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Swanage Railway General Discussion

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

  1. 80104

    80104 New Member

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    The map in the consultation document (page 6) seems to suggest that Swanage Railway - a heritage railway - operates services between Swanage and a point near Wareham
     
  2. Jupiter

    Jupiter New Member

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    Looks like it goes fully Swanage to Wareham.
     
  3. DcB

    DcB Member

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    Is the Heart of Wessex service on page 42 "SWR has previously trialled a Special Saturday Service from Salisbury to Weymouth via Yeovil, providing one train in each direction on Saturdays during the summer peak season. Due to the disproportionate cost of running these services that could not be sustained by the revenue they generated, there are no plans to reintroduce this special service in the future." the one that went onto Corfe?
    Presumably will be replaced by a SR Project Wareham to Corfe DMU 90 day service in 2022 if the feasibility study shows it will make enough revenue to be viable?

    On page 13 although leisure journeys dropped 40% during the covid lockdown, SWR predict leisure journeys will be up 5% in 2022 compared to pre covid lockdown levels, which maybe good for Project Wareham?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
  4. 80104

    80104 New Member

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    Yes the Special Saturday Service was the service which went to Corfe Castle. It was extremely competitively priced and carried some good passenger loads.

    One of the "learnings " from the SR Wareham trial service in 2017 was the variability of the loads. The vast majority of the passengers (sorry I dont have the exact numbers) travelled on the first down and the last up. (ie 2 of the 8 journeys operated). The first up and last down were very poorly patronised and the middle pairs carried relatively small numbers.

    Both the revenue and the passenger numbers were influenced by a) the novelty factor of travelling on a service which hadnt operated for 45 years b) that SR premier life members - of which there are C2000+ - travelled free c) that TOC Priv Card holders travelled at a discounted fare d) the novelty of the traction for rail enthusiasts (non steam).

    I would venture to suggest that a trial needs to run for at least 2 if not 3 consecutive years to establish a baseline of revenue and passenger numbers. Some experimentation of timetable / operating days would also be useful.
     
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  5. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    Also not helped by it being Camp Bestival this weekend which I had forgotten about until mentioned by (our late arriving ) Tesco delivery driver.
     
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  6. 80104

    80104 New Member

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    What surprised me most were the signs for Camp Bestival saying "Ignore Sat Nav".
     
  7. Kingston Flyer

    Kingston Flyer New Member

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    That should be standard anyway if you ask me (yes, yes, I know you weren't)

    If my work is anything to go by, getting the now tiring 'the sat-nav took me to other side of the dual carriageway' at least 2 or 3 times a day.

    (I work goods in down here in S. Wales)
     
  8. DcB

    DcB Member

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    Thanks about the Special Saturday Service and wonder why the SWR update did not mention Corfe or Swanage? So if the DMU SR Wareham trial resumes in 2022 no need for it?.
    The novelty factor for life and card holders has probably worn off now? But there are some who will travel from/to Wareham just for leisure, especially if 31806 is occasionally used?
    If in 2017 the first down (to Swanage?) and the last up (to London?) were the busiest seems to indicate the trial was used for day trips from the mainline (as the Wareham station car park is limited).
    To make a leisure day trip valid for a family, the cost perhaps needs to be say from Winchester lower than the £115.80 return (a days car rental is about £70). SWR predict leisure travel will be higher in 2022, and it is in their interest to promote travel by trains rather than cars, so can see them offering lower ticket prices, but will the part payments to SR make it viable for the DMU service?
    However there is also scope for adding in offers for Corfe castle and the model village to make a day trip by train attractive?
    There is also scope for boosting longer stays, so train "tourists" leave London and arrive Swanage midday, stay a few days and return mid day, which will help boost the relatively small numbers seen mid day? Possible the one carriage class 121 might be sufficient mid day?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
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  9. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    There are a couple of problems I see with that theory
    1) Any long term "special fare" either through to Swanage or just to Wareham undercuts the regular network fare. Hence SWR (which I think under the post franchise deal means the government) get a reduced fare box as once people find out they will buy a Swanage/ Wareham ticket as long as it is cheaper, which could mean anywhere west of Bournemouth?
    2) There maybe a few who would use it for multi day stays but most places have a 15:00 check in at the earliest and a morning checkout. No guarantee guest houses etc will store your luggage (hotels probably would) so may not help with making midday trains any busier. If I had planned to come by train I would be looking to arrive around 1500-1600 and leave probably on the first one in the morning.
    3) Not sure car rental is a valid issue as very few would hire a car for one day unless they were going a long distance. If you have hired a car for a holiday it is the same issue as owning one, you are in fact paying twice, once for a vehicle you will leave in a car park all day.
     
  10. DcB

    DcB Member

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    Good to see on the webcam the DMU testing again today.
    In a way for some might grate it is a "sixties" train whereas they want a "fifites" style railway?
    Also the 563 loco overhaul is making progress, but will be a Victorian era loco?
    I see some progress with Mk1 carriage maintenance which is good. For historic carriages the Maunsell design is easy to spot, but the Bulleid carriages looks very similar to Mk1s (are any Bulleid carriages in regular service? Also is the website entry for SR 5761 a mistake as it should be a Bulleid?
    https://www.swanagerailway.co.uk/locomotives-stock/sr-6699-maunsell-bck-then-spray-coach-built-1935
     
  11. DcB

    DcB Member

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    Interesting points, for car rental thinking of families without cars taking day trips? Car rental clubs are on the increase.
     
  12. oliversbest

    oliversbest New Member

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  13. oliversbest

    oliversbest New Member

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    i for one will be happy to step off the train in Wareham and wait for a few minutes until a Swanage bound railway vehicle of ANY era rolls up to take me there!
     
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  14. 80104

    80104 New Member

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    A few points by way of reply. I have not copied the original post as it covers quite a few postings.

    1. The idea of weekends / long weekends to Corfe Castle / Swanage by rail has some appeal but that market requires the Wareham service to operate on Fridays (it didnt in the 2017 trial) and preferably Mondays (it didnt in the 2017 trial). There has been discussion earlier in the thread about the resource issues of operating to / from Wareham seven days a week.
    2. Return tickets used for this purpose self evidently would have to be period returns ie not day returns. A new fare would have to be created to allow for this. Current SR return fares are afaik day returns only.
    3. From observation, whilst some of the trial passengers (using the first down, last up) came by rail, some also came by bus (presumably those with an ENCTS pass) and some came by car. The capacity at Wareham Car Park (and surrounding roads) was not an issue on Saturdays and Sundays.
    4) Coming to agreement with third parties over joint ticketing / discounted prices is difficult but not impossible. The first question is always "what is in it for me" followed by "how can I be sure I will be better off overall". The reality is that these schemes rarely work to the satisfaction of all, some have very little uptake though some, if the offer is generous, are counter productive. As I have explained earlier new revenue has to exceed the losses by discounting on existing revenue. Many operators are fearful of such schemes because of the problems which can arise.
    5) The Dorset Residents BOGOF week (usually in April not Easter) is promoted by Dorset Council quite extensively. Despite this uptake is always relatively low indicating that even such a generous offer achieves comparatively little out of season.
    6) The National Trust (owners of Corfe Castle - the castle) have always been reluctant to get involved in discount admission schemes. Their business model is selling membership not encouraging walk up admissions. Furthermore if the walk up admission is cheaper then it works against the membership model whose selling point is "if you make more than x visits per annum, membership is cheaper than buying admissions". They do not seem to say this quite as explicitly as they used to now focusing on the protecting for future generations message but it still holds true.
    7) The product I would like to see, and I think could have good uptake if marketed well, is a Purbeck Explorer. Unlimited use of Purbeck Breezer, Swanage Railway and City Cruise Boats ( between Poole and Swanage) for 3 days or 7 days. It would require though all parties to be aggressive in their discounting. I think this would require DC and STC to get every one around a table and knock heads together to make it happen.
     
  15. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody New Member

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    When I was at Swanage last Saturday, I am pretty certain that Bulleid CK 5761 was in one of the two 5 coach sets.
    I am at Corfe tomorrow so I will keep a lookout, I can tell the difference between a Bulleid and MK1.
     
  16. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    The Bullied coach is behind the Mk 1 from the dining set (at least it was yesterday).
     
  17. biggles200

    biggles200 Member

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    I always thought that the Wareham service was primary for locals. For example would someone living in Harmans Cross find an real advantage in leaving his car at home and not using the car park at Wareham Station. Harman's Cross bus services are somewhat limited. Passengers are not always enthusiasts and some actually wish to use the railways as they were intended - a means of transport.
     
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  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    If there was any demand for such services, it could be provided far more cheaply - and conveniently - by bus.

    Tom
     
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  19. 80104

    80104 New Member

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    AFAIK bus services through Harmans Cross ceased some time ago. The routing between Corfe Castle and Swanage being via Kingston and Langton Matravers. Morebus choosing this routing as demand is higher than via Harmans Cross.

    I would be very surprised if there is more than a handful of people who live in Harmans Cross who do not have use of a car.
     
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  20. DcB

    DcB Member

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    Noticed in my google news feed There is a survey of Dorset bus routes, ideally this will take into account trains from Wareham to Corfe might start 2022, and the bus and train services will be commentary rather than completing, even though the mainline trains are run by First and buses Go-Ahead companies?
    https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/yo...on/-/ddl_display/ddl/1267518/279856/maximized
    Do you mean someone in Harmans Cross, rather than driving to the the car park at Wareham Station and using the train to go further, say London, might use the reinstated Swanage to Wareham line?
    But the emphasis from the Purbeck Community Rail Partnership seems to be promoting tourism to the area rather than local residents visiting other parts of the UK?
    https://purbeckcrp.org.uk/harmans-cross-railway-station-in-purbeck/
    "Harmans Cross makes a great starting point for exploring the Purbeck countryside, why not walk or cycle from here.
    There are footpaths south to the stunning Jurassic Coastline, the Portland stone mining areas, to Corfe and to Swanage. Local camp sites provide the ideal place to stay, our trains run frequently in both directions so you can explore further what the Purbecks have to offer"
     

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