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SVR General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by threelinkdave, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    Lacking a bit of guidance from the top which is understandable. They made a bad decision in deciding not to operate during half term week, from what I hear most other railways did rather well.
     
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  2. Robin

    Robin Well-Known Member Friend

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    It entered service in late 2016 and has seen plenty of use since, including recording the highest mileage of any SVR loco in 2019. November's Branch Lines noted that "The loco is to have its paintwork smartened up soon, as it’s looking worn in places." Not really "more than presentable".

    Having been repainted, February's Branch Lines notes that "Pannier Tank 7714 is in its new early British Railways livery, celebrating 50 years on the SVR, having arrived at Bridgnorth in 1973. It will operate with the appropriate Carmine and Cream set."

    A repaint of unlined black over unlined black is hardly going to break the bank. If they hadn't repainted it, no doubt there would be complaints about the SVR's shabby locos.
     
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  3. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Are you going to 'have a go' every time someone posts on this thread? Yes we understand that you disagree with previous management, but give it a rest.
     
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  4. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    I will post on this and any other thread when I want to, if you don’t like it don’t read it. Try the block function
     
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  5. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    I'm not trying to stop you posting on here, but I just don't see what you hope to achieve by constantly berating the SVR.
    There's a new interim GM in place, how about giving him a chance.?
    I've never used the block function and I don't intend to start now.
     
  6. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    Read the first sentence of my post that so offended you
     
  7. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’ll back John up, just had a conversation with my parents, it comes to something that my non enthusiast mother has asked the same question as Mr Barrance, I think that says something.
    Whilst I appreciate Mr Dunster hasn’t had much time to get his feet under the table, as a shareholder I don’t feel that this an unreasonable question to ask albeit this isn’t necessarily the right place to ask it.

    As I’ve said before certain people who have how shall we put it? Backed wrong horses and should maybe have questions asked of them and their motives?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2023
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  8. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    Without divulging too much. It is part of the running agreement for the engine. Not bizarre, it was budgetted for.
     
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  9. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    Thanks Matt. I think I've said it's very easy to get into a downward spiral of negativity but a lot harder to dig your way out of it. The plight of the SVR is well known locally and a press release along the lines of; ' we are running trains all half term week, kids for a quid, use your railway or lose it', would have almost certainly resulted in some comment in the local press and radio. The SVR catchment area includes the West Midlands conurbation, a vast market that the likes of the K&ESR doesn't have. It's not just the Valley but marketing is a skill that a lot of railways lack. Not operating makes the small possibility of not making money into a certainty.
     
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  10. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    Youre damned if you do and damned if you dont. We could have operated a service and it could have snowed all week and it would have lost money. You cant rely on the weather gods bein on your side.

    Why dont you offer your direction from the top then? Because like ghost says. Stop complaining. Move on.
     
  11. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    See my latest post. No business has ever been successful by relying on 'what ifs'
     
  12. Dead Sheep

    Dead Sheep Member

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    It is very sad to read these self destructive posts. Internecine warfare is a good indication of railway imploding into oblivion. It is time to adopt positivity. The reborn K&ESR is a good model of how to approach such desperate times.

    I been to a couple of heritage railways in recent weeks on business and was interested to hear unsolicited discussions on the SVR. There is an increasing view that the SVR is rapidly becoming a 'basket case'.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2023
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  13. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    John, their always seems reasons not to do things at the SVR at the moment, as I say my mother asked questions to me about not understanding why the SVR didn’t at least try to run something during half term week.
    Bear in mind where my parents live in Bewdley the SVR is literally at the bottom of the garden to them, why did my Dad jump in his car and go to Perrygrove yesterday?
    There’s a question that needs to be answered there.
     
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  14. alastair

    alastair Well-Known Member

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    But it's not just operate a service or not is it?

    My local line (South Devon Railway) which is currently closed due to a big relay project, hit on a really good scheme for the 2 half-term weeks. The shops, museum etc. at Buckfastleigh were all open, the dining car was parked in the platform serving light meals and drinks, and best of all was the "drive the locomotive for £25" where you could drive the pannier tank and a brake van down the line for a mile or so and back again. This was proper hands on driving under close supervision of the real driver, not just watching. Members of family could travel on the balcony of the brake van for £4. All staff were super friendly and welcoming. It appeared to be well supported despite bleak and cold weather.

    I find it hard to believe something similar would not be a winner at Kidderminster?
     
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  15. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    it could have snowed all week(when did that last happen.....) and it didn't , and the queues to the safari park ran back as far as Kidderminster day in day out . Now of course summer will be just fine and last year with weeks of unrelenting heat won't happen again . sometimes you need to speculate to accumulate

    We may be cast in the over enthusiastic category but we are not as stupid as some would like to believe and whilst we may not have railway knowledge, many railway supporters have excellent business knowledge and know that generating cash is key . The Railway is not a fiefdom of a select few but the product of a vast number of people , supporters, stakeholders, volunteers etc all who continue to give so much to the railway and despite the doom and gloom much good stuff is happening ready for the opening of the season .
     
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  16. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Why is it I really think the SVR misses the late Mr Leach?
     
  17. D1039

    D1039 Guest

    True, but sometimes you can't afford the downside of speculation if it doesn't go to plan and you know that the Railway has said it just cannot afford that. @Lineisclear has also pointed out the SVR is looking to getting through next winter, not just this.

    I also know (because I read it) the manager of another heritage railway told you: "You can generate a few quid if the weather gods are on your side but completely bomb if they are not.The costs of start up and maintenance disturbances make feb half term marginal at best." We both saw another railway's manager agree with it.

    I know that you know other railways came to the same decision and this isn't an SVR capricious decision.

    You also know the SVR has made clear that for the early part of this year at least their position is to start off fairly cautiously and then reintroduce further services if the visitor demand is there.

    I get that you wish the SVR had felt able to offer a February half-term service, so do I. You know the Railway's reasoning and I get that you'd have made a different decision. But banging on about it - and this is the third time I've seen you raise it - won't change it.

    Because of his renowned expertise in dealing with malcontent on social media? It was a different world
     
  18. lostlogin

    lostlogin Member

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    Where I find myself confused in respect of the SVR not running at all over the February half term period is that they start running the weekend after half term finishes. I would understand not running/opening for the half term if you were not going to open for another few weeks such as is the case for the FR/WHR as you are effectively opening up to shut gown again, but the SVR is starting services again next Saturday. I would have thought the three logical options were:

    Open for some/all 0f half term with that as the start of the regular running season

    Open for some/all 0f half term and then shut time for a few weeks until later in March when we start approaching the Easter school holidays

    Don't open for the half term and wait to later in March when we start approaching the Easter school holidays

    Deciding to wait for half term to pass and then open just seems strange. I am sure there is a reason but it just looks odd.
     
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  19. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    you are not alone . Some people are very much irreplaceable
    all of those who bring this up and it is not just me have done so because it feels that it was a completely avoidable own goal, the results of which were predicted . Why is next weekend ok to start but the week prior when schools off not . Has anyone said starting up last week would have caused maintenance disruption ? I absolutely get that there are cases when time is needed to maintain the line and major engineering . I'm also happy to be convinced with some evidence on the costs of starting up a railway . My business experience and finance head feels that these are both marginal and manageable (as another line has demonstrated with 250% increase in passengers over prior year, plenty of cash and secondary spend and all done with volunteers so no disruption to paid staff work)

    The two GM's who agreed and I absolutely appreciate their input, are not sat in 6 million people catchment areas and are lines more driven by tourism than a day trip market.

    I'm also not asking for the decision to be changed especially given the blindingly obvious point that it is in the past (apologies , churlish I know) , but equally it is not unreasonable to call out a lost opportunity and the evidence we have seen this year should help frame next years planning in a positive way.
     
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  20. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The NYMR didn’t run trains over the February half term. By inference are you saying they were wrong not do do so? They used to run on virtually every available school holiday but several years ago made a conscious decision not to run both between Christmas and New year and over February half term. There were good reasons for not doing so, just like there were good reasons for running but the balance was in favour of not.
    Every railway is different and circumstances can change from year to year.
     
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