Severnside Travel & Railway Society - The Premier Railway Enthusiast Society
For the railway enthusiast, Membership of STARS is a must. Our Website, special services and STARS own Publications will bring you up to date and keep you up to date. We hope that you are already a Member of STARS. However, our tours are open to non-members but we are obliged to levy a fee of £10 per tour for every non-member booking (so please do join as a SILVER member and you will effectively get your money back!). You can book additional people who are non-members on tours without the need for a £10 booking fee so long as the additional people have the same postal address as you and reside there.
Membership can be made at any time during the year for the following 12 months. Membership starts from the 1st of the month. The £10 STARS Silver membership offers great value for money. You will have access to our comprehensive members-only section of the website. All tour reports, magazines, brochures and photos of tours are all within your reach on-line and can be printed off.
Please remember you cannot pay for Silver membership other than through Bank Transfer (cheques will be returned). If you do not have a bank transfer facility then Gold membership is the appropriate membership for you. In addition, if you are a Silver member then all tour payments will also need to be paid via Bank Transfer.
A new European Union (EU) data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is now in effect. STARS keep Personal Data in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
£20.00 STARS GOLD MEMBERSHIP
This includes preferential rates on STARS publications, posted Tour Reports, posted Tour Brochures, posted quarterly Magazines, access to the members-only section of our website and no £10 per tour booking fee. This membership is NOT available to those who reside outside of the UK*). For STARS GOLD membership you have two options for joining or renewing. You can print off the Postal Application Form and post it with a cheque to the address stated or you can apply on-line and pay by Money Transfer. Please remember if posting to use a standard sized envelope or we reserve the right to seek payment for the oversized PO charge plus any fuel used to retrieve the envelope from the Post Office!
*UK – our definition for the purposes of membership is England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the UK Crown dependencies.
£10.00 STARS SILVER MEMBERSHIP
This includes preferential rates on STARS publications, posted Tour Brochures, access to the members-only section of our website and no £10 per tour booking fee. Payment for Membership and Tours via on-line payment ONLY). For STARS SILVER membership please apply on-line and pay by Money Transfer.
CHANGES TO PERSONAL INFORMATION
You may also change personal information that we may hold for you by using these forms. Please acquaint yourself with the STARS Terms & Conditions as joining STARS as a member and/or booking on a Tour indicates acceptance of them.
Only with STARS can you choose from such a wide variety of Day, Weekend and Holiday Tours, tailor-made for the committed railway enthusiast.
One Day 'Hopper' Tours
These are low cost intensive tours ideal for those 'trying out' Europe for the first time.
Two/Three Day weekend 'Rapide' Tours
These are low cost intensive tours in the areas surrounding important rail locations in France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Luxembourg. They feature free time for Station observations and one night in good Hotels near the main Stations.
Tours by Air, 'The Flyers'
These are for a number of days at a Super Rail Centre, including depot visits, and with free time at Main Stations.
Coach Holiday Tours, of 3 to 9 Day Duration
We aim to cover every major depot, works, and stabling point in the chosen area, in the comfort of a modern executive touring coach. Overnight stays are arranged at Hotels close to, or at, main railway stations.
Holiday Tours by Rail
These are tours usually of one week duration, traveling solely by rail on Rover Tickets.
These are Tours traveling by both coach and train.
STANDARDS AND STARS
You measure the success of an organisation like STARS by asking "how popular are your Tours and how many people go with you”? Quite simply STARS carry MORE people into Europe than any other contemporary group offering similar services - a case of people voting with their feet.
Why are STARS so popular?
There are key areas which set us apart from all others.
Despite some quite high charges our hotels are usually more up-market. We tend to book Inter City Hotels in Germany (attractive because they are situated on main railway stations), Mercure and Novotels. We still use Ibis Hotels but only the better examples or more convenient.
Coaches for our long distance tours are ultra-modern vehicles with every aid to comfort, which allows the strain of overnight travel to be reduced. In addition, the Coach crews are not only very professional but also pleasantly disposed to the passengers. Previous participants will be assured of more light-hearted banter this year, as the pool regular drivers will be the same personnel as the last few years.
Content and Duration of Tours
Every tour is worked out with precision in order to maximise the coverage of an area. Our Tours are timed to last around 10 to 12 hours each day, and we aim to finish a day, whenever possible, by 6pm. We are not 'dawn to dusk bashers', but if you want to do more than the day's itinerary, the free time is there.
We consider ourselves to be both economic and good value for money, given the quality of Tours on offer, but some say we are a little on the expensive side......... well! ........We would rather explain the costs of providing Tours of high standards, than to apologise for anything less..........
Success at Depots
We know of no other organisation that has anywhere near our success rate for Depot Visits. Such success is no accident – it is as a result of dedicated officers working hard to achieve on behalf of the Members.
This is one of the great elements of a STARS tour. The Members, Officers, and Drivers all sharing good humour, banter and information as One. It is probably this element is at the very heart of STARS, and the one above all that has given us our success......
............................. are you ready to join that success yet?
You may be reading this having just had a bad experience with another operator and/or you may need some persuading to book with us. So how do you tell a good organisation from the ‘dross’? May we make a suggestion?
After every STARS Tour, one or two of the participants prepare a Numeric and Narrative Tour Report detailing the sightings on the Tour in the numeric, and in the narrative interesting information which has come to light, and moments of humour, drama and circumstance with the general ups and downs of the Tour. The authors of these reports are usually volunteers from the participants who have no prior warning before the Tour, but their brief is always the same “write it as it was, warts and all”.
If you are contemplating a Tour with us for the first time why not see an example of a previous tour report HERE. It will probably not tell you how you would enjoy it, but you would be aware of how others enjoyed it. Yes, people do enjoy the well run Tours - we would not be stupid enough to publish accounts of our Tours if the contrary were true! But, to our knowledge, we are the only ones who do it, and thoroughly!