If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

The Challenges of the 2022 Heritage Season

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by johnofwessex, Feb 28, 2022.

  1. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,209
    Likes Received:
    1,757
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Carriage & Wagon
    Location:
    Sheringham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I have spoken with one (diesel) owner who has said the same about not bothering to undertake his next overhaul as he's "not sure diesel has a future".

    Sent from my moto g(8) power using Tapatalk
     
  2. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Messages:
    12,318
    Likes Received:
    12,854
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired, best job I've ever had
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    If they have any business sense they will replace such events with a 1940's weekend. Period dress and vehicles, a Glen Miller tribute band doesn't have to involve anything to do with war. Having German troops 'capturing trains' etc was always a bit ridiculous anyway.
     
  3. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,561
    Likes Received:
    2,664
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Quite so. I have always felt that for most participants and visitors the perceived (even if not necessarily authentic) sense of camaraderie of the period was the attraction. Of course many people were in uniform at the time, but for most of the time they weren't fighting, just going about day to day life in the armed forces.
     
    Spitfire likes this.
  4. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    114
    The big "ReSet" for the HR movement is coming and it could turn out to be a positive era if cooperation can become the key!
     
  5. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    19,040
    Likes Received:
    18,116
    Location:
    1016
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    If one of the challenges is fuel then all the thinking heritage railway does is re-cost their gala against new prices and offer the events accordingly. It would help for the advertising to explain why, if it's the case, that a day ticket has gone up by, say, £5. People will understand and make their decisions accordingly.
     
  6. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,561
    Likes Received:
    2,664
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    As in packed linesides and no passengers?
     
  7. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    7,884
    Likes Received:
    5,963
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
  8. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    3,830
    Likes Received:
    3,009
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swanage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It may be too early in the year to work things out, especially from an HR perspective. But forecasting and hence planning may be very difficult with no like for like past experience to plan against, which is never a good situation to be in.
    Yesterday here for example (Swanage) car parks look very sparse, my dad said trains were quiet and Corfe virtually devoid of people, he was the only customer in his usual cafe there.
    Today, also sunny like yesterday and often a quieter day, car park fuller than I have seen it since last summer, four coaches there as well (rare in pre Covid years for a Sunday) so why? No idea what percentage of visitors were using the railway, and a few cars may have been diners as the lunch trains started today, but even that had spaces available I noticed mid week.
    Covid seems quite high here at the moment like other areas, and whilst many may carry on regardless, unsure what the impact will be long term especially as testing seems to go out of the window next month.
    From various forums and webcams last weekend folks still are planning or attending galas in some numbers but for how long? Unless you are near enough for a day trip there are potentially a fair few add on costs for a gala that are non railway related, probably much the same as a mainline tour unless you live near a pick up point.
     
    oliversbest and green five like this.
  9. Woof Mk2

    Woof Mk2 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    158
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Winfrith
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Not sure if it has already been mentioned, apologies if it has, but an issue for HR's is those volunteer who have to travel any great distance.
    Will they be doing less turns, volunteering less etc due to the increased cost in fuel.
    If so who picks up the slack?
     
    pmh_74 likes this.
  10. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2020
    Messages:
    881
    Likes Received:
    950
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hayling Island
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It would not be surprising if galas. were less profitable than ordinary operating days .
     
    Ruston906 and Spitfire like this.
  11. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    8,989
    Likes Received:
    6,630
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alderan !
    A number of railways are sharing that the coal they have is it , nothing else available currently so every shovel full is going have to earn its ££ . Just filled up my car £1.82 a gallon for Diesel, that quickly focuses the mind on the cost of driving so mobility is about to take a hit and along with that people visiting lines some distance away . Lines without captive populations may have a big challenge

    All of this is the last thing the movement needs after two years of covid . As a nation as well the policies that create the scenario or at least feed the worst impacts are entirely self inflicted . Outsourcing such a lot of our manufacturing and pollution from burning fossil fuels is about to come back and bite us very firmly . Do we have leaders with the wisdom and wherewithall to change this is for a different thread I suspect

    Glass half empty for our movement sadly
     
  12. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Messages:
    12,318
    Likes Received:
    12,854
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired, best job I've ever had
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    A bit pessimistic Martin. We had just as big hikes in fuel price in the early 70s and the heritage movement got through it, it’s not just railways that face challenges.
     
  13. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    8,989
    Likes Received:
    6,630
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alderan !
    we had coal production then though John. Columbian coal is £450 per tonne . Just to expand one line has shared that the daily running cost have gone up by £250 and rising , for their season that is £30000 extra . You as well as anyone understand the fine margins of preservation . My appraisal is realistic driven by the thoughts of those at the coal face if you will excuse the pun
     
    35B and Ruston906 like this.
  14. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    3,830
    Likes Received:
    3,009
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swanage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I think the difference now is the 24 hour news cycle and the analysis of everything. A war in Ukraine may have been reported in the 70's but there would not have been what it will do to the price of wheat, or fertiliser and how that would affect the whole food supply. Oil was only just beginning to be really used to hold the world hostage, much was only in throws of being nationalised by the "owning nation". People went along in semi ignorance, no maybe they are not so sure about the future.
     
  15. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    114
    Thx Sidmouth(looking forward to that one!!) for a matter of fact look at the situation. Heritage Railways are about to get a realistic dose of Darwinism but,could they lead the way to a better appreciation of railways in general??We have just witnessed the Okehampton line morph into a great asset which one hopes is appreciated, there are other "Heritage" lines which could flourish with similar treatment.
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    11,009
    Likes Received:
    8,268
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    2022 is going to hit different railways differently. We've already seen some railways restricting both steam and diesel operations and others putting up fares and others for booking as a pre-requisite. At the Middleton Railway, although it is a relatively small line, it feels that it is fairly well placed for the medium term, so much so that it has decided to keep fares unchanged for 2022 and carry on as normal. Aware that coal prices were on the up, it purchased sufficient coal to take it through to July 2023 before things got out of hand. The only reason it didn't get more was lack of storage. Similarly, with diesel, they have good stocks to keep them going of most of this year. The passenger base is largely local, travelling less than 20 miles to get to them. It is similar with the loyal band of volunteers so, hopefully, it wont be too badly affected by the increase in petrol costs. Like every railway, Middleton is venturing into the unknown but is optimistic it will be in business for a bit longer than its present 62 years. The only thing it doesn't feel in control of is Covid and where that will take it. Apart from that, the glass is still half full.
     
  17. Ruston906

    Ruston906 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    92
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    People are going to have a lot less or no money to spend and with wage and pension rises not keeping up with inflation and some operating costs almost doubling. There are not many option pre booked services only and do not run if there is not profit reducing operating costs are far more difficult you can cut staff or just not replace those who leave. There is a limit to how much of a price increase you can put on the ticket and still get a good number of visitors. The different between now and the 1970s the railway then would have had very few paid staff and the there was less paper work to be completed. The heritage movement as a whole is going to have to adapt and change as there is far more competition for people spare cash then there was.
     
    26D_M and Hampshire Unit like this.
  18. oldmrheath

    oldmrheath Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,140
    Likes Received:
    2,183
    From a bunker half-full perspective we can hope that enough people still have cash reserves from 2 years of lockdowns coupled with a determination to enjoy themselves after the restrictions, that staycation remains in vogue for 2022 and that volunteers can give heritage lines a competitive advantage over other attractions wrestling with wage inflation. While fuel inflation is a huge cost increase, any attraction with a high energy bill is also going to have to increase prices- perhaps a good year to be running a crazy golf course rather than a reptile house.

    Bunker half empty- the fuel cost increases, material cost increases, fuel and material shortages, wage increases for paid staff , lack of customer disposable income, people saying they 'did' a heritage railway last year, the return of overseas holidays, volunteers who have found other things to do during covid, volunteers not willing to pay for fuel to drive to the railway quite so often, and the not insignificant matter of a war in Europe.

    While hoping the half-full bunker prevails, having had to come terms with the huge changes covid brought about , to face a whole new set of challenges in 2022 is surely enough to drive the decision makers at the railways to distraction, not least for the uncertainty- for example, do you gamble on an expensive visiting engine for an Autumn gala ?

    Jon
     
  19. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,166
    Likes Received:
    1,619
    Occupation:
    UK & Ireland Heritage Railways Webmaster
    Location:
    Essex
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Well, the 40's did continue for another 4 years after 1945. . . Just saying. ;):)
     
  20. Luke McMahon

    Luke McMahon Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    56
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    With regards to the preserved diesels sector, could they possibly use bio diesel?

    I know loads of bus & coach companies use it, yes there's the costs of making it which aren't cheap but however on the plus side we'll always have plenty of cooking oil from restaurants & takeaways etc available.

    Supposedly from what I've read on it bio diesel puts emissions down a good chunk & is apparent a fair bit cheaper.
     
    Nigel Day likes this.

Share This Page