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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Active Member

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    Is there any where local to sell railway books/collection, been having clear out and need to get rid. Can't donate as need money.
     
  2. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

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    Sadly a major flaw of the planning system is their seldom seems to be any following up by the planners to ensure that this sort of error does not happen. In forty or so years involvement with the planning system as councillor, applicant and objector, I have found this sort of error not to be uncommon. Having said that with listed buildings conservation officers usually take a keen interest in seeing things are done to plan. Given what is now known I have changed my view on the rectification and will support it in a small way with a donation towards the costs of completion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
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  3. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Not really. I am more interested on how well things are done rather than the sheer quantity of things.

    Paul H
     
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  4. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    That's fine, but lets take, for example, "how well" coaches are done. For that you need workshops and equipment, which means money from revenue. To increase revenue the most obvious option at the time was to extend, so eventually our extension funded our lovely carriage workshops! :)
     
  5. Paul Kibbey

    Paul Kibbey Active Member

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    The report was very interesting but I will admit a lot did go straight over my head . It does seem to me that not enough time was taken over original surveys . The same might be said of the Goods Office at Crowcoombe . Thanks for the link Jeff .

    Paul. K
     
  6. 1472

    1472 Active Member

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    The question is not what you have put or the inference you have made. The proper question is "what would the GWR (not the modern company!) have done in the circumstances" - ie they wouldn't put in stainless steel & glass for example - and there is a WSR example of that. Your reference to the modern railway is totally irrelevant - we are taking about the WSR!
     
  7. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Highly debatable post the arrival of the Lottery as a means of capital finance. Extra mileage means that the rate per mile which is charged has to limited by affordability considerations.

    PH
     
  8. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Very true regarding mileage costs, but there is also a lower limit, whereby you overcharge for a short mileage just to keep afloat, thus low passenger figures! Extension for the sake of extension is daft, as I've always agreed with you, but surely you cannot deny that the GWSR is more successful now than it could possibly have hoped to have been had it stayed as a 10 minute journey between toddington and Winchcombe?
     
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  9. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Cheltenham would have been enough. IMHO railways need to develop ancillary attractions to appeal to family members who are not interested in trains rather than keep on extending. I don't think we are too far apart in our thoughts here.

    PH
     
  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Once we get to Broadway our thoughts will align exactly! But yes, that shows there's only a difference of a few miles in our thinking, glad you agree that we did need to get to Cheltenham.
     
  11. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Not necessarily. It seemed like more of the same. Perhaps it would have been better to have gone to Broadway first if possible.

    PH
     
  12. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I did hear one story that suggested the main reason we went to Cheltenham over Broadway was because most of the directors at the time lived in Cheltenham! But I suspect it was more to do with fear of the viaduct, which turned out to be in better condition than was thought.
     
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  13. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    But what do the 'ancillary' attractions do to the heritage aspects that you hold so dear? Don't they just turn the 'train ride' into a side show at a theme park?

    You can't make a rule about extensions - if they make the journey more worthwhile, or turn a trip on a line into a full and worthwhile day out, then they add to the overall attraction and viability.

    If by 'ancillary attractions' you means shops and tea rooms, any railway that thinks it exists to attract people to such establishments is on a road to nowhere. The margin on such establishments is far less than putting more 'bums on seats'. If an extension means a second train set will be required, then it should be questioned, but if the extra mileage brings more attractions to a ride on the line, and makes a marginal increase in resources required, then it is probably worthwhile. Only proper business plans can reveal the answer to this.

    There are too many factors which influence this to enable 'one rule to fit all' but what doesn't work is less variable!

    Steven
     
  14. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

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    At Minehead and Bishops Lydeard there are popular, and more importantly, profitable cafes. Some question the modern design of the one in Minehead but this sort of complete contrast is often successfully employed close to listed buildings such as The Louvre in Paris. Elsewhere along the line individual stations offer their own specialist kinds of catering such as the cream teas at Stogumber and the legendary bread pudding at Crowcombe Heathfield to mention just two. Visitors and volunteers alike use these and a good choice is available along the line. They all add to the overall appeal of the line to visitors. As a tourist attraction there is a constant need to improve facilities. For example the totally run down appearance and poor facilities of the toilet block at BL is not a good thing. This is the first sight many visitors see when they arrive. These are run by TDBC who claim to support the WSR but despite repeated requests over the last two years have done absolutely nothing to improve things. Shame on them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  15. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Forgive me but this sounds ever so slightly gricerish! There are plenty of couples or family groups where one member is fixated on trains but another hates them deeply. Play areas for very young children are common but, surprisingly, not universal. Things to occupy older children is a problem more difficult to crack. Placating "train haters" is likely to produce more "bums on seats" particularly if the train ride is not too long. None of this in any way turns the trains into a side show.

    As for souvenir shops and tea rooms, they provide a facility rather than an attraction and can be extremely profitable.

    Paul H
     
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  16. Jeff Price

    Jeff Price Active Member

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    Great to hear from someone who has crunched the numbers rather than those who may think "that a nice idea, its bound to make money, "they" should do that.

    Jeff
     
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  17. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Calling a bean-counter a gricer! :O
     
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  18. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Active Member

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    Well, for once, I can't disagree with that post at all!
     
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  19. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    If tea rooms were extremely profitable, there would be an awful lot of rich people around, judging by the number of tea rooms there are. It would be interesting to have real statistics on heritage railway tea rooms. My gut feeling is that they only contribute when a significant portion of staff are volunteers or the overheads are 'lost'. They are more of a need because Joe Public expects them.
     
  20. Robin White

    Robin White Resident of Nat Pres

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    Winter works progress.

    Minehead today with trackwork removed for the drainage works digging.

    From the signal box toward the level crossing.

    IMG_4188.JPG

    From the signal box towards the station.

    IMG_4189.JPG

    From the level crossing towards the signal box.

    IMG_4191.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017

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