August / September Roundup
Passenger Numbers and financial performance in August:
Despite an extensive television advertising campaign and a leaflet drop the passenger numbers in August were disappointing, with visitors in August 2014 2,000 below August 2013. Despite the poor passenger numbers in the month, financially the forecast for August was missed by only £29,000. The forecast for the rest of the year clearly indicates that the Company will make a healthy profit for the year.
The analysis of the financial and passenger results so far is being used to inform the preparations for the budget for 2015.The marketing campaign for this special 50th anniversary year will receive a thorough review. The first pass of the budget has been completed. Different financial scenarios are being worked on to study the impact of raising the headline fare for 2015. Meanwhile the 2015 timetable will be concluded with the events programme and all of this plus the budget will be taken to the Holdings Board in October for discussion.
Capital position of the Plc Since 2007
The Railway has every year, invested heavily in its infrastructure, for example rail replacement or the large undertaking to rebuild Arley platforms and improve drainage in 2011. We have also invested funds in the last two years in to the Motive Power Department in terms of both facilities and staffing, and this year investment has increased in our Carriage & Wagon facilities. All this investment is timely and required in order to provide a safe Railway with a high quality and variety of rolling stock and locomotives. The high level of investment required over the last seven years has depleted the Company reserves and so we are planning to increase our cash reserve over the coming years by managing our on-going financial commitments and developing our cash generation. Silver King Charter with UK Railtours This charter on the 6th September went very well for the tour operator and the SVR. Thanks to John Farrow of UK Railtours for using the SVR as a destination and to Phil Swallow for his work in bringing UK Railtours and the SVR together.
Shunting incident at Eardington
On the Monday 8th September a shunting incident occurred at Eardington involving a run through of the points. The inquiry is being chaired by Chris Thomas.
The Caprotti Class 5 is returning to the Midland Railway Centre in week commencing 29th September 2014. We thank MRC for the loan of this popular locomotive.
LNER 7960 coach restoration project
Through the offices of the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust, dogged determination and incessant phone calls a supplier of tableware has very kindly donated over £2,000 worth of ceramics to help with the fit out of this newly restored kitchen composite.
Civils Winter Work 2014-2015
Chris Bond, Infrastructure Manager, will again have his hands full in the coming months with winter projects. he Diesel Depot is key amongst these and clearance of the site has already been undertaken, thanks to Roland Bull and team. Chris Bagley and P-way gang are taking up the track and Chris is working on the geometry requirements of the new layout. Contractual details are being worked through with C21 who will design and build the depot. The project will start this year and progress in to the first quarter of 2015. Tenders have also been received this week for essential repair work on both Bewdley North (Wribbenhall) Skew Arch and Bewdley South (Sandbourne) viaduct arches. The costs for the work are likely to be c. £120,000 and are a priority item to arrest the deterioration of the structures. This project, its costings and benefits will be taken to the Holdings Board in October 2014 for consideration. The Board have also discussed the Bridgnorth Proposals which are the subject of a separate notice.
Nick Ralls General Manager
'Silver King' arrives at Kidderminster and transfers to SVR metals on Saturday 6th September. Video courtesy of Bernard Strutt.