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Swanage Railway General Discussion

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

  1. 007

    007 Member

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    Well SR / SLL have an incredibly close working relationship now. This isn't the fault of SLL btw.
     
  2. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    Does look like SSL will have 4 locos earning revenue next year with 2 at SR and 2 at the Spa Valley Railway.
    And a potential fifth revenue earning loco based at SR if 80104 finishes its overhaul in Birmingham. From the SSL update, https://www.southern-locomotives.co.uk/News/news.html problems have been identified which requires an extra £20,000 to be raised.

    From the reports on 563,
    https://563locomotivegroup.co.uk/
    which will become SR's first fully owned steam loco, SR still need to find an extra £150,000 to get 563 running as a priority for 2023. It does not seem clear if this fundraising will have an impact on other SR ongoing projects?.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2022
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  3. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    The SLL shareholder letter has this to say about this specific change:

    That suggests mature partnership working between the two organisations.


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  4. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    Realising and sweating their assets.

    Whats the point in paying 500k towards an overhaul of an asset for it to sit on the shelf not earning the money already spent on it.
    Remove the emotional aspect and ultimately a steam/ diesel engine, carriages are just items of plant. So SLL are a plant machinery company that have to make their assets work. Be it Swanage, TWERPS or any other business that has a requirement for their type of machinery.
     
  5. Simon Smith

    Simon Smith New Member

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    Interesting that a railway in such a rich tourist hot spot is seeing such declining passenger numbers, doesn't leave a lot of hope for the inland railways?
     
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  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Who knows, inland railways might have a somewhat different clientele?

    I think the railways that will weather the next couple of years best will be those with considerable diversity in their income streams, rather than being very reliant on one core segment of the market.

    Tom
     
  7. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    I am inclined to think many 'inland railways' are the major attraction in their area, and therefore almost certainly on the 'to do' list for tourists in that area. While seaside railways are probably not the major attraction for that area and therefore less likely to be on someone 'to do' list. That's not to say seaside railways are any better or worse than inland ones, just that they have more competition.
     
  8. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Is it in such a “rich tourist hot spot” though? I’d be interested to know how the local tourist economy is doing, and what is happening to visitor numbers generally before making any conclusions about whether the SR is over or under performing.


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  9. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    :rolleyes:
     
  10. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    That’s likely to be offset by the fact that the seaside lines have a much larger number of tourists and therefore potential visitors in the area.
     
  11. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert on the tourist trade in Dorset, or Swanage in particular, but if a resort attracts a lot of "returners" - people who revisit the same place year after year, or has a large amount of privately owned static caravans, then even if the tourist trade is thriving it doesn't mean that they will visit the railway every year. Many will say "We've done that" and see no reason to revisit (and it's not only railways that are affected by this) and this can lead to a drop off in visitor numbers. This seems to have been a pattern observable in other areas, such as mid-Wales. Tom's comment above about having a variety of income streams seems to me to be very relevant, but obviously does require to have an appropriate clientele available in the area.

    Steve B
     
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  12. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    Or letting them rot unrestored. Sounds good business sense and it saves the heritage railway having money tied up in restoration. Win win looks like to me. More like Swanage should be proud to be associated with an organisation they have helped get where it is today.
     
  13. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Except in the very early years of a project I am anything but convinced that diffused ownerships are of any advantage to tourist lines .
     
  14. kwrail

    kwrail New Member

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    Think that MHR management may well agree with you
     
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  15. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Except that in the case of SLL, the railway have a closely linked organisation, clearly rooted in the railway, but able to act independently and in it's own interests. That means not bearing the liabilities and organisational challenges of managing that part of the fleet, nor having to provide work when demand is too low.
     
  16. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    We should perhaps consider that Swanage was and is a branch terminus, plus we're speaking here of the largest number of Mr Bulleid's locos in common ownership since Nine Elms and Bournemouth shut up shop!
     
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  17. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    If you are correct that would probably mean that any failing project - eg. Llangollen - would be completely wiped out. As it was, it was able to continue on the basis of using stock that was not owned by the operating company.
     
  18. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    Ah wondered if TWERPS was a dance on the MHR party trains, but looking it up "Tunbridge Wells and Eridge Railway Preservation Society" aka Spa Valley.
    SSL are a good model for loco ownership to raise funds and skills to provide locos to heritage railways, but need guarantees of revenue running to ensure ongoing restoration every 10 years.
    Ideally locos awaiting restoration should be under cover, perhaps restored to a comestic condition where people might pay to see them?.
     
  19. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Too early of course for any published statistics from the relevant councils/tourist offices but my purely very unscientific viewing of the car park over the summer and of the trains whilst out photographing (although I was ill with Covid and the pneumonia for all but first of the peak weeks of school holidays) was that were good periods (like Carnival week) but generally there were less cars in the car park and fewer passengers on the trains especially during the shoulder period. There are very significantly fewer coaches visiting than pre Covid and I think the railway appeared to do quite well from that business in the quieter periods.
    I for one am not at all surprised the railway is looking at fewer services for 2023, especially as they have the risk of the Wareham trial as well.
     
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  20. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Nobody would entertain willingly an arrangement whereby a ship had rudder and engines under differing ownerships and control.
     

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