Author Topic: April 2019 Work Reports  (Read 4855 times)

James Patten

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2019, 11:06:29 AM »
Anticipated work for Saturday April 20:

* Easter Eggspress.  All hands needed on deck.  Running two trains.  Rain likely  >:(.

Fred Morse

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2019, 07:02:43 PM »
Today all the logs that were in the wood pile were cut to stove wood length and the smaller oak logs and bad ones Steve Z gave us were cut up, the rest went to a saw mill to make end sills and other pieces. They are supposed to be picked up tomorrow. Fast work!!!

James Patten

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2019, 10:15:20 PM »
Work done on April 20:

* Easter Eggspress.  Despite the weather, we had a good group of visitors.  We ran two trains, hauled by 3 and 9.  No train went out totally full, but most trains had a pretty good crowd.  I haven't heard the number of riders.  This year we traded golden eggs for raffle ticket numbers.  I heard that the parents were better behaved this year.

Joe Fox

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2019, 10:44:17 PM »
So many first time riders today. Lots and lots of happy faces, and thank yous. Everyone I spoke to had a great time. Now for the really really cool part. We had families from Bangor, Skowheagan, Freeport, and many other areas all riding for the first time. Everything seemed to go smoothly. And more importantly, many of our new first timers said they will definately be back for future events. :)

Job well done to everyone who helped make today a great day, and we got to introduce and share our little railroad to some new families.
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Bob Holmes

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2019, 11:23:00 PM »
Will someone please be doing an analysis of ridership today, and whether or not the price increase helped, hurt, or was neutral?

That seems to me to be an important follow-up to the controversial discussion about the price change.

Thanks.

Bob

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2019, 12:01:40 AM »
Steve P and I had a preliminary discussion on this analysis.

Understand that the weather (predicted and manifest) has historically had a severe impact on the success of these events, thus the rain that was predicted for today likely affected presales and the rain that fell likely precluded walk up traffic.

Last year, 2018, we presold 680 tickets, and had total sale around 800.  Ticket prices were $5 for everyone 4 years old and up. 

This year, 2019, we presold 643 tickets, with total sales just under 700.  Ticket prices were $5 4yrs to 12 yrs; $10 13 yrs and up.

Note that only our adult ticket price changed; we did this knowing most ridership are children.  As such our average ticket income went from $5 in 2018 to $6.80 in 2019.

Presales are always stronger in the final week leading up to the event.  We suspect this year’s final week presales were likely affected by the forecast.

Finally, we eliminate the golden egg this year.  That clearly changed the entire tone of the event for the positive.  Honestly with that change and the new price structure, I feel we enacted a fresh start this year.

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Jason

Bill Reidy

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2019, 03:29:20 AM »
I'll echo most of Jason's comments.

-- The weather forecast this week for Saturday was for heavy rain.  Make no mistake -- it was damp today -- but we did not see any torrential rain.  I'm sure the forecast discouraged some families from attending, particularly day of sale.  This clearly impacted ridership.

-- But those that did had a great time.  Without exception, every family I spoke with enjoyed the event.  I lost count of how many kids were having a blast playing in the rain!

-- Replacement of the golden egg with a ticket draw for Easter baskets was an inspired idea.   This eliminated the unintended competitive element of the event.  While I didn't hear it directly, I understand several parents expressed gratitude the golden egg hunt was eliminated.

From my perspective today, the price change for adults did not significantly impact ridership, so I call it neutral.  I say that as someone who had been concerned with that change.

The few photos I took today are posted in this thread.
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ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2019, 05:12:33 AM »
So you made it big again despite that awful weathear GREAT ! I'm leaving for Pithiviers in lovely weather I wish the AMTP  would gotten 700 riders today and tomorrow alltogether. Have a nice Easter.

Joe Fox

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2019, 07:52:05 AM »
No one I spoke with made any mention of any complaints of any kind. I did hear some regulars to the event say they liked it with the light crowds, especially compared to last year.

When we have families travel all the way from Bangor, Skowheagan, Jay, Brewer, and many other far away areas specifically for this event, that speaks volumes. And they all said it was well worth the long drive. :)
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Keith Taylor

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2019, 08:33:07 PM »


When we have families travel all the way from Bangor, Skowheagan, Jay, Brewer, and many other far away areas specifically for this event, that speaks volumes. And they all said it was well worth the long drive. :)

Do we advertise outside of out immediate area? I’m not surprised to hear that folks have traveled a fair distance to attend. I wonder if more widespread advertisement might pay off with greater attendance? In this day and age people don’t mind making a day of a trip to a distant spot for a wholesome and fun day with the family.

Keith

Bob Holmes

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2019, 11:20:11 PM »
I did not realize that the price change was adults and older teens only.  That in fact makes a lot of sense as many kid-friendly venues have that pricing structure.  So overall, it sounds like a complete success, and sets a good precedent moving forward.

Bob

Mike Fox

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2019, 11:33:43 PM »
Facebook has been instrumental for gaining more ground as far as advertising. Families will travel some decent distances for an event like we had. I noticed families didn't mind the rain and even came prepared for it with extra clothes and plastic bags to sit on. Plenty of smiling faces and friendly waves when they returned.
Mike
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Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #42 on: April 21, 2019, 11:38:17 PM »
We have about 7,200 people following our Facebook page.

The Thursday post last week, featuring a B&W photo easy of railroad operations over the last 20 year was viewed by over 10,000 people

Stephen Piwowarski

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #43 on: April 22, 2019, 02:41:45 AM »
Facebook targeting "boosts" (ads that went out to specific demographics) went out to 2 areas centered around southern Maine, Augusta, and Bangor.

Posters went up locally, along with some other local sharing of the event.

It was a great day and people had a really nice time from all of the comments I've read and heard in person. Great job team.

Steve

James Patten

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Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« Reply #44 on: April 24, 2019, 10:48:09 AM »
Anticipated work for April 26 - 28: Spring Work Weekend.

* Mountain Extension ballasting (but of course!).  The plan is that there will be two trains of two flatcars, both steam hauled.  Loading at AC, crossing at ToM.  And jacking and tamping too.  This project is the highest priority project.
* Alna Center might have a crew to help clear out trees in preparation for the pavilion (depending on the number of people).
* Sheepscot ditching for conduit and drainage between the garage and restroom.
* Sheepscot prepping for concrete forms for the utility drop building.
* Feeding the troops.
* Car shop boarding up the remaining walls that have been insulated.
* Car shop machine shop area organizing and clean up.
* Networking upgrade throughout the campus.
* Rules Review Saturday night.

Bring rain gear - current forecast is for rain from Friday afternoon through Saturday morning.