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West Somerset Railway Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. 1472

    1472 Active Member

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    Heard the excuses before but doing things twice gets expensive and makes it look as though you don't know what you are doing. This looked very much like expediency to satisfy an ego or two in achieving a promised opening date. It is still switching people off.
     
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  2. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    Or like East Grinstead, or a small box timber box like Kingscote had for 20 years.
     
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  3. 1472

    1472 Active Member

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    Or Kidderminster SVR when first reopened.
     
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  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Infrastructure is a particularly important thing to get "right" first time, because the design life of buildings (often 100 years or so) means you are going to be stuck with any "wrong" decisions for a long time - whereas, say, a wrong livery on a locomotive or carriage is only a paintbrush away from rectification.

    Still, the positive note is that it appears at last that - despite frequent statements from some on here that the world would fall in if it happened - there is a realisation that the railway can use the charitable status of the WSRA to create a ring-fenced account for a station group, maximising the benefit of Gift Aid on donations.

    Tom
     
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  5. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    I would also cite Ropley on the M.H.R. For many years this location had a basic ground trame but now has a very authentic L.S.W.R. type box. Ropley as a station is coming along in bounds.

    PH (not a M.H.R. member)
     
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  6. Snifter

    Snifter Active Member

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    That's quite an easy question to answer. In my personal view, it is always a compromise between time, cost and quality. You can only have two out of three and have to stop there unless you have limitless funds. From what I have read on the forum, the architect drawings were done as a favour and nobody looked the gift horse in the mouth. Nobody spent the extra time and money on checking and correcting them. If as you say the window sills are not quite right then please don't measure the depth of the guttering as it will probably be slightly different.

    A shining example of taking things too far is the massive cost overrun on Flying Scotsman. The rivet counters insisted on repairs being done in a way that used as much of the original as possible such as boiler plate that will never see the light of day in operation. That excess spend could have been put to far better use.

    As for loco paint, I think "88" looked rather spiffing in Prussian blue. Don't you ? When King Edward 1 eventually steams past, don't look too closely at the cylinders, air brake hoses or the cab roof. I am also looking forward to 9351 running later this year but won't be checking the green paint for the correct chemical composition.
     
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  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I believe there were some operational reasons why it was felt full signalling was required upon opening, but for the life of me I can't remember what. I was only 4 when the station was formally opened at Cheltenham!

    I can totally understand why folk were turned off by them, but hopefully they can see that we can and do do things differently now. We're a completely different railway to the one that opened CRC 15 years ago, so people can have confidence investing in us knowing that we do things properly now.

    I think it was less of an ego trip and more we needed the increased revenue Cheltenham would bring, I'm sure there were debts to pay off etc.
     
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  8. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Don't get me onto whether or not extensions per se are ego trips.

    Paul H
     
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  9. Jeff Price

    Jeff Price Active Member

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    I think that the report into the overhaul 4472 makes interesting reading and contains a number of indicators of why it took so long.

    See https://group.sciencemuseum.org.uk/...15/09/flying_scotsman_report_october_2012.pdf

    Jeff
     
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  10. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    Grosmont on the NYMR as well.
     
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I wouldn't *completely* disagree with you, but surely you must agree that we were a bit of a nobody before we got to Cheltenham?
     
  12. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    I don't know. In hindsight it would probably have been better to have done that, but we all know that hindsight is a wonderful thing. The GWSR Board at the time must have had their reasons.
    Currently, there are active volunteers on the GWSR who are undertaking improvements on the line to try to increase the GWR authenticity. I'm no signal box expert but the GWR did construct a type of signal box that looked very similar to the ones currently upsetting some people at Cheltenham Race Course and Gotherington. However, they looked slightly different. One post-Broadway extension project might be the re-vamping of these 2 boxes to improve their prototypical appearance. As I've said before, the original box at CRC Stn was an all wooden structure and was soon demolished after the line closed for stopping trains after 1960.

    My apologies for continuing the thread drift, when this topic concerns the WSR not the GWSR. I've yet to visit the WSR (appalling as I've been meaning to since 1978!) and I am looking forward to it, regardless of "authenticity", partly due to images of the locos, the line and the structures, which all look great to me!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  13. Robin White

    Robin White Resident of Nat Pres

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    Lever frames tend to be free-standing, so it should not be too difficult to remove the 'starter home' and build something appropriate around it at Cheltenham.

    Clearly from the new signal box structure at Broadway, the will and the ability to create authentic GWR structures is now part of the GWarcs Railway ethos, which I applaud.

    The heritage importance of the Crowcombe Goods Office should not be under estimated. The original 1862 stations were provided with these structures and originals survive at Watchet and Williton. Crowcombe are a long way on with recreating theirs but will need to grasp the nettle of putting the heritage errors right.

    The foundations of the Office at Stogumber still can be seen against the cattle dock- a project for the future.

    Robin
     
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  14. Robin White

    Robin White Resident of Nat Pres

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    Isn't that exactly what the WSR Saturday loco cleaning gang does?:)

    Robin
     
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  15. tracker

    tracker Member

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    You really MUST make a New Year resolution then! You won't be disappointed.
     
  16. Snifter

    Snifter Active Member

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    Well, there were a couple of very large chaps cleaning the outside of the chimney on Saturday. We had another excellent turnout with a few new faces which is both extremely encouraging and again disproves wild claims from a guest house in Minehead that we are not attracting young people. Interestingly, the firing fraternity were well represented but I didn't notice any drivers :rolleyes: Perhaps they are all rich enough to have flown south for the Winter.

    Sorry to disagree with you Robin on some of the finer details. There is much that we agree on and much on which we may disagree. It's all part of life's rich tapestry and sometimes provides an opportunity for a bit of mickey taking.

    The idea of "what would the GWR do today ?" is a bit pointless. For one, they are all probably pushing up the daisies and another, the corporate colours would have changed by now. I like the current livery being rolled out by FGW / GWR / Whoever as it is an intentional nod to the past, but it will all change again in 20 years.
     
  17. Faol

    Faol Member

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    Well I feel a bit like Pike in Dad's Army. I did say the building was lovely but why was the roof pitch wrong. Roger has answered that successfully and if you old timers cast you mind back some years you will remember that I was the plc Special Project Officer (SPO). Among my briefs were the volunteer accommodation at Minehead, planning of the FoMS workshop MD, the planning of the workshop at WN and the reconstruction of the goods office at Stogumber. All were successfully built except SR which had its drawings created, planning noted (under the rebuilding building regulations, no planning needed), however for some apparent reason the next SM sold off all the materials on site and the project abandoned.
    It would be my considered opinion that what is replicated is excellent as it shows visitors the building and will have a functional use. Whether FoCHS will create the mini-museum of a goods agent's office remains to be seen. As to the modern design of roof pitch it is clear that the lack of an SPO has led to a misinterpretation of the task. The cost of effectively scrapping the roof (nothing but the slates would be re-usable), taking down the gable ends and rebuilding as the stonework courses would key differently, creating a new timber roof and re-slating would cost approximately £20K or about half the initial build cost. I think in the circumstances that is a matter for FoCHS in conjunction with the Heritage Committee.
    Endless speculation on the matter here or anywhere else is very unlikely to have any effect. Please pause and take a breath. Lets look at how the Minehead relay is progressing, how Williton re-signalling is going how is the Infrastructure work at Crowcombe coming along.
    Very little has yet been appreciated about how the Infrastructure department has embraced significant works this winter and undauntedly progress these 3 major tasks. How is the locomotive department fairing. They pulled out all the stops to ensure the Railway had 3 fully working locos for the Santa trains, an excellent effort and work is progressing on 6024 and 9351.
    The plc Board needs new Directors and adverts will be out very soon if not already there, here is a real chance to help the Railway.
    There is much happening folks so please do not get bogged down in the minutia of the moment. Lets make 2017 a year of progress on all fronts.
     
  18. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

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    I totally agree! Does it really make sense to spend a significant sum of money to satisfy a handful of purists who, it would seem, did not even bother to check the planning application? IMHO very few of the visitors who provide the bulk of the railway's income will notice, let alone care, about the roof pitch. They do care about facilities like toilets, baby changing facilities. and the availability of places to eat. Even amongst enthusiasts I rather doubt that many will see it as a priority. However desirable authenticity may be sometimes common sense has to prevail. The cost overruns on Flying Scotsman are a classic example of how not to do a restoration. Lessons need to be learnt across the WSR.
     
  19. JChase

    JChase New Member

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    In the Notice of Decision granting listed building consent, Condition #2 states that "[T]he development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the approved drawings: Drawing Numbers: CHS-02, 03, 05A and 06 Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning." Drawing CHS-02 plainly indicates rakeboard and eaves detailing that matches the original photos and the still-extant goods offices elsewhere on the WSR, and seems to indicate a steeper roof pitch than what's been built. Drawing CHS-03 shows the roof pitch in context with the existing listed station building roof pitch, and leaves no doubt that a steeper roof pitch was indicated for the new building (and therefore, was a specific condition of the planning approval, along with the correct rake and eaves details).

    Far from a case of a rogue architect acting in the absence of proper research and communication, it appears instead that the builder didn't follow the approved drawings. Considering the fairly burdensome cost of this worthy project, perhaps efforts to recover of a significant portion from the builder are in order, if the builder refuses to make the necessary corrections to bring the new building into compliance with the planning condition. Unless, perhaps, a representative FOCHS has already "signed off" its acceptance of the work, and perhaps thereby released the builder from any responsibility for the apparent noncompliance?
     
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  20. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

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    So as far as the planning side goes the building should be altered, but was there another drawing produced for the builders to quote on and were they different than the planning drawings or not.

    There must be a member of the railway family who will have the skill to redo the roof for free as to me this is what the railway should be doing and railway journal should have a list of these types of jobs that the railway are looking for volunteers to do and it should be near the front for the members to find it. Or getting SCAT's involved as well for training of the apprentices doing jobs like this.
     

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