It is currently Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:44 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 29 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:34 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3007
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Recent discussion of the potential future for 1218 brought up some points that were suggested for a new thread. Here is the start of it:

From the 1218 Stationary Service line:

Overmod wrote:
Quote:
"Idle comment, but it seems like a terrible waste to have her [1218] sitting unused, considering how much was put into restoring her to operational condition."


It is. But it doesn't really matter how much money was spent; it matters how much money remains to be spent -- and for 1218 that's a considerable amount. Then what would you do, either for Norfolk Southern or for an outside agency like VMT, that 611 doesn't already do better for less expense?

I have some fairly detailed 'feasibility plans' for restoring 1218 to service; I also have one for 'boosting' the LP engine on 2156 to give higher effective road speed and improving the balancing to reduce augment at that speed. The problem isn't that "it can't be done"; it's that even if the owners gave permission to return the engines to service, what could be done with them that would justify the considerable outlay of funds and operating risks?

But provide the money, and the permission, and there would be little trouble putting together an effort to rebuild either one to serviceable condition...



Dave wrote:
That's an interesting thing.... what would make 1218 a better choice for a nonexistant steam program than any of the other mainline locomotives that are not booked for use every possible opportunity of their 15 year economic cycle? Certainly it is possible, and less mechanically difficult that Richard's own well developed and rationally managed park hulk project.

Maybe a bigger question is how do we create a large enough marketplace for mainline steam operation such that it is feasible?


Kevin Gilliam wrote:
Overmod wrote:
I also have one for 'boosting' the LP engine on 2156 to give higher effective road speed and improving the balancing to reduce augment at that speed.


Considering the N&W regularly operated the Y6 class at 50mph, which is faster than you can legally run with a steam engine on NS anyways, what would be the benefit to this? The old NS program of 50 excursions and 20,000+ miles a year isn't going to return, and with the climate these days, how often would you ever find a situation where doing major improvements above and beyond the normal and getting an engine "friendly" to mainline operation (updated brake stand, temperature sensors, roller bearings where possible, etc) would be something that would be justifiable in the long run? Just curious.

As said, the issue isn't finding a suitable candidate for operation. It's justifying the rebuild so that you don't have a cold engine sitting around in a building while boiler days expire.
Kevin


Kevin Gilliam wrote:
Dave wrote:
Maybe a bigger question is how do we create a large enough marketplace for mainline steam operation such that it is feasible?


An excursion-length Amtrak-certified coach fleet is a start. Have we gotten to the point where multiple operators are trying to run trips at the same time and we are now in need of more cars? There seems to be an expanding interest in recent years of a lot of first class seats and fewer coach seats. That's a big change from the old days where you might have one or two first class cars on the end of the train. I can remember riding many trips where there was no first class section. The problem, of course, is renting the cars, and then deadheading them to your origin point.

Next step is to see if there is anywhere that would underwrite a policy so that two or more groups could band together to operate excursions would be worth exploring also---and I'm sure it has been. The cost decreases if you can amortize it over multiple trips, and justifying a policy just so that you can run 3-4 weekends a year is becoming difficult.

Those two would cut down some of the up-front costs, reduces ticket prices, which allows more people to ride the trains. Rising ticket prices are the biggest killer right now. At $150 a head, you've eliminated the old model of Mom/Dad/Kid(s) taking a family outing on the excursions. Sadly, I don't think there is an easy fix.
Kevin


At this point, I might mention that some of this was talked about some five years ago, and there was another discussion four years ago.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=31783

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=34312


Last edited by J3a-614 on Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:48 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3007
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Continuing with material from the 1218 thread:

PaulWWoodring wrote:
U. S. railroading is currently undergoing another (possibly the last?) major route mileage shakeout from the decline of coal extraction and other reasons. Some of these lines are probably not going to be converted to, or bought by short-line/regional operators. I'm sure many here are familiar with some of the better preserved railways "across the pond", where not only the track infrastructure is preserved, but also the line-side infrastructure - towers, signal systems, stations, etc. (like say The Great Central Railway). I realize that saving and maintaining a rail line is not as "sexy" as saving and preserving a specific piece of equipment, but acquiring a reasonable length of heavy mainline railroad, either single or double-track (with sidings) that actually goes somewhere people might easily travel to, that could be made into a credible historic demonstration railroad, would be one way to give orphaned large pieces of railroad equipment a place to "stretch their legs". As always, money and fundraising is the major bug-a-boo to making anything happen, so no holding of breath over it. Something like IRM that is, say three-times longer, with turning facilities of some kind at each end, suitable for both electric and non-electric operations.


robertjohndavis wrote:
Paul,

Your post is too good and too important to be buried in a thread about #1218. You might consider starting a new thread for this topic.

You are right on the money that we are approaching a time when buying a decent sized stretch of well maintained mainline is going to be possible. Think of it as the next era of US heritage railroading and - as you noted - an opportunity for some UK-like heritage railroading in the states.

Any specific line-segment contenders for you?

Rob


Txhighballer wrote:

Not only is this a good idea, but it needs to be expanded some:

1. We need at least three good sized lines, perhaps more, to make this feasible. One East, one Midwest, and one West:

a. East: Adirondack Scenic

b. Midwest: Cuyahoga Valley Scenic

c. West: ???????

2. Good Class One or shortline connections which would allow movement to and from the railroads;

3. A pool of 40-50 cars, with a good mix of climate controlled and open window heavyweights

4. Pool arrangements between all the participants.

Another option would be to buy a regional which has a healthy freight traffic base and excellent tourist potential. Yes, I do have a couple I could nominate out west, but I'm sure you guys can come up with roads in the Midwest and East to fit the bill.

I think as an industry it's time for us to mature and work together to make some good things happen. We can do it if we adopt the attitude that what we do is important and we want steam to thrive. We need a new sustainable business model in which everyone can benefit. Yes, there will be hurdles. Yes, it will cost money. But at the end of the day, those can be surmounted with all of us working together.



PaulWWoodring wrote:
Not the first time something like this has been proposed before, or even partially done - think early Blue Mountain & Reading with the Hamburg operation in the late '80's, putting in a PRR signal bridge and some other features on a 40 mph line.

I have no clue where it might be done. It would have to be somewhere people could easily get to it, so a line deep in rural coal country probably wouldn't work. Maybe something like the Erie/EL Cleveland-Youngstown line, but that would have to be completely rebuilt. However, the idea - abandoned trackage between urban areas of some size - is the important part.


Dougvv wrote:
Hi,

It was my understanding that 10-15 years ago, the New Mexico Rail Runner (sort of a rapid transit system) was supposedly going to purchase AT&SF from ABQ to the Colorado boarder near Raton Pass.

As I understood it, regular passenger service was to be provided between Albuqueque and Santa Fe. The rest of the line was to be rented out to Amtrak and a way freight or two operated by the AT&SF.

The goal was to save the line from being torn up.

I never heard if this ever occured or what happened. I do not know if the deal fell through or if it was Rail Runner proposal that never occured. I seem to recall that it was to prevent the Raton Pass line from being torn up. I think it was BNSF that was considering removing the line at the time. Sort of like the D&RGW narrow gauge wanting to abandon the narrow gauge in 1968 and CO & NM stepping in to save part.

However, it would have been a long run for mainline steam on a true mainline.

Just think having 759, 844, 611, and other mailine steam pounding away on the ex-AT&SF. A DD40ax or other heritage diesels would have been an additional plus.

Anyone recall this proposal and/or know what happened to it?

Doug vV


PaulWWoodring wrote:
Doug;

I believe that the effort to save the Raton Pass line is still ongoing and unresolved between NM and CO, and maybe KS as well. If I recall correctly, there is more trackage at stake for the Southwest Chief than just the part over Raton. That line is also the steepest mainline grade that Amtrak transits. I know that in the days when F40's handled Nos. 3 and 4, there were times when they had to cut the head end power briefly to maximize tractive effort to the motors for the climb, and that was with three F40's powering the train. So, we're talking about a very challenging line for any potential excursion operation. Although, this line was something in the back of my mind for my idea, most of the trackage to be abandoned is kind of in the middle of nowhere in terms of population centers needed to support a tourist operation.


At this point, I'll let the rest go on again. . .but first, a potential selling point for a heritage operation over something like the Raton Pass line is that the heritage operation is a potential additional revenue stream to help cover the fixed overhead, as well as a potential economic stimulus.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1864
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
The Raton line purchase was cancelled by the Tea Party governor. The state had an option to purchase contract, and the administration let the contract lapse. But they are still stuck trying to get funding together for necessary maintenance to save the Chief route, they just will not own the line they are paying to maintain.

_________________
Steven Harrod
Lektor
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:10 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 308
The Raton Pass route is in the middle of a $100M rebuild that started around 2013. BNSF spoke to Amtrak and the three states in 2012, offering to pony up one-fifth of the $100M if the other four entities did the same, or else they would be downgrading it to 30mph. They eventually were able to get some commitments and federal money, and they have been relaying the entire line with CWR and new ties and ballast, and getting ready for PTC. BNSF and Amtrak needed to agree to reroute the SWC into Pueblo (on two freight only lines southeast and southwest of Pueblo, one ex-C&S, one ex-ATSF, that mostly have coal trains now) to get money from Colorado. Here is the most recent article I could find about the continuing effort:

https://csanders429.wordpress.com/tag/s ... est-chief/


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:34 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2050
The coal drop to me is not that significant to the whole story for the railroads as plenty of other traffic is rolling. It is causing some empty car storage all over the place as most of those cars are rolling on the rails. It reminds me how some early freight traffic the cars would keep rolling with their loads until a buyer was found and then the car would get routed to them. Keeps the yards free I guess.

Traffic may have certainly increased on the railroads and in many areas extra tracks are getting laid but new routes would be difficult to build and cross existing land filled with farms or whatever. A railroad route is being proposed to bypass Chicago but thats up in all kinds of opposition from land owners etc.

So the thicker traffic makes it tougher to route excursions than it did in the 60's-70s-80s.
CSX banning any steam excursions does make a knucklehold on doing some great routes, but NS is proving it can still be done.

UP restoring a Big Boy means big power is possible, getting 2156 or 1218 up and running not an impossibility. Funds can always be found you can always argue economics, its donations, grants, funds from running 611, its not impossible, money is just a tool to get things done for you.

I'd love to see 2156 restored or even the IRM 2-8-8-2, but I'd love to see the NKP 4-6-4 in St Louis restore to operation.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

If I recall corretly, the Raton Pass line of BNSF was being downgraded due to the steep grades and the fact that the BNSF system had alternate lower grade lines for freight traffic. That is what spured the move for NM to purchase the line. Amtrak would like to use the line. There's not much on-line freight origins and detinations between the Santa Fe Southern and the Colorado state line.

One alternate to the Raton Pass line, I think, was the ex-Rock Island east of Tucomcari and the ex-AT&SF wast of there. The ex-Colorado & Southern/CB&Q line which crosses the Tucomcari line would allow Albuqueque-Pueblo traffic.

Heck, If you want, rebuild the ex-D&RGW Valley Line (Alamosa to Mears Junction. You've gor a straight as an arrow line Through the San Luis Valley through Hooper until you get to Moffett (IIRC) that could be rebuilt to standard gauge mainline stadards for running big power. <GRIN>

Oh Well.

Talk about a missed opportunity. A once a year or wo running big time steam for a week at say 50MPH! Meets and freight and passenger and all.

Doug vV


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 703
IMO, it has very little to do with available hardware.

It has a great deal to do with money, attitudes, and markets.

The market is pretty tiny. Ask Ross how long it took to satiate the appetite for steam in the largest metropolitan area in the country.

Foamer groups have a long history of being unable or unwilling to park their competitive spirits and tribal instincts long enough to work together. So much so that in the few instances where it does happen, they are noteworthy. And sadly, usually short-lived as egos and tempers come out.

Despite what some people want to believe, these things cost a HUGE amount of money, and it isn't going to get any cheaper. And there are not that many economies of scale to be had. And when your equipment is sitting, the costs go on but the revenue ends.
And it WILL sit.

The market for big, expensive main-line trips is tiny and it isn't growing. Railroads are meaningless to 99% of the population today. Train riding itself is an alien idea to most people these days. "Reliving" an era they know nothing about and never experienced does little than demonstrate why railroads dieselized and dumped passenger trains 60 years ago in the first place.

Attitudes of everyone on the railroads are just not there, for many reasons. Some real and some imagined. Largely, mega railroads are today run by people who have no attachment to the history. They didn't come through the ranks, have few friends or relatives that did, and don't see the point. They do, however, see the pote4ntial downsides, primarily in cost, disruption, and liability. They deal with the lunatic fringe of foamers enough to see all fans that way.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

Quote:
Train riding itself is an alien idea to most people these days.


You have a point - very good one.

I have watched places like the Atlanta History Center when they have their annual (?) WWII day. They have veterans in Uniforms, and Jeeps or WWII era items and it draws crowds.

I have been a proponet of drawing people into the act. For instance, for WWII days, let the customers know that they are welcome and ecouraged to wear period costumes. Re-enact the departure of a WWII train with the GIs and their girl friends on the platforms. Have some USO girls there.

Do not think this is hooey. There are lots of re-enactors for the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Demonstrate using train order hoops to hand up order to the engine men with a narator explaining it to the people. Show a passenger or mixed train stopping at a depot and handling the milk cans and express packages. Show how the RPO would hook mailbags on the fly.

This is just ideas. They all may not work. But the point is get the people involved.

It is happening right now in the science fiction conventions when people dress up as Kirk or spoke or Doctor Who. The Firefly TV series made only 15 episods and aired only 11-12 before being canceled and yet many game items and memorabilia are available at Hobby Town USA.

How about a wild west theme with Indians and cowboys and shootists and riding stage coaches also. How about a chuck wagon eating area?

Personally I like joining in the activites more than just riding.

This suggestions may not work as I mention it, but I hope it gets a few to stop and think. Thinking outside the box. How railroads effected the American History. The history of technology is involved with railroads and railroads effected the history of technology.

FWIW

Doug vV


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:03 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2050
Lincoln Penn wrote:
IMO, it has very little to do with available hardware.

It has a great deal to do with money, attitudes, and markets.

The market is pretty tiny. Ask Ross how long it took to satiate the appetite for steam in the largest metropolitan area in the country.

Foamer groups have a long history of being unable or unwilling to park their competitive spirits and tribal instincts long enough to work together. So much so that in the few instances where it does happen, they are noteworthy. And sadly, usually short-lived as egos and tempers come out.

Despite what some people want to believe, these things cost a HUGE amount of money, and it isn't going to get any cheaper. And there are not that many economies of scale to be had. And when your equipment is sitting, the costs go on but the revenue ends.
And it WILL sit.

The market for big, expensive main-line trips is tiny and it isn't growing. Railroads are meaningless to 99% of the population today. Train riding itself is an alien idea to most people these days. "Reliving" an era they know nothing about and never experienced does little than demonstrate why railroads dieselized and dumped passenger trains 60 years ago in the first place.

Attitudes of everyone on the railroads are just not there, for many reasons. Some real and some imagined. Largely, mega railroads are today run by people who have no attachment to the history. They didn't come through the ranks, have few friends or relatives that did, and don't see the point. They do, however, see the pote4ntial downsides, primarily in cost, disruption, and liability. They deal with the lunatic fringe of foamers enough to see all fans that way.


This may be why several east states passed a resolution to educate the public about the railroads as much of the area is steep in the railroad lore like the N&W and the core of the area is was whatever very dependent on the railroads. One reason NS may be doing the steam excursions, they always seem to garner attention with the steam engine coming to town.

The car industry is slowly engulfing all over but its grinding up the roadways in most large cities with clogged traffic and plenty of daily accidents. Many cities have brought back Light rail and other rail services that were missing. With the global warming and a push to electric sooner or later the total lesson may get learned and rail may make the comeback.
People may get tired of the daily drive grind and ease back in the train, South Shore is moving ahead with its expansion, there's talk in Chicago getting the southern Metra line to rapid transit style service, the cases keep coming up.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3007
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Lincoln Penn wrote:
IMO, it has very little to do with available hardware.

It has a great deal to do with money, attitudes, and markets.

The market is pretty tiny. Ask Ross how long it took to satiate the appetite for steam in the largest metropolitan area in the country.

The market for big, expensive main-line trips is tiny and it isn't growing. Railroads are meaningless to 99% of the population today. Train riding itself is an alien idea to most people these days.


Dougvv wrote:
I have watched places like the Atlanta History Center when they have their annual (?) WWII day. They have veterans in Uniforms, and Jeeps or WWII era items and it draws crowds.

I have been a proponet of drawing people into the act. For instance, for WWII days, let the customers know that they are welcome and ecouraged to wear period costumes. Re-enact the departure of a WWII train with the GIs and their girl friends on the platforms. Have some USO girls there.

Do not think this is hooey. There are lots of re-enactors for the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Demonstrate using train order hoops to hand up order to the engine men with a narator explaining it to the people. Show a passenger or mixed train stopping at a depot and handling the milk cans and express packages. Show how the RPO would hook mailbags on the fly.

This is just ideas. They all may not work. But the point is get the people involved.

It is happening right now in the science fiction conventions when people dress up as Kirk or spoke or Doctor Who. The Firefly TV series made only 15 episods and aired only 11-12 before being canceled and yet many game items and memorabilia are available at Hobby Town USA.

How about a wild west theme with Indians and cowboys and shootists and riding stage coaches also. How about a chuck wagon eating area?

Personally I like joining in the activites more than just riding.

This suggestions may not work as I mention it, but I hope it gets a few to stop and think. Thinking outside the box. How railroads effected the American History. The history of technology is involved with railroads and railroads effected the history of technology.

FWIW

Doug vV


dinwitty wrote:
This may be why several east states passed a resolution to educate the public about the railroads as much of the area is steep in the railroad lore like the N&W and the core of the area is was whatever very dependent on the railroads. One reason NS may be doing the steam excursions, they always seem to garner attention with the steam engine coming to town.

The car industry is slowly engulfing all over but its grinding up the roadways in most large cities with clogged traffic and plenty of daily accidents. Many cities have brought back Light rail and other rail services that were missing. With the global warming and a push to electric sooner or later the total lesson may get learned and rail may make the comeback.
People may get tired of the daily drive grind and ease back in the train, South Shore is moving ahead with its expansion, there's talk in Chicago getting the southern Metra line to rapid transit style service, the cases keep coming up.


All three of these commentators have, in my opinion, legitimate points.

In regard to big, traditional main line excursions, I have long considered that business model quite dead. Truthfully, it never really did make sense, unless you could avoid charging it with a lot of the costs--for instance, when the Reading used still-certified, not-needing-serious-work, T-1 4-8-4s that were just sitting around to pull coaches that were normally used for commuter service that were also just sitting around.

In my opinion, you do have a market for long (but not too long), decently priced but not bargain basement operations provided you have more to offer than just a train ride. Usually that might be scenery--think Cumbres & Toltec, Durango & Silverton, White Pass & Yukon, Grand Canyon Scenic, and diesel operations such as the Rocky Mountaineer and the Alaska Railroad's services--but that extra beyond a train ride need not be limited to that, as Doug VV suggests.

Dinwitty also makes the point, as have I in other threads, that a lot of people, most of them younger, are not as enamored of cars as some earlier generations were. Too much traffic, too much money, not enough fun, and just plain too many cars (read-market saturation) are putting a crimp on automobile growth. We've likely gone as far as we can with cars in terms of real usefulness, actually well beyond that point.

People are looking for alternatives; that's part of why cities are reviving light rail lines, and commuter services. There is no reason heritage railroads, including main line operations, shouldn't be part of the mix. . .provided you do have a good business model, which so far as I know, has never been properly explored, much less actually applied, with the possible exceptions of the D&S, C&T, WP&Y, and Grand Canyon. . .

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/15/travel/ir ... -comeback/


Last edited by J3a-614 on Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:30 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 413
Location: Floyd, AR
All the above are important, but the biggest one is the liability, reflected in insurance costs. It's the creeping death of...well...everything. Every year the insurance costs get worse, the imagined fears get bigger. The only way we can currently hold that back is to operate as safely as possible, but the time may come where we have to come together and deal directly with this issue. If we can reduce the risk, real or imagined, we can open up further opportunities for operation.

I also agree with the idea that it would be best to offer total immersion in the era being depicted, or as close as possible.

_________________
Robert Longhofer,
Board Member, Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Arkansas Railroad Museum, steam engine SSW819.
Any information or opinions I express are my own, and are not the views of the CBRHS or anyone else, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:31 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3007
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
I knew there was another thread on this--now attached for reference, along with an earlier one that covered some of the same material:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=34312

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=31783


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:50 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3007
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
dinwitty wrote:
CSX banning any steam excursions does make a knucklehold on doing some great routes, but NS is proving it can still be done.


Too bad about CSX. . .

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=57EAACE8


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:51 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 703
Gents:

One of the first hurdles will be coming up with $8-10 million in seed money, and most of that will be spent before a wheel ever turns.

And it's wishful thinking to even bring up the names Buffet or Gates.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Future of Main Line Steam and Excursions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5228
Location: southeastern USA
I barely got seats on the Bowral Tulip steam excursion in Australia when I visited several years ago. The train was crowded, it ran a fairly long trip to the destination - tulip farms in full bloom - and then back again in the evening. So, a destination can be an integral part of the entire product you are selling. In fact, if you provide a pleasant and fun experience with a destination at the middle of the day, the motive power is minimally important - but why not use steam to make it just that much more special?

What I'd ideally like to see is a small but select set of locomotives and a good stock of cars that are comfortable and clean - and have them serve events and destinations rather than stay in one place. The locomotive choice is of course dependent on the characteristics of the railroad, so something with a long rigid wheelbase doesn't run on the curvy branch line and the 110 MPH streamliner doesn't handle the 25 MPH train on low speed trackage.

I think destination day trips are an easier sell to a larger market than steam power to nowhere special and back, and variety of locations is better than the same track over and over again...........

_________________
"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 29 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], David Notarius, Google [Bot] and 42 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: