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Catering facilities on Heritage Railway trains - ex West Somerset Railway Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by paulhitch, Aug 11, 2017 at 8:06 PM.

  1. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    They might well be advised to delete the heavy buffet cars (39 tons tare?) but even I would not favour the Bagnalls for operating the whole length of the WSR which is roughly the same as between Portsmouth and Southampton.

    PH
     
  2. Paul Kibbey

    Paul Kibbey Active Member

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    Surely the buffet cars are a useful revenue stream .
     
  3. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    But just think of all those savings to be made from not heaving round those extra few tons, that could be 0.00001% off the annual coal bill!

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  4. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Only if if they provide enough extra income (a) to balance the trade they are likely to abstract from "onshore" refreshment facilities plus (b) the cost of hauling them around. "(b)" would include particular costs of maintaining the vehicles, such as fuel, staffing, stocking and servicing,

    PH
     
  5. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture

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    even if said onshore refreshment facilities are in competition to the railway, it has to be remembered not every railway's refreshment rooms are owned, or ran on behalf of the railway
     
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  6. 30854

    30854 Member

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    I'll defend the relevance of my earlier post, as speed wasn't a noted characteristic of Irish freight services. Granted, for the most part, we're talking about less tons behind a loco on heritage lines, but the general principle (and the underlying maths) holds good. Worth noting too, that the MGWR H class were inside cylindered.
     
  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    If they're so unprofitable why do so many railways run them? Are you suggesting that *all* of the major heritage railways who do so well have absolutely no business sense when it comes to catering? Why should that be? It's hardly akin to big chufferitis or preserving something as was, because as on other occasions you've pointed out, most didn't back in the day.

    As you say, they're a big effort, so it's hardly something that would be done on a whim, many railways clearly justify the cost of it so it.

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  8. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    On the contrary, I think it has a very great deal in common with big chufferitis.

    PH
     
  9. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture

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    To quote pauls own words, its giving the customers what they want , many's the time i have been very thankful of seing a buffet car thats open, and well stocked on a train, especially when the refreshment facility either seems to be closed, or the queue is out of the door i can remember one occation, when i went into the buffet. all i wanted was a cheese sandwich and a coffee, the sandwich was 2days old, in the wrapper , so instead got one from the on board buffet car, and that was made fresh whilst i waited, and served on a china plate with serviette, the coffee was freshly brewed , proper filter coffee .
     
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  10. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Well-Known Member

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    OOH!! What railway was that?
     
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  11. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    All this suggests is that a disproportionate effort is going towards the buffet car services.

    PH
     
  12. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    Quite right - pragmatism must win out! Think of the costs!
     
  13. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture

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    Actually this situation was one where the buffet did not make their own sandwiches, they bought them in, pre made, pre wrapped all the staff had to do was to put them in the cabinet, the buffet car did not have any pre made sandwiches , so made me one to order , the buffet was busy, the staff probally didnt have the time to check every single sandwich, where as the buffet car had the time to make food from scratch .
     
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  14. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    What has to win out is net income. Catering is not a field for amateurism although amateurs can be very good at it.

    PH
     
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  15. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I can understand the rationale behind big chufferitis, big engines better and more exciting than smaller ones for enthusiasts etc. But who is saying WIBN to buffet cars if they're not profitable, and wasting lots of volunteers time on staffing and maintenance? Is there a guild of buffet car enthusiasts that I don't know about?

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  16. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Oh absolutely - so why would anyone continue to run them if this isn't the case?

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  17. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Actually I do know somewhere like this, although they have now reformed with but an occasional lapse. On taxing one of this line's supporters about this the response was along the lines of "it's not there to make a profit but to provide a service" Words don't often fail me but they did then.

    PH
     
  18. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    Although, as Paul pointed out last week, I don't know what I'm talking about, I'm fairly sure any railway which thinks net income is the ultimate goal is completely stuffed.
     
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  19. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Agreed, but where buffet cars are concerned I think it's more important, as it's not really much to do with preservation.

    Our buffet cars are profitable at any rate, something like 10% of our income IIRC.

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  20. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    See post 6029

    PH
     

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