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S&D Railway Trust and Washford Eviction Notice

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Andy Norman, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    That I think is the ultimate tragedy of this whole affair. It is entirely unnecessary, avoidable and self-inflicted.
     
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  2. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    I was told there was a steam bus in Weston super mere that was owned by the WSR man is this true?
     
  3. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson Well-Known Member

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    It is owned by JJP Holdings, Mr Jones Pratt's company.

    Sent from my SM-T590 using Tapatalk
     
  4. oldmrheath

    oldmrheath Well-Known Member

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    Apologies if this has been covered before, but with regards to the contract with 88, is there any time limit set for the overhaul ? There are locos around where the host railway is responsible for the overhaul but that overhaul is a long time coming. I seem to recall the Erlestoke Manor Fund changing to a mileage agreement with the SVR some years ago with the SVR contributing to 7812's overhaul in respect of usage during its first period in service?

    If the SDRT were to pay for the new tender tank (~ £20k?) does that mean the WSR could now afford the overhaul ? Either way it seems a bit demanding of a small group if the PLC expects the Trust to raise funds for the tank (to relieve the PLC of a future financial liability) while simultaneously paying more rent and carrying out the suggested improvements to facilities at Washford ?

    Jon
     
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  5. Piggy

    Piggy Member

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    • Sometimes, as now, it's good to see the blindingly obvious spelled out.
     
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  6. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    It's up thread somewhere but the next formal meeting of the WSRA when all members can express a view about its support of the PLC is imminent in July, is it not?

    Until then this thread seems full of a minority in a circular discussion about something they don't agree with. Hardly a forum for any decision making is it, however passionate the views?

    As an interested outsider I see little point in visiting this thread to post, (other than when moderation drags me here) until then.
     
  7. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson Well-Known Member

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    It would be good to see some posts on here from folks who do agree with what is happening, to enable a more balanced discussion. But they seem to be sadly lacking.

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  8. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    Isn't that the very nature of internet forums?
     
  9. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    You keep saying that.

    You could always stop being a moderator if it is so onerous to read this thread.

    Got any evidence that it is a minority view about the S&DRT being evicted?

    It is difficult but I would suggest renewing it as the only way the leadership can be influenced is by people voting with their feet.

    The clique at the top of these organisations rely on people staying silent and not doing anything.

    There is a risk however, that if attempts to remove or influence the leadership to a different path, fail then they will have got your money and can carry on as before.

    As the saying goes, organise, organise, organise.
     
  10. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I think that most things have been said until a statement is released by the S&DRT or anything further said by the WSR.

    I fear however that given the current situation the discussion may prove academic
     
  11. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    Regrettably I have to agree with this summary. People who should know better all pulling in different directions.
    The situation was bad enough before the advent of Covid, now it is fast becoming desperate. And the recent joint letter does nothing to engender confidence
     
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  12. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    He has posted on the matter, not sure what your problem is...
     
  13. Herald

    Herald Member

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    As an outsider I hesitate to comment and clearly there are real issues about the way the whole situation has been handled but lets take a step back for a moment and consider the longer term.

    1) The PLC had previously indicated a desire to use Washford as a P-way yard some years back. For whatever reason sufficient of the short duration directors of the PLC agreed to a new lease. Various posts have pointed to the lack of strategic long term plans which may have caused some of the issues about the site to have been placed in the too difficult category so opting for the status quo and the hope that a long lease would unlock grant funding may have been attractive.
    2) The amount paid by the Trust for Washford is very small and may quite easily be dwarfed by benefits of having a more central base for P-way equipment and materials storage thus reducing travelling times going from yard to worksite. If paid staff are involved in any of these moves the increased efficiency might easily save more than the lost rent in only a few days of activity depending on gang size, distance etc.
    3) The recent ORR intervention and recognised backlogs of track maintenance demonstrate that more attention is needed which could easily imply a need for better support facilities for necessary works. Many posters have made a strong case for removing the P-way activity from Dunster. Dunster may also offer a short ride destination from the Minehead end for families on tight budgets unwilling to buy full line tickets.
    4) The degree of interest in the Trust from the general public appears to be small from comments here about passenger numbers alighting at Washford and it seems staffing of their museum and displays has been getting progressively more difficult.
    5) The "fit" of the attraction within the wider GWR emphasis of the line has always been poor with a number of posters on the various threads pointing to a desire amongst active members towards increasing the historic GWR aspects of the railway.
    6) Regulators have increasingly been seeking to remove crossings of active railways. Whilst there are significant differences between the main line network and a low speed heritage line the direction of travel is clear and demands for a disabled access bridge would be well beyond the resources of either body. Just because the public have been allowed to walk across the line for years doesn't mean this will be acceptable in the future.
    7) Parking at Washford is very limited and difficult to expand.
    8) The station's prominent location might make a marketing person question why when trying to promote a Great Western ambience throughout the line this station is painted green.

    There are probably a number of other issues and undoubtedly the handling of the situation has been poor, the press releases inept and corona makes progressing ideas at the present time impractical. From a strategic long term perspective, however, the site has many limitations for broadening its attraction to the general public as a destination and the PLC may well be able to make better use of it as part of wider strategic plans.

    Sadly the whole saga has been badly handled possibly because of the entrenched positions of the parties which leave me doubtful of whether either organisation will survive in the current climate where clearly the only sensible option is a standstill cooling off period as neither party has the resources to progress necessary investment. Such a standstill will not, however, address the underlying issues which will still need to be properly thought through as part of a much needed long term strategic plan which may have to face up to a changed market and "new normal" where the resources available will be insufficient to sustain heritage businesses in a way we would all like.
     
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  14. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Those are all interesting arguments. However, I suggest that argument 7 is in conflict with arguments 2 and 3, while 6 strikes me as a red herring given the continued tolerance of a crossing on an active public footpath that is also a primary means of access to the platform at Watchet.

    I'm afraid I ultimately just don't buy these arguments.
     
  15. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    And on the P'way yard proposal, @Andy Norman explained why this probably wasn't an ideal place and how there were more suitable places than Dunster (thus keeping everyone happy) here some time ago. It's still clear to me that the list of things the WSR propose to do at Washford after evicting the S&D Trust is very much a wish list, I refuse to believe that they can all be achieved given the limited space, and some of them will cost quite considerable amounts of money (Or they're unaware that the S&D Trust own the shed and track and everything else in the yard/think they can get it for free because it's too hard to move, which is even more morally bankrupt)
     
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  16. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    The whole situation is rather sad, especially for the volunteers on both sides. I've only been to the WSR once, for the S and D gala just over four years ago. One of the best heritage railway weekends I've ever experienced. I was left with the feeling that it was a first class event, well organised by a friendly and knowledgeable workforce and I was happy to spend my hard-earned on three days travel and in the shops/cafe's. I just hope a solution can be found, so we can witness such events again in the future.

    IMG_8716.jpg
     
  17. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    You might very well be able to see the 7f Again, but possibly not on the WSR, It still has what 5 years left on its ticket, and i can't see many railways not welcoming it once we all get back up and running if the West Somerset goes belly up, they will have to find a new home anyway.
     
  18. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    4. In the past it was certainly the case that opening times at WD were sporadic, given the vagaries of volunteer availability, often shut more days than open etc. However this has clearly improved in recent times, if one accepts the S&DRT's claim that they opened every day last season that the WSR was running trains.

    7. True, at first glance, tho' for those who don't mind a short walk there is (or at least was, last time I was there) plenty of on-street parking nearby - you just need to know the right footpath to access it !

    8. The colour scheme aligns with the BR(SR) period of S&DJR ownership. Nobody seems to question why Dunster is BR(WR) rather than GWR. I'm sure that if a change of paint scheme on the station (as opposed to in the yard) was a pre-requisite to their survival, the Trust would be unlikely to object.
     
  19. twr12

    twr12 Member

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    And look how that trial ended for Ceauaescu.......
     
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  20. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Its worth pointing out that BL is well and truly shut by the time the last train arrives
     

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