Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by AndrewT, Jul 17, 2012.
That's awful news. All we can do is hope for better things next year.
Awful, awful news especially in the run to xmas so my thoughts go to them and their families. Terrible news.
Does anyone know whether there are / will be any FR calendars this year? There aren't any on the on-line shop.
Indeed so. The figures quoted seem, if anything, worse than elsewhere.
Did they get anything from the Culture Recovery Fund? Or were Welsh organisations not covered by it? They seem to have received a lot less support than comparable railways in England.
Dreadful news, made no more palatable by it scarcely coming out of the blue. The figure in the article which stood out to me was the cost of merely treading water i.e. those fixed and unavoidable costs incurred in keeping the (effectively inactive) railways in a fit state to fully reopen.
I fear the best we can hope currently is that the vaccines now coming onstream prove effective and permit a return to some semblance of normality.
The Welsh Government has not yet announced the grants awarded from their Culture Recovery Fund.
Sadly £25m for the local economy and £6m income sounds wonderful, but the bottom line is £profit... There was a page on here with updates on COVID fundraising but I couldn't for the life of me find it, sorry!
PS: I thought some Welsh railways had already received grant funding from the UK's Department for Culture (or whatever it's called!), or is there a separate 'Welsh' pot?
Won't the fact that the furlough scheme has been extended to the end of March help to hold off any redundancies?
That still costs the employer so not worth doing unless the cutback is very short term
I know it only pays 80%, but isn't the other 20% voluntary? If I still went to work I'd rather have 80% than 0% if it meant keeping my job.
Unfortunately the ending of furlough was due on October 31st and many companies had planned redundancies on that basis. Listening to business bosses across the board, not just in heritage railways, and their industry spokesmen, the late change of plan and extending the scheme was too late to stop many of the redundancy processes going ahead.
And looking ahead every railway is planning 2021 in a world of uncertainty as to if vaccines and treatments will be effective and the logistics of getting them out and adminstered work as intended. Planning service levels and predicting income is a potential nightmare and getting it wrong could be a mortal blow after this year. Those who have jobs still will not be feeling secure and if a third of the workforce has gone those remaining have a lot of extra tasks to tackle. It would be good to think about that factor before posting about "why aren't they doing this?" online in the next couple of years.
Meanwhile 30 people, who were probably not high earners by any means when employed, are looking for jobs in a tough new world.
Don't forget that you have to pay NIC and pension contributions now. So furlough still costs companies money.
The process was started in September, the redundancies have already happened. The government decision came too late for a lot of businesses. Even if it had been made earlier, the FR has little prospect of commercial income between now and March. Next year's main season is still likely to be truncated even with vaccines on the way. So there's little option but to make redundancies sadly, most of which have come from the commercial side.
On a more positive note Boston Lodge will be building a new underframe for Blackpool 298 at Crich. Work is also likely to re-start on Glasgow 488 as well.
Hugh Napier is basically complete after its 10 year overhaul on behalf of the National Trust. I believe Lyd and Taliesin are next on the list with Lyd already stripped down.
130 is very nearly ready for a steam test. When that's finished 138 will in for a boiler swap.
One and half roads of the new carriage shed are now in place and full of coaches for the winter. Work to replace more worn turnouts at Boston Lodge and the bridge at Plas-y-nant has also begun.
Local volunteers have also been moving ash to Dduallt using Linda and Lilla.
The employer is also responsible for their NI (13.8%) and pension contributions (3% minimum). EDIT: @meeee raised the same point
The most recent I can see is https://gov.wales/written-statement-cultural-recovery-fund-update
Ah - I didn't know about the NI and pensions aspect. I don't remember the government mentioning that when the chancellor made the big announcement! If he did, it didn't register. I can appreciate that by the time the announcement was made it was the usual case of too little too late.
It's a pity that I can't do volunteering any more. Too old and too far away. I'll have to make do with having another browse through the on-line shop.
It's a good job that there's still work that Boston Lodge can be getting on with.
There are approximately 35 route miles of railway line involved which accentuates fixed maintenance costs. I think Wales had a lockdown over the October half term, which was very lucrative elsewhere, so the bleak takings for the season are less surprising, although still more bleak than I would have expected.
What has happened to the Chinese engine they had there once that had little tiny wheels and looks quite silly as the top is big and the wheels little below it.
Under restoration at Boston Lodge, in her own shed. Groups website here http://c2project.org
I don’t like it it won’t ever look right going along on the railway. I’d like them to build a bedgerlert
Send your large cheque to Boston Lodge and they'll get started.
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