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Author Topic: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - merged topic, ongoing discussion  (Read 99575 times)
grahame
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« Reply #300 on: November 21, 2019, 04:34:11 pm »

The days of special trains to holiday camp stations every summer weekend - Heads of Ayr, Filey, and Penychain are gone. The idea of a new branch into Minehead Butlins so that trains take people either there or to a public station (but not both) would have the disadvantage of diluting the services to both so that both would fall below the threshold of being frequent enough to be attractve

A "simple platform" - an intermediate station on the running line would make huge sense, with a gate into the back of the camp. An exit off the end of the platform onto Seaward Way would also allow access from outside Butlins.  Now - I recall one of the concerns about running a National Rail service at time that the old Minehead heritage station is not staffed was the security of that site and all the things there.  Simples - terminate the National Rail service at "Alcombe" except during the day in summer.  There's a footpath along parallel to the station yard, and a place that's open from early to late for a coffee right by Alcombe station exit.

At the other end of the line ... I understand that there's a lot of signalling stuff now in place where the up relief used to run, and some goon has half-filled the bay platform too.   It would cost to add extra safety features to the heritage stock (look at the issues faced for Swanage to Wareham) to the natural approach is to run an National Rail train on the shared tracks, not a WSR train by a company looking to get back on its feet and really not with the robust resources to take on that extra project.   The other benefits of a national train are ...
* Just one extra train needed for a 2 hour service - and that a standard one
* No need for a unit in hand to cover failure just on the one line
* No extra maintenance depot / lot of staff knowing National Rail standards and holding spares - all done at St Phiips or Exeter
* Through services, easy(ier) through ticketing
* Driver / train manager who are employed to work all sorts of odd shifts all year
* Financial support mechanism to roll the inevitable immediate funding gaps into the franchise settlement

On volunteer time ... ACoRP recons that for every 1 spent on volunteers they get 4.20 of good / time back.  Yes, I can believe that. But at the same time, paid staff (for the most part, especially full time) have their lives built around their job role whereas volunteers are much more fickle and harder to manage - much keener and active when available, but sorting out availability can be interesting.
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« Reply #301 on: November 21, 2019, 08:01:07 pm »

We use: https://www.heritage-ops.org.uk/ for our rostering of both paid and volounteer staff, here at Moors Valley Railway.
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