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Tornado

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Leander's Shovel, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think what I paid to drive 55 019 there was far better value for money (£295, I think).

    I think it's much less than that to drive 34081 (maybe @Spamcan81 can answer that)
     
  2. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Seems about the going rate these days, but you normally get some coaches to pull. Unless I misread it this is just a L.E. run is it not.
     
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  3. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Blimey. When I did this experience with this very loco in 2019, it was around £300-£400.
    Then I did one on the GCR for roughly £600 with rolling stock in 2022 which was much more entertaining and more valuable than just light engine.

    It says on the booking page no rolling stock: upload_2024-1-15_18-7-2.png
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2024
  4. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    And to think that a few years ago you could go to Poland and have 5 round trips of 100 miles driving or firing an Ol49 on a service train for about £700.
     
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  5. Belgarath001

    Belgarath001 New Member

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    When I went out 5 years ago, you got accomodation as well included for that price, and the budget airfare was peanuts, plus they picked you up from the airport. I couldn't even begin to consider this to be good value in comparison.

    But then again, given how everything has shot up in price in those years, guess I can't blame them for getting as much money as they think they can sell for. The trouble will be if they find out people aren't willing to fork out.
     
  6. clinker

    clinker Member

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    And now You can't, Yet another Brexit benefit!
     
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  7. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    We don't have any say in NVR footex fees and it's been more than 12 moths since they've done one with her so I can't recall what they charged. Pretty sure it's not £600 though.
     
  8. chrishallam

    chrishallam Member

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    I have to admit I was surprised at the driver experience cost. But an HST driver experience went on sale earlier this week for the same round trip at £400 and sold out in less than 2 days, so there is obviously the belief that the market for high end experiences is still strong
     
  9. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    It's the way of the world these days. Price to the maximum the market will bear, and sod those who can't afford it. There are few things priced to be affordable to the majority of people now days.
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Playing devil’s advocate …

    Two people per course. The experience lasts an hour; let’s assume you have 15 minutes handover between groups and the instructors get a lunch break, you can probably do five courses in a day while staying in daylight and keeping the day within hours for the instructor crew (allowing for prep and disposal).

    So a maximum of 10 people, £6000 gross income per day. Factor in all the coal burnt (running a pacific for one day is not very efficient with heating and cooling costs; and footplate courses don’t tend to be very efficient); add in the loco hire fee; costs of getting the loco to and from the railway; and allow the railway to make some profit proportionate to their costs and risks, and I’d say £6,000 isn’t way off beam.

    We are involved in an expensive hobby, and that becomes crystal clear when you split the costs over a very small user base, ie probably no more than ten people who have to pay all the operating costs between them.

    Tom
     
  11. Victor

    Victor Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    £600 just to say "I've driven Tornado", I don't think so. Maybe £60.
     
  12. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    Dear Satan, I wouldn't argue with your figures, but . . . you seem to be assuming that the driving experience is the only reason for hiring a loco in . . . and therefore the only means for covering the costs of that hire. I'd suggest that hiring the loco is meant to attract more people in general to the railway and driving experience is just an additional means to maximise the income while it is on site (Which is obviously fair enough).
     
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  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Possibly - and I don’t know all the other things planned for the visit. I’m just making the point that railways are expensive businesses, and surely we shouldn’t begrudge one ensuring it makes a profit in its activities? I suspect in the past the opposite happened - railways were essentially under charging for those kinds of activities.

    Tom
     
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  14. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It is £5 more than the Bulleid experience at Swanage, which from memory is about the same price as the Britannia ones last year after the gala. They sold out almost straight away, on checking just now, this year they do not seem to being booked so quickly, the Bulleid of course being a resident loco. Also many Bulleid fans may well be SLL shareholders and will have had chance to drive one on their members events. The Class 33 one however at £250 sold out all 5 days before I had even seen it on the website. I suspect there will be a price point where demand falls.
    However my mental "back of a fag packet calculations" when the Bullied ones were launched I reckoned based on some operating costs @Jamessquared had mentioned before reckoned the railways were not going to be making a great deal.
    Photo charters are around £150 a day or more (I suspect for around 30 participants) or so, I am sure @Johnb can tell us the normal number, but even that makes it £4500 for the day with a crew who are probably way more economical.

    There of course is also the "Tornado effect" that is likely to make this one more popular.
     
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  15. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Yes I forgot to mention the accommodation was included, basic, but acceptable if you were at the sheds. On the last couple of times I went I got a driving turn to Poznan then a bus to the airport for my flight home, Ryanair to Liverpool.
     
  16. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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  17. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Just so. When I last went on a driving/firing experience, it was on the MHR on a non operational day. I recall there were 6 of us in three pairs plus a rake of coaches. It was a day out as we rode the train with our guests whilst we did three return trips along the length of the line with a fire one way and a drive the other. A brilliant experience and at a reasonable price for when I did it.
     
  18. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    How long ago was that though?
     
  19. black5

    black5 Well-Known Member

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    Price comparison puts it the same as the GCR current advertised price:
    https://www.gcrailway.co.uk/special-services/steam-train-packages/ £595 bronze (which is advertised as light engine 8 miles drive + further 8 miles on footplate while other participant takes part - so sounds similar to NVR offering with Tornado at the same price) / £995 for GCR with coaches and double length of time
    https://www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk/experiences/unique-experiences/drive-a-steam-train/ £645 (8 miles drive/8 miles fire + 1 return guard, usually with parcels set these days)
     
  20. 3855

    3855 Member

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    Given the price of coal is still over £300 per tonne £ 600 to drive a pacific seems quite reasonable to me
     

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