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Swanage Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    A new festival type event has been announced by the Swanage railway over the August bank holiday. Beer, live music, traction engines, camping, fairground rides. Looks good.

    https://www.swanagerailway.co.uk/events/view/roads-to-rail
     
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  2. DcB

    DcB Member

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    National Cream tea day today.
    Looks like the Swanage Railway (and other railways) is waiting for all restrictions to lift before running dining trains?
    Good to see from Facebook only £5740 to go till the carriage shed target is reached.
     
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  3. biggles200

    biggles200 Member

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    The Kitchen car is up on the NEW jacks outside the goods shed at Swanage and the bogies removed, so it must be a while yet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2021
  4. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Not all railways are waiting for restrictions to lift before running diners - we're on a diner at Strathspey next Friday
     
  5. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    Its not just a mater of the legal restrictions. In deciding when to restart dining services you also need to consider whether customer confidence will be there and the availability of staff. With seating density still reduced even if both the above are available there is a cost/revenue equation that will vary from railway to railway depending on how many of your staff are volunteers.

    Where paid staff are required there is a national shortage of staff in the hospitality sector at the moment as we re-open. Many who were working in these roles have either got other jobs or returned to their country of origin. Higher wages are necessary in a job seekers market.

    There is undoubtedly a business risk for any railway looking to restart these services.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
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  6. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    Is it? Seating density certainly wasn’t reduced on the mainline tour 31806 ran last weekend. Groups of people sat at every table as normal in the TSOs. The attendant also told us there was no need to wear masks while seated, only when standing up and moving around the train.

    Do different rules apply on heritage railways?
     
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  7. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    The rules are the rules everywhere. There are differences in interpretation, enforcement and compliance however. A mainline railtour operator can probably classify their operation like ordinary mainline services where the requirement for distancing is less. I did think masks were necessary on public transport tho?

    I'm not 100% sure but a Heritage Railway probably operates more under tourist attraction rules. A dining train probably under restaurant rules.

    All I can tell you is that I do know Swanage operates closely to HRA guidance for the protection of Staff, Volunteers and Customers. I don't know what others do, but whatever they do, I don't think SR is at liberty to operate to a lower standard. Much as it would be commercially convenient to do so.

    Short answer, Yes Social Distancing still requires reduced seating density.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
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  8. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Page 5 of the Steam Dreams Covid rules seem to imply that is not the case ( or their website is not up to date).
    I understood (despite what the LSL group claim) that charter trains are trains not hospitality under the Governments rules. So a heritage train would have the same rules as a charter or a service train.
    https://www.steamdreams.co.uk/uploads/Safe Travels_SD Covid Promise_May2021.pdf
     
  9. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    Thanks for posting @Gladiator 5076 . This confirms what I thought the situation was.

    Page 6 says
    Face Coverings
    Face coverings are currently mandatory on all trains, except for certain exemptions (see below), when boarding the train, moving around the train or disembarking. You are allowed to remove the face mask when eating or drinking. If you have forgotten to bring face masks with you, we will have masks available to purchase.


    Page 8 says
    On board Socially-distanced seating •
    We have reduced the number of passengers per carriage to allow for social distancing. Each booking party* will be seated on separate tables. • We assume that each booking party represents a household or support bubble and social distancing within the party is not necessary • For example, normally we would seat 6 or 8 passengers per row, over two tables of four seats or one table of two and one table of four seats. These could be from multiple family groups. • With social distancing, each table would be for passengers from one household/family group, we then further enhance this by ensuring there is always at least one empty seat and an aisle dividing each booking party* per row. *a booking party refers to bookings of at least 2 passengers. Single passengers will not always be seated on separate tables
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
  10. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    Has the Carriage Shed Target been met??
     
  11. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan Member

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    How does it work to stop trains running onto the mainline. I know they have spend hundreds of pounds on the diesels that are going to go to the mainline and I was told that one things the electric in them does is put the breaks on if it went by a red signal on to the mainline. But what happens if a swanage train that hasn’t got it did it and if the driver just boofed it passed a signal what would stop it going onto the mainline. How does it work please
     
  12. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    There is a trap point that in the event of the points not being set for the branch would derail the train before it reaches the junction. Trap points are commonly used and protect junctions and sidings in many places around the railway. This is only the ultimate protection however. The main protection is the years of training, assessment, examinitions, medicals, safety management systems, footplate processes in place so that a driver would never 'just boof it pass a signal'.

    Apart from anything else the Fireman / Secondman would prevent this from happening.
    Watch this space. Month is not over yet. Still time to donate!
     
  13. 80104

    80104 Member

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    Perhaps you should mention that Swanage Railway made two paid catering posts redundant October 2020. The posts were occupied by two long serving members of staff. These staff could have been kept on furlough at relatively little cost to the railway (certainly less than paying notice and redundancy pay) and thus would be available when the requirement arose.
     
  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Possibly, though the horizons were somewhat different back then and my vague recollection is that furlough was due to end by year end. The wrong call with hindsight, but at the time the decision was taken?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  15. 80104

    80104 Member

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    Given the well known challenges of recruiting seasonal staff in Swanage over the past few summers (and indeed Swanage Railway's own experience in recruiting staff) deciding to make posts redundant was a strategy with a higher than average risk of "back firing". Furthermore considering how late extensions to the furlough scheme were being decided and announced at the end of a month perhaps the Swanage railway should have waited until the middle of the next month to see what happened. The extension to the furlough scheme had been widely predicted given the situation prevailing at that time.
     
  16. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Surely the bigger question at the moment in a current and post pandemic world is if there is enough capacity in a Mk1 and the small seating area outside to make it a profitable operation. There are a large number of coffee shops and cafes in the town, however quite a few do not last long it seems, so maybe the market is suffering from over capacity.
    I have no idea what the railway's plan maybe going forward with a catering offering.
     
  17. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I have not been in Swanage since an A level field trip more years ago than I care to remember. My observation was purely that company managements - not just in Swanage - have had difficult decisions to make and have often had to make them on partial information.

    I believe that we should cut managements at Swanage and elsewhere a little slack as the longer range impacts of decisions made in good faith are felt.
     
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  18. Mogul

    Mogul Member

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    Without wishing to get dragged in to a difficult conversation where peoples livelihoods are concerned its worth pointing out that as far as I'm aware none of the posts made redundant normally staffed the Dining Train. The Train Chef was retained on furlough as you describe. Last time I visited the coach buffet in swanage still wasn't open due to ongoing restrictions and the chef was staffing a makeshift Tea and Mars bar caff in the entrance hall.

    I'm sure that had everyone known how the pandemic would turn out when it started a lot of things would be done differently but the truth is that like many other railways there was a time when it was difficult to see how the railway could survive it at all. Judging by what I read elsewhere on NP several havent or wont. This has been unprecedented and its really not fair to look back in hindsight and heavily criticize decisions.

    The substantive point however is not around recruitment tho but around the economics of running a partly full dining train. Particularly using paid staff, new or old. The general point I'm making that will apply to all railways is with all costs taken in to account including food costs, on train staff, coal, water, gas, booking office support (which is a scarce resource at the moment where even the service trains are pre-booked and allocated) maintenance and other back office and operational support its not obvious that there is money to be made running dining trains and a good liklyhood that there is money to be lost.

    Everyone is stretched at the moment in every department and every additional type of service run takes from a finite pool and its only sensible that all resources are kept focused on where there is most to be made.

    That is a possible explanation why a lot of railways are being slow to restart their dining services.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2021
  19. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    A bit more than hundreds....:)
     
  20. Josh Voce

    Josh Voce New Member

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    Moving the topic on to more positive news:

    Herston Carriage Shed Appeal Update:
    On 12th March 2021 we launched an appeal to raise £65,000 by the 30th June. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we are very pleased to report that the total at the end of June stands at £69,166.81 exceeding the target by over £4,000!
    We would like to thank every person who has donated to this appeal, your support will now allow us to take the next step towards the construction of the carriage shed over the coming winter.
    Stay tuned for more updates on this in the coming months!
    For more info on the appeal and project to build the Herston Carraige shed you can visit: https://www.swanagerailwaytrust.org/carriage-shed-appeal
    210688262_3995674363814431_8289594827240161670_n.jpg

    Thank you so much to everyone that has donated.
     
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