Pricing for Motorcar Excursions
There has been considerable interest in how pricing may be
determined for motorcar excursions, particularly where the pricing
strategy may not be too obvious!
- Basic Railroad Charge: The railroad has a basic charge
for the use of its track: This varies considerably from railroad
to railroad, and at times is based upon seemingly arbitrary factors.
The charges are variably based upon per car, a per car charge
with a minimum total, or a global charge with no maximum or minimum
number of participants. Some charges are in the line of routine
business, while others may be based upon public relational and
- Track Mileage: Also involved in the railroads
charges is the length and quality of the trackage, and how long
the track will be occupied: For instance, the good quality and
high scenery value of the McCloud is inherently more valuable
than a similar length of lesser quality trackage traversing a
congested urban area with multiple grade crossings. Occupying
track 40 miles of track for one day may considerably different
than occupying 80 miles; or, occupying the same or different
track for two days may bring some discount for the second day.
- Number of Motorcars Participating: In a general fashion,
the more participants, and the lower the possible price. Once
the required minimum is earned, additional motorcars may be "free"
under certain circumstances, the income from which can prospectively
underwrite the expenses of all. This is limited when still beyond
the minimum, the railroad still requires a very high charge per
- Amenities: portable toilets set out at about 25-45
mile intervals have an average global cost of about $250 per
usual longer excursion, with remoteness of location upping the
price considerably, sometimes to about $500. These are costs
that the memberships have been willing to accept.
- Insurance: $50 per insured entity is charged by the
NARCOA insurance program. If the set on location, or a location
for lunch, etc. needs also to be covered, there are additional
- Administrative: Copying and mailing costs are up to
about $5-6/operator, depending upon the extent of materials prepared.
- Coordinator: The coordinator usually "goes free"
in return for his work and assumption of accountability (although
all have at times given up this privilege when the finances for
any given trip are tight).
- Profit: Many, if not most of the motorcar clubs plan
for a return to the club of $10/excursion/car- the income of
which provides the "cushion" in the future for the
underwriting of those important trips for which there may a loss,
and/ or for services that the club may want to provide its membership
beyond what the dues may allow.
PRO intends to largely, but not exclusively, concentrate
on excursions with a more limited participation and professional
leadership: Most PRO trips are likely to be limited to 20 or 25
motorcars, while others may be operated with as few as 10 or as
many as 30 or 35. The reasons for this are many: Such small groups
can more safely engage in the more ambitious excursions that PRO
wishes to explore; and the smaller numbers enable excursions to
be operated more efficiently and are managed more easily. The
smaller excursions also tend to be faster paced, more flexible,
and have the safety advantages inherent to a more limited cohesive
In conclusion, motor car excursion costs will be a function
of mileage, condition of track, and inverse function of the number
of people who may attend. With PRO's small groups and quality
track, we are likely to have higher costs for the operators who
attend our excursions. The clubs excursions will be led
and planned by some of the most experienced and recognized coordinators
and leaders in the hobby. This alone provides an extraordinarily
high level assurance of competence, safety, and good schedule
keeping. Both they and any PRO officer will be happy to answer
your questions at any time.