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 Talyllyn in trouble ?

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Baldwin, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Talyllyn07

    Talyllyn07 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Haarlem, Holland
    if I was a family looking to come to the TR I would keep an eye out for the timetable, failing that I would then go to the website where on the left hand side not far down you have the month view for train timetables the under that you have a link for the full timetable for that day.

    just on the note about the bluebell website which one poster thought is what the TR website should be like, well sorry but that seems old and out dated and very difficult to use on a mobile (believe me I know!)

    AT
     
  2. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,503
    Likes Received:
    27
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Signalman
    Location:
    Herefordshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Try this one... Bluebell Railway - 50 years of preserved steam in Sussex, UK
     
  3. ZBmer

    ZBmer New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    6
    Occupation:
    Sound Engineer
    Location:
    Bedford
    Discussion about the website seems to be moving in the direction of advocating e-ticketing. Do many heritage railways yet do this? I can see the ultra-commercial Paignton and Dartmouth is one - and offers 5% off for doing so. Does it make a significant difference to passenger numbers/ sales? I can certainly see an operational advantage in having a clearer idea of levels of prebookings (currently more or less confined to coach parties) so a particular train could be 'beefed up' if necessary.

    Roger
     
  4. AndrewT

    AndrewT Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    47
    Occupation:
    F&WHR Spin Doctor
    Location:
    Maentwrog
    Might I ask why a bit of WHR bashing is deemed to be acceptable? Speaking as someone who has just spent the day in the freezing cold in the middle of the Cob installing points for the revamped Harbour Station, do you genuinely believe that F&WHR staff and volunteers are any less worthy of respect than those of any other railway?
     
  5. Talyllyn07

    Talyllyn07 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Haarlem, Holland
  6. Talyllyn07

    Talyllyn07 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Haarlem, Holland
    Roger, yes I do think getting the TR to go along the lines of getting ticket sales online as a must. I know of a few railways which offer a online service yes.

    Mr Thomas, Baldwin was suggesting no such thing...
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    23,020
    Likes Received:
    45,120
    Location:
    LBSC 215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Baldwin was actually saying the thread was constructive except for a small bit of WHR bashing. So actually he was saying the opposite of what you say.

    With regard the Bluebell website: we have two, the older .co.uk which is primarily directed at enthusiasts and is run by a volunteer; and the .com, which is aimed at the casual visitor and is run by the plc. Personally I think both have their strengths and weaknesses, but unlike quite a lot of members (who bash the .com site as part of the internal proxy friction between society and company) my personal view is that a separation of enthusiast and visitor websites is the correct route to take.

    Should also add that, in my experience of building and running websites (and I have a lot, getting started in that field in 1997 and continuing for nearly 15 years) that enthusiasts are the worst people to offer feedback about commercial railway websites, since those websites aren't - or at least shouldn't be - targeted at us. You should be doing usability studies with non enthusiasts who might have a completely different set of priorities than being able to find out the TE of your loco fleet quickly, and a mental model of how visits to an attraction work that doesn't necessarily start by looking up little coloured boxes on a calendar and then cross referencing to a timetable...

    Tom
     
  8. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    I think you jumped too fast there ! If the thread has been positive apart from a bit of WHR bashing, then with just the very slightest amount of deduction one could consider the WHR bashing to of been negative. As for the rest .......
     
  9. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    Glad to see the point I was making about websites was understood by people more articulate than me.

    As a Parthian shot may I make a plea for "little" railways to remain little in terms of their structures. Clearly the present day public demands certain standards but narrow gauge lines tend to have restricted station plots and can be over-built very easily. More than anything else, over-elaboration is a killer of atmosphere.

    Dolgoch, with its new lavatories, is an excellent example of doing things well. Alas the best example of not doing things well is Wharf, which was described far more unkindly than I would dare, by an earlier contributor, as a "White Elephant"! Whether or not the new Wharf produces a greater or lesser net income than its previous incarnation I don't know but a sadly deceased friend of mine used it as an "awful warning" when proposals to enlarge Llanfair Caereinion were mooted. This was on aesthetic/overbuilding grounds and so far his views have prevailed.
     
  10. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    I agree and we shoudn't take the general public to be stupid either, they know fully well when something is real or not. Any modernisation of any station on a railway such as these can have repercussions on it's image.
     
  11. goldfish

    goldfish Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12,722
    Likes Received:
    8,674
    I'm not sure why though - it wouldn't exactly be rocket science to build a 'visitor' website with more detail for enthusiasts who wanted it. Two websites is confusing, and made worse by the fact that the [edit: Bluebell's] enthusiast website ranks higher on Google than the public site…

    This is bang on the money though. The worst people to run a website are the people closest to a subject area, because they're least likely to put the site visitor's interests first. Usability testing is important, but for me, the two most important things to do are to only publish what you can keep up-to-date (and update regularly), and use analytics to determine what it is that people are actually using (and prioritise that above everything else).

    Simon
     
  12. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    When constructing a site surely the priority is to get the customers in the fastest way possible, this means a site "user freindly" where ticket buying or timetabes can be found with one click. The other thing is the name "Talyllyn" it dosn't come easy to someone not from the area, i think this needs some thinking about, there could be a way of using a more familiar name just for the advertising and the internet site almost a nick-name such as "The Taly" as an example. The thing is in these difficult times every chance of bringing in new customers has to be maximised.
     
  13. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,151
    Likes Received:
    264
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Operations Manager for NR
    Location:
    Worcester
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think the name 'Talyllyn' is quite a strong and distinctive brand name. It's instinctively Welsh, easily recognisable and not that difficult to pronounce. Shortening or altering it for advertising purposes doesn't really make any sense as there's nothing you can shorten it too without losing its distinctiveness.
     
  14. russprince

    russprince New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    and the joke that goes around evey so often - how many tr council members does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Change????!!!
     
  15. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    I can't disagree with most of that but i am trying to imagine how someone not from the area and not knowing the railway beforehand would find the TR internet site, we don't know for sure that there isn't a certain resistance for the railway due to it's name. Having said that one could say the same for the FR !
     
  16. russprince

    russprince New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    So youve never heard a bashing word said against those poor neighbours down the coast then?
    It is a role and an act that seems to be well adapted by some.
     
  17. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,151
    Likes Received:
    264
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Operations Manager for NR
    Location:
    Worcester
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Perhaps the railway needs a by-line like some railways have: eg the Mid-Hants is the 'Watercress Line', the North Norfolk: the 'Poppy Line'. I'm not sure how successful these railways found these additional titles but it might give the railway another edge in its marketing.
     
  18. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    There you go, that's what i'm thinking, don't forget it's only a name that would be used in the publicity and the internet.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    23,020
    Likes Received:
    45,120
    Location:
    LBSC 215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Where would the Bluebell be without an alternative name? Plain old Lewes and East Grinstead Railway, and at least for its first fifty years a preserved line, nowhere near either town!

    With regard the TR: I quite like "The Skarloey Railway", but someone else probably owns the copyright. ;)

    Tom
     
  20. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    This posting "lit a light" with me. Leave the VofR (always a tourist line) out of the equation and it is arguable that once the semi-derelict phase of the T.R., F.R and W&LLR was over, it was the T.R. that changed the most as a consequence of "preservation". Like most conservative bodies that tend to resist change, when it does come then the results are often startling as with the re-construction of Wharf station. This was one of the spurs behind my suggestion to simplify operations as a rare opportunity both to row the scene back and to improve the financial situation at the same time.

    What can be done about Wharf I know not. Change this building substantially and there will be "forty thousand funding sources that'll know the reason why" to paraphrase the song.
     

Share This Page