WHAT IF?

Discuss model railway topics and news that do not fit into other sections.
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RailwayRobbo
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WHAT IF?

Postby RailwayRobbo » Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:41 pm

Just having lunch and catching up on the latest news on the 'Battle against Covid 19'.
It got me thinking if the resulting effect was positive do you think there is a possibility of a few exhibitions later in the year, maybe from late September onwards. Boris is hoping we'll be back to 'normal' mid/late July.
What do members hink will be the outcome? Would you attend any exhibitions? Will there be restrictions limiting numbers and layouts? Will clubs want to put on exhibitionsvat such short notice?
I think the biggest disadvantage any type of exhibition will have is the 'mobile' audience. Stadium events can control crowds within their seating. I've read they are going to allow 20,000 (Wembley holds 70,000+) to be at the cup final. There's also talk that they my restrict it to only people living in the London area to reduce the travelling.
I was wondering what thoughts any of you guys have got.

Pete.

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flying scotsman123
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby flying scotsman123 » Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:47 pm

The big events require organisation many many months in advance, so it probably depends how optimistic those big event organisers were some months ago about when restrictions would ease. I could certainly see the return of a few local village hall sized model railway exhibitions by the Autumn as long as things continue to improve at the rate we expect them to, and at the other end of the scale, I look-see on the Warley website suggests they're going ahead for their usual slot this year in November, so things are looking up.
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End2end
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby End2end » Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:12 pm

I haven't been looking at exhibition listings lately but I did see at the Lavender Line last weekend they have an opening date of April 2021. I can't remember the exact date they had posted outside though.
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Bigmet
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby Bigmet » Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:09 pm

flying scotsman123 wrote:... at the other end of the scale, I look-see on the Warley website suggests they're going ahead for their usual slot this year in November, so things are looking up.

Well, that's a classic 'success assumption' decision, on the basis that our mass vaccination programme does the job in suppressing transmission of what's here already, and no new significantly vaccine resistant variants come pouring into the UK as people return from holidays abroad.

The UK's first wave was triggered by people returning to the UK from a foreign winter half term holiday in 2020. I believe the estimate is over 1300 locations - all over the UK - had one or more infected people return and prove really effective at infecting others. (There seems to be reasonable evidence that some people are much better at infecting others but no explanation of the why yet.) That's why the infection was so swiftly all over the UK, it was effectively 'seeded' all over the country.

Our national obsession with going abroad for holidays and incidentally getting infected is something of a drawback at the moment.

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Mountain
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby Mountain » Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:05 pm

I guess it also depends on where the layouts are coming from and not everyone can take the vaccine.

But what about outdoor layouts and other outdoor events like car boot sales?

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flying scotsman123
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby flying scotsman123 » Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:15 pm

End2end wrote:I haven't been looking at exhibition listings lately but I did see at the Lavender Line last weekend they have an opening date of April 2021. I can't remember the exact date they had posted outside though.
Thanks
End2end


Yep, many heritage railways are looking at re-opening after the 12th April restriction changes, mostly operating under the same conditions as last year. Our current hope is that we might be able to get back to normal operations (i.e. you can just turn up, and get on and off at whichever station you like on whichever train you like) by the summer.
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Mountain
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby Mountain » Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:21 pm

flying scotsman123 wrote:
End2end wrote:I haven't been looking at exhibition listings lately but I did see at the Lavender Line last weekend they have an opening date of April 2021. I can't remember the exact date they had posted outside though.
Thanks
End2end


Yep, many heritage railways are looking at re-opening after the 12th April restriction changes, mostly operating under the same conditions as last year. Our current hope is that we might be able to get back to normal operations (i.e. you can just turn up, and get on and off at whichever station you like on whichever train you like) by the summer.


The real difficulty with that is that there are one or two lines that rely on the tourist railway as their main means of transport which is why they are able to run a service throughout the year. Admittedly there are not many such lines in this situation but for the few that are, it really has messed up the local transportation situation. I remember viewing a property that was for sale where the wife did not drive and her only access to do her weekly shopping was to use the tourist railway.

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RailwayRobbo
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby RailwayRobbo » Thu Mar 18, 2021 6:25 pm

I see the Great Central have a pretty full calendar of events planned after reopening.

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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby Dad-1 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:52 pm

With so much uncertainty around - and just look at Europe's soaring infections, any plan is
a gamble. No big exhibitions can afford the planning, preparation and venue bookings going
wrong, let alone arranging for suitable layouts.
My Bridport Club IS having a Club open day come mini exhibition, on Sunday 8th August.
How ?
It is a pure 'In House' event in a small detached affordable venue. It has a maximum capacity
of 50 people. All layouts will be from club members with the total flexibility this offers. Should
there be additional restrictions at that time which we would not be able to comply with we can
cancel at a moments notice.
Our venue is Local Council owned with very low booking costs, that will, including simple tea,
coffee, cake & biscuit refreshments have an outlay of about £100. With a £1 entry fee, plus some
income from refreshments we expect to more than break even.

Even if NOBODY comes club members will enjoy a day 'Playing Trains' !! As we're on the entrance
to a holiday caravan park IF holidays are allowed we are certain we'll be fine.

We have also taken another gamble by booking our venue for the traditional January exhibition.
It's time to look forward !!

Geoff T.
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Bufferstop
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Mar 19, 2021 5:27 pm

Once clubs can meet again as clubs if they have access to a low cost hall they could stage an open rehearsal day with layouts erected and running to test for problems and a chance to remind people that they exist. I certainly wouldn't want to be unpacking and erecting a layout for the first time in two years, in Hall 5 at the NEC!
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Flashbang
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby Flashbang » Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:40 pm

The problem as I see it as an exhibition manager is there are no clear indications on whether social distancing is/will be need later this year? Can one way systems be used at the venue, if needed? Will exhibitors be happy to attend any events that are inside and have the public crowding around? Will Face Coverings be a mandatory requirement? Can refreshments be served in seated areas for both public and exhibitors?

Will there be another wave of Covid outbreaks as seen currently in France and Italy?? How many club members will be happy to act as Stewards?

So far, to many unanswered questions. So we as a club are not proceeding with a '21 September exhibition. It is just too risky and would insurance cover any exhibition? Or would the cost of insurance increase so much it becomes no longer viable?
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sparkhill
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby sparkhill » Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:51 am

My heart goes out to everyone back home in the UK thankfully at the moment most people in Aussie states are living a normal life, the good news is our major show the "Brisbane Model Train Show" will be on the first weekend in May, hopefully our local show will be on in August, I do hope you modellers back home will get to see your shows this year, the sooner Europe and other countries can get back to some kind of normal the happier everyone will be.
Regards
Nobby

Bigmet
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby Bigmet » Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:30 pm

sparkhill wrote:... some kind of normal ...

That's what the UK's government - and doubtless many others - are struggling with: how 'normal' can we risk, and when? While there are hopes for the success of the vaccination programme in the UK, the virus is far from done with, and fully capable of developing variants with some degree of resistance.

This is a huge problem, and given the background of people movement through the UK airports alone was 300 million per annum pre-covid (roughly 5x the UK mainland population) every Covid variant in the world will arrive here in quantity very quickly if normal volumes of air traffic resume. (That was how Covid really got going here, an estimated 1300 'seedings' all over the UK from people returning mostly from European locations after the winter 'half term' holiday.) We are far from out of the woods on this one, I can see restriction to 'necessary travel only'' being with us long term. That's going to be politically difficult in a country where half the population wants to go 'somewhere else' at least annually, offering varied attractions such as sunshine, cheap drink, family or second homes, casual intimacy, freely available narcotics, <insert further attractions here>, and is going to be very unhappy denied this.

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centenary
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby centenary » Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:29 pm

This is the new normal or, very close to what normal will be. Low population countries may think they can avoid the virus' impact. They're kidding themselves given how many times this virus has mutated.

Unless the virus dies out due to herd immunity or mutates to be like a seasonal flu, the speed at which it mutates suggests vaccination is going to become like a game of whack a mole and, elderly infirm will be sadly taken by it.

Byegad
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Re: WHAT IF?

Postby Byegad » Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:26 pm

I suspect there will be more false starts to 'normality' than enough.
Assuming that they get us all vaccinated and the virus doesn't mutate sufficiently to negate those vaccinations, my guess is we'll be taking some precautions for the next few years, even though we are all 'out and about'.
My wife has a lung condition and any cold can result in pneumonia and a stay in hospital Twice in the last 15 yrs it looked like it may be curtains, but she, thanks to our brilliant NHS, she recovered and got better. So our friends and family know that in winter if they have a sniffle they don't come round and we don't meet them.
With Covid19 around for some time to come, I suspect that our cautious approach at least in winter will be more common.

As we passed our own lockdown anniversary on the 15th of March, we have not shopped and 'gone out' other than to hospital for appointments, we don't expect to do so soon.

It will be a while, even after our second jabs in early May, before we are attending large events.


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