A market there for exploitation

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Spotty

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Why can't the Railway Companies offer more very low cost excursions on a Sunday? I'm thinking particularly of Southern Rail and South West Railways.
 
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MidnightFlyer

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I'm not sure, but I think with it being high summer Southern and SWT services around the South Coast will be sufficiently full as they are, and I'm not really sure how much you could flog of the inland routes! As for IC operators, I know this is certainly true on the West Coast, isn't Sunday the busiest day of them all for passenger numbers?
 

PHILIPE

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There won't be like the old days because the system doesn't work like that now. There is no incentive to market products now with promotions disappeared
 

NSEFAN

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Wasn't this tried in the early days of Privatisation? I have heard stories of days where mass dirt-cheap travel has been tried. One such day was on Connex South Central, with something like London-Brighton for £1 (or along those lines). The trains were so full that one passenger wrote to Connex to complain that they had to urinate in an empty water bottle, as they physically couldn't get to the toilet! :lol:
 

Flamingo

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Long-distance Sunday trains are some of the busiest I work, and with a different passenger flow, they are usually fuller for longer, especially as there is reduced frequency on most lines. The last thing that is needed is something to encourage passenger to travel on a Sunday!

(Saturday is the quiet day.)
 

Yew

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I think a HST going from mansfield to skeg direct with reasonable prices could do well. They do HST's from nottingham, and sprinter services from mansfield that are packed when they run, so combinging the two could do well.

the problem is it would take around three hours, an hour more than a car. I suppose if they offered some sort of lunch/ breakfast included ticket it could be advantageous. but by the time you get to 4 people, the price would be more than petrol for the car, and a stop in a cafe


if they could get ticket price to 5 each way maybe, but i fear even if it was packed, breaking even would be hard.
 

Flamingo

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if they could get ticket price to 5 each way maybe, but i fear even if it was packed, breaking even would be hard.

And if it was packed, everybody would be complaining about how busy it was...
 

telstarbox

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The last decade has seen significant growth in passenger numbers on nearly all rail routes and so the trains are busy enough without TOCs promoting cheap travel on Sundays. It's a different story on buses - for example, Arriva Southern Counties have a flat fare of ~£1.80 on Sundays (and Mon-Sat after 7pm).
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
In respect of Southern, many people travel from London down to Brighton and other coastal towns for day/weekend trips on Saturday and Sunday. They do offer cheap train-specific Advance fares on their London-Brighton trains though.
 

Yew

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And if it was packed, everybody would be complaining about how busy it was...

By packed, I meant most seats full, not standees or anything.


Maybe trips like this could be done by railtour operations? transport and some grub, maybe arrange an offer with some of the big attractions in the area to make it more attractive to pax, at no extra cost to the company?
 

gazthomas

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By packed, I meant most seats full, not standees or anything.


Maybe trips like this could be done by railtour operations? transport and some grub, maybe arrange an offer with some of the big attractions in the area to make it more attractive to pax, at no extra cost to the company?

Arguably this is what UKRailtours' is doing using a spare EMT HST for cheap trips such as yesterday's run to Carlisle.
 

Yew

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Arguably this is what UKRailtours' is doing using a spare EMT HST for cheap trips such as yesterday's run to Carlisle.

Actually, its sort of what the jacobite does too. chuck a diesel on the front to reduce costs, then run from cities to coast. Since you arent using steam the ticket price should be alright. Then you can make money of a buffet car with reasonable prices (going for volume rather than margin, to try and entice everybody on the train to buy something)
 

Flamingo

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By packed, I meant most seats full, not standees or anything.
I refer the Honourable Member to my previous answer :D

(I've had commuters from Reading complain about overcrowding on trains that had nearly 200 empty seats - within the last month!)
 

trentside

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These still exist in a way - for example the summer extension of EMT's Sat/Sun York services onto Scarborough. I used one of these trains the other week, expecting it to be reasonably loaded but in fact found it full with a few people standing - I'm sure the nice weather helped, but the service seemed appreciated by those in the Sheffield area (judging from the onboard reservations).

Obviously as this is a scheduled service it's probably not the sort of thing the OP was getting at - but it's nice to know there are still some services still put on to get people to the seaside during the summer months.
 

pendolino

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In respect of Southern, many people travel from London down to Brighton and other coastal towns for day/weekend trips on Saturday and Sunday. They do offer cheap train-specific Advance fares on their London-Brighton trains though.

I'm in Brighton now and every train towards London, whether 12 car to Vic or 8 car to Bedford, absolutely packed, full and standing. Meanwhile there is a constant stream of people heading up Queen's Road from the front towards the station. It's like cup final day at Wembley.

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside....
 

The Ham

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On some TOCs its hard enough to get sufficient staff to work the basic Sunday timetable, so running extra trains would be impossible

Having used trains on a Sunday, even though the connections and wait times are rubbish, as only 1/2 or even only 1/4 of the Saturday services run, the trains are still well used and are often busy. Therefore it would not be unreasonable for there to be more services.

To overcome Sunday staffing levels my suggestion would be to have a clause that meant that new staff would have to work a certain number of Sundays for a period (e.g. 30 in the first year or 52 in the first 18 months). As new staff are more willing to be put out to appear keen/obtain a job.
 

Spotty

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Long-distance Sunday trains are some of the busiest I work, and with a different passenger flow, they are usually fuller for longer, especially as there is reduced frequency on most lines. The last thing that is needed is something to encourage passenger to travel on a Sunday!

(Saturday is the quiet day.)

Lay on more trains! If there is a market exploit it. What on earth is the point of privatization if therte is no attempt to increase profit other than fleecing the trapped commuter?
 

hluraven

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Lay on more trains! If there is a market exploit it. What on earth is the point of privatization if therte is no attempt to increase profit other than fleecing the trapped commuter?

Operators are free to run more trains on Sundays, there is capacity to do so and they have discretion to do so on a commercial basis. The fact that they are free to, but choose not to, suggests very strongly there is not a market to do so economically.
 

lyndhurst25

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I'm sure that there'd be a market for Sunday trains on the Cumbrian Coast line from Barrow to Whitehaven. AFAIK it's the cost of manning the manual crossings and signal boxes that is quoted as the reason why it would be uneconomic. Maybe when the signaling is renewed in 2021 there'll be a chance of Sunday trains making a comeback?
 

6Gman

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Why can't the Railway Companies offer more very low cost excursions on a Sunday? I'm thinking particularly of Southern Rail and South West Railways.

Do you mean one-offs [this Sunday Waterloo - Exeter for the day; next Sunday Waterloo - Lymington e.g.] or a weekly low-cost offering, in the style of the 1970s 'Highwayman' ?
 

cuccir

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Operators are free to run more trains on Sundays, there is capacity to do so and they have discretion to do so on a commercial basis. The fact that they are free to, but choose not to, suggests very strongly there is not a market to do so economically.

Or that the rail industry is poorly organised and so isn't able to exploit markets.

Some colleagues of mine (before I was in my current job) in my local authority advertised a convenient but relatively unknown Summer Sunday train service to a local coastal resort a few years back. By their accounts, the advertising was very successful and the trains were all full.

Good stuff.

However, on sunny Sundays, all the families and couples who made the trip naturally stayed as late they could. This resulted in the final two trains back being immensely overcrowded, with the local TOC having to quickly charter coaches to take passengers back. We now have a policy of not actively advertising these services as the TOC cannot offer more coaches (due to the nature of their contracts with the ROSCOs) or services (due to lack of capacity).

It's not a lack of demand, it's failures in the industry - namely, stock and track provision - which mean this route doesn't have the service it could do. It's a huge indictment that despite proven evidence for of demand, the rail network can't offer more trains on this and - presumably - other routes.
 

Flamingo

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On a sunny Sunday, train crammed. Wet Sunday, train empty. Will the L.A. cover the cost of the empty train, out of curiosity, or is the TOC expected to absorb the loss?
 

tbtc

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On a sunny Sunday, train crammed. Wet Sunday, train empty. Will the L.A. cover the cost of the empty train, out of curiosity, or is the TOC expected to absorb the loss?

Apparently so.

Plus, it sounds like people are wanting a nice long train go head to the seaside/ countryside in the morning and back in the evening. Sounds great for a family day out, but it means the stock and the staff are required all day (even if the return train journey is only a couple of hours).

Don't get me wrong, I'd love a direct HST from Sheffield to Llandudno, Blackpool or Skegness on Summer Sundays, but you'd be paying a full day's salary for staff (and need somewhere spare to leave a train for several hours).
 

34Short

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Perhaps if this country learned that in order for a 24/7 system, Sunday trading laws can be relaxed?

It's only because of the Christian Right that we don't have a fully intergrated service. They might not want to work a Sunday - Sign a waiver with their employer. But I can think of a fair few people who would happily snatch 2 out of 4 Sundays a month for the extra hours...
 

HSTEd

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Arguably this is what UKRailtours' is doing using a spare EMT HST for cheap trips such as yesterday's run to Carlisle.

Just how under-utilised is the EMT HST fleet?

They seem to lend sets to everyone, and they have lost two sets to EC in the past few years.....
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Perhaps if this country learned that in order for a 24/7 system, Sunday trading laws can be relaxed?

It's only because of the Christian Right that we don't have a fully intergrated service. They might not want to work a Sunday - Sign a waiver with their employer. But I can think of a fair few people who would happily snatch 2 out of 4 Sundays a month for the extra hours...

Also the Secular left because it is the only way to ensure that everyone gets atleast one reliable day off every week.

If there are no special trading laws and there is an option to sign a waiver it just means that there would be yet more Zero Hour contracts, and that anyone who doesn't agree to sign the waiver will end up at the bottom of the list of people who want work, essentially making sure they almost never get any.

And the nature of the ZHC means that constructive dismissal is effectively impossible to prove.
To think otherwise is the height of naivete.
 
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