Swanage - Wareham diesel service delayed until Sept 2018

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by Bessie, 25 Jan 2018.

  1. Bessie

    Bessie Member

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    It was on the local BBC news today that the train due to run this service will not be ready until September as work to update to latest safety regs is behind schedule. Does someone in the know what's caused these delays? What is the planned train being used - I guess some kind of DMU? Surely SWR could have a quiet word with GWR and maybe get a cascaded 165 on loan for the summer. Seems a lost opportunity to miss out on the summer season.
     
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  3. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    Yes that is a shame.
     
  4. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

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    It's nothing to do with SWR (and if it was, SWR could just as easily provide its own diesel stock). If last summer is anything to go by, there is alternative rolling stock available without trying to weedle stuff out of the mainline TOCs.
     
  5. bishdunster

    bishdunster Member

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    I am reliably informed, unfortunately due to hiring in stock and locos , last years 60 day trial service made a HUGE loss :(.
     
  6. Bessie

    Bessie Member

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    I can imagine that's the case. Does anyone what stock is being converted to run on this line. I assume it's some kind of heritage DMU which is having to have electric locking doors retro-fitted.
     
  7. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    I think it's the class 108 2 car DMU plus the railways class 121 single car DMU, although I do stand to be corrected here.
     
  8. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Emeritus Moderator

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    It's been well publicised that it's a fleet of DMUs. See the 9th Jan update at http://www.carlswatson.com/trains.html
     
  9. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Not that I’m circling to pounce during my tea break Mr Bridge, but I think it’s a 3 car 117 and a 121 from what I remember.
     
  10. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    Like a huge buzzard overhead haha! Ah thanks for correcting me there Mr C :) That would provide far better capacity than the 108 then.
     
  11. XDM

    XDM Member

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    I think this is what an influential, but tiny, faction in the railway wanted - failure. They did not want main line running.
    The 25 mph creep through Purbeck, when the 50 double decker bus overtook at twice the speed, the crude & expensive( thanks to NR) turn round system at Wareham adding to cost, & the lack of warm waiting rooms at Wareham & few platform seats were designed for failure. Only enthusiasts used the service more than once
    And what a shame when so many Swanage railway people put so much energy & enthusiasm into it, & many pressed for 40 mph running.
     
  12. Firesprite

    Firesprite Member

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    Swanage Railway Press Release

    http://swanagerailway.co.uk/news/de...ains-delays-second-year-wareham-service-trial

     
  13. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Sorry about that ;).

    A couple of things strike me here.
    As it suggests in the statement there’s no point paying a fortune out to WCRC and making a huge loss to run the service at this point. After decades of waiting, one more year isn’t going to matter too much in the scheme of things.
    Better to get it right and have the permanent launch next year with the correct railway owned stock doing the job.
    I have faith in the Railway that they’ll get this right and make it work, and it may be too slow to compete with the bus at the moment (when the roads are running freely anyway), but this is just the very beginning of the service and things may well change over the next decade.

    This last year must have been invaluable in understanding how to operate it all when it gets going properly.

    On a bit of a tangent now - Are these units then fully capable of running over most of the network at a reasonable speed with all their modifications?
    If so would there be scope for the railway to earn a bit of extra money from them by allowing their use on the occasional mini tour in the South/South West?
     
  14. Firesprite

    Firesprite Member

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    The number 50 Swanage-Bournemouth Bus goes over the Studland-Sandbanks ferry, not via Wareham. The speed limit on the road is only 40mph, so not twice the speed.

    As for Journey time it is about the same as the number 40 bus (Which does not serve Harmans Cross), The train is also not delayed by road traffic unlike the bus in the summer months.

    As for the price when compared with local bus fares (ie: Wareham-Corfe is £8.60 return), The train is only 40p more) or cheaper if you have the Local Purbeck Residents* Discount Card (33% off)which is popular. So if you do have the card it is only £10 return Swanage-Wareham (£1.40 more) Many locals do use the train to get about through out the year. A local resident is a resident in the Purbeck District Council Tax Area. On my visit on the last weekend of service, I noted many suitcases being loaded at Wareham, Swanage and Corfe Castle. A clear cut case of the service being used for what it was intended. No room for suitcases on a bus.

    Not being able to use the sidings is not NR fault. It's all down to the requirement for more train movements requires that the crossing must be closed. The latest bridge plans are under review by Purbeck Council. The planning committee is scheduled to meet at Westport House, Wareham, at 9.15am on January 31. The recommendation to PC planning committee members is to grant approval. Historic England has accepted the current plans as the "least worst" option for providing step-free access at Wareham railway station. The existing brick footbridge would be retained. But there is objections by local residents to the ramped bridge plans with actor Edward Fox as one of the biggest objector's.
     
  15. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

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    Out of interest, were losses expected? Just thinking that if passenger numbers were more or less bang on target then their financial takings must have been more or less as predicted too - so did the hire-in cost more than expected or was there another factor they hadn't quite budgeted for?

    (Not being critical btw - just interested in how it all works!)
     
  16. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Out of interest, if they're keeping the existing footbridge, couldn't they build the new one with lifts instead ?
     
  17. Adsy125

    Adsy125 Member

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    As far as I'm aware a new bridge isn't being built, ramps are going to be added to the existing bridge.
     
  18. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Ah, I see. Still, lifts would seem to be the solution !
     
  19. CorrectFacts

    CorrectFacts New Member

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    It is only correct that inaccuracies in your post are corrected.
    1. When within the “national speed limit” the buses are able to travel at 50 mph (max)

    2. The return fare on the 40 Breezer from Wareham Railway Station to Corfe Castle, East Street is £6.00

    3. There are facilities on the bus on the right hand side as you get on.

    4. Perhaps you could post a link, within the DCC application and comments, stating that Historic England have accepted the plans as the “least worst” option.
     
  20. nanstallon

    nanstallon Member

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    It's just so hard to do anything in Britain.
     
  21. Shenandoah

    Shenandoah Member

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    Very easy to be critical of the bus company and its buses, but they are running; the trains are not.
     
  22. E-Rail

    E-Rail Member

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    Just for the record, Morebus which operates the Purbeck Breezer 40 has recently been named Top Shire operator of The Year at the UK Bus Awards, it's parent Go South Coast won UK Operator of The Year at the same awards. Go South Coast also scooped Operator Of The Year at the Route One Awards in November. On top of that, the Purbeck Breezers also won the Bournemouth Tourism Awards last year. Despite the Wareham to Swanage service operating last summer, the 40 carried record numbers and may be increased to half hourly this summer. The Swanage Railway is complimentary to the Breezer 40 but it is not serious competition. Correct that the 40 doesn't serve Harmans Cross but the two hourly Breezer 30 from Weymouth to Swanage does link Wareham and Harmans Cross. Also, to settle the speed limit point, our current Volvo fleet is limited to 49mph and the route is timed at that speed where speed limits permit.
     
  23. WishIHadAName

    WishIHadAName Member

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    If it makes a loss adding 40mph to the line would cost even more. It would no longer be a light railway for one, so presumabely there would be different safety measures and upgrades needed to run faster. And insurance would be more on top of this, hence no other heritage railway runs above 25mph?. And it is a heritage railway not a form of transport. The majority of people who use the line want a steam train ride too the sea side.
     
  24. Firesprite

    Firesprite Member

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    1)The speed limit on that road had for many years has been 40mph. Apart from that travel above 40mph on bus is most unpleasant even more so if you have to stand while underway.

    2) £8.20 is the fare that I and most likely many others have been charged, being told that the day ticket was the cheapest fare.

    3) The space is too small for a normal suitcase. Where would you put the two dozen or so suitcases that were loaded on to the train?

    4) http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/ne...strict__39_s_Wareham_railway_bridge_decision/

     
    Last edited: 26 Jan 2018
  25. CorrectFacts

    CorrectFacts New Member

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    http://countyplanning.dorsetforyou.com/ePlanningOPS/tabPage3.jsp?aplId=5937
     
  26. joncombe

    joncombe Member

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    Sad and rather disappointed to hear this. The trial service had been due to start at least two years earlier than it actually did last year. They finally ran it last year (and I used it) and stated the usage was higher than predicted so it sounds like it was a success. So I don't follow why they can't run it again this year then. If they ran at a huge loss year but more people used it than expected then it sounds like someone got their sums wrong. I believe they got funding for Dorset County Council to restore this link (possibly also Purbeck Council) as it was hoped it would reduce congestion on the A351 so I can't imagine the Council will be too pleased to hear it won't be running during the summer season again next year.

    I have family that live in Dorset who largely consider Swanage and Corfe Castle inacessible during the summer months. A journey from Bournmouth or Poole to Swanage can easily take more than 2 hours in the summer months and hence why they also found this trial service useful and used it last year. The queues for the Sandbanks ferry can easily top 1 hour. The A351 will usually be queuing traffic all the way from Corfe Castle to the Bakers Arms (A35) roundabout goung north during the summer and nearly as bad going south. The buses on the 40 get stuck in the same traffic as there is no room for bus lanes on the A351 (and this is a rural area, so many people are dependant on cars). On the route 50 from Bournemouth they can skip the queue from the Sandbanks direction (because the road around Sandbanks is one way with one lane for ferry traffic and another for through traffic, so the bus can use the through traffic lane and a short bus lane to skip to the front of the ferry queue). However this only works if the queue for the ferry is not back beyond the one-way system (it often is in summer). At the other end there is no bus lane and the buses do what looks to me a rather dangerous manouvure, which is that they have flashing lights and beepers on the bus and drive on the wrong side of the road in order to get to the front of the ferry queue. I presume they communicate with the ferry to make sure they don't do this as the ferry is just unloading, but there is still the risk of traffic coming from the beach car parks etc.

    I'd love to see SWR run a regular service (ideally hourly) from Wareham (or even Bournemouth) to Swanage supplemented by seasonal steam trains between Norden and Swanage but I can't see it happening at the moment, though a seasonal service might be possible (there were rumours SWT was considering such a service as I believe they applied for a path from London to Wareham with a Diesel unit which would suggest an intention to run onto Swanage).
     
  27. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    No one got the sums wrong, the loss was caused by having to hire in rolling stock for the service.
     
  28. bb21

    bb21 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    I would say anyone moaning about 25mph running would be well advised to read the piece by Railnews MD Sim Harris in the paper's 250th issue (December 17) on the West Somerset Railway. It doesn't cover everything but provides a good insight.
     
  29. Firesprite

    Firesprite Member

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    1)The speed limit on that road had for many years has been 40mph. Apart from that travel above 40mph on bus is most unpleasant even more so if you have to stand while underway.
    http://product.itoworld.com/map/124?lon=-1.77637&lat=50.76235&zoom=10
    Speed limits are not a target, Clearly you think they are. The road between Wareham and Swanage has had far to many crashes over the years due to speed. To many prats don't drive to suit the conditions that includes some bus drivers.

    2) £8.20 is the fare that I and most likely many others have been charged, being told that the day ticket was the cheapest fare.
    http://www.morebus.co.uk/fares.shtml

    When Job Public get on a bus, they quite rightly expect to be charged the right fare. To often this is not the case. Do you expect Joe Public look up the website at the bus stop?

    3) The space is too small for a normal suitcase. Where would you put the two dozen or so suitcases that were loaded on to the train?
    What has been happening for the last 40 years?

    They had to take cab, (You are very limited to what you can take on a bus). As they still do today. Most people will only take a bus as a last resort. At the moment in this country you can never guarantee when a bus is going to arrive.... I don't count the number of times I have seen a timetable saying every 30min, 45min later I am still waiting... I don't count because it all most every time. People see bus timetables as fictional. Buses not turning up often the case with the last service. , being 30 mins late (1hour service), or even more annoying, buses being 5 mins early, so you see them sail off down the road as you arrive at the bus stop.
     
    Last edited: 27 Jan 2018
  30. Firesprite

    Firesprite Member

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    Is it a form of transport? Does take people from A to B (Yes), Can the public use it (Yes). So there fore it is Public Transport and people use it as such. There is very limited public parking (18spaces) in Corfe Castle so people park at Norden and take the train to get to the castle. The local railcard has a uptake well in to the 1000's and is well used. Many people using the campsites by the line use the train to get about. You can take alot of stuff on the train that you cannot on a bus. You often see shopping taken on broad and large items placed in the brake van. Don't forget that Norden Park and Ride had to be opened before services to Corfe Castle could start. The Park and Ride forms part of the local transport plan as does the railway.
     
  31. Firesprite

    Firesprite Member

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    The waiting rooms have heaters, just need to be turned on. Many normal people were using it more than once, not just enthusiasts, It could be relied on unlike the bus.
     

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