Well last weekend was the last but one of the normal running season at the railway. November is the time for maintenance and getting ready for the Santa trains.
At the station we had two very different days over the weekend. Saturday as it was cold wet and dismal will not go down as one of the best we have had, but Sunday will.
We really had an excellent day ticket wise and most trains were nice and full, people were enjoying themselves. Without looking at my station figures I reckon that it is in the top five days for ticket sales in October, not including any past gala weekends.
Next weekend sees us start to close the place down for the winter, though I hope to open for a few of the Santa trains, but that will depend on the weather on the day. If it’s dismal and dreary then nobody will be about anyway which kind of defeats the point of opening.
After next weekend I will do a look back over the past year and where we went right and where possibly we could have done better.
So as they say…. Watch this space.
To get you all in the mood for the Santa’s I have changed the banner on the pages of the blog.
Short, sharp and to the point this week.
A customer is a visitor who has bought something.
Lack of pre-planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
The most important words you can utter are Please and Thank-you.
Just because you ask the same question ten times does not mean you will get the answer you want at some stage.
Poly drink cups are not free, their cost is included in the price of the drink.
The park is not ours and the fact on your last visit a month ago you lost some item worth about 50p does not mean we have it at the station.
The fact that you have no money does actually mean you won’t be getting a free drink.
Please remember if you spend nothing then you are not helping the railway in any way.
Don’t tell me that dog’s are important and should be catered for, in ten years at the railway and in forty two years in customer service I have never seen a dog buy anything. Most of the owners don’t either.
Here ends the lesson.
Last weekend saw a mixed traction weekend, and although there were plenty of services, (Fifteen each way,) from my station it did not really bring in the punters.
Which was a shame because we had plenty of services, both steam and diesel. We had both British & Continental coaches, plus the Swedish Railcar.
The people we did have, or at least the ones I spoke to all enjoyed themselves and mostly travelled on as many variants that we were running as they could.
Here are a couple of pictures from the weekend, one of the Swedish Railcar and another of the Black 5 Steam locomotive we have over the santa period.
We can’t even say the weather was against us either as we had sunshine both days. Things just did not happen.
Perhaps we need to look at our marketing, especially local advertising. It will all be looked at by those concerned no doubt and lessons learned as to how we can fine tune the publicity for a mixed traction event.
We now have just three weekends left before the end of the normal running season, but after that the railway will not be dormant, we have the preparation for, and the running of the Santa trains as from 28th November through to Christmas Eve. Plus of course there will be the ongoing maintenance etc. Many people don’t realise what goes on behind the scenes, they just expect something to appear at the platform on or around the time shown on the timetable without giving a thought as to how it has got there.
Well here we are writing this blog just after lunch on Monday afternoon, it’s currently raining and as dismal as hell, but at least it’s mild temperature wise and the rain is apparently warm.
The weekend was totally different with decent weather both days and some really nice sunshine on Sunday.
Here is the train approaching from Wansford in some Saturday sunshine.
October can be a really nice month for photography. It’s also the last few weeks of normal services with the approach of the Santa specials in December.
Not so many people about, certainly some of the regulars are not seen as often.
Mind you it does make the idiots stand out from the crowd. Weirdo of the weekend was a late Sunday afternoon entry as I was awaiting some transport home.
There I was standing enjoying the sunshine when the idiot in question stops for a word. In a nutshell he was complaining that we had finished our services for the day, his brilliant idea was that as it was a nice sunny day we should keep running services until it got dark. The real quality of this stupid suggestion was not so people could travel but they would have something to look at. It missed his meagre brain cells that we need income to run the railway and we don’t get it from non-payers.
As I stood there looking at him in silence I heard some coughing, it took me a couple of moments to realise that his second brain cell was trying to get the attention of his first as it was becoming lonely.
The big worry of course is that people like this are able to breed. I just shook my head slowly and ignored him. It would have taken me too long to think of a reply made up of just short words, and the two words I would have most likely used would have offended him once he understood them.