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Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by Bessie, 25 Jan 2018.
Exactly my point. Railway enthusiasts tend to be far too "good" at this!
Indeed, but I tend to find the non-rail enthusiasts seem to have form in this area.
I think you will find that, even with the railway reconnected, anyone in Swanage will still use the bus to get to the centre of Wareham. The expected traffic on the Swanage to Wareham train service is passengers traveling on by Mainline trains to other destinations. Swanage Railway does have dreams, but those are for the future. Even Steam trains to Poole and Bournemouth. One engine is ready and there is a program for a set of carriages to be converted. The railway has a class 33 that has on many occasions ventured out onto the mainline for several years now. Hopefully in the not too distant future it will be connectted carriages to make a 3/4/TC train. The carriages are undergoing an extensive restoration program at the moment. Should the DMUs not have the capacity, then in the future it will be possible to satisfy the needs of the passengers. The trials are to check that wishful thinking is not the case. So far those that took place in 2017 have indicated that there is a market there to be served.
The Southampton to Dorchester railway first proposals looked at having a station in the centre of Wareham, but even then Wareham was an historic town built on higher ground and surrounded with walls. It was undesirable to penetrate those walls and so the Station was built outside. In those days people walked a lot further that we do today and the station location was acceptable to them. The river also required the station to be a little further away.
Purbeckboy - The 33 (33012) that’s mainline registered is not a push-pull fitted 33/1, although they do have non mainline registered 33111 at the line I believe.
There does seem a fair bit of wishful thinking here; a trait shared by politicians and railway enthusiasts.
On the contrary, I find it's non railway supporters who come up with the "I can drive there much quicker , therefore everyone must be able to drive there much quicker" or the "there's a bus service from A to B that is well used, therefore for everyone travelling between A and B, the bus service must suit" arguments, that I find so unconvincing.
Pure sentimentality IMHO. Tourist railways charge very high fares out of necessity. Basically, they only run when it suits them to i.e. at times when business levels are high. Step into the realms of "public transport" then these advantages are removed or, at best, severely curtailed.
Quite, if someone says there's already a good bus service then that's not a good reason to builda railway because the bus does that job already.
Conversely if there's no way of getting between two locations by bus there's no point suggesting that a train could do it because of buses aren't doing it there's no market.
Ah, I merely said that non-railway people also tend to project their own experiences on to the rest of the population.
The Beeching acolytes had to manufacture the case for closure of the line in the first place. The route has every likelihood of being very successful.
I suppose it would be a bit simplistic of me to suggest that although the bus caters for locals travelling between Wareham and Swanage reasonably well.
The summer service on the Swanage branch might be good (for now) as a means of bringing passengers in from further afield that would normally have driven from -Southampton/London/Winchester etc?
The two forms of public transport should compliment each other on the popular destination of the Isle of Purbeck hopefully...
Indeed, and the railway might help Swanage residents going further than Wareham !
We need to look at the bigger picture here:
This line went from being a short running line in the 1970s/80s, to being almost bankrupt in the 1990s, to saving themselves and becoming a useful park and ride service and an important part of the local economy a decade later, before getting to the point where they are now, which no doubt will be just another stepping stone on the incredible path that they’ve forged in the last 30/40 years.
They know what they’re doing.
And they’re doing it well.
This is a line that has come (and is going to go) a long way.
Indeed. And its questionable as to whether it was actually loss making when they closed it !
Just to add - Back in the very early 1990s I was very involved with the Mid Hants, and the railway was in serious trouble financially.
More so than I think it’s probably ok to share on here, but things were pretty bleak...
The Swanage was also in a similarly precarious position financially and being another former Southern line there was of course plenty of comparisons being made at the time.
A few things happened around then that helped dig the MHR out of its crisis.
A deal with the bank regarding their large overdraft (£400,000 I think? Although I can’t precisely remember ). The relaxation of mainline running which enabled them to set up the ‘Green Train’ and start doing mainline tours using the connection at Alton.
Also the railway becoming an engineering centre around this time, doing contract work for other railways.
The MHR also trained mainline steam crews around then, and I know this because I served Steve Cornish tea on one of the first training specials (service with a smile of course ).
It was turned around with a lot of hard work (which included laying off paid staff that were friends of mine), and a massive effort in attracting lucrative work - including filming contracts.
The Swanage however (similarly stretched by overdrafts) only had its ‘potential’ to go on.
Whichever bank/lenders/investors took a chance on them had to go on what could possibly be achieved in the future if everything fell into place and the railway was managed really well.
This they have achieved, and then some!
I cannot find any reason to find fault in the management of this line.
They have put back an important line to a busy coastal tourist town through sheer doggedness and determination. What we’re seeing now is only the start of things.
Sorry, but it is railway enthusiasts that assume their point of view is shared by the population as a whole. Tourist railways serve as a leisure time entertainment for the general, largely non-enthusiast, public. Nothing wrong with that.
Wishful thought about being "something more" is something that recurs throughout the history of such lines, in some cases leaving them with a legacy of an unduly long route mileage. At least the Swanage does not have that although the cost of operating between Worgret and Wareham will be noticeable.
Thre was no need to manufacture losses in the pre-Beeching period.
I think you're exposing you're own prejudices here.
I've given examples of where non-rail enthusiasts want to extrapolate their view onto the rest of the population, and you've launched into your full party piece about railway enthusiasts.
The Swanage line was never loss making - they just got rid of it because management wanted to get rid of some non-electrified milage.
Any "extrapolation" of views is being done by the starry eyed fraternity. Most of the general public could not give a hoot although quite a few enjoy (thankfully) a trip on a pleasure line.
If thoughts that this line was abandoned for some reasons other than commercial ones give some perverse comfort then so be it.
On the contrary, the general public like a working public transport system. That means being able to get from, or to Swanage with a simple change across the platform.
Those who don't like the idea of the railway playing a full part of the transport network tend to start extrapolating that "everyone has a car", therefore public transport doesn't matter.
I admire the Swanage Railway management because they're showing that the railway is part of the transport network, rather than just a tourist attraction.
Yet more extrapolation!
Extrapolating nothing. Stating fact.
I think we all know where you're coming from though.
No comment required Bye Bye (again)
i really enjoyed when they had the 33 and 4tc running, i dont think id been on a tc since i was very very young, mabey even to young to remember
dam window bars.. some of the above window sliding windows did open fully tho
Another great advantage of the Swanage railway is its terminus station location. It is brilliantly sited.
I wish the Swanage Railway every success but the fact is that Swanage is too far away from London to attract much in the way of Day trippers. Its market is mostly people taking long weekends or longer. On a long weekend the car becomes a lot more attractive as it allows flexibility and the ability to visit attractions not served by public transport.
Even as a rail enthusiast I also baulk at the cost of the mainline element £83 for an Off peak return to Wareham from kent meant that I took the car to the Swanage Diesel Gala this year
This is spot on. I've watched the line come back from a few hundred metres of track back to where it is now, connected back to the mainline and I hope it can continue to grow and be a success.
As I've posted before the existing public transport links to Swanage really are very poor, especially in the summer. There are only two buses to Swanage, both only hourly other than in the peak summer months.
Route 50 (Swanage - Bournemiuth) runs via the Sandbanks ferry but it is a very tough route to operate. Firstly the ferry operates at 20 minute intervals most of the day but when queues form they ramp up the service to run back and forth as quickly as possible. How you can run a reliable scheduled bus like that when you don't know if the ferry will just be leaving as the bus gets there? Then you have the queues. On the Sandbanks side there are two lanes (one for the through traffic, and one for the ferry). A short bus lane allows the bus to use the "through traffic" lane and jump to the front of the ferry queue. However there isn't a bus lane on the Shell Bay side. Even on the Sandbanks sides once the queue for the ferry gets beyond the two-lane section of the B3369 then the bus will have to sit in the (long) traffic queues with everyone else. Then you also have the reliability of the ferry. It's been out of service with a fault for the last week or so (I think it's back in service today) and it's out of service for a few weeks again in a few weeks time for a re-fit. Added to that, the ferry company is planning to double the tolls (triggering a public enquiry, which has just started).
Then you have the number 40 which runs from Poole to Swanage via Wareham and Corfe Castle. But most of this route is on heavily congested single carriageway roads, which are also very narrow in places (E.G. through Corfe Castle) and with little scope to widen the roads. Most of the road is too narrow for a bus lane. The Council have put in a cycle lane on part of it through Sandford but whether this helps or hinders is debatable (some cyclists won't use it and stay on the road, which is now narrower to make room for the cycle lane, meaning it's imposible to safely overtake if there is oncoming traffic, which there usually is). So again this bus is also very unreliable in the summer months and at peak times.
This is why I see the railway as essential to the area.
The service this year has been 3 trains, Saturdays only between Warheam and Corfe Castle, which has only run a very few weekends due to SWR strike action. Despite all this the reports suggest loadings have been very good when it has run. I think that suggests demand is high for the service.
There do seem to be some decent AP deals from London to Wareham, getting a return trip down to around forty quid.
And "darn sarf" you of course have access to the wonderful Network Card.
If you have all day an off peak return Dover to Wareham via the coastal route is £31.70 or a crazy £20.95 with a network card. Surely one of the cheapest per mile journeys in the country. Just put via Lewes in journey planner.
I did Ashford to Southampton and back that way once in my youth. It was a very enjoyable adventure !
I think the standard journey time from Dover to Wareham via the coast is around 5hr 38mins and the first train on which you can use this ticket on Mon-Fri gets you in to Wareham at 15.37. On the way back the connections mean its a journey time of 6 h42m. I don't think they sell many day return tickets!
Indeed, but the ticket I quoted is a Return valid for a month, assuming visitors might want to stay for a while and enjoy the delights of the Purbeck area.