I recognise that I am fairly new to the “event organising” game and am yet to build the track record of credibility enjoyed by some others. I also recognise that asking you to congregate in a remote village in a foreign country simply because I have advised that there will be some unusual haulage on offer there requires you to invest a fair amount of trust in me, which is something I do not take for granted!
I would also like to affirm that I am not a tour operator as such, at least at the moment. This is not a business, I am purely a like-minded individual, who has proactively co-ordinated an event that caters for our shared interest, and I am not doing this to make any money for myself.
My role where these events are concerned is in encouraging the use of certain rare or interesting locomotives on other peoples’ railways and trains, and in marketing these. Occasionally – particularly when our rather esoteric branch of the hobby is not aligned well with our hosts’ usual clientele – I may need to personally put some money up front for these haulage opportunities as a hire fee, and the train will then effectively be “mine”. I intend to share the cost of this by asking you, the participants, to contribute a “fare” which I will endeavour to keep reasonable. The money received as a result of these contributions will initially go to recouping my initial personal expenditure; in the event of there being any “profit” from this, I will set that aside to go towards future hires.
Circumstances may dictate that this situation changes somewhere down the line; I will ensure that this is clearly highlighted if that point is reached.
Some other points, again on a personal level:-
- The main thing that I would ask you to bear in mind is that this is my hobby too; and I have just as much of an interest in ensuring that everything goes to plan. I won’t advertise anything unless I have been given the appropriate assurances that it will work; but of course, last minute failures are always possible. Despite the various language barriers, I will always endeavour to prevent any breakdowns in communication.
- I am not “in competition” with anyone and will always, where possible, do my best to avoid clashes. As this website demonstrates more and more each day, however, there is virtually no day in the calendar that would not clash with something interesting somewhere else on the Continent!
- I understand that different people have different approaches to their hobby as regards haulage, and I will always do my best to accommodate everything – preferably, each loco hauling a train solo between two stations. On occasion, this will not be possible, particularly where shunters are concerned. I appreciate all too well that for some people a footplate ride is not sufficient to count a loco for haulage, but where a footplate ride is the only option for us, please accept that I will have explored all other avenues before this.
- I like to foster a relaxed and friendly atmosphere at my events and therefore I do not intend to draw up lists of ‘rules’ or impose any restrictions on behaviour; I trust attendees to exercise common sense and obey any instructions from our hosts. However, linking into my previous point, I cannot be held in any way responsible if previous alcohol consumption etc restricts participants’ ability to take part in some aspects of the day e.g. footplate rides.
- Where possible, I will try to encourage travel by public transport to and from my events. I will always advise of as many connection options as possible and plan events so that this is not a huge issue, however I cannot be held responsible if a bus or train is cancelled, or an excess number of passengers means that some cannot travel on a certain bus, etc.
- I would love to be able to say that all events will be completely disabled-friendly. However, unfortunately, many will be on preserved railways that inherently try to recreate an era when the world was not as enlightened – particularly where boarding trains from low platforms is concerned. If you have a disability that you think may make your taking part difficult, please do contact me, and I will do my utmost to work something out for you.
If you have any queries about the above, please don’t hesitate to contact me.