays, July/August 2022 (Windsor trips cancelled)

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Paul.Uni, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    I suspect that a little help was requested at Betchworth - my video: has the train accelerating very quickly (still out of sight) after a blast on the whistle, even more so than breasting the summit alone would have produced.
     
  2. bleeder4

    bleeder4 Member

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    To be honest it's quite refreshing to see the Statesman set hauled by something other than a Class 47. I do have a soft spot for 47s and recently that train has become almost my second home. I know the Mk 2's aren't "heritage", but they're very well done out inside and ooze quality. Definitely better than the Intercity Mk 3s. The Covid screen kind of dampens the effect a bit, but it's a necessary evil at the moment. Here's a pic I took on my trip last week. I ought to work for their Marketing department!
    20220706_094958.jpg
     
  3. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    Yes, to be fair, that does look quite well done, but still, I suspect, looks and feels like a modern coach to most people. It will be interesting to see how this operation develops.
     
  4. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Assuming the next SSE runs with steam in the current heatwave, it's now shown on the website to be hauled by 45231. Assuming that's because with the current steam ban, Braunton can't move to Southall and 45231 is also 'stuck' at Southall, so it's safer to allocate her than 34046
     
  5. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    It seems unclear if it is a total NR ban or by region.
    But on the basis there is little if any significant rain forecast for the next week (I do not count a few light showers on Friday) difficult to see any steam being involved based on the DCE not running this week, as what will have changed apart from it being even drier?
    I guess the RTC trip this week is in doubt as well.
     
  6. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    I have received confirmation (as I'm booked on it) that Tuesdays SSE is being diesel hauled. And under the new LSL ownership, Steam Dreams don't allow anyone to 'withdraw' from a trip anymore or transfer onto another one. We are effectively stuck on the trip.

    So, for anyone looking at booking a trip with Steam Dreams in the future, please make sure that you are 125% able to do it, because if it goes ahead, you have to do it. No withdrawing or transferring.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2022
  7. jonathonag

    jonathonag Well-Known Member

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    Just out of curiosity, what were the Terms and Conditions at the time booked (if before the LSL takeover) and was it written that in such circumstances you are able to cancel/transfer to another run?
     
  8. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    We were booked on one of Steam Dreams 'normal' trips not long ago, but had to withdraw from it. When doing so, we were given a steam dreams voucher to use on a future trip which we used.

    It seems now however that that isn't possible. We asked if we could move to the 9th August run but, from what I gathered from the phone call, they said under the new ownership that their rules have changed, and if you book on a trip, you have to do it if it goes ahead. We booked on this SSE run after the LSL takeover but the Terms and Conditions page remains the same.

    I get that obviously the trip is less than 14 days away and they have a refund fee, infact the T&C's from the website state that any transfers 14 days or less prior to the day of travel has a 50% fee. But they didn't give us the choice to not do the trip and transfer to the 8th even with that fee (and there are seats available), so I get the impression that once you're on a trip, you've got to do it unless it doesn't run.

    FTR, I obviously wasn't expecting any compensation from it running diesel hauled, because it clearly states none is given. That's a risk you take on a summer steam trip. Quite frankly I was expecting diesel haulage with the current weather we have. But to get told that you're "stuck on the trip" doesn't give much hope for future customers that for whatever reason might have to pull from a trip.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
  9. jonathonag

    jonathonag Well-Known Member

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    If their Terms and Conditions, at the time of booking, stated that you are entitled to transfer to another trip or cancel (both with a fee), then I believe that is still currently you're entitlement. Their change of ownership does not entitle them to alter the contract to which you purchased without prior agreement, or indeed without recompense for doing so.
     
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  10. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Agreed, but I don't think its actually them making the change. They're under new ownership and therefore have to follow their owners new rules.

    We're going on the trip anyhow as we knew there was a chance it would be diesel hauled, and the T&C's state that withdrawing from the trip entirely would be an 100% fee, so its better to just go on it anyway. But to not even give us the option of transferring to the 8th August SSE, or another SD trip or voucher, even with the specified fee of 50%, is not on and does not give much flexibility for future customers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2022
  11. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    The whole situation certainly doesn't smack of good customer service, when it could be thought that the new owners should try to consolidate their customer base with goodwill gestures rather than risk alienating it.
     
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  12. jonathonag

    jonathonag Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the first part of your statement, "Follow their new owner's rules", is incorrect.

    If you purchase a business in entirity like LSL have with SD, and that business has contracts in place, you are also purchasing those contracts.

    With that, you take on those contracts with the exact Terms and Conditions in which they were made, regardless of how it clashes with your own current policies. You can then change the policies of the newly purchased business if you wish, but that can only apply to new going forward, when those original contracts come up for renewal or through interim negotations with the parties involved on the current contracts. Otherwise, you leave yourself open to litigation.
     
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  13. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Thanks for the explanation. The statement I made was quoting the phone call, as they said "because of our new ownership" they couldn't allow a transfer. I'm assuming that they've made changes to the policies as you describe. But, the fact its on a trip that was advertised before the LSL purchase means they shouldn't be saying that, yet.
     
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  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    It’s when you purchased the ticket that is key.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  15. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    It was roughly 2 weeks ago. When the LSL transition took place and ultimately the Windsors and all but 3 Sunsets cancelled, they were showing fully booked. Then booking in standard opened up and we booked on then. However, the T&C's were, and still are, the same as when they were under West Coast operation.
     
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  16. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    QED


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  17. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Just had this email come through, tomorrow is now cancelled:

    Dear Passenger,

    26 JULY 2022 - SUNSET STEAM EXPRESS - CANCELLATION

    We are writing to advise passengers that the difficult decision has been taken today to cancel our trip tomorrow evening on The Sunset Steam Express as the trip has become untenable due to the National Steam Ban in place for this week. We apologise for the late notice for this cancellation but we were only advised of the extension to the Steam Ban in England and Wales on Friday. We appreciate this decision will be a disappointment to you and apologise for any inconvenience this will cause.

    Passengers have the following options:

    1. Transfer your booking to a Steam Dreams Voucher. Steam Dreams Vouchers are valid for 12 months and can be used as full or part payment for any of our trips. A booking needs to be made using your voucher before the expiry date of your voucher. If your booking was paid for with a Steam Dreams voucher you will receive a new voucher valid for a further 12 months.

    2. A full refund*. We very much hope that you will still wish to travel with us at another time but if you would like to take up this option please let us know so our team can arrange for your booking to be refunded. If you have paid by card we will refund your booking back to the card used for the original payment.

    If you have paid with a third party voucher we will cancel your booking but you will need to contact the company you booked your voucher through to book another experience or to obtain a full refund.

    Yours sincerely,
    The Steam Dreams Rail Co.
     
  18. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    The voucher piece I find interesting as my experience of the voucher companies is they always say you need to talk to the retailer if there is an issue.
    I suspect those with vouchers may find themselves stuffed.
     
  19. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Well-Known Member Friend

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    The late cancellation is odd (and why weren't people advised by e-mail immediately LSL supposedly found out about the ban anyway?) as I had understood it had been decided to run it diesel-hauled many days ago. Wasn't the steam ban in place at least a week ago, which was when the peak of the heatwave hit? Another black mark against LSL, who are not helping their image with this sort of thing.
     
  20. Bank Engine

    Bank Engine New Member

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    Surprised they giving out full refunds, other lsl brands don't seem to offer full refunds
     

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