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Peak Rail Annual Report and Action Group

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by huochemi, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. crantock

    crantock Member

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    Has there been any magazine coverage yet? We can moan on here all we like but are unlikely to get an answer. A journo for a mag might.

    I’m still interested in if the bill has been paid and if so how was that funded.


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  2. cct man

    cct man New Member

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    Me too
    Chris
     
  3. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    There is a short mention in the December UK edition of "Today's Railways": "Peak Rail pays loco owner £130k as settlement for unauthorised steamings". Information from elsewhere is that the money was paid, and on time under the settlement, and that payment was made by a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous. There is no definite information yet about the size of the bill for legal costs for the two court actions or who will be paying those.
     
  4. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    As is the norm with much of the specialist preservation media these days, I imagine they will be watching this thread carefully for source information and a few choice quotes....
     
  5. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Right on the money there: it is not only preservation press but so much of today's 'reporting' seems to be sourced from social media sites.
     
  6. Jamie Glover

    Jamie Glover Member

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    Most people already have a pretty good idea about the identity of the mysterious Peak Rail benefactor who has contributed a (claimed} donation of one hundred and thirty thousand pounds with the generous aim of getting the incompetent senior manager out of the litigational hole she carefully dug for herself.

    The only remaining question is what can this anonymous benefactor expect to get from Peak Rail in return for such extreme generosity?

    Could this include Peak Rail PLC shares, cut price loco shed accommodation, a seat on the management board or perhaps even being granted the dubious honour of becoming the company's chairman? I think we should be told.

    However, lowly Peak Rail volunteers and supporters can bet their bottom dollar that as per usual they will be treated as mushrooms, kept in the dark and from time to time supplied with stories akin to the substance that the aforementioned mushrooms are known to grow on.

    Jamie.
     
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  7. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    Good luck to the benefactor, quite sincerely, if it leads to a real solution. However, I have heard three names already and guesses as to the identity of the benefactor are just that. Someone with enough leverage to demand and get and act on the explanation of the events of the past decade or so would do a power of good.
     
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  8. FearOfManchester

    FearOfManchester Member

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    As with most things the benefactor will be revealed in the fullness of time. Whether that money would have been donated if there wasn't a lawsuit to be paid is an interesting question, a shame all the same, £130,000 can go a long way. A real shame that incompetent director barnacles seem to whether so many storms and come out the other side every time, this certain barnacle needs to be chipped off, and soon.
     
  9. Jamie Glover

    Jamie Glover Member

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    It is interesting to note that the initial judgement, in favour of Grinsty Holdings, has resulted in Peak Rail managing to locate one hundred and thirty thousand pounds to pay the cost of Lord Phil's unauthorised steamings.

    What is being forgotten is the fact that Peak Rail has, when they are assessed, pay out an extra sum of money to cover court costs, Grinsty Holdings costs and of course the legal costs of Peak Rail's promised "Robust Defence" as made by management at the recent AGM.

    At a rough guess a sum of around forty thousand pounds would probably cover these legal costs. Peak Rail annual accounts suggest that the PLC has not made even a real minimal profit for some years. Under normal circumstances a management board with a dismal operating record similar to that of Peak Rail would have been voted out by shareholders with some speed.

    Recent and past events go only to prove that Peak Rail PLC is a company with shares that will probably become valueless , and possibly a liability, if the present directors are left in power.

    The CEO of Peak Rail has a long record of eliminating PR members who have questioned her managerial activities. Many of these excluded people are now to be found over a hill at another heritage railway where they are involved in the operation of one of the most financially successful heritage railways in the UK.

    The appearance of another annual report, with features similar to the current one, will no doubt serve to drive a final nail into the Peak Rail coffin and point the company towards a financial oblivion.
     
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  10. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    What kind of title is that for a small business?
     
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  11. estwdjhn

    estwdjhn Member

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    That sounds a bit extreme, even by Peak Rail standards!
     
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  12. crantock

    crantock Member

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    But that’s Jamie giving a title and not one they have adopted. I say “They” as there are two “joint managing directors” I believe.




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  13. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    If the total of the legal costs is "only" £40,000 then Peak Rail plc will have got away very lightly. To give just one item, the court fee to issue a money claim is 5% of the claim - £8,000 for a claim of £160,000; and there have been two cases. Details of the second one are bit sketchy, but it seems that when Grinsty Holdings brought their money claim, Peak Rail plc attempted to evict Grinsty Property from Rowsley shed, changed the locks and would not allow anything in or out. The blockaded stock included a brake coach belonging to another railway; I cannot imagine what rational grounds there might have been for that, GH and GP are different companies and different persons at law. It sounds as if the second case was shorter and sharper than the first one. Possibly just as expensive, or more so.
     
  14. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

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    Blimey!:(
     
  15. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

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    Duplicate post
     
  16. FearOfManchester

    FearOfManchester Member

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    I can believe that, if these countless incidents have told us anything, it's that certain directors at PR are fundamentally reactionary in nature, and take things extremely personally, not the type of people you want at the helm of an organisation that runs on people giving their spare time.
     
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  17. Woodster21

    Woodster21 New Member

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    Maybe the shareholders may now wake up and smell the coffee?
     
  18. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    Fearofmanchester does not know the half of it! There are so many ex- Peak Rail volunteers with stories to tell; together they would make a very good soap opera. In my case, and cutting a long saga very short, our little group had the devil of a job to recover the dismantled boiler fittings off our locomotive “The Duke”, over a period of years, until in the end I threatened to involve the police and I meant it. Then we found that the Stanier whistle had recently been cut off the saddletank. The management claimed it was on loan from someone they would not name; I think Woodster will confirm selling a Stanier whistle to me several years before. Whatever the truth of that matter, I consider it rather poor form to take a gas axe to a locomotive without consulting the owner first.


    One of the earlier Peak Rail legal cases featured in the “Footplate Course – Age Discrimination” thread on this site. David Hallam was 73 years old, physically fit and had regular medical examinations for his HGV licence; he applied for a footplate experience course and was turned down on the grounds of his age; the relevant bit of his posting is as follows.

    “I immediately wrote to P/R and pointed out that they were acting out side the law, (Direct Age Discrimination) In the eventual reply I was told that P/R was acting in accordance with the recommendations of the Rail Regulator. I wrote in response to the Rail Regulator to complain and was promptly told that I had been miss informed and that some months previously all heritage railways were informed by the Regulator that they should not determine who could and could not take part in these courses based on age alone, and gave an example of the ability to climb onto and off the footplate as an indicator of fitness.

    With this information I wrote again to P/R and was fobbed of with a letter referring the"various other rules and recommendations". I asked for clarification of these rules, no response. For the next 5/6 months my letters were ignored in the main, until I final wrote and said that if I did not get a suitable response I would put the matter in the hands of the courts. No response!”


    Peak Rail paid £1,200 and an undisclosed, but probably larger figure in costs judging from the 2015 accounts – legal costs were £7,000 in that year. The points of forensic interest are that a) the initial PR story had no basis in fact, b) the amended story seems to have been no better, c) a simple letter of apology would probably have satisfied Mr Hallam, and saved thousands of pounds.

    Then there was the Briddon case; Peter and Andrew Briddon have published their account, however, the over-riding structure is this: the case was a Small Claim for debt; no costs would normally be awarded, win or lose. The claim was for about £4000. It is extremely time consuming for a solicitor to take on a detailed, technical case, at the last minute, prepare for trial against the clock and spend a day at court. I can’t see the PR legal costs being less than £4000, they may have been more. So to pay the debt would have cost £4,000. To fight the case and win would also have cost £4,000. However PR lost and so paid £8,000 and perhaps more.

    One PR argument at trial was to say in evidence that locomotive brake blocks were not consumable items. When asked for his response, PB tells me that he replied that he designed and marketed brake blocks and that they were consumable by design. [in a friction braking system something has to wear out and brake blocks are easier to change than tyres]. Oh hum. PR legal costs rose to £11,000 in 2016.

    I hear Grinsty have sent in details of a further claim.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  19. daveannjon

    daveannjon Member

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    It's all very well calling an EGM, but what's the plan? We need statements from both sides, and especially assurances from the businessmen involved that PR will continue as a preserved railway and not be turned over to redundant rolling stock storage for example.

    Dave
     
  20. crantock

    crantock Member

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    That seems to imply a lot of knowledge as to some development not in the public domain (is anything with PR?). What have you heard and how good is the source?


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