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80078

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Steve1015, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. 1472

    1472 Active Member

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    Moves in this direction do take place but are not that widespread. Many railways struggle with the escalating costs of maintaining their infrastructure and those costs necessarily have a higher priority than the purchase of particular locos. Whilst active support for particular locos remains the blend of earned steaming fees, active fundraising, volunteer input and specific bequests probably gives the cheapest way of providing motive power. Once a loco becomes part of a wider whole then the subsidy of fund raising and volunteer input tends to attract less volunteer participation.

    The locos which will get sidelined are those which do not earn a reasonable proportion of their costs through poor operating agreements, are unsuitable for the available commercial work or are in the hands of inactive but hoarding owners.
     
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  2. Herald

    Herald New Member

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    If that is true of Joe public then logically it follows that they would be happy to travel behind a new build. Thus given the escalating difficulties of raising funds to repair what are essentially life expired old machines perhaps new builds are not so silly particularly if they incorporate 21st century engineering with as many labour and cost saving improvements as possible. Whilst so far the standard gauge lines haven't followed that route the engineering practice of the Ffestiniog may give a clue to how tourist railways of the future will tackle meeting customer expectations.
     
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  3. Jimc

    Jimc Well-Known Member

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    Has there been any real research on this? Or is it received opinion? I don't know that its possible for a youngster to be a keen Thomas the Tank engine enthusiast - at least the books anyway - without a reasonable appreciation of the differences between locomotives, and you'd think there has to be a degree of railway enthusiasm before dad or mum agrees to take the kids on a preserved line, which isn't that cheap an exercise.

    First Great Western thought, 70 years after the Great Western disappeared, that the name Great Western Railway and even the historic GWR logo still had enough resonance with the general public to be worth using for a rebranding. That does suggest they consider there's a degree of awareness amongst the general public.

    My guess would be that while some members of Joe public just want a steam engine, in practice there's a whole spectrum of interest. We are, after all, also Joe public, and my guess is there will be a steady range between that at one extreme, and "Fred who will only travel if its a BR standard in authentic lined black with maroon coaches, Mk 1 or earlier" a the other end, and you could expect a reasonable degree of awareness of locomotive types or lines from the majority. But that's only my guess, it would be interesting to see some serious market research. I imagine its different for different lines too: Snowdon Mountain Railway customers may be more focused on the scenery than some others.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Agreed. One of our former directors was of the opinion, based on a fair amount of experience, that brightly-coloured locos were preferable to black ones; named locos were preferable to ones with just a number (which was why we nearly always ran 9017 with nameplates, even though it wasn't strictly prototypical); and at least a proportion of people on return visits wanted to see locos they had seen / been behind before. My experience is that a significant number of visitors are at least well enough informed about the locos to ask "where is such-and-such?" if they can't find it. Trawling through comments on FaceBook also indicates a reasonable number of people commenting, if you put a photo up, "that's the loco we went behind" and similar. So my experience, admittedly anecdotal, is that many visitors do have a level of interest that goes beyond "provided it goes chuff I don't mind".

    I'm not sure why that should actually be a surprise - as a hobby, we seem to do ourselves down in assuming that no-one would be interested in the details of what we do. After all, when we are considering leisure trips on our own behalf - do we choose activities to places we are interested in, or just go somewhere at random and think "that'll do"? So if on our own behalf we choose to visit places that interest us, even if we aren't necessarily detailed experts, it seems a bit odd to then assume that the majority of our visitors to railways will be so uninformed in advance as to have no appreciation at all of what is hauling them.

    Tom
     
  5. huochemi

    huochemi Active Member Friend

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    One needs to be careful with market research though. If you ask a passenger does he or she prefer steam locos which are painted in colours other than black and with a face on it, they may well say yes, but it does not really get you very far in terms of how to present the package, unless you are running a funfair. Incidentally, having just been to the Bluebell, the memsahib commented on going round the shed at Sheffield Park that there were a lot of small locos in peculiar colours, and asked me whether they had any proper locos, pronouncing herself satisfied when she saw 73082 down the yard. She certainly prefers steam locos to diesel though.
     
  6. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Member

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    I think anyone who as a child owned a train set would have some knowledge. If, as a child their parents gave them a book to read about trains because they liked playing with said train set, then they would have a little more knowledge,and so on,and so on, until you get to the other side of the bell curve which is where you find the "gricer" category. I can't see someone who has no interest in trains waking up and feeling the urge to visit a railway - there must be some interest and therefor some knowledge even if it came from Mr Hornby or Mr Lima with and an incorrect livery!

    How many times have you overheard a conversation between say a father and son where the Dad is telling the son complete b*ll*cks?!!
     
  7. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Member

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    And then there is the "Thomas" factor. Luckily, the good reverend included a couple of engines with GWR written on the side....

    Cut to child's bedroom: story time....

    "Dad, what does GWR mean?"
    "I don't know son."
    "Dad, can we go see a real steam train like Thomas this weekend?"
    "Sure we can, that sounds like fun."

    Cut to the weekend: waiting on the platform....pannier tank trundles in....

    "Look Dad, there's Duck! It's Duck Dad! Look, look!!!"
    "Yes mate it sure is! Do you know what GWR stands for?"
    "No Dad, what does it mean?"
    "Great Western Railway son....Great Western Railway..."


    (Dad googled it - he is now assimilated and is waiting for the £480 of model trains he bought off eBay to turn up - wife can't understand the sudden urge to clean out the attic - he may let his son play with them....one day.)

    :Borg:

     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  8. Just_Sayin

    Just_Sayin New Member

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    That's the biggest issue with locomotives I've come across. I know of a few offers that have been made by experienced groups for locomotives that are going nowhere fast, but the offer has been rejected as it is their loco - even though looking at it in all reality they are unlikely to see the day their loco steams. It may be a cynical view, but no-one is getting any younger and you would hope a point is reached where realisation hits home.
     
  9. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    35025 springs to mind as one obvious example of this.

    Mind you, sometimes an owner faces up to reality with beneficial results. Look at the "Blaenavon Five." A decade or so ago, they came very much into the "going nowhere fast" category but now 3855 and 4253 are making tremendous progress while the Dinmore Manor group (Well, technically a separate group) is getting stuck into 2874.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
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  10. jackshepherd

    jackshepherd New Member

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    Well went to see 80078 down at Mangapps, she looks a treat, well done to the team that restored her, she's a credit to your hard work and money, and she sounds the business on the incline, took a video of her on the bend with a freight train P.S sorry for the wind noise
     
  11. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    I don't believe that I said that there was a widespread tendency, but I think it is actually more widespread than sales between individuals. On the whole, though it is sales of locos by individuals to railways rather than sales by owning groups, because group-owned locos are subsidised by sales and donations rather than their owners pockets.

    Also, whilst many railways are struggling with infrastructure costs, ownership of key locomotives in their operating fleets gives them a degree of control over cash flow and long term assurance of availability of their key selling feature. Privately owned locos can and do move around, as we have seen on several railways if the owners decide they are being offered insufficient work, locomotives owned by groups usually (but not always) have some strongeraffiliation with the railway they are based on.
     
  12. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Part of the furniture

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    Goodness, I remember those grain wagons still being in service in the late 70s.
     
  13. Steve B

    Steve B Active Member

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  14. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Member

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  15. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Active Member

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    Passed an immaculate-looking 80078 on the M3 around midday today. Only a fleeting glance (I was driving the other way) but looked superb.
     
  16. 21B

    21B Active Member

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    It looks even better up close. Massive thanks to the owner and his team for letting us have it for the End of Steam Gala. It has only covered about 90miles (on its own wheels) so far, so it will be being treated very carefully as it is effectively running in this weekend.
     
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  17. bonniville

    bonniville New Member

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    80078 is to appear at the spa valley railways 20th birthday bash 26/27/28/ august
     
  18. Shaggy

    Shaggy Active Member

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    80078 out and about on the first Alton to Alresford service yesterday. Pictured arriving at a rather overcast, damp Medstead. a.jpg b.jpg
     
  19. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Looks as if she will haul the longest trains that will fit into the platforms!

    PH
     
  20. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Active Member

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    Conversely, she was hauling a single coach last night on the Bulleid Society's annual trip.
    As friend of 80150, I concur that a Std 4 tank is ideal for the MHR!
     
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