Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by 1020 Shireman, Jan 20, 2016.
Please read Bob's comments again and reconsider.
I have and still have no idea of the hidden nuance or what I am supposed to reconsider? However as I appear a little naive don't get the riddles that everyone seems to be talking in I will leave everyone else to speculate.
this thread unfortunately shows the "dark" side of nat pres when a lineside gossip turns into fact in the space of about 5 seconds
we are fortunate that @bob.meanley has put the record straight and the line should have drawn at post#78 . somehow it had entered one of those space time continums that after a nights sleep I may well exercise my moderators access in the morning !
Excuse me for paraphrasing a bit, but from Mr Meanley's earlier post (note the quote) 'Just before Christmas David Smith rang me to say that he was not accepting any more bookings to run trains after January 1st "until the current situation is resolved". That situation remains. Based on this we decided that it was not moral to continue accepting bookings for trains which may or may not run, hence the letter to our passengers.'
That tells me that David Smith told VT that he would not run any more trains and VT informed the passengers as such, but then WCR turn around and run trains for RTC. I would say that WCR put VT in the position they are in.
If your single supplier tells you he cannot/will-not operate trains, but you don't tell the passengers and keep taking bookings, some would argue that is bordering on fraud! VT had no choice to cancel the Valentines and suspend bookings on the other tours.
This would also explain the phrase 'West Coast are on a self imposed ban' that appeared in the Birmingham Post or Mail if you allow for a little journalistic licence.
Well the separate comments by both of the VT folk make absolute sense to me. If you are told something by the owner of the TOC then you have to react in the best interest of customers. And this is what VT has done.
Crikey. This is clearly strong and relevant views on both sides of the argument. All I would add is that, in the face of the fact that trains have run elsewhere since January with West Coast crews and with great success as postings on Nat Pres have shown, I am sure that with the benefit of hindsight, VT will regret ever taking that call from David Smith because it has clearly been "business as usual" since then for the other promoters. I guess that had Mr Meanley asked Mr Smith if the "non acceptance of bookings would apply until the current situation is resolved" applied to all operators, then he would have very good reason to go back to West Coast and ask why that call from Mr Smith was ever made in the first place.
I don't recall claiming DBS were perfect ?, these incidents just hightlight to me how dangerous it is to have all your eggs in one basket.
Given the events that have taken place today, where does that leave VT now as it appears elsewhere lessons not been learnt, not to mention other promoters who have made the decision to run and will now have the ballache of cancellations and disgruntled passengers with yet more loss of confidence in the charter market.
I think another TOC from somewhere is a necessity now, if WCRC have been banned 2/3 times now, I really don't see a long term future for them unless there are major changes at the top, certainly statements by NR and ORR don't leave much doubt where they point the finger.
Well it is now a very good thing that VT held back on taking more bookings with today's ruling.
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Yes, in light of today's ruling:
1) VT did the right thing.
2) RTC seems to have got lucky that the ruling came today, not last week.
Mmm. VT owed a lot of humble pie and apologies. Bet they're not holding their breath for the apologies to turn up though.
This is a question aimed more at Ben rather than about VT tours.
Have Bob/ Vintage considered going for a safety case for vacuum brakes for their own for their operation? Rather than rely on WCRC?
I can appreciate the associated costs/ paperwork/ recruitment of drivers & firemen but with VTs record of a lack of failures on both the personnel and rolling stock side. Would becoming your own TOC with Vac safety case be beneficial in the long run?
Here's the latest from Tyseley, received this morning:
"Dear Friends and Passengers,
In the light of the ORR's prohibition notice served on WCRC (West Coast Railway Company) effective 18th February 2016, we are writing to advise you that we feel we have no option other than to cancel the following railtours:
The Red Dragon to Cardiff – 12th March 2016
The Cumbrian Explorer – 19th March 2016
The Moonraker – 9th April 2016.
Along with several other tour promoters, we have been solely reliant on WCRC to operate railtours on our behalf. The current situation has however caused us to engage in vigorous discussion with other train operating companies and results are currently extremely encouraging. Our aim is to have steam operations back up and running as soon as possible and our target is the Shakespeare Express season. Thereafter we plan to operate a modified steam programme into the Autumn and beyond. Prior to the Shakespeare season, we hope to run several diesel hauled charters to popular seaside destinations. As soon as we have confirmed dates and have full itineraries in place, we will notify you and invite you to travel with us.
If you have existing bookings on the above railtours, we can either:
Hold your booking & transfer you to an alternate railtour when the dates are available.
Offer you a credit note for use on any future Vintage Trains or Shakespeare Express trip.
Offer you a full refund.
Please Note: If you paid with a Gift Voucher or Credit Note, we will re-issue the voucher/notes valid for 12 months from todays date.
Please respond either via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via post to the Vintage Trains booking office. We apologise for this inconvenience and share in your deep disapointment and frustration which this situation has undoubtably caused. We hope that this will not deter you from travelling with Vintage Trains when we resume operations in the near future.
May we end on a more positive note, by saying that it is now 50 years since No: 7029 ‘Clun Castle’ was purchased from British Railways and entered preservation here at Tyseley. When we wrote to you previously in January we alluded to a series of exclusive ‘Behind the Scenes’ days in the Spring. We are pleased to announce the dates of these unique opportunities to peep behind the normally closed workshop doors here at Tyseley Loco Works. Full details of the days on offer are enclosed.
Saturday 19th March: The Castle Footplate Experience
· Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th March: Behind the Scenes at Tyseley
We hope to welcome you to Tyseley for one of these exclusive events and hopefully you will also be able to visit our Summer Open Weekend in June.
Bob Meanley, Managing Director
Typical of the excellent way in which Vintage Trains communicate what they are doing and why.
Good on them.
I hope they're not going to be confined to base for too long. I'm sure that, like everyone who has travelled with Vintage Trains, I have the greatest of respect for the company and its engines and feel very sorry for them at the moment. Pity about the three cancelled tours. I was hoping to see 5043 on the Moonraker - we don't see a GWR loco on the main line down here in the south very often. Also, I travelled on last year's Red Dragon and even though I only did the Gloucester- Cardiff leg (thus missing out Old Hall Bank), 4965 gave us a great day out.
Interesting statement from Bob, especially the timing with the Shakespeare season in mind, looks more a timescale for someone new to be in a position to operate than WCRC to get their house in order IMO, though admittedly it's just a guess.
Presumably 47773 can take the air cons out on the air brake with a willing TOC in the meantime ?.
Having read Mr Meanleys VT comments in an article, and it's tone, in this weeks RAIL magazine, I would say that VT have already decided to contract with another TOC, to meet their business requirements for steam haulage this year.
In the same article Mr Meanley has complimented and thanked WCR, I quote. "David Smith and company have been fundamental in enabling the growth of our business in recent years, and without them we would have been much poorer".
If confirmed it would be a shame, but I am sure they will keep in touch
It will be a very sad day if and when VT switch to another TOC. No more will we see the likes of the excellent Ray Churchill on the mainline footplate especially if other move ship!
I think that both 'the Rays' have a special relationship with VT so in view of the local Shakespeare Express season I'm happy to wait and see what VT pulls out of the bag, as I suspect they will.
Did anyone else pick up on this little snippet from Ben in the last VT email?
"With regard to future railtours, we cannot offer any firm dates as yet, but negotiations with alternate TOCs (Train Operating Companies) continue and reslts are very positive. We hope to be able to confirm future dates and itineries shortly."
As I read it DB aren't the only TOC in the discussion.
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In previous messages they have referred to running some tours with diesel so other TOCs have an opportunity.
Separate names with a comma.