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SVR General Discussion

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

  1. lostlogin

    lostlogin Member

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    The NYMR is not starting regular running until 27th March. Not opening up for just a week at half term is understandable, especially if the NYMR's main market is tourists staying one night or more rather than day trippers. If the NYMR decided to open up the weekend after half term finished then I might be scratching my head.

    I can understand that a tourist attraction might in the February half term think they cannot attract enough visitors to make it worth opening. I am just surprised that if they take that view re half term they think a week later they think they can attract visitors in sufficient numbers. It is the not opening for half term but then opening up the weekend immediately afterwards that, to my mind, looks odd.
     
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  2. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The NYMR makes the right choice not opening at half term, like you say. There's also the fact they usually do a substantial amount of track replacement between Christmas and Easter, so they plenty of time to get it done without having to be too worried about being hampered by the weather.

    Other lines are shorter and less remote, so can get away with splitting up track maintenance and doing it before and after half term. KESR for example have 6 weeks either side of half term with no trains running (except Mother's Day) before reopening fully in April. Other lines seem to be doing similar. The SVR's approach does seem to be exception, waiting until just after a potentially money-making week to reopen.
     
  3. jon5051

    jon5051 Member

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    Not making a comment on whether right or wrong, but just pointing out that the GWSR (I suppose the closest similar length line etc?) also appear to be doing the same.
     
  4. MikeParkin65

    MikeParkin65 Member Friend

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    We visited the Black Country Museum on Friday last week - absolutely heaving with families. Had been busy all week - even sold out of fish and chips! Do think the SVR has missed an opportunity to put itself on the map for the year - in fact all of the pre season publicity has been negative so far. Nothing sells steam train rides better than running steam trains and being known for doing so.
     
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  5. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line Member

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    It does seem those that did run at half term were quite busy.
     
  6. 80104

    80104 Member

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    Given that the admission to Black Country Museum allows free return visits then that could of course continue to have an impact on SVR throughout the season.

    What does concern me about many heritage railways is that they appear to make very little attempt to analyse ticket sales, passenger behaviour etc etc or to try and investigate for example any relationship between ticket prices, frequency of service and passenger numbers.
     
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  7. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Apart from on here and perhaps other enthusiast sites where has the publicity been negative?
    Maybe there have been negative stories in local Midlands papers but no one has posted a link to any.
     
  8. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    There has been some negative news in the local papers - https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/23329741.severn-valley-railway-announces-redundancies/

    However, it’s not all doom and gloom as suggested as there are also promotional stories such as -
    https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/new...-offering-free-severn-valley-railway-tickets/

    https://www.expressandstar.com/ente...ll-step-back-into-the-1940s-as-event-returns/

    https://www.kidderminstershuttle.co...-appearing-severn-valley-railways-steam-gala/
     
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  9. 80104

    80104 Member

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    Assessing whether a "negative" story is truly "negative" in the long run can be quite difficult.

    If such a story alerts the general public that something they "love" is threatened (directly or indirectly) it can result in increased patronage and /or donations / legacies / offers of help etc etc.
     
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  10. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Taw Valley in "shiny black" livery reflecting wartime....shurly shome mishtake. :D:D
     
  11. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Don’t call me Shirley ;)
     
  12. D1002

    D1002 Resident of Nat Pres

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    From Severn Valley Twitter:
    Unveiling SR West Country Class 21C127 'Taw Valley' in its new black livery, ready for the 2023 season to begin!

    BB74A0C2-F4E5-47C3-A6AB-746C38EE793E.png
     
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  13. D1039

    D1039 Guest

    Last time?

    I'm in newsletter mode and when reading something unrelated, this popped into my mind.

    The last time the SVR opened in February in 2020 adverse weather (Storm Dennis and flooding) coincided with engineering work that closed part of the line (repairs to Falling Sands Viaduct), which in turn meant a "consequent 75% drop in passengers in our first weeks of operation". Not an exact match in circumstances, but the risks at this time of year of adverse weather, and incurring financial loss, are real and present.

    (To emphasise, I've no opinion whether they should have opened or not).
     
  14. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    That was an interesting one why that did so badly albeit , does it show the value of Kidderminster as a start point , NR connection and massive car park . Feb 20 was also just before covid so whether that was starting to play on people is probably lost in the midst of time .
     
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  15. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Would I be right in thinking that most of the business comes from the Kidderminster end though?
    As someone who grew up outside Dudley despite it being roughly the same distance from there to either end of the line Kidderminster is way easier to get to than Bridgnorth via public transport, if Falling Sands viaduct was having work done and that section of line was closed that would account for a significant drop in numbers at that time.
     
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  16. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    It’s called marketing, something most heritage railways are not very good at, the world of social media seems to have passed them by. Some are lucky in having free advertising and publicity fall in their lap, the NYMR and K&WVR have taken full advantage the opportunities offered by Heartbeat and The Railway Children respectively. Others just have to take every opportunity to get their name out there, it means keeping in touch with local press and radio along with postings on Facebook and other social media. Piggyback advertising with other local attractions can also work, the NT property near Bridgnorth comes to mind, I went there a few years ago with my wife, nothing anywhere to be seen that the SVR even existed
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2023
  17. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’m not sure if the SVR analyse how their visitors get to the line, if they don’t they should, but I’ve no doubt that the vast majority would not arrive by public transport.
     
  18. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    John, not all us drive plus some of us like to partake off of a little drop of something every now and again so driving wouldn’t exactly be responsible.

    I remember the one Friday of the Diesel Gala in about 2008/9 I’d arrived at work early and picked my wages up, had a bit of a chat with Mr Batham then just over an hour later I was having a pint in The Harbour at Arley.
    All by using public transport.
    From my my own experience I’ve seen how many people use the train to get to Kiddy, I don’t know the exact numbers but I’d say it’s a lot more than you think.
     
  19. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    I didn’t say everyone had access to a car but I’m fairly certain that the majority will not arrive by train, especially the ones they rely on the most, the family group. Statistics would be useful, it could lead to through ticketing with perhaps a bit of free advertising at stations as it would bring in more business to the TOC that serves Kiddy.
     
  20. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    There is through ticketing to Kidderminster though. I’ve used it several times myself as have several of my friends.
     

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