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Passenger Numbers: 2014 onwards
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michaelh



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 919
Location: Droitwich Spa

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject: Passenger Numbers: 2014 onwards Reply with quote

I haven't seen anything about SVR 2014 passenger numbers, but I was at a special event on the GWSR today and heard a number of comments to the effect that they (the GWSR) were 20% up on this time last year.
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Michael Howard
Heritage Railways supporter since 1968
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21979240@N07/


Last edited by michaelh on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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hearn_p



Joined: 15 Nov 2003
Posts: 5713
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC at the PLC AGM it was said that the budget is 220,000 (2013 was 213,000), so around 3% up. Traffic was running a little ahead of budget.

Looking back on news items, pre-bookings for the 1940s event were running close to the levels of last year, the Peppa Pig event achieved its budgeted passenger number of 4,000.

Certainly good news in there but a 20% in passenger numbers for the year sounds rather high?

Just guesswork, you understand.

Putting the new arrangements to the test, please can a Director confirm how we are doing on passenger numbers against budget? Thanks

Patrick Hearn
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Danny252



Joined: 01 Oct 2009
Posts: 1164

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can find reference online to GWSR receipts being 23% up in 2013 compared to 2009. Perhaps such an increase in 2014 could be explained by 20% more operating days - I can't find any copy of their 2013 timetable to check!

On another note, their selection of actively updated blogs is quite impressive, and perhaps something to take note of given the calls for better communication on the SVR.

Edit: Going through said blogs, the GWSR reported that by the end of March they were 25% up on 2013 (2000+ vs 1692), although down on 2009 numbers. However, by that date, they had only had 8 operational days (plus New Year's Day), so it's hard to judge whether that pattern would have continued.
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Last edited by Danny252 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lench_S



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Posts: 532
Location: Stourport

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm no director, but at the Ltd company AGM Nick Ralls stated the holdings AGM had been told now inaccurate information as since the meeting June had been under budget in passenger numbers, although it was hoped July and the PR campaign along with Steam & Whistle Activity club would rectify the fall against budget.
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Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Severn Valley Railway group of companies, Hampton Loade Station Fund or Barry Railway Carriage Trust.
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michaelh



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 919
Location: Droitwich Spa

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hearn_p wrote:
IIRC at the PLC AGM it was said that the budget is 220,000 (2013 was 213,000), so around 3% up. Traffic was running a little ahead of budget.

Looking back on news items, pre-bookings for the 1940s event were running close to the levels of last year, the Peppa Pig event achieved its budgeted passenger number of 4,000.

Certainly good news in there but a 20% in passenger numbers for the year sounds rather high?

Just guesswork, you understand.

Putting the new arrangements to the test, please can a Director confirm how we are doing on passenger numbers against budget? Thanks

Patrick Hearn


It does indeed sound high, but I heard it quoted several times by different people at different times.
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Michael Howard
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hearn_p



Joined: 15 Nov 2003
Posts: 5713
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies, I misread the original post that the SVR numbers were up by 20% - please ignore my previous post.

20% for GWSR - and any railway - would be very good news

Patrick
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michaelh



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 919
Location: Droitwich Spa

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hearn_p wrote:
Apologies, I misread the original post that the SVR numbers were up by 20% - please ignore my previous post.

20% for GWSR - and any railway - would be very good news

Patrick


Have edited the OP to remove any potential for misunderstanding.
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Michael Howard
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hearn_p



Joined: 15 Nov 2003
Posts: 5713
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My record of numbers:

2005 - 252,000 paying passengers, the best ever year
2006 246,000
2007 139,000 (storm)
2008 - 238,056 (started only at Easter)
2009 - 248,798 (2nd highest ever)
2010 - 225,570 (Severn Valley Railway slashes child fares to 1!)
2011 - 215,310 (traffic income up 180k on reduced numbers)
2012 202,552 (poor weather and Olympics)
2013 211,000 (no Thomas, dreadful weather for Spring Gala and 1 day fewer for the Santa Specials)
2014 204,045 (budget 220,000 SVR News 186)

Patrick
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Stato



Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 547
Location: Here there & everywhere

PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this a worrying trend me thinks?
In the better years did we run more trains than today?
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michaelh



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 919
Location: Droitwich Spa

PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stato wrote:
Is this a worrying trend me thinks?
In the better years did we run more trains than today?


More diesels these days.
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Michael Howard
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KJEvans



Joined: 08 Feb 2010
Posts: 1238
Location: Kidderminster or Edinburgh

PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

michaelh wrote:
Stato wrote:
Is this a worrying trend me thinks?
In the better years did we run more trains than today?


More diesels these days.

But less steam? Yes, but did diesel replace steam directly? No. Looking at the 2006 timetable, we ran B midweek during May and September. In recent years, this has been A, but before 2013 this was just the 2 steam service so compared to earlier it was a downgrading of the service. Since 2013 we have added a diesel service which has made the timetable more useable for people.
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Derby4



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just thinking about other leading Heritage railways and how they market themselves, I wondered if passenger numbers could be related to "special events" as such, and the balance between enthusiast and non-enthusiast or family orientated events.
Here are some numbers, looking at events taking place from today onwards, and finishing before Santa specials start.
( Just taken from those listed on the respective websites)

SVR: 16 events, of which 6 could be classed as enthusiast orientated.

GCR: 29 events, of which 8 would be enthusiast orientated.

NYMR: 15 events of which only 3 are enthusiast orientated.

The NYMR have an advantage in that they are located in a holiday area, and I think carry over 300,000 passengers annually. Maybe their normal scheduled services are therefore well patronised, and the need for "special events" is less than for other lines. Santa operations excepted, I suppose.
By contrast the GCR is not located in a "holiday" area, and perhaps has to work harder to attract the local population to visit more frequently.

I was going to make the comment that the SVR should put on more special events, probably family orientated, but I wonder if it is as straight foreward as that?

Some railways get off to an earlier start with special events, eg the GCR Winter gala, but winter events are a risk weather-wise.

Rob
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Stato



Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 547
Location: Here there & everywhere

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stato wrote:
Is this a worrying trend me thinks?
In the better years did we run more trains than today?
Not sure if the replies answer this question. If it is the same number of trains they will have carried an extra 7000 empty seats in 2014 compared to 2013. Or, if my maths is right, 16000 empty seats more in 2014 than the bean counters planned for. Ouch.
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Bryan Clarke



Joined: 12 Jan 2011
Posts: 208
Location: Shropshire

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My take, for what it's worth is that although 250.000 paying passengers might seem a long way off, it's clearly not impossible as we have been there before. Something to aspire to is never a bad thing.

I see some eminently sensible suggestions about changing the timetable by starting services 30 minutes earlier, which appear to have gone unheeded and as far as I know, unacknowledged. The railway must not always find reasons not to change - to stand still is to wither. An infrequent service during weekdays, which can result in our customers sitting around in sometimes unpleasant conditions, for over an hour in the middle of nowhere. Less than half full eight coach trains being dragged up and down the line. Diesels being increasingly used, sometimes hauling the first train off Kidderminster. Well, one could go on, but the negatives are not going to attract more customers.

The railway has some potentially extremely attractive solutions that could be offered or at least considered. Some positive timetable changes would be a good start. A additional 'local' full line service with fewer coaches in the quieter periods would make the timetable appear more attractive, by providing a more frequent service. Another obvious idea is to offer something a little different to the norm, to attract a specific target cohort. Can it be done, - well The Eardington Explorer sold all seats on its three available coaches in three weeks without any publicity, with people travelling from the continent and from all corners of the UK. Requests for seats are still arriving two months after the "sold out' signs went up. Eardington may not be on everyones like to have list - again too many entrenched reasons for insisting it be labelled as 'Closed", but it is an original SVR station, and is clearly a desirable destination for some of our potential customers. The Branch Line Society would be one potential target, even if it was only a once a year excursion, and there is an extremely attractive restaurant and golf course almost within stone throwing distance. I know there has been some 'company' opposition to new innovative thinking, but passenger numbers demand that new ideas are considered. Maybe the SVR should consider running some one off excursions in conjunction with some of its many supporting groups, who in many cases have significant numbers of supporters . I can think of several unusual trips on the railway, with an eye catching choice of motive power and stock.

The bottom line is that numbers HAVE to increase to make the railway viable and to be able to invest in the future. Bumping along the bottom should not be seen as acceptable by those in charge. If these increases can not be achieved by increasing normal service numbers, other options should be considered.

I'll get my hat !


Last edited by Bryan Clarke on Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:33 am; edited 3 times in total
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mrmover



Joined: 31 Jan 2007
Posts: 868
Location: Shropshire

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need to get your hat, Bryan. A well thought out precis of what can be done. When a business is in a flat or declining position, there are essentially 2 ways to get out. The first is to cut costs - and that may include substituting steam for diesel, reduce the numbers of trains or operating days. The second is to participate in a little 'blue sky thinking' - nothing too dramatic, and some of your suggestions are just this.

I only hope that someone takes heed of some of these, and other, ideas and take it forward. Nothing ventured, as they say. Unfortunately it would appear to be too late for this timetable year.

Hopefully someone can take it forward.
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