Can you ride 'short distances' on railtours?

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by JoeGJ1984, 19 Nov 2011.

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  1. JoeGJ1984

    JoeGJ1984 Member

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    I just wondered if it is possible/allowed to ride 'short distances' on railtours - for example, I spotted this tour here, which goes from London Paddington to Shrewsbury and returns. Living near Shrewsbury, would it be possible just to go on the tour, say, between Shrewsbury and Hereford and return using an ordinary train (or vice versa) or even go on it both ways between Shrewsbuty and Hereford?

    I'm asking out of curiosity. Has anyone tried to do something similar? (Say they live at the 'end' of the tour like I do?) With the London Midland Farewell 150 tour, I think you were allowed to board and leave at any station stops it made, not just the 'pickup/dropoff' points at the start and end of the tour.
     
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  3. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    Some will offer part fares if you ask nicely. Don't try it on a BLS tour though ;)
     
  4. heart-of-wessex

    heart-of-wessex Established Member

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    Usually its a flat £10-15 fare each way irrelavent of distance. Along with BLS tours, i doubt youd get part fares for that price on some one pickup tours like some UKR examples from Victoria only. I also doubt part fares apply to the Northern Belle or VSOE either..if only!
     
  5. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    There's nothing at all to stop people bailing off a railtour at any scheduled station stop that they so please to. I generally treat railtours as the key to unlock the doors of opportunity to other adventures, there's no telling where I'll end up and when!

    It just means that if you can't obtain a part fare, that you're getting less value for your money by doing a shorter distance, and of course the cost of railtour tickets can be a considerable sum.
     
  6. Temple Meads

    Temple Meads Established Member

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    Yep, if it's cost thing then there's usually no point, however if it's just for the "doing it" then obviously you could get off at any station stop where the doors are opened.
     
  7. Tracky

    Tracky Member

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    A look at the promoters website...

    Here

    and you will find Ludlow - Shrewsbury fares are offered from £20
     
  8. Arglwydd Golau

    Arglwydd Golau Established Member

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    I was coming home from a conference in Birmingham and I asked Vintage Trains if they would 'do' me a single to Chester on a railtour last April (on my way home to Bangor) - and they did for about £40 - they said that they wouldn't have sold the seat if the offer wasn't made....so very good all round!
     
  9. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

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    The issue with 'short' tickets on railtours, is that passengers who might have previously done the full tour may be tempted to save money by only doing one leg or a section of one leg.
     
  10. TGVDUDE

    TGVDUDE Established Member

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    As sort of said, companies would rather sell the seat with a part farer, than not at all, I remember on Mazey Day 2010 someone joined the 37s at Bristol Parkway, bailed at Taunton to get a shot of the 56s, for £20 :)
     
  11. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

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    I could see some sort of market for them on tours where they won't break even after the closing date for bookings...
     
  12. GazzaB24

    GazzaB24 Member

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    In my experience most of the main tour operators do (not BLS but at least they state this on the booking forms). I have found Spitfire Tours most accommodating for this, but Pathfinder and UK railtours are equally as good. As the others say, I wouldn't bother if it's a VOSE train though, it might turn out expensive :) I think it also helps to to ring or email them a few days before out of courtesy but not much use if you are after a Particular loco that hear is on it on the day.
     
  13. Yew

    Yew Established Member

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    A lot of tours are return too, I was looking at going up to Edinburgh at christmas (that now looks not to be happening. And a deltic was down to do a lincoln christmas market trip, and I thought it could be cool If I got the return up to Edinburgh, then a HST back to lincoln (becaue it would be deltic, Hst, then maybe a change to an electra)
     
  14. Mr Spock

    Mr Spock Member

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    As said most tour operators will do part fares but it can be expensive and it sometimes is down to what part you want to do.

    I was on a tour and we went from Birmingham New Street to International for a loco change and then went north for some freight lines.

    Chap joins at New St for International only as he wants the 66 - fare £10, at Sheffield chap wants to join and is quoted the full tour cost so says no. As the main reason for the tour was for the freight lines then most people thought it was reasonable to charge the full fare from there even though the train had travelled some distance by then.

    On the flip side there were seats empty on the train so even if a discount had been given then it was money in the operators pocket.

    Presumably if discounts are given for late joining and before the "important" bit of the tour then more people will want this option which could end up reducing the income for the operator.

    With regards to tours to cities, etc then operators will usually quote a one way ticket price in my experience.
     
  15. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This is where it comes down to the experience of the tour organisers in knowing when to charge part fares and when not to - and also charging a suitable amount. The example given elsewhere where someone was quoted the full fare for doing the rare track on a tour (ie the main part which everyone else has paid full fare for) is absolutely correct in my view - had he been charged half the fare everyone else who had booked in advance had paid, they would have understandably been somewhat aggrieved and may well decide to do the same themselves next time. The end result could be a tour does not get enough advance bookings so does not run as it is not commercially viable. A balance has to be struck.

    I've had experience on both sides of the fence, as a 'gripper' for one tour promoter and as a punter with others. In many cases, people will have a good reason for doing a part fare - for example I was away on holiday in Devon when Spitfire ran a Crewe-Paignton trip with a pair of 37s, one of which I required. It was impossible for me to do the entire tour so I did a part fare out of Paignton (as did a fair number of people who actually lived in the West Country) and I'm sure everyone appreciated it as I did.

    Similarly, on Retro's trip to London (West Hampstead) and Southend earlier this year, a part fare was offered between West Hampstead and Southend. This was a sensible thing to do, as there was space due to a good number of people alighting for London. This enabled people living in the south to travel on the tour and have some Class 31 haulage - for the majority of them, doing the full tour would not have been feasible without hotels/long journeys.

    As someone mentioned, not all promoters will offer part fares, the BLS being one. That is, of course, their right and something people have to accept. After all, you wouldn't go into WH Smiths and insist on being able to buy part of a book or magazine! :lol:
     
  16. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

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    Here's how I would do it (this is may or may not be representative of SRPS Railtours policy - often it comes down to discretion of individual TMs or tour organisers)

    Using the recent Linlithgow - Buxton tour as an example, this is what I would do

    Singles - either direction
    Stations between Linlithgow & Berwick to York - £20
    to Sheffield/Leeds - £30
    to Buxton - £45 (rare track in this section)
    Return fare was £69
     
  17. JoeGJ1984

    JoeGJ1984 Member

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    What's BLS?

    I don't think I'll bother with this tour - I actually noticed the £20 part fare return from Ludlow to Shrewsbury after starting the thread. I'm not inclined to go to Ludlow, get the train back to Shrewsbury and then having to hang around, so I won't bother with this one.
     
  18. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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  19. Phil6219

    Phil6219 Member

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    On Spitfire's latest tour, The Edinburgh Explorer II a group of three teenagers boarded at Manchester Victoria wanting to go to Stalybridge. The thing is they were not bashers merely three teenage party-goers who thought that Class 50s were working transpennine services... They were given a "single" for their journey, I bet they didn't even appreciate the traction.

    Phil 8-)
     
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