UK Railtours Midland Medley - 31 May 2012 - CANCELLED

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table38

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I'd seen a hint of this in the last BLS email, but had confirmation letter from John Farrow today:

THE MIDLAND MEDLEY RAILTOUR - 31 MAY 2012

I am really sorry to advise you that insurmountable issues have arisen with this tour and we have found ourselves with no alternative but to cancel it.

At a meeting at Old Dalby in January attended by ourselves DB Schenker Serco (operators of the Test Track) and London Underground the tour was agreed even down to the precise route the train would take once it reached the Old Dalby site and which individual tracks would be traversed.

A cloud appeared on the horizon earlier this month when HMRI raised doubts as to whether the operation complied with the line/s scope of certification under the provisions of ROGS (the Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems Safety Regulations 2006)1 but Serco responded to them by pointing out that this was a DBS operation with appropriate controls, plans and safeguards which ought to be adequate.

However the correspondence clearly caused alarm bells to ring. A few days ago LU instructed Serco to cease all work on the trip and therefore to cancel it, on the basis that it had now become a much more complex task and it was distracting staff from the day-to-day operation of the Test Track (for which LU is paying).

It is not difficult to read between the lines here. Day-to-day performance issues with new LU rolling stock are making headlines, with the London mayoral elections on a knife-edge. Add to that the pressure the Olympics will place on LU to get new stock in service fast and you get the picture. This is high power stuff and the knives are out. A wise man it is said bows to the inevitable.

The line's ROGS certification is soon due for renewal and Serco tells us that an attempt is to be made to build in provision for incoming charter trains. If and when this happens they will advise us and we will hopefully revive the tour, but it is not possible to say when this will be.

:

We are sorry for the disappointment this cancellation will cause. As you know we never cancel tours through lack of support and up until now we had gone 15 months without cancelling or postponing a tour for reason -an enviable record! We hate cancelling our trips, and I'm really sorry we have had to do it this time.

Yours Sincerely,
John Farrow UK Railtours
 
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Wath Yard

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31 Dec 2011
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Now that is how you handle the cancellation of a railtour. A full and detailed explanation, rather than vague suggestions that it might have something to do with your TOC or there may have been difficulties timing it or possibly operational considerations. I had heard it was cancelled and was surprised I hadn't received an e-mail, but I expect I'll get a letter in the next day or so.
 

junglejames

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Hate to say it, but many companys could take note and read that letter. I can imagine very few complaints, and all because the cancellation was explained in such detail. One good thing, at least it seems as though Serco are on side.
 
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Simon M

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30 Mar 2012
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MELTON MOWBRAY
I agree with you guys a most brilliant letter. I live in Melton Mowbray so to get this opportunity to have a trip along the Old Dalby Test Track was too good to miss. I booked 2 tickets for both my father & I. It was going to be his 84th Birthday present!! I received the letter a couple of days ago & we were both so disappointed to read this trip had been cancelled! :( Hopefully they can rearrange another one in the not too distant future..
 

yummy125

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2 Oct 2010
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I was booked on this tour, shame it's not going ahead now. :( Wonder if Serco etc have something they don't want people to see on the line. :D
 

Tubeboy

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9 May 2009
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Location
London
Another one who booked tickets for the trip, gutted to say the least. The letter explains it very well. Hopefully it can be run at a later date. Really wanted to do Old Dalby and Sinfin in particular.
 

dk1

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2 Oct 2009
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8,316
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East Anglia
Was a disappointment but this time i actually booked a hotel that had no cancellation fee :D Doesn't look like i can make anything in the near future so will go for a railtour refund. UKR are as always excellent with their communication. These things happen but thankfully with them, very rarely.
 
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