Cath Bellamy, Managing Director, Vintage Trains – highlights from the conference at RSN 2019

Cath Bellamy, Managing Director at Vintage Trains, told the conference how a future for mainline steam can be secured in 21st Century.

Cath outlined Vintage Trains’ position as a charity-owned and controlled organisation, which has been established to keep steam rail on the mainline and give everyone the opportunity to experience a mainline steam journey.

She discussed the company’s ambitions to actively grow the market for steam travel by targeting key locations, including Birmingham, East and West Midlands, Cotswolds, Warwickshire and the Chilterns, while also aiming to market to a younger and wider audience.

Cath presented some of Vintage Trains new service ideas for 2019, such as incorporating open day shuttle trains, steam train picnic hamper packages, evening steam train trips and silver service dining experiences.

She also discussed the revamping of the business with a new improved website, souvenirs, e-ticketing and Christmas and 2020 programmes all either launched or coming soon.

The sustainability of steam travel was explored through Vintage Trains’ approach to recruitment, driver training and succession planning. Cath also talked about Vintage Trains’ wider role in the community, through volunteering, station adoption and educational support programmes.

Cath brought the Conference to a close by summarising Vintage Trains’ business plan, appealing to sponsors, volunteers and potential clients and investors to support the company and help steam travel continue to thrive and prosper.