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Swanage Railway General Discussion

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

  1. DcB

    DcB Member

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    I see the Steam and Lights train tickets are on sale, bit cheaper than MHR for a table for 4, but MHR are also selling a table for 2 (at £48), whereas SR are selling only tables for 4 at £85, sadly a lot of comments on FB from people finding £85 just for 2 people, or adult plus child, too expensive!
     
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  2. Jupiter

    Jupiter New Member

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    Ah, ok, are you saying that the evening DMU won’t be available for paying members of the general public? I was under a misapprehension if so, apologies.
     
  3. 80104

    80104 New Member

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    I am sorry but I just do not know for sure.

    It isnt on the timetable on the public website which suggests it isnt available for the general public.
     
  4. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    The issue is of course what is the railway supposed to do? Last year the trains were six coaches, I think 5 TSO's and a half brake.
    So if you disregard the half brake for ease of working (although I am sure some compartments will be sold) you get 5 x 64 at £21.25 per pax = £6800 per train.
    Whatever you do to "reduce" that £85 if only two use the table comes straight off the bottom line. So why would the railway knowingly decide to forego that revenue. If every table was only 2 (unlikely I know) you end up loosing £3400.
    Do people want two for a Covid reason, or just because they do not want to share.
    Without knowing what stock the MHR has not sure why they would do it either.
    If you want a table for 2 in Standard on a mainline tour then you have to book all 4 sets to achieve that.
     
  5. DcB

    DcB Member

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    The comments are from single parents or grandparents with a single child (with limited means? So say they cant afford to book this year). Whereas previously individual tickets were available (allowing sharing of tables) and some railways are still doing it. This year the SR has decided to maximise the use of 4 seat tables. In some ways understandable to maximise income after a difficult year and meet social distancing. But to some some potential passengers who have previously used the Christmas train seems unfair.
    So far there has been no reply from the SR on FB.
    The MHR seems to understand this by offering some tables at 2 seat prices.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2021
  6. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Which suggests a difficult trade-off between short term income and long run goodwill, compounded by very different views from different people on the risks of social mixing. I don't envy anyone trying to manage that balance.
     
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  7. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester Member

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    2 seat prices are probably offered in coaches where there are tables with two seats (an SO for example, if I'm not mistaken?)

    Edit to continue: I know the MHR has some such coaching stock, but having not been to Swanage, I can't comment for them.
     
  8. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    To my knowledge the railway only as the First Opens from the dining set (one currently in use on Set B) that have any quantity of tables for 2. But of course an FO only has 42 seats compared to 64, so that again trashes your business model unless it is felt that you can significantly increase the price for a table for 4 a First Class Seat and I have a suitable increase on the individual price for the two people in a table of 2.
    I echo the comments from 35B, it is a tough year, it all went wrong at the end last year due to Covid levels and if like me you believe that by December some sort of controls may well have to be back in place, then not having "mixed groups" on a table may help with changes cancellations and all the extra work that goes with that.
    Who knows what is right, but it seems a good call to me.
    So Facebook may be unhappy, but then every form of media is unhappy about Ryanair yet pre Covid they were majorly successful. I am of course not suggesting that the SR should have a reputation akin to O'Dreary Airways.
     
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  9. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    With all restrictions supposedly lifted, why does the Swanage Railway feel the need to only sell these tickets per table, and not individually?
     
  10. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I suspect that many lines are taking a cautious approach, the idea of a 'circuit breaker' lockdown over October half term has been discussed
     
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  11. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Restrictions may be lifted but COVID is still very much around. Yes we have high vaccine rates but we also have high case rates and many (myself included) feel it is better to take a cautious approach for the foreseeable future. I am certainly more likely to spend money at attractions that at least look on the face of it that they are not pretending everything is back to pre-COVID normal, because it certainly isn't. Combine that with the fact that these trains will be in the winter when all logic and science suggests there will probably be an uptick in respiratory diseases like COVID, and the idea of being cautious makes a hell of a lot of sense.
     
  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think what the Government rules are is almost secondary: what really matters is the risk tolerance of passengers. My sense is that many (not all) heritage railway passengers are still somewhat cautious about close proximity to large numbers of other people. So even if it isn’t mandated, the “reserved table / compartment” model we have got used to may be a preference for a while yet.

    Tom
     
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  13. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Agreed. As in most spheres of life - a colleague was asking very probing questions recently about numbers and behaviours ahead of a trip to the office.
     
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  14. DcB

    DcB Member

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    The people posting on Facebook are people who are also going through hard times.
    A single mother saying they could not afford £85 for herself and disabled son posting after she unsuccessfully called the railway, the reply was "I'll check this out with the Passenger Services Manager" Hopefully some exception will be made.
    To another person The SR reply was
    "it's different from last year then. Hope you can find 2 people to go with you [​IMG]"
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2021
  15. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I have a colleague who has a compromised immune system who is equally concerned. From my point of view I err on the side of caution because I am not prepared to potentially put them at risk.
     
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  16. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    Perhaps a combined model could be used to keep everyone happy. Offer bookings on 2 or 3 coaches on a per table basis. Then offer bookings on the other 2 or 3 coaches on an individual ticket basis, on the understanding you might be seated with other groups of people.
     
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  17. 80104

    80104 New Member

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    Yes it is running Friday and Saturday night and is available to all. I posted a question on the SR Facebook page and they have put up a post with the times etc. Unfortunately the information isnt showing on the Swanage Railway website.
     
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  18. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    Since the comparison has been made and questioned I can tell you the reasoning behind the Watercress Line offering both 2 and 4 seat table options, but not because I am in any way questioning or commenting on arrangements at other railways.

    The decision to offer both tables for 2 and tables for 4 was in part driven by a desire to ensure that we could implement the same covid precautions as last year, this year. Exactly how much of that set of precautions will be required remains to be seen and to be defined by government. By having the same pattern of seating as last year, and with the fact that the covid screens were never removed, we can implement our full set of social distancing precautions without having to disrupt anyone's booking. It was also felt that the lower density of passengers made for a nicer experience on our service regardless of covid. The events run by SR and the Watercress Line are really quite different, and so what works for us wouldn't necessarily work for the SR or be necessary.
     
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  19. Windsor branch line

    Windsor branch line New Member

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    It isnt on the timetable on the public website which suggests it isnt available for the general public.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2021
  20. DcB

    DcB Member

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    Thanks for the insight at the MHR.
    Hopefully the cash strapped single parents wanting to visit the SR with their child again this December will find others willing to pay to make up 4 at a table before all the tickets are sold.

    Can anyone confirm yesterday was the last time the DMU will be used for 2021?
     

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