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S&D Chilcompton Station

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by mendipsengineman, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. mendipsengineman

    mendipsengineman New Member

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    The Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust board need to begin negotiations with Mendip District Council to secure the western section of Chilcompton station and get a foothold “up there” to prevent any more development :smt013 and give them a station to station destination to work to/back from. They also need to transfer the “risk” of Redan bridge 51 and Baker Robinsons bridge 52, from the Network Rail subsidiary, to a partnership with Mendip district council, along with the adjacent Bowden hill rock cutting.

    A clearance team can then go in and expose the surviving down platform, and gas torched stumps of the up platform and gain a preservation foothold.

    This is well within the trusts original creation remit of trackbed protection and a fund is available to start this. This needs to be done now. ](*,)
     
  2. Stewie Griffin

    Stewie Griffin New Member

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    So what have the board done so far towards these negotiations? I presume you have expressed your concerns and the perceived urgency of the matter to the board already?
     
  3. mendipsengineman

    mendipsengineman New Member

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    whilst the board have, individually made a great contribution to the project over the last 11 years, collectively they appear to consistently present a barrier ](*,) to the acceleration of ideas and practical and heritage work by people wanting to take on-site and off- site projects on, and who have the time, experience and energy to spare. Hopefully this will change later this year with a reshuffle leading to greater vision and tighter local control and better on site leadership.
     
  4. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    and posting in this vain on an internet forum is somehow going to assist in this ? also reading your fotopic site you seem too rather too highly value your own contribution to the project describing your departure as a black day for the S&D

    The sad fact is no one person is bigger than the project they support . Airing grievances in this way to me demonstrates a willingness to destroy what so far has been built up
     
  5. mendipsengineman

    mendipsengineman New Member

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    On the contrary, I am trying to galvanise more support and attract fresh blood, spark some debate and keep the S&D in the headlines. I'm hardly going to try and destroy something that I spent all my twenties (and a lot of money) trying to get back to looking as it was am I?
    I have been in preservation 20 years and am well aware of its unfortunate political workings.
     
  6. Stewie Griffin

    Stewie Griffin New Member

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    So, going back to my previous post, what have the board done towards these negotiations to date? I presume you have raised these concerns and your point of view to the board prior to airing them on here; have they given any reasons for what you perceive to be their inaction?
     
  7. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

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    Perhaps they're just being realistic and looking in the other direction for future extension? I suspect the only realistic source of income for excavating the cutting will be a local/national government grant, or money from the EU. To get that the line will surely need to be a lot longer, and a lot more established than the current setup to show a financial case for it. As nice as it would be, surely all available money needs to be going towards laying track on the available trackbed towards the cutting, then getting over the road towards radstock (perhaps even using the branch towards frome if thats feasible).

    Chris
     
  8. arthur maunsell

    arthur maunsell New Member

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    a bit of an undercurrent going on here...i dont know the history behind this thread but I would take more notice of it if it wasnt for that unfortunate signature.
     
  9. tobes3803

    tobes3803 New Member

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    Is this the same person that did the midsomer blog! Very good for up to date news just shame you had to filter through all the other rubbish to see it! Such as classics like growing enough trees lineside to be able to fuel steam engines for the line!
     
  10. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    WishIhadaname I don't think its the same person who has the S&D Blog, or to be precise the "NEW Somerset & Dorset" to distinguish it from the S&D Heritage Trust. I don't disagree with much of what's on the Blog but it does need a c**p filter to try and find out what's going on down in Midsomer and with the S&D in general. From what I can gather there is a serious clash of ideology between some of the movers and shakers (or non-movers and non-shakers depending on your point of view) and those that want the S&D reinstated right now using the Peak Oil stick as a weapon. (Its not a bad argument but its not really a weapon to justify the S&D). I hope those involved will get over their bruised egos and growing pains so that the MN project can get to Chilcompton. I'm due to renew my membership in April but do I want to support a p*****g contest or do I want to see further improvements in the re-birth of the S&D? Hopefully the latter.
     
  11. Stewie Griffin

    Stewie Griffin New Member

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    Having just had a fairly length look through the aforementioned S&D blog, to be quite honest it actually raises more questions than answers to me!

    While I appreciate it is the work of individuals and therefore not reflecting the views of any S&D project as a whole, the general consensus on the blog and the connected forum seems, to me, to advocate the full reinstatement of the historic infrastructure of the Somerset & Dorset in anticipation of such time as the price and level of oil supply is unsustainable. Am I correct in this presumption?

    In respect of a wholesale reinstatement; it pains me as a committed preservationist to say it, but surely if one is going to propose such an undertaking in the present environment it would make so much more sense to actually tailor it to the modern day environment rather than slavishly recreate an inefficient and outdated system, which given the topography and the demographic of the area would be highly likely to still be riddled with inefficiencies and anachronisms. Quite what would be the point in the modern day transport environment of recreating a journey from Bath to Bournemouth that takes an immense amount of time behind a steam locomotive?

    If you are correct in your comments about 'peak oil' etc , do you not think we woud be more likely to see a retrenchment of the population towards major cities and the consequent rise in light rail and light rapid transit systems?

    Now please don't get me wrong, I would love to see the S&D recreated, but if you are going to promote yourselves as a true alternative to the car and raise anything approaching the capital you will need for even the shortest section of the old S&D before the 'oil tap is turned off', you need to make the journey a reasonable alternative. Otherwise, if you are going for the preservation angle then realism and progressive expansion is likely to be the key.

    Another key issue to me is the number of different bodies that are referenced from the pages of the blog. You of course have the S&DHT, who I presume are the people currently in possession of Midsomer Norton station. But by continually referencing the aims of the 'New Somerset & Dorset', without actually providing any terms of reference or suchlike (simply stating that the launch will be on 9 March 2009) rather gives the impression of division and does not do much to encourage confidence in the scheme. And if that is the impression to gives to me as a railway enthusiast and fellow preservationist, then what impression is it likely to give to those who you would need to back the scheme, such as local and regional councils, grant funding bodies or suchlike?

    Personally speaking, it appears from the outside that it the blog is providing a platform for a few disgruntled individuals to air their personal preferences for the site, while continually bombarding you with the 'peak oil' label. I am afraid that simply repeating demands for an undertaking on a huge scale like the wholesale reconstruction of the 1950's S&D is likely to mark you out as a dreamer among many of us on here, a number of whom have been there, done it and got the t-shirt. There is a reason why most heritage railways have started off with a small operation from a restored station; it is the most realistic manner of establishing a presence in the field, while building up the capital necessary for expansion projects.

    Prove me wrong...

    (Edited to correct spelling error)
     
  12. arthur maunsell

    arthur maunsell New Member

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    my objection to the "oil" factor is its total inaccuracy. In Caliornia RIGHT NOW you can pull into a gas station and fill your specially adapted car with a special fuel (Hydogen i think iirc) the only by product of which is water....its probably hideously expensive at the moment but the point is the technology is there and when oil supplies dwindle this will be further developed and expanded and there will be no crisis. SO there will NEVER be a need to re-open almost all closed lines as an essential form of transport.

    In Ireland there is a vociferous campaign to re-open the so-called western rail corridor closed decades ago which runs through sheep country. It seems to me most of the people who want it reopend are trainspotter types who want it for no better reason than its turning back the clock...and this guy is the same, never mind the facts, He wants to see the line put back as it was so he can take pictures I imagine, so he invents a reason for it...
     
  13. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

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    Hydrogen is interesting, but cannot be compared to oil as it requires energy to be created and turned into fuel cells and as yet this is still an expensive and energy intensive process.

    Anyway, while 'Peak Oil' is likely to be a very real problem in the coming decades, is it relevant to the S&D? Im highly sceptical. Of all the disused railways in the country, its got to be pretty near the bottom in terms of cost-benefit ratio.

    That said, if the vast sums were found by the government to restore it, then all the various obstructions (including the station at Midsome Norton) would be compulsory-purchased anyway, making all this talk of gaining footholds seem rather pointless!

    Chris
     
  14. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    All energy sources start out expensive and then fall as there use takes off.

    The same will happen with Hydrogen.
     
  15. OldChap

    OldChap New Member

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  16. BillR

    BillR New Member

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    Anyone who has seen top gear would have seen James May filling the Hydrogen Honda up at one such fuel station (Shell IIRC), perhaps there is only one but there is one.

    [Edited spalling mistook, can't believe that I left it in 8-[ ]
     
  17. arthur maunsell

    arthur maunsell New Member

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    thank you Bill..California is a big place obviously...
     
  18. BillR

    BillR New Member

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    In fact if you were to view this video on youtube, you too can see James "doing the do" at roughly 2:40 :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p5tEIkZCBk
     
  19. OldChap

    OldChap New Member

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    Oh that little Honda... the one which Honda are planning to build a whopping 300 of!

    So if anyone knows the size of California the will understand the reality of this quote from http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2008 ... 15-093.asp

    "Currently, there are 24 hydrogen stations operating in California, with more planned, and there are at least 209 hydrogen powered vehicles operating throughout the state. "
     
  20. arthur maunsell

    arthur maunsell New Member

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    that doesnt make my original comment "the point is the technology is there and when oil supplies dwindle this will be further developed and expanded and there will be no crisis. " any the less true and your comment any the less wrong...
     

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