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Swanage Railway General Discussion

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

  1. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Dammit man ..... Faceache IS the dark! :Rage:
     
  2. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody Member

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    Very sorry to learn that the Mk1 coaches did not come up to your expectations! Though I guess that comment was totally expected!
    On July 7th this year, Along with my friend Richard Courage who lives in Abbotsford BC, (Altheny of this parish) Having purchased tickets to travel, we both sat on a seat on the platform enjoying a cup of tea
    obtained from the kiosk in the booking hall, before taking a round trip to Norden and back. The only gripe I had that day and nothing to do with the Swanage Railway, was having to pay £4.25 to park the car in the main car park.
    The last time I looked from Corfe Castle signalbox, The birds nest Buffet was situated in the cattle dock adjacent to the museum and certainly not in any coal yard!
    It should be remembered that like all Heritage lines, The Swanage Railway relies on volunteers to operate, from footplate crews Signalmen booking offices Porters or catering staff.
     
  3. athelney

    athelney Member

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    Thanks Andrew , yes we even had a sandwich with our tea , very enjoyable day , chatting with volunteers also on the platform ...I was very happy to take a ride behind steam { not possible very much in Canada these days }. So no complaints from this Canadian { ex UK } .. I left when I was 26 , Canada is great but enjoy my trips to the old country. ..and will visit Swanage again when I visit next time .
     
  4. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    One person's impression of somewhere does not invalidate another's. What you need to determine is which represents the majority view.
     
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  5. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    However past experience of one person's reputation for having a dogmatically outlying point of view that doesn't agree with most other people who have visited the railway, nor consider many wider issues around and external to the railway, does tend to colour one's viewpoint a bit!
     
  6. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    I visited on Tuesday joining the 10.40 from Norden for a round trip.

    I wasnt over impressed by the MK1's but the cafe at Norden was open where I had a good cup of coffee & my son bought a crunchie.

    Staff were great and we went back on the Royal Wessex, in exchange for a donation

    So yes brief but very nice
     
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  7. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    There would be extra income from Dining trains and events, also the Flying Scotsman visit.
    But there will be extra costs including coal.
    So far the 3 main projects, loco overhauls, carriage shed and Wareham project trial (for 2023) are continuing as planned, or at least no announcements of delays or extra fundraising?

    The Wareham project has its own thread, so far off peak leisure travel on SWR has held up, which may be a good sign.
     
  8. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    That's why he went on 'Ignore'. Too many pixels being tortured to no good purpose. :rolleyes:
    Pat
     
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  9. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    True, but there have been less dining trains this year and the costs of FS are high, which of course leads to a high ticket price for a 1 hour round trip.
    Not sure how they are selling, but received an email today offering up to 20% of the lights trains if you book by October 6th. Which to me implies cash now is worth more than the extra 20% later.
    A very tough time for all HR lines over the winter months I feel.
     
  10. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Not quite all as 2022 has not been universally poor. However, we can only guess at next year.
     
  11. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree that 2022 has brought out the best of creative thinking on some railways and not others.

    Where the Swanage Railway scores is its location, the length of its line, its main line connection and the fact that the station at Swanage is actually close to the sea. The fact that the station footprint is cramped for what the railway would probably like to do is their problem to manage and where some creative development might be beneficial.

    It is a good line, none the less.
     
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  12. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    Sorry,looking at it from the pov of a family punter.Yes of course the steam experience is great but why does he have to pay very good money to sit on disintegrated fabric.Did not see that on the Severn Valley.If the Buffett at Corfe is not open on days when the platforms were exceedingly busy,added to the absence of catering at Swanage then they are wasted assets
     
  13. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    You have a solution?
    This country cannot get enough paid employees for the hospitality industry, so what do you suggest to get volunteer staff to fill the roles at these locations?
    Some form of retiree conscription for the residents of Swanage and Corfe?:Caffeinefix:
     
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  14. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    I agree with everything highlighted save the mainline connection. These IMHO are largely WIBN. In 2021 there was no interchange at Smallbrook because of the Island Line renewal. This did not prevent the IOWSR having it's most lucrative year ever.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2022
  15. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    From a visitor that arrives by car then we do not normally stop at Corfe, we usually go from Norden to Swanage, spend the day at Swanage and return to Norden so if we but refreshments it is likely to be a drink or an ice cream at Sawange or Norden or we have been known on certain railways to buy such things on the train. We also notice and appreciate cleanliness and state of coach interior, in fact uncomfortable and tatty seats deter us from returning. There are certainly railwayscwe make an effort to visit because they have nice clean and reasonably comfortable carriages and this in turn actually makes us inclined to spend in the shops and hot drinks and ice creams. Despite the shortage of catering workers some railways seem to manage to have some catering and open shops.
     
  16. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    I understand. I will say though that I have visited the Swanage on three occasions over the last 10years roughly.. I applaud the work done by everyone there and genuinely wish them well, but to be completely honest I am in no hurry to visit again and I think as a visitor experience it has little to recommend it compared with other railways in the South.
    Mainline connection can provide opportunities that are difficult to obtain without them. Visiting locomotives (especially diesels), track maintenance machines, training for the mainline, stock storage and to a far lesser extent in terms of economic advantage, railtours are all examples. There is a tiny nber of railways (perhaps only the NYMR) where the connection is a revenue generator worth having, and their circumstances are very particular.

    I have said it before, and will again, I cannot see how the operation of services to Wareham will be in the best interests of the Swanage.
     
  17. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b Member Friend

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    I struggle to understand your dismissive valuation.

    You park at Norden (a Dorset Council facility) then enjoy the free Purbeck mining and mineral museum, catch the train to Corfe whilst taking in the views of the castle, alight at Corfe enjoy the free railway museum and soak up the ambiance of the station, pull a few levers in the former upside signal room, now signal museum.

    Enjoy a slice of cake and a cup of tea from the buffet car in the restored cattle dock road. You may want to visit the very well stocked book wagon.

    Possibly take a walk around Corfe and enjoy the towns free museum.

    Take the train to Swanage, that's after you have taken a look at the gallery and pottery on the down side that was the former dairy. Oh, that's free as well.

    On your journey south enjoy the vista, the trackside is very clear so views of open countryside are available. Wave to the numerous campers at sites along the way, its almost like being a kid again, waving to people waving at trains.

    If you do not alight at Harmans Cross you will be transported to Swanage, where you can enjoy an original Southern Railway terminus that happily retains the towns transport hub of trains, bus and Taxi.

    Swanage, what can I say, a beautiful seaside town.

    On another day, its pissing down with rain, the mining museum is shut, the buffet is closed, the book wagon is shut (all because of the lack of volunteers) and you may sit in a coach that is just about go into the shops for refurbishment.

    Its not a perfect world, I had a particularly crap day on the Severn Valley on 21st February 2018, cold, no steam heat, late running had to pay full fare for half a service etc

    All heritage lines when they are good they are brilliant, the trouble is, the bad days are unforgettable
     
  18. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    The main line connection has value if the SR can work out how it will provide a shuttle connection onto the line without getting in the way of normal services. The issue will be the interchange arrangements for which space is limited.

    There is then the charter business that can be lucrative but as I have already said is a major disruption at Swanage itself where there just isn't the space to handle long trains.

    I think that the SR could usefully compare notes with the West Somerset Railway where there is also a main line connection and there remains a desire to possibly run shuttles between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard. The big difference is that the WSR has space at Minehead and also at BL to manage a charter and a shuttle, if ever such an idea came to pass.

    The SR has neither of these advantages. I sense that things would become more straightforward if the track layout could be tweaked but I've not picked up any desire to do that.

    As an aside, remember that the Mid Hants has also been thinking about long trains with its track development at Alresford. So there are plenty of other set-ups to compare notes with.
     
  19. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    I have to admit to being surprised by your assessment. The scenery is most attractive, the gradients are sufficiently steep to make even a Bulleid Pacific grunt a bit on a five coach train, the three steam locos currently in use are all first rate locos most appropriate to the line and Corfe Castle is a gem of a station. If you like making a day of it i.e., having a ride on the train and taking some pictures, there are plenty of easily accessible bridges and other lineside shots. What's there not to like?
     
  20. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    The 2017 trial showed SR trains can co work with mainline trains at Wareham.
    The 2023 trial, if it goes ahead will enable leisure daytrip passengers from London, Woking, Basingstoke, Southampton, etc with an easy connection to Corfe or Swanage. Will work best if promoted by SWR, who seem to want to increase off peak travel. The 563 and maybe M7 locos in LSWR livery will also provide an interest to the current 50s BR era.

    The water tower project will enable longer platforms at Swanage, maybe not 10 coaches, but enough for viable charters. Next infrastructure project after the carriage shed, which hopefully will proceed?.
     

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