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The Atlantic Coast Express 5th-8th September 2014

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by steamvideosnet, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. 34098

    34098 Member Account Suspended

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    don't see the need for such hate towards diesels tbf
     
  2. banana patch

    banana patch New Member

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    Probably because they do not look like smell like andsound like a steam loco !
     
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  3. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    Not as yet. ;) <BJ>
     
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  4. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    So let's just go back to the beginning and all the hype about this trip. On Day 1 we would head off from Waterloo down the SWML with a Bulleid to Exeter ending up at Penzance and hopefully, (and to be fair, I think that it was first advertised as tentative) we would pop up to Barnstaple en route. The Cornish branch line tour would take place on Day 3. No indication at all that it might not be steam. On Day 4 we would return to London and slip in a trip to Okehampton en route.

    So what do we end up with? Day 1 London to Penzance and there remains an ominous silence about the Waterloo departure. Day 4 Penzance to London. Various excursions on Days 2 and 3 all of which you could do independently for the same price or less. The two main days will cost £150 each compared with £115 max price for a typical Cath Ex trip. And meanwhile the emails and publicity about the trip are getting increasing frenetic in inverse proportion to the extent to which the whole trip is actually delivering the promises for the rail sections.

    I'm beginning to wonder whether the advertising of this trip was made before the TOC - i.e. West Coast - was able to confirm that it was all possible and that FGW would share its line with a steam charter on the Sunday. Subsequent events suggest not and each time we get a communication it seems that something less is going to happen.

    Make no mistake. A celebration of the ACE is an excellent idea and I'm pleased that we are on it. But I am still holding my breath on a Waterloo departure and decent timings. There is also the question as to whether Tangmere will make it to Exeter and back without a hiccup and tackle Honiton unassisted. (This spoken by a Bulleid fan). My partner is already managing down her expectations.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  5. banana patch

    banana patch New Member

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    Having dark thoughts about this trip 8.45 dept from victoria dl assistance to exeter steam only to truro much the same back all for 300 quid!!??!!
     
  6. Panniertank

    Panniertank New Member

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    The Steam Dreams e-mail today says the following: -



    Locomotives



    We are pleased to confirm the locomotives for the Atlantic Coast Express!

    Friday 5 September
    London to Exeter - Tangmere
    Exeter to Penzance - Braunton & Britannia

    Monday 8 September
    Penzance to Exeter - Braunton & Britannia
    Exeter to London - Tangmere
     
  7. green five

    green five Resident of Nat Pres

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    I was tempted by this ACE celebration when it was first advertised. Was going to book it as my first multi-day steam tour/holiday but with things as they are at the moment I have really lost interest. Tangmere has also put me off as she will probably be accompanied by a diesel at the rear.
     
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  8. alastair

    alastair Well-Known Member

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    Agree with all you say. I am so relieved I didnt book on this one. The Cornish day tour in a class 150 for £25 has to be some kind of joke surely? A class 150 is about the lowest form of life and it doesnt seem to be doing anything you could not do on normal service trains using a Cornish day rover which is £10!

    As you say,this whole thing has all the hallmarks of being conceived with some grand ideas well over a year ago. Now reality has set in,and yet again what the customers are getting is very different to what was promised. I would be fascinated to know if someone wanted to cancel they would be offered a refund?
     
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  9. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    £300 for 2 days, plus 3 nights accommodation, food and "leisure activities" on the middle two days. You're going to be looking at £600 per person for the trip. Add in the fact that of the three locos advertised, one is out of traffic with boiler problems, and another has a set of wheels missing, and it doesn't appeal in the slightest.
     
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  10. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    In addtion to your comments.I am not sure the branchlines option was ever viable for other reasons. Formation of train for days 1 and 4 is not necessary what you want for the branch lines - too many first class coaches ( even allowing for a shorter train). I expect a lot of paasengers would do one of the other options. Covering the cost of the light engine move for the 8F in the cost of the trip? .Selling enough seats - would it appeal to the general public?
     
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  11. maureen

    maureen Member

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    This trip was planned and advertised well over a year ago before consulting WCR or NR about the branch line steam, as I mentioned before the 8F was never going to happen for operational reasons, the cost to bring it down from Carnforth to Cornwall with a diesel too, and also charter trains on the branch lines are not very favourable with NR they find it difficult to find paths for these trains and also there would have to be a diesel involved as there are no run around on any of these lines,
     
  12. malc

    malc Well-Known Member

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    As 34046 and 70000 will both have run back to Par.(or Plymouth) to turn, I wonder whether the original plan might have been to utilise this move as the branch line tour by putting a few coaches between them and running up and down a couple of branch lines on the way. Obviously, this would mean that the locos would be tender-first on the mainline all day, but that will happen even if they go light engine (+POB). I wonder whether, even if it's not possible to do any of the branches, just taking a few coaches on the turning move may have had more takers than the branch line option now offered, given that, as has already been said, you can do the same thing (and more) using a £10 Cornish Day Rocer.
     
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  13. malc

    malc Well-Known Member

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    Duplicate post removed.
     
  14. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    That all sounds very believable to me. As for the 8F, I was told only recently by SD that this loco would be used (as per their latest brochure) so I guess it is the NR/FGW issues that have now got in the way. (Always worth checking these things early on I would have thought :rolleyes:). Whilst steam to Penzance is not particularly common, it does happen and that is effectively all that is now on offer, at quite a price. So, apart from travelling on a significant date, all the USPs first trumpeted about this trip - Barnstaple, Okehampton, rare Cornish branch lines - have gone.

    Whilst it does feel as though this is now a case of WC trying to make sense of a bad hand they were dealt originally, my only hope is that they keep the length of the train down so we can exit from Waterloo down the main line. (That is the point of it all, isn't it?) ...but haven't I read somewhere that SD is offering more pullman style dining so I hope this is a substitute coach and not an extra one. We know that there probably is a fast 80 min path from Waterloo at 47 min past the hour (if SWT will agree to tweak a few things) and we also know that Honiton will not be a problem for Tangmere single handed provided that she is not given anything more than about 10/11 in total to haul.

    Like any other "traditional three night break" (and this is the latest marketing pitch) I just needed some clarity in the product on offer and exactly what you will get for your money. Sorry to come across as a bit whingy, but that has not been the case with the ACE and as I said, the jury is still out on the critical bits.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
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  15. spindizzy

    spindizzy Member

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    This is all very sad for what was a Premiere trip. I duly placed my deposit and couldn't wait for the event. As I have had som great, even fantastic 9th July trips with SteamDreams I had every confidence that this would be no different. I know the first idea was double headed Merchants over the banks was really only a pipe dream but I fully expected 35028 to be on the head of the train from Waterloo. Then it starts to fall apart. The move over to WCR probably put the end to 28s involvement. No longer advertised as a Waterloo departure either. As good as the 8f is I foolishly thought that the branch lines tour might involve some southern steam but no this was not to happen. So it now becomes clear that the advertised branch lines is not happening hence the lack of information. I can't believe that their current traction branch lines day is such a rip off compared to the freely available Rover Ticket. SD should be handing those tickets out as some sort of compensation to those travelling not charging them more for a lesser ticket. I decided a few weeks ago that I would rather loose my deposit than spend £500+ on a trip that really no longer looks to be delivering on its promises. It's such a shame that things like this happen. Whilst I understand its not steam hauled I can book Waterloo- Exeter with SWT and connect with FGW Exeter - Penzance return on the same dates at realistic times for less than £90. If I'd wanted a traditional 3 day break this is how I would be travelling. Why is it that after a tour has been advertised for 18 months plus an agreement in principle can't be reached by promotors, TOC and NR as to what can and can't be achieved. I have to wonder what would have happened if Graham Bunker had still been involved. There was a time not long ago that I felt SD were the promoter to book with, they always seemed to try to run as advertised or offer a better than planned day. Sadly this no longer seems to be the case. I really hope for those on board that you get a decent path out of Waterloo with an appropriate locomotive on a reasonable load. Will it happen? Who knows but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you do.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  16. banana patch

    banana patch New Member

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    Maybe 9 coaches will be enough so tangmere will be unassisted to Exeter and braunton will not need the Brit assistance so bullieds all the way and back as originally advertised !!
     
  17. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    I expect if GB was still involved, he will have sorted out sooner what could and could not be done. The plan always appeared to me, to be over ambitious and I chose not to book (I have been on 3 Coronations, Cornish Riveira, and previous Ace.).
    If DBS were the toc 35028 was likely but 34067 highly unlikely, and the opposite with West Coast. The start date of the previous multiday trips has been the day of the week they could get the best path, but I would be surprised that Friday is the best day for a train out of Waterloo( so Victoria seems more likely). The route via Honition is a slow route, and trying to do Barnstable ( before taking into account pathing) would make it a very long day for everyone, with most people wanting to arrive at a reasonable time to check into their accomodation. When I did some of Past Times Devon/Cornish Branch line week in March 2007 ( toc was EWS) it was done at that time of the year I believe when serivices were less frequent therefore , although a St Ives train was retimed to allow us to go to St Ives and back.
     
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  18. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Paul

    This informed and deep insight....and I'm pretending not to hear your Victoria comment!.....does make one worry a lot about fairly basic stuff that I assume was carried out at the planning stage. We now know from a letter that, aside from the pathing issues over the branch lines, (quote) "there is also a lack of steam crews available". It really is hard to make this stuff up. Mind you - has anyone spotted the plethora of other WCR managed trips across that weekend - not all in the south I agree. So in the pecking order of things, what does a hard pressed TOC do when faced with meeting the demands of the RTC, VT and SD for steam crews. Who comes first - (answers in a sealed envelope please). I don't want to find out that either The Royal Duchy or The Shakespeare Express have squeezed out the ACE that on this occasion should have come first in the scheme of things - simply because of the date and the occasion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
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  19. banana patch

    banana patch New Member

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    I can't see S D changing the dates or even canceling the ACE because of the hotel bookings but if there is no waterloo departure and tangmere needs mummy's little helper on the back all the way to Exeter I can see many customers never wishing to book with S D again so l really hope SD can deliver what has been promised
     
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  20. jonathonag

    jonathonag Well-Known Member

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    Diasgree with this point. None of us know exactly what has went on behind the scenes with WCRC planning department, but if RYTC and VT submitted and confirmed applications for their own respective runs before Steam Dreams have, then the right stands with the former two companies to have their trains ran with priority. Given the special date or not, if Steam Dreams were the last horse across the line to confirm running of the railtour then they are the last right to train crews.

    I do have some sympathy towards Steam Dreams, they are not having an easy time of it. Having dealt with so many cancellations last year due to DBS crewing issues, they are now dealing with slimming down of their own steam sections with West Coast this year, perhaps due to being overly ambitious?
     

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