Weekday Steam Charters - Why not Saturday's instead?

stj

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Why are so many running during the week and not Saturdays?
 
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JonathanH

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Why are so many running during the week and not Saturdays?
Why shouldn't they run during the week? The primary market may well be those who have more spare time during the week than on Saturdays.

Other reasons to go during the week include availability of traincrew, no conflict with engineering work, the opportunity to run more trips if they do midweek and weekend and just attracting a different market.
 

stj

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Why shouldn't they run during the week? The primary market may well be those who have more spare time during the week than on Saturdays.

Other reasons to go during the week include availability of traincrew, no conflict with engineering work, the opportunity to run more trips if they do midweek and weekend and just attracting a different market.
I am not bothered when they run was just asking why. Also could it spell the end for the standard market as these weekdays are mainly first/dining and not cheap.
 

JonathanH

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Also could it spell the end for the standard market as these weekdays are mainly first/dining and not cheap.
Is the coaching stock formation any different on a weekday to a weekend? The rakes of coaching stock operated by the different promoters tend to be fairly fixed over the course of the season.
 

stj

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Is the coaching stock formation any different on a weekday to a weekend? The rakes of coaching stock operated by the different promoters tend to be fairly fixed over the course of the season.
Not seen any at weekend but all First on the ones I have seen this last few weeks but that will be due to Covid to allow social distancing.My main concern is that could tours become First/Dining only and aimed at people who can travel during the week.
 

JonathanH

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Not seen any at weekend but all First on the ones I have seen this last few weeks but that will be due to Covid to allow social distancing.My main concern is that could tours become First/Dining only and aimed at people who can travel during the week.
While Saphos trains and other operations under the LSL operation are all first class and have implemented social distancing, the other operators (RTC, Vintage Trains, Steam Dreams, West Coast etc) include provision for standard class passengers whether weekday or weekend. First / Dining is potentially more lucrative but they aren't likely to ditch standard class.

Even before March 2020, the Saphos rake of coaches only had one standard class coach. The other operators had more of a mix.
 

trebor79

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Social distancing isn't a thing any more. If operators are not providing standard accommodation then it's for commercial reasons.
 

Brissle Girl

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I am not bothered when they run was just asking why. Also could it spell the end for the standard market as these weekdays are mainly first/dining and not cheap.
Like most things in life there's a mix to cater for all tastes and budgets. If operators find that they get more takers for First/Premium and it makes sense to do so then they will naturally tailor the offering accordingly over time if it makes sense to do so. It's well commented on that many of those now retiring have financial means well in excess of previous retirees - you only have to see the explosion in cruise liners over the last couple of decades to see a related effect of that in the leisure transport market.

They have the time, the money, and probably have a greater affinity with steam, being the generation that (just about) can remember them in regular service.

I certainly hope that standard class services are retained as a regular offering on these charters, although even these are hardly bargain basement fares these days for the full day trips.
 

JRT

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Alternatively why are Steam Charters (and other railway related events) usually on Saturdays?

These days many prospective customers are now retired or unemployed, and may be interested in following sporting events on the traditional day of Saturday.

From 1981 actually, it has been annoying for me that Saturdays have been a choice between watching football or going to a railway related event or tour, and I gather that generally railway people are not interested in football and vice versa, but a % are.
 

D365

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Perhaps also taking into account that people may have annual leave (or days off in lieu) that need using up.
 

VEP3417

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id does seem like the railtour industry is slightly leaning towards people with more spare time and spare money these days, not completely but i suppose it could be to claw money back that theyve lost over the pandemic period

whilst were at it...couldnt they start at a nice leisurely 12 o'clock noon rather than 6am.... :lol:

living right down south bournemouth/southampton areas theres really no choice of tours from a close starting point other than eastleigh now and again but as said they usually start about 6am, id probably end up falling asleep on the train and waking up in the midlands :lol:

ive not been on one for a long time now, other than one that started from eastleigh and went down the fawley branch as that was close enough not to go on it, that and a lot of tours seem to be modern traction like 66s/67s which im not overly interested in for a railtour point of view, i see 47s on tours so often that again even that i wouldnt be overly excited about :lol:
 

torten

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Alternatively why are Steam Charters (and other railway related events) usually on Saturdays?

These days many prospective customers are now retired or unemployed, and may be interested in following sporting events on the traditional day of Saturday.

From 1981 actually, it has been annoying for me that Saturdays have been a choice between watching football or going to a railway related event or tour, and I gather that generally railway people are not interested in football and vice versa, but a % are.
Lots of steam and diesel galas these days are over a Friday/Saturday/Sunday, and sometimes over a Thursday or the following Monday.
 

zwk500

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id does seem like the railtour industry is slightly leaning towards people with more spare time and spare money these days, not completely but i suppose it could be to claw money back that theyve lost over the pandemic period
The industry went right down to the wire, it's no surprise they're going after the people who will give them the most money per seat, and will book the most seats per year. If you don't need to advertise as much that saves money as well!
whilst were at it...couldnt they start at a nice leisurely 12 o'clock noon rather than 6am.... :lol:
How far could you go starting at noon that would get you back at a reasonable time? And how do you serve food and wine (which makes a lot of money) whilst still giving people a decent break?
 

Brissle Girl

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I do agree that sometimes there are very long days involved, which might actually be off-putting to those of a certain generation. Around here, the summer trips from Bristol to Kingswear tend to start at a more civilised time of around 9am.

I do wonder whether two shorter trips in a day might be more attractive, both in terms of hours, and cost. Appreciate that would limit the destinations, and the length of the journey behind steam, but I'm sure you could still construct some interesting days out. eg, from Bristol, you could have a 9am start with breakfast to Hereford (via Abergavenny), and offer lunch on the return via Worcester. Then late afternoon you could offer a trip to Oxford via Bath and back via Worcester, giving a light afternoon tea and dinner. The question is would there be enough takers to fill two trips from the same start point on the same day. Maybe if the price was more reasonable reflective of the shorter itinerary.
 

Iskra

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Alternatively why are Steam Charters (and other railway related events) usually on Saturdays?

These days many prospective customers are now retired or unemployed, and may be interested in following sporting events on the traditional day of Saturday.

From 1981 actually, it has been annoying for me that Saturdays have been a choice between watching football or going to a railway related event or tour, and I gather that generally railway people are not interested in football and vice versa, but a % are.
I agree, but there is so much choice that I usually just choose the railway events when my team are playing away from home and I can’t get a ticket (home ST holder), or alternatively just do most railway stuff over the summer.
 

zwk500

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I do agree that sometimes there are very long days involved, which might actually be off-putting to those of a certain generation. Around here, the summer trips from Bristol to Kingswear tend to start at a more civilised time of around 9am.

I do wonder whether two shorter trips in a day might be more attractive, both in terms of hours, and cost. Appreciate that would limit the destinations, and the length of the journey behind steam, but I'm sure you could still construct some interesting days out. eg, from Bristol, you could have a 9am start with breakfast to Hereford (via Abergavenny), and offer lunch on the return via Worcester. Then late afternoon you could offer a trip to Oxford via Bath and back via Worcester, giving a light afternoon tea and dinner. The question is would there be enough takers to fill two trips from the same start point on the same day. Maybe if the price was more reasonable reflective of the shorter itinerary.
Hereford to Worcester with Steam can't go direct due to a low bridge just west of Shrub Hill. This concept is already done in the Southampton/Salisbury loop, when they run down there. However you need enough punters to make it worth while, and you need the capacity and infrastructure available to facilitate quick turnrounds for the loco and set, which nowadays isn't very readily available.

Man Vic-Carlisle, then lunch over the Tyne Valley and back, before return to Man Vic would be a long day out but just about doable. As mentioned London to Southampton, then Salisbury and back is already done. I can't think of any others with scenic routes, appropriate facilities, spare capacity, and suitable journey lengths that are cleared for steam off the top of my head.
 

VEP3417

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The industry went right down to the wire, it's no surprise they're going after the people who will give them the most money per seat, and will book the most seats per year. If you don't need to advertise as much that saves money as well!

How far could you go starting at noon that would get you back at a reasonable time? And how do you serve food and wine (which makes a lot of money) whilst still giving people a decent break?

well maybe 9am then :lol:

as someone else said, long days leaving at 6 and getting back at 12 arnt everyone's cup of tea, nice little short round trips wouldnt be a bad thing i dont think, the tour i did from eastleigh to fawley refinery wasnt a long trip but very enjoyable being a class 205 thumper

what ever happened to the pullman emu project? did that get completed or did the pandemic get in the way
 

zwk500

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well maybe 9am then :lol:
At any station with enough punters to make it worth picking up, there will be a small problem with people going to work and school!
as someone else said, long days leaving at 6 and getting back at 12 arnt everyone's cup of tea, nice little short round trips wouldnt be a bad thing i dont think, the tour i did from eastleigh to fawley refinery wasnt a long trip but very enjoyable being a class 205 thumper
Limited market for those things, and an especially limited financial base. It's the kind of thing people tend to do once, unlike a day trip to somewhere like Bath.
what ever happened to the pullman emu project? did that get completed or did the pandemic get in the way
The Brighton Belle? I suspect the Pandemic put it on hold, but not sure.
 

Sm5

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I certainly hope that standard class services are retained as a regular offering on these charters, although even these are hardly bargain basement fares these days for the full day trips.
i went on one of the Surrey loop services with 61306, the last coach of standard, was the only empty coach in the train.
Upfront was full of suites and dresses, was worried at first it was the VSOE and I was under dressed.
 

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