Saturday, 4 August 2018

Passenger numbers to the end of July

You will I am sure be interested to know that as at the end of July, we saw almost 72,000 passengers (not including the race trains, fire and drive and evening specials.) This compares with just over 46,500 at the same point last year. So, we are up 54% year on year.

Looking at our special weekends,  all have been extremely successful with significant increases on previous years. As reported earlier, the wartime weekend was up 11%, the steam gala 66%, real ale weekend 69%, the bus rally 10% and so it goes on. The recent diesel gala was amazingly successful at a 28% increase when one considers the unbelievable weather that weekend! (One day I burnt and the next got soaked!)

The one event that has bucked the trend this year  was "Day out with Thomas" where visitor numbers were down. No one knows the reason for this but it seems families are less excited by Thomas than they were. Our final visit from Thomas will be in September so it will be interesting to see how numbers stack up that weekend.

That's the good news! It means we are able to rebuild our reserves that were seriously depleted by our opening to Broadway at Easter and look at a number of important maintenance and development projects.

However along with the good news I want to remind everyone that this is a mostly volunteer run railway - something a large number of our passengers don't realise. It can only be successful if we continue to provide a rewarding hobby for our 950 volunteers - we must all want to come to the railway! As we start to plan next year's timetable we will be taking account  the many concerns volunteers are now expressing so that we can continue to be the "Friendly Line." Please don't expect any increase in services!

Colin Fewell
Commercial Director


  1. The day of the bus rally it was very hot and I know of many who didn't go who were planning to. I went home after a short time and didn't go on the train (I've got free tickets).

  2. Certainly impressive figures and while being up 54% this year, that could project to a final figure of passengers approaching 150,000 for the year of 2018.

    Tremendous news for the number of important maintenance and development projects that you have planned. Undoubtedly, with concerns expressed by the volunteers, on how all this will all work out in the future, I am sure it will continue to be the "Friendly Line", attracting even more volunteers that find it a rewarding hobby.

    This railway continues to amaze me and many others, as it is just so fantastic.

    Well done, GWSR.

  3. Great news regarding the passenger numbers, lets hope next year carries on at about the same level (or more). Regarding educating the general public about the reliance on volunteers and the constant need for more-how about posters which state the number of paid staff against the number of volunteers, or percentage figure of man (person) hours worked by paid against volunteer? I'm sure someone can put a very positive spin on it!

  4. So much for the monthly updates. Nothing on this site since the 4th August. It's now December. Surely there has been something going on that could be reported to us since then. Please continue the blogs, as we out in cyber land rely on them.
    Regards, Paul.

  5. When will see a new episode of the Boardroom Blog?

  6. Hello, Boardroom, anybody there?

  7. It is a great shame that the boardroom blog will no longer be used. I fully appreciate that all the directors work very hard for little in return, more than others and I'm sure myself realise. But given that between the 2 boards (I know this has been largely a Plc boardroom blog but there's no reason it has to stay that way) there are 16 directors it doesn't seem like asking much for each to spend 10 minutes or so writing a short post every now and then.

    I'm by no means asking everyone to detail *everything* that has recently crossed their desk, but maybe one interesting titbit every couple of months from each director. If every director managed just one short paragraph every 2 months we'd have updates here every week and not just volunteers, but shareholders and other supporters would greatly appreciate it. I certainly appreciate those sorts of updates when I go back to uni and I can't rely on the grapevine in the C+W messroom!

    It might even start some useful discussions, if for example, someone posted a short update on future timetable planning, crew diagramming and overcrowded trains and the difficulties we have, or the latest proposals for redeveloping Winchcombe yard it could lead to some interesting thoughts from beyond the normal sphere, and potentially peers from other railways who have already overcome similar problems. If nothing else it would show that the board is at least aware of these issues. I know that you know, but I do come across plenty of people who don't.



    1. Having already posted on this article, your message appeared in my email account.

      Trying to find the Boardroom Blog on the GWSR website, made me realise that the Boardroom Blog had been taken off the list of Blogs.

      Shame this has happened, as it was an avenue of dialogue, when the GWSR Board needed to publish information to everybody world wide.

      Hopefully, this will be a temporary measure and the Boardroom Blog WILL reappear back in 2019.

  8. Must say that I'd been wondering when there would be another blog entry. I do read the departmental blogs (even though those volunteers who write them are likely to be busy people), yet they obviously deal with matters peculiar to the departments.

    There is nowhere we can read of the Big Picture - how well the railway is doing, development plans.

    For people who are non-working members there is only the magazine. Shareholders don't even get that, just a somewhat dry & legalistic annual report.

    Could someone in admin be tasked with updating the blog?