The Cathedrals Express

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leomartin125

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Is next weekend's Cathedrals Express still going ahead from Horsted Keynes to Worcester Shrub Hill? Nothing on Steam Dreams' website despite nothing stating it's cancellation?
 
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alastair

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Is next weekend's Cathedrals Express still going ahead from Horsted Keynes to Worcester Shrub Hill? Nothing on Steam Dreams' website despite nothing stating it's cancellation?

Now gone from Steam Dreams website,so definitely not.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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I am booked on 3 trips with them, 2 in April with Princess Elizabeth and one with Flying Scotsman in June, so am rather concerned too.
 

Iskra

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I am booked on 3 trips with them, 2 in April with Princess Elizabeth and one with Flying Scotsman in June, so am rather concerned too.

I'm also on one in April, I take it you've heard nothing from them? I'll give them a ring this week to find out what's going on. I need to book accomodation, but obviously don't want to if it's going to get cancelled.

I think it's rather poor that there is absolutely no mention on the steam dreams website of any potential disruption.
 

theblackwatch

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I think it's rather poor that there is absolutely no mention on the steam dreams website of any potential disruption.

It's not just Steam Dreams who are making no mention of it - Railway Touring Company, Statesman Rail and even West Coast themselves have, as far as I've seen, no reference to the possible disruption on their websites. It seems tha Statesman have removed all their Scottish weekender trips for March though, so presumably none of them are running - last year, Statesman managed to use DB Schenker to operate a couple of its tours while WCRC was out of action.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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I'm also on one in April, I take it you've heard nothing from them? I'll give them a ring this week to find out what's going on. I need to book accomodation, but obviously don't want to if it's going to get cancelled.

I think it's rather poor that there is absolutely no mention on the steam dreams website of any potential disruption.

Good morning, No I have not heard any thing from them yet about any of the trips that I have booked with them for April & June. I suppose they are awaiting to see what news they get from the authorities and maybe they are trying to come up with another solution? however, I did ask them about the trip on 01 June as posted elsewhere, as that trip is due to traverse the new line from Oxford main station towards Bicester which may not be quite ready by then and they said they would look at another routing.)

So keeping fingers crossed for better news soon.

I & many others have not done well for steam tours last year, was hoping this year would be better.


Which trip are you on in April, ?
 
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Iskra

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Good morning, No I have not heard any thing from them yet about any of the trips that I have booked with them for April & June. I suppose they are awaiting to see what news they get from the authorities and maybe they are trying to come up with another solution? however, I did ask them about the trip on 01 June as posted elsewhere, as that trip is due to traverse the new line from Oxford main station towards Bicester which may not be quite ready by then and they said they would look at another routing.)

So keeping fingers crossed for better news soon.

I & many others have not done well for steam tours last year, was hoping this year would be better.


Which trip are you on in April, ?

I've spoken to them today, they are essentially waiting to hear from WCRC and they don't think they will know themselves until around a week before if the trip is cancelled. I'm on the one on the 13th of April.

I also asked if they would seek an alternative operator, but he couldn't really answer that either.

So it's all a bit vague and they don't really know what's going on themselves which is frustrating from my point of view, but it's obviously not their fault so trying to just be patient. I'll have to book my accommodation for this one last minute and at a flexible rate so as not to waste my money.
 

TBirdFrank

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Of course it's "their fault" Steam Dreams is their business and they are in control.

Sure the business is being buffeted by events beyond their control so the prudent thing to do is what VNTL and SRPS have done and cancel the lot.

Once they have DBS signed up for any particular roster then they can go back to the market and re-sell, but until then they have no tour to sell because they have no operator to run it.

The fact that this activity has always been out of control cannot be better typified than the RTC situation for this weekend - There are three effective posts before passengers will be away from home on their way to the tour - they were only told it was a runner last week but still have neither tickets nor times. Network Rail need hoying in and giving a damned good kicking for treating the market this way. There is simply no excuse.
 

D1009

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The fact that this activity has always been out of control cannot be better typified than the RTC situation for this weekend - There are three effective posts before passengers will be away from home on their way to the tour - they were only told it was a runner last week but still have neither tickets nor times. Network Rail need hoying in and giving a damned good kicking for treating the market this way. There is simply no excuse.
You happen to have picked the only steam hauled train planned to be operated by WCR that DBC appear to have agreed to operate since the ban was imposed. The chances are Network Rail only had it confirmed to be a runner last week, so it's hardly surprising the timings haven't been sent out yet. There may even still be route clearance difficulties. Presumably you are suggesting Network Rail drop all their other work just to look after charters?
 

TBirdFrank

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No - this charter has been planned, advertised and sold for months now.

The fact that it was never cancelled by the operator RTC means that the infrastructure supplier Network Rail should have had its part in place months and months ago.

I have said for years that the railtour market needs liaison between NR, TOCs, rolling stock owners, loco owners, promoters and even end users, in concert for years, but they all seem to think that they are all big boys each with their own trainset that they operate to the exclusion of all else.

That we are where we are now comes as no surprise to those who have had their eyes open all along.

They aren't businesses operating in a vacuum - they are all links in the supply chain which either move in concert or they don't.

NR is responsible for the railway, its provision with route clearance and in a safe and compliant condition for TOC's to use and the fact of the matter is that since privatisation they have continually failed the charter market.

If Saturday doesn't run for either timing or gauging issues - or its timings prove unusable to any client, then NR should get the bill under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2015 for failure to supply the product contracted for - all unfair exclusion terms along the way being excluded by statute.

NR is not God - the Law is.
 

causton

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I don't think that's how it works.

Otherwise I could tell NR that I want this path for this purpose on this date and do whatever with it.

I think the company that actually operates the train has to ask for the path and details from Network Rail, so if there is no company to operate it there is nobody to ask! Especially if it is due to route clearance - depending on the operator it could be completely different stock and loco to what another operator might have available! It is not Network Rail's job to then guess what could be running, who could be running it, when they could run it, what would they do, they would have to plan it for if a 67 and 30 coaches turn up, or a 3 coach 159 turns up! (I am sure both have turned up on railtours before ;) - especially the Ticket to Ryde trips for the latter!)
 

TBirdFrank

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But that is exactly how it works - WCRC still has confirmed paths all over the place that were requested and are now being cancelled as they are not taken up.

Whichever way you look at it the situation is crazy.

If WCRC were taking quotes for haulage to allow promoters to get on and sell their business to the public, without requesting paths that is wrong and everyone down the chain has been misled.

If WCRC were requesting paths early and NR were not confirming them - as has been the case ever since privatisation - NR is completely in the wrong and behaving like the bully monopoly it is.

The public, the promoters and the TOCs have had to put up with this type of behaviour for years and it would not happen in any other industry - hence my request for a forum of interested parties.

WCRC may have its faults - but it is not alone.
 

D1009

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If WCRC were requesting paths early and NR were not confirming them - as has been the case ever since privatisation - NR is completely in the wrong and behaving like the bully monopoly it is.
Obviously planning of charter trains is the only thing Network Rail does which matters to you. Bids for steam hauled services or those needing goods line clearance have to be submitted 3 months ahead of operation. If whoever submits the bids then becomes unable to operate the train involved, then NR would have been within their rights to not progress them. However in this case they look to have facilitated another operator taking over the bid rather than insisting on the other operator going through the whole process again. I think that if Saturday's train runs, that is a matter for celebration, and NR will have played a large part in making it happen.
 

alastair

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Obviously planning of charter trains is the only thing Network Rail does which matters to you. Bids for steam hauled services or those needing goods line clearance have to be submitted 3 months ahead of operation. If whoever submits the bids then becomes unable to operate the train involved, then NR would have been within their rights to not progress them. However in this case they look to have facilitated another operator taking over the bid rather than insisting on the other operator going through the whole process again. I think that if Saturday's train runs, that is a matter for celebration, and NR will have played a large part in making it happen.

Confirmed times now on RTC website: http://www.railwaytouring.net/uk-day-trips/the-midday-scot so looks like it's on.

can't see anything on RTT yet
 

TBirdFrank

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No - what matters to me is Network Rail as a Government owned and set up body complying with its statutory duty to service the market it was created to supply.

NR seems to think that it is master in its own house and behaves accordingly.

It isn't and it is responsible to government for the delivery of its services - to all its clients - not just those it might prefer.

I have no doubt that WC applied in line with the three month requirement - NR pretending that transferring those paths to DB is a new request is just semantics and any manager trying to hide behind such a scenario is no railwayman and even less of a businessman because those paths actually being taken up and paid for is NR's main source of revenue.

Railtours and excursions were specifically provided for at privatisation and NR is legally bound to cater for them - whether it likes it or not and whether its employees like it or not, and it is about time that those receiving less than adequate service brought in the regulator to hit NR with the same big stick that is being waved in other directions just now.

If NR had been set up as just a freight, inter city and commuter railway then its obligations may have been different, but it wasn't and isn't and is therefore legally bound to operate in the light of its full legal obligations
 

DarloRich

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Obviously planning of charter trains is the only thing Network Rail does which matters to you. Bids for steam hauled services or those needing goods line clearance have to be submitted 3 months ahead of operation. If whoever submits the bids then becomes unable to operate the train involved, then NR would have been within their rights to not progress them. However in this case they look to have facilitated another operator taking over the bid rather than insisting on the other operator going through the whole process again. I think that if Saturday's train runs, that is a matter for celebration, and NR will have played a large part in making it happen.

the puffer buffers aren't interested in anything but their trains and have no grasp of the real world commercial pressures involved. They expect all work to be dropped and their train to take priority over the franchised TOC and FOC operations. You are wasting your breath trying to explain.
 
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TBirdFrank

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the puffer buffers aren't interested in anything but their trains and have no grasp of the real world commercial pressures involved. They expect all work to be dropped and their train to take priority over the franchised TOC and FOC operations. You are wasting your breath trying to explain.

I rather suspect that when it comes to working with and resolving the issues arising from privatisation that those with experience arelikely to know a bit more than those who just want an easy and predictable life.

I can't say it often or clear enought - but Netowrk Rail nee Railtrack was set up with obligations to service the franchises, the FOc's and the leisure market. That is why the obligation to serve the leisure market was specifically inserted in the roles of the FOC's set up in 1993
 

DarloRich

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the puffer buffers aren't interested in anything but their trains and have no grasp of the real world commercial pressures involved. They expect all work to be dropped and their train to take priority over the franchised TOC and FOC operations. You are wasting your breath trying to explain.

I rather suspect that when it comes to working with and resolving the issues arising from privatisation that those with experience arelikely to know a bit more than those who just want an easy and predictable life.

I can't say it often or clear enought - but Netowrk Rail nee Railtrack was set up with obligations to service the franchises, the FOc's and the leisure market. That is why the obligation to serve the leisure market was specifically inserted in the roles of the FOC's set up in 1993

You can say it all you like but can you and others not see why, in the real world, the one off leisure market might not come as high up the tree as the franchised operators?
 

TBirdFrank

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And by exposing the NR prejudice you have probably neatly admitted one of the reasons for the seething resentment between a Yorkshire businessman and the National Infrastructure owner.

It does indeed take two to tango!
 

DarloRich

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And by exposing the NR prejudice you have probably neatly admitted one of the reasons for the seething resentment between a Yorkshire businessman and the National Infrastructure owner.

It does indeed take two to tango!

What are you talking about? :roll: You are clearly one of the WCRC fan boys who think there is some form of vendetta against that company. Wake up.
 

CosherB

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I rather suspect that when it comes to working with and resolving the issues arising from privatisation that those with experience arelikely to know a bit more than those who just want an easy and predictable life.

I can't say it often or clear enought - but Netowrk Rail nee Railtrack was set up with obligations to service the franchises, the FOc's and the leisure market. That is why the obligation to serve the leisure market was specifically inserted in the roles of the FOC's set up in 1993

Have you written to Patrick McLoughlin, in his role as Transport Secretary and special member of the Board of Directors of Network Rail, and insisted that something is done? I'm sure that all of the 34,000 employees at NR are chuffed to bits with your comments. :roll:
 

Deepgreen

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I can't say it often or clear enought - but Netowrk Rail nee Railtrack was set up with obligations to service the franchises, the FOc's and the leisure market.

No, unfortunately, you can't.

However, notwithstanding the obvious logic of DarloRich's point, let's not forget the principles of true open access, and the fact that the average fare paid by "one-off leisure" travellers (i.e. steam train bookers in this case) is probably higher than by 'normal' passengers (albeit for greater distances in many cases).
 
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Iskra

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I've received my tickets for my trip this week. However, it also states there is a strong chance that my trip will be diesel hauled (guessing a 47 or a 57) as 6201 Princess Elizabeth's overhaul won't be completed in time and the replacement 34067 Tangmere has 'been declared unfit for this tour.' They are apparently trying to source another steam loco but don't sound too hopeful.

If it's diesel I'm hoping for a 47 as I haven't had one since the days of Virgin Cross Country.
 
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