Heritage railways and museums: What next ?

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Arch9enius
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Heritage railways and museums: What next ?

Post by Arch9enius »

So, I'm planning to get out to some of these places as soon as it is safe in order to show support. Bearing in mind many of them are no longer amateur organisations but actual limited companies with actual employed workforces and actual risk of insolvancy as a result. (I think the Dartford Railway that Doesn't Actually go to Dartford But You Can Wave at it was always thus).

Apart from the fact some will have locomotives in peculiar places (Owing to abortive gala events etc.) What kind of restrictions might we come to expect for the remainder of 2020? Capacity restrictions such as every other bay in a TOS cordoned off? Some sort of one out one in policy like at supermarkets? Booking only ?

Obvs not expecting an answer straight away but anyone who is on the ground at these places or the Heritage Railway Association could let us know what to expect.

Otherwise just wildly speculate.
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Re: Heritage railways and museums: What next ?

Post by Kevo00 »

The worry is that many railways will go out of business altogether, though at least the government furlough scheme should help those with professionalised workforces.

It's hard to see how any railway could reopen with Corona still a live threat considering that many rely on a lot of older volunteers, and I think there will be a depression in the tourism industry for a while.

Those making it through might see record passenger numbers when the threat is eventually felt to have subsided though, as there will no doubt be a boom in outdoor leisure similar to that seen post WW2.
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Re: Heritage railways and museums: What next ?

Post by Bad Hair Day »

The Great Central Railway has started doing limited services on weekends. They've made some significant changes to get trains running.
  • Passengers must pre-book
  • Face coverings are required while on the station or when boarding trains
  • Only compartment coaches are in use, with one group per compartment
  • Groups are loaded onto and off the trains seperate from other groups, with a distanced queue
  • Trains are cleaned between services
Some of the paid staff are working again, but many remain furloughed with no change expected for a while. The volunteers have regular meetings online to keep the people in each department updated about what's going on. Overall revenue has taken a hit with events having to either be modified to maintain social distancing, or cancelled if that cannot be done. A fundraising appeal is being run in an attempt to cover the costs.
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Geo Ghost
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Re: Heritage railways and museums: What next ?

Post by Geo Ghost »

I can foresee a lot of railway/modelling clubs running into trouble shortly too.

It's fortunate that a number of heritage railways and museums can reopen with restrictions, owing to their size and volunteer force behind it.
Most clubs however are too small in premises to reopen safely, and rely on weekly/monthly subs to keep going. Those renting places are most at risk I'd expect.

Our club has been shut since March now, and we can't see us reopening anytime soon. No income since then, bar some small donations. Luckily we own our building and have enough to keep going, but I genuinely worry about many others who are not so fortunate now.
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Re: Heritage railways and museums: What next ?

Post by ASide8 »

Here in Australia, at least, the situation isn't so bad. Most museums and even small clubs are open and operating more-or-less as normal, with the suspension of most long distance railtours for the time being, and subject to distancing requirements, which isn't too bad, thankfully, mostly because (at least for now) the country seems to have a real handle on COVID.
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