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The Talyllyn in trouble ?

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

  1. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    ...For the time being we know nothing about the FR/WHR because all is shrouded in deep secrecy, time will tell, to say that the opening of the WHR didn't influence passenger numbers on other railways is frankly taking the mickey ! There's only so much cake ....
     
    savethetr likes this.
  2. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    Remind me - isn't that just one day per year - and on a day in Mid August which might be expected to be one of the busier days (all things are relative) anyway?
     
  3. russprince

    russprince New Member

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    You initially said that packed out trains were as rare as hens teeth, i was proving the railway runs packed out trains with all available stock on an annual basis.
    Anyone know a hen dentist?
     
  4. 8-10 Brass Cleaner

    8-10 Brass Cleaner Member

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    Sounds like a very complex problem.

    I'm from North Wales, that is Denbighshire, interested in steam from an early age, and hisotry, but not neccassarily trains. I currently live and work in Shropshire.

    When I grew up in Denbighshire in the late 80's, early 90's, if the family wanted a cheap day out with some steam involvement we went to Bala. An expensive day out with steam involvement we went to Blaenau on a gala day, rode the FR to Port or Minffordd on the first train out and had a grand day out returning on the last train of the day. Mum might go to Port with my sister, father and I to Minfordd or Boston Lodge.

    The TR was that little bit further and involved some dreadfull roads to get to something that was far a better attraction than Bala, but nowhere near the FR experience. The fact that there is nothing to do in Tywyn and even less in Abergynolwyn didn't help.

    The Welshpool was similar I suppose.

    Now, I married a former TR volunteer, who still has friends in the area, I attended all of the Mr Coulls run Tom Rolt rallies with steamers, and therefore know in passing or of many of the personalities involved, some of them may even know me. Russ certainly does!.

    Living now in Shropshire, my route, which is the route I suspect for most of the traditional 'midland' holliday makers goes straight passed both Raven Square in Welshpool and the station at Llanfair, thus the Welshpool line 'gets in first'.

    With the wifes friends in Tywyn we go quite often to the area, with a young child a stop at Llanfair perhaps for a cup of tea and a toilet stop is ideal, coupled with a chance to see an engine or two and a browse in the shop usually gives them a fair bit of my money by the time I have left. I rarely travel, but I can see that they get a fair bit of passing trade as they are in the shop window. Coupled to the fact that when growing up I percieved the line to be very much running foreign engines and stock, and the facilities pretty rubbish and visibly tatty, but now the facilities seem second to none, and a very proffessional aura surrounds the place, making it more and more attractive to this custom. They seem judging by the car parks to get a fair share of coach party custom. As an onlooker it seems that things are on the up at Welshpool.

    Now, I'm not saying the TR is scruffy, unproffessional or in any way worse than any other line, but its location in what is basically the @rse end of nowhere is its biggest problem, but also its biggest charm.

    Another railway in wales, a bit further south without many volunteers, has recently decided for a change in its full time management, those with the purse strings have decided that it must be run to its full potential, and seemingly that the hand outs cannot continue at present levels for ever. If the TR as is reported is now asking for handouts in order to tread water, then people are quite right in saying that change is needed. Reduction in services to suit traffic better and cost effective changes in any process (including signalling) are all quite valid points. The difficulty is with all societies, and if what I hear about this one is that the number of comittiess and hoops to jump through first means that any change will probably be far too little and to late.

    Lets just hope the economy picks up before it all goes Pete Tong.
     
  5. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    That's an "interesting" first post on NatPres.

    Are you really blaming the FR/WHR's for the Talyllyn's current problem? Unfortunately, heritage railways in the same area are always going to compete for bums-on-seats. One railway is not going to turn people away at the ticket office, saying "We're quite busy today - why don't you visit a different railway instead?".

    Richard
     
  6. russprince

    russprince New Member

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    Well said, i put on the tr discuss that we should be fighting for every customer we can get and was lambasted after also stating we shouldnt get too cosy with those up north for not doing inter railway relationships any good!

     
  7. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    If there are two businesses offering similar products or services in the same area, then they are going to have to look at offering something a bit "different", focus on a different group of customers - families, school trips, children - or work harder to get their existing customers to visit more frequently (assuming they actually enjoyed their visit). Other heritage railways operate successfully only a few miles away from each other. The situation in North Wales is perhaps more crowded than elsewhee, with "similar" railways - at least to the general public.

    It gets difficult when people start pointing fingers at the competition and "blaming" them for the situation.

    Richard
     
  8. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    In which case this calls for an aggressive advertising policy to win back customers and to kick it off right now !
     
  9. russprince

    russprince New Member

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    Couldnt agree more, although some may complain about spending the money!
     
  10. ellisteph12

    ellisteph12 New Member

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    In my experience I have never seen this happen at the TR. We are part of the Great Little Trains of Wales and the aim is to work together, 'competition' between other railways would be a sad sight.

    2012 was such a unique year in passenger figures, they were down and showed concern but there were clear reasons we can put next to those figures being reduced. 2013 will be a much clearer year, I wont even mention the weather as I don't think the TR is a weather dependant 'attraction' for families. Constant rain throughout Summer may put some people off visiting but I think a good day can be had on the TR even if it is chucking it down and that should be promoted.

    We are only halfway through January and there are some really interesting things planned that will hopefully satisfy those calling for extra advertising of the railway. I hope everyone pulls together to help promote them and support the railway as ever, regardless of whether passenger numbers are down or through the roof.

    Ellis
     
  11. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    Yes, "competition" between other railways is a sad sight, but a reality which is here to stay, at least for the time being.
     
  12. russprince

    russprince New Member

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    If there was no competition how come certain railways hold events at the same time as each other?
     
  13. Gwenllian2001

    Gwenllian2001 Member

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    Well I didn't say blah, blah and neither am I a boy. The maths, as you put, is quite simple. The Talyllyn has been steadily losing passengers for years. Just how you can blame the Welsh Highland, which did not exist when the decline set in, is beyond me. I have a soft spot for the Talyllyn and wish them well but it is a problem that they have to solve for themselves. Pointing the finger at other attractions doesn't help and distracts from identifying what can be done to reverse the trend.
     
  14. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    There's no evidence to suggest that there is any competition between the FR/WHR and the Talyllyn. It's just in some people's paranoid minds to give them something to moan about and air their prejudices and dislikes about other railways.
     
  15. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    Because with so many railways and only so many weekends in the season, there are bound to be clashes.
     
  16. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    There's nothing paranoid about me and i can perfectly understand that there is competition, it's only normal, i doubt very much that any particular railway is going to go round all day saying "how can we get their customers", as i said before there is only so many customers so if one railway happens to draw in more for one reason or another at a certain given period, then it's only fair to imagine that another will suffer loses.
     
  17. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    Except there isn't any evidence to suggest that is what has happened regarding the re-opening of the WHR and any potential effects on the TR's passenger numbers.
     
  18. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    ...That's why i said i can "understand". I do agree though, things would be so much easier if there was "evidence".....untill then we just have to pass our time discussing abstracts ! Apart from that we do have "competition" which as a concept none of us can do anything about (in a free world).
     
  19. AndrewT

    AndrewT Member

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    The population of the UK is around 64 million. Even if the F&WHR gets 350,000 of them a year, that still leaves 63,650,000 for everyone else.

    Even the most successful heritage railways aren't even scratching the surface.
     
  20. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    Don't forget that the customers who have gone AWOL won't have just been looking for another steam railway to visit. They will have just been looking for something nice to do during their free time. Has a new shopping centre or cinema opened? Or perhaps there are simply fewer people visiting the area because of bad weather, or less local accommodation being available (holiday parks/caravan parks closing?).

    Richard
     

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