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Swanage Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Rumpole, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    One of the (many) things that have plagued this country (and other countries) is “What do experts know” from politicians (and others).
     
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  2. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    Common definition of Expert.
    Ex is a Hasbeen and a Spurt is a Drip under pressure.
     
  3. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Other politicians? :cool:
     
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  4. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Interesting to see in the new Railway Magazine that the Swanage is to have a review of structure & governance
     
  5. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b Member Friend

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    Interesting to note that you are obviously not a member of Swanrail. This was made clear to its members some time back. A forward looking organisation changing with the times.
     
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  6. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    Wareham station isn’t that far from the town, it’s 15 minutes at most from the Quay

    But how far is it from the shops if you've got to carry bags and cope with buggies?
     
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  7. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    I think the point is not so much to link Swanage to Wareham by rail but to link Swanage to the RAIL NETWORK. Enabling anyone traveling to or from Swanage to palces further afield. Wareham is only the station where you change trains.
     
  8. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Just as my late relative related. However this sort of use was not enough to keep the line in being in the past and is now, I fear, a piece of expensive wishful thinking on the part of politicians and enthusiasts.
     
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  9. 5801

    5801 New Member

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    We know you know that, and everybody else is living a fantasy. You've said it so many times it must be true.

    But the past, as far as the Swanage branch is concerned, was nearly fifty years ago. As travelling long distances by car for pleasure becomes ever more difficult and unpleasant, don't you think it might be worth giving this venture the chance to prove itself? I for one would not contemplate a day trip from London to Swanage using the car, but certainly would do by train, and did during the 2017 trial.

    I hope and expect that some form of service linking Swanage with the rest of the world, via a single change of train, will be popular and viable.
     
  10. Colin Morgan

    Colin Morgan New Member

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    You could not be more wrong. The closure of the service to Wareham was strongly resisted by the local community and local councils for several years because of its importance to the local community and it was not on the list of lines included in the Beeching Report for closure, although reportedly it was on the list put forward for his consideration. Within a few years of closure, the reopening became included in Dorset County Council's Transport Policy. Money has been spent on more than one consultants' reports to confirm the business case and the Strategic Rail Authority was putting together a multi million pound package which was lost when it was prematurely abolished.
    The road network in Purbeck is very poor and the environmental and cost constraints are far too great for any significant boost in capacity. The latest figures from Public Health England for road crash casualties shows Purbeck has the highest rate in England. Cutting that figure by only a small number will alone have an economic benefit greater than the cost of achieving the full out come of Swanage Railway's aspirations.
    I cannot understand why the distance from Wareham Station to Wareham Quay is seen as a reason to think no one would travel from stations on the Swanage Branch to get to Wareham. The River Frome, on which the Quay sits marks the southernmost boundary of the town. Most of the population of Wareham live, and all of the industrial estates are within 5-10 minutes walk of the station. Wareham is a relatively compact town, picking on the bits of the town that are furthest away from the station to argue it shows that a new train service is useless not only raises the question of why SWR stops any trains there but appears to destroy the case for a most of the railway stations anywhere.
    What seems to upset the cynics is the large scale involvement of both the local community and of railway enthusiasts in demonstrating that how wrong they are about who can deliver major improvements to our services independent of government and big business.
     
  11. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    The thing which keeps "heritage" railways going is not the income from the relatively high fares but the takings from cafes and gift shops. It is a classic piece of wishful thinking to refer to a "single" change of train. Most people will have either a substantial walk or will need to use a car or bus to get to a station, even if, by chance, that station does have a direct service to Wareham. Young children come with pushchairs, changes of clothes and so on, which people have become used to taking with them. These are "normals" and not gricers or politicians.
     
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  12. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Just go to Norden and park there then. I am fully in favour of that.

    People who prepare reports have a very human tendency to come to conclusions which they think, often subconsciously, are likely to suit the person(s) commissioning the report.
     
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  13. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    -Now who's talking nonsense? This type of secondary spend is very sensitive to the prevailing economic climate, and it is all too easy to lose money if employing staff. Last year the NYMR reported increased turnover in fares but decreased secondary spend, the implication being that people were happy to pay for the ride but brought their own sandwiches etc rather than buying them. If the NYMR were reliant on this income it would be in trouble now and plainly it is not.

    What keeps most railways afloat is membership income and donations from members towards the heritage aspect of the railway and if the proposed public services on the Swanage branch threaten the heritage service in any way there is a real danger those donations may dry up.
     
  14. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    To be equally blunt, you are. Now let's return to civility.

    The NYMR is "thread drift" However, it ought to be said that their full adult return fare is £33 with a 2 adults 2 children joint ticket at £68. It would not be surprising if budgets were being stretched.
     
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  15. 2392

    2392 Member

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    Now, now Children. Enough bickering....... There are multiple ways of financing "heritage railways" up and down the land. Not all of which necessarily involve the use of multiple little paper promises [i.e. bank notes/money], granted they prove useful in the grand scheme of things....................
     
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  16. Adam-Box

    Adam-Box New Member

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    The point of mentioning the quay in my post was that it was the furthest anyone would go, and it was even then still no a long way from the station, but yes most people won’t go even that far.
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Surely the purpose of the service isn't so that people in Swanage can visit Wareham; it is that people further afield can visit Swanage. So all that matters is that there is an interchange; the proximity of that interchange to anywhere within Wareham itself is irrelevant. That's not a guarantor of success, but surely it is important to recognise that it isn't the location of the interchange that is going to make or break the service, but other factors such as service frequency, price and reliability.

    If you are travelling with toddlers then yes (though increasingly people use baby carriers now rather than buggies when going out and about). But if you are travelling with children slightly older, you travel with less stuff and the train may be preferable in some instances than a hot car stuck in a traffic jam. Clearly you don't want to do multiple changes, but there are plenty of people in the Basingstoke / Winchester / Southampton / Bournemouth corridor for whom a day at the beach by train may be more attractive than crawling along the A31 / A351.

    Tom
     
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  18. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    Just my opinion, but you seem to be describing a social need for the service as well as an economic one. This has already been recognised by a government grant, but the question is really whether the service can stand on its own in the future, with enough use. I suspect that it may be harder to gain government support/subsidy for continuing the service than it was to initiate it.

    Regards

    Matt
     
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  19. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    To be equally blunt, you are. Now let's return to civility.

    The NYMR is "thread drift" However, it ought to be said that their full adult return fare is £33 with a 2 adults 2 children joint ticket at £68. It would not be surprising if budgets were being stretched.

    I have run my own railway in the past, as co-owner, at the opposite end of the scale (Fairbourne) so I am well aware of the vicissitudes of coaxing people to part with their money and the ease with which chasing secondary spend can become an expensive nightmare. Can you claim to have the same practical experience? The problem is that overheads are constant, takings may fluctuate widely down to factors as simple as weather. The fact that the same problem of people looking to avoid unnecessary spend can be seen at opposite ends of the business spectrum suggests that is widespread. I repeat, you are wrong to assert that "The thing which keeps "heritage" railways going is not the income from the relatively high fares but the takings from cafes and gift shops.", if you believe that you are seriously deluded.
     
  20. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    I would think that Fairbourne - given its exposed and isolated location is far more susceptible to weather than than larger heritage railways which have so much more to offer and is certainly not a valid comparison. If you think that it is, then I think that you are the one who is "seriously deluded"

    We used to own a house nearby and sometimes visited it on wet and windy days - because there wasn't much else to do - and we were frequently the only people on the train.
     
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