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S&D Railway Trust

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

  1. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    I subscribe. I didn't think the article warranted a mention in this thread.

    All they do is unquestioningly publish the information issued by the WSR which has been discussed, dissected and debunked on here already.
     
  2. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Is it not highly likely that if the WSR were not in financial difficulty and if there were not a possible hidden intent to turn the whole set up into an undiluted pretty little GWR line complete with its own GWR train set of locomotives and stock then this whole S&DRT issue would not have surfaced in the way that it has?

    I find is strange, almost bizarre, that with so many other heritage lines operating with other loco owners and 'independent' groups coexisting with the main operating company, this is not possible on the West Somerset Railway.
     
  3. Piggy

    Piggy Member

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    It seems to show there is simply an element of spite involved in this threat .....
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
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  4. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    It is unlikely that the regulator, if they act in the way that regulators do in industries that I have worked in would tell the WSR to move something to a particular site. They may say we view your current operation as unsafe and would look for you to remedy this, but they rarely if ever state move it to xyz as that would mean they were then at least partially on the hook for any subsequent action arising out of the move; or the actions at the new site.
     
  5. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    I suppose the 'hype' about Dunster is simply the fact that it has the potential to be turned back into a nice tidy 'little' GWR station, and of course it still has its original goods shed (unlike Washford or Stogumber). I don't understand though why WD station (as opposed to the current S&DRT museum etc) should be 'historically more important' for the railway, given that both WD and DR were opened as part of the Minehead Railway.
     
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  6. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Sorry, but I have to disagree. Having read and re-read the statement, I can find nothing therein which states that specifically.

    The statement says that the post of GM will report to, but not be a member of, the Board. In other words JK-P will not have an automatic role as a Board member by virtue of being GM. However there is nothing written in the statement to refute the idea that JK-P could be appointed - and remain as - a Board member as a private individual at the same time as holding the role of GM. There is nothing written in the statement to say specifically that he will stand down, or be removed from, the Board once he takes up the GM role.

    You would then have the interesting situation that JK-P, in his role as GM, would report to the Board of which he, as a private person, is a member, so being conflicted therefore he would have to exclude himself from any decisions being made about the GM :)
     
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  7. tom-bex

    tom-bex New Member

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    I read the plc statement as implying he would stand down fron the board on taking his role as GM. I agree that nothing should be taken for granted though by the current plc!

    As regards the Railway Herald article, it reads to me as an almost word for word repeat of the latest plc statement nothing more. Certainly no new information, and disappointingly, very one sided with no response (or even the statement) from SDRT.
     
  8. twr12

    twr12 Well-Known Member

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    It does seem unfair for a Director to have individual and collective legal responsibility for the running of a company, to not be a full member of the board of directors making decisions as to the running of the company.

    I’m aware that it is considered good practice by ORR for a/some senior paid manager/s of Preserved railways to be a member of the board of directors. Because the paid GM/ Chief Executive/ etc is there all the time so can influence staff for good practice in Health & Safety, among other duties. Easier than volunteer directors who may not be able to get to the railway often.
     
  9. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    A director either is or is not a director of a company; there is no difference in status once they've signed the paperwork and are recorded as directors. Companies House paperwork will provide definitive proof of status.

    The question of paid/volunteer/executive/non-executive directors will go on for ever; there are good arguments for all sorts of approaches. Ultimately, I see it as a question of getting the right people and skills on a board that can work effectively together for that company.
     
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  10. tom-bex

    tom-bex New Member

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    I find the whole issue around this eviction puzzling to say the least. We don't get to visit the WSR very often since we've moved away, but try to visit when we can. WSR has a special place in my heart, being the first railway I travelled on at 6 months old just after it opened! It's also the railway that developed my interest in railways as a whole, and (via its many events) helped get me interested in classic cars and general historic transport, including my current passion for canals.

    Washford is always one of my favourite places to visit when we do visit the line. We love the signalling display, and the work done on the coach is simply stunning. I like the museum, but in fairness it's not really suitable for a 4yo so we've skipped it recently. I think the work they've put in to develop the site is under valued by the railway, but a definite credit to the SDRT. It strikes me how clean, tidy, and well presented the site is as a whole.

    The internal squabbles of a few years ago put me off being a more active supporter, and having looked into it again recently, find yet more unnecessary internal squabbling. A definite turn off for potential supporters. Very tempted to join SDRT though as a demonstration of my support to them, and if things ever reopen this year, will make sure to pay a visit to Washford. We usually take out 4 year old on the Santa special and were planning to again this year. However if this eviction continues, will look at other railways instead. Definitely will not be supporting the WSR in any way unless this is stopped.

    Sorry for the long rant, but this whole issue has really annoyed me.

    Tom
     
  11. 46229

    46229 New Member

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    Indeed. Going forward into the 2020s, anyone without a good understanding of ROGS and a good grasp of what it means to operate to a fully compliant safety management system shouldn't be anywhere near the boardroom of a heritage railway in a decision making capacity. Times have changed and so has the ORR's approach.
     
  12. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Further to this, it would be exceptional ill-advised to bring onto board people whose companies have had significant safety issues and where safety management in those companies has come in for criticism.

    https://www.thewestonmercury.co.uk/news/crosville-public-inquiry-1-5092373

    https://www.route-one.net/news/crosville_in_trouble_over_vehicle_repairs/


    I would absolutely recommend joining the S&DRT, it is a good way of supporting them through the crisis. Also, the Pines Express is an excellent magazine, full of news but also a lot of interesting articles about the S&D. Also, in this thread, the supporters of the PLC have claimed that the S&DRT has only a few older members, no one cares etc etc, so by joining, it you doing something to help the S&DRT from afar.
     
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  13. 46229

    46229 New Member

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    That depends - i.e. on what the facts and objective lessons learned are. You learn from your experience. At the end of the day, it's the ORR who decides whether you are competent to run a safety critical organisation, not an internet forum.
     
  14. 242A1

    242A1 Well-Known Member

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    The idea of the WSR being turned into "an undiluted pretty little GWR line" is no surprise. The presence of the S&D Railway Trust and particularly locomotive 88 is not quite so welcome as might be supposed. Some that you find working on the line are quite open about the engine, they don't like it because it isn't Great Western and by extension it does make a listener to such views wonder about how the Trust is viewed. Then you look at the PLC Board .............

    The WSR ongoing saga is bizarre. The various bodies involved do not appear to learn anything from other heritage lines, mirrors the old GW really in that it felt that it had nothing to learn from other railway companies. The Western Region's actions were seen by some as the cause of the demise of the old S&D, a LMS/Midland cuckoo on what the Western saw as its patch. It looks as though there is an influential group within the general WSR umbrella that wants history to repeat itself after a fashion.

    Given a wealthy enough benefactor to pay the bills the WSR could continue to operate in a reality vacuum. But it hasn't got one and the nonsensical behaviour continues on and on with the S&D Trust situation being the latest outcome, a victim of the continued apparent dysfunctionality of what might be termed the whole WSR body.

    Once trust is destroyed it is nigh on impossible to re-establish it again. The Trust may well be best looking for a new home because at the WSR though the people might change the ways and attitudes remain and will continue.
     
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  15. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I am not sure why you are having a dig about it being a discussion being on a internet forum, especially as you are on an Internet forum discussing it. I hate these people in pubs drinking beer, says man as he drinks a pint of bitter in a pub.

    If as you say and I agree that no one without a strong understanding of ROGS and safety management should be in charge, a track record of safety issues does not point to either of those.

    Just out of curiosity, can you recall any cases of the ORR deeming anyone to be incompetent? Does the ORR run a ‘fit and proper person’ test? I am curious about how they deem competency to be on a board and in charge of a safety critical organisation? Do they vet board members before appointment?
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  16. Downline

    Downline New Member

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    I agree with your first sentence. But I don't think he has addressed this 'elephant in the room' or has learnt from it.

    And does the ORR look at, or have to look at, a persons history operating buses when deciding if he is competent at running a railway? I would hope they do but wouldn't be surprised if they don't.

    But I don't feel raising someone's competence at operating trains, buses or anything else is relevant to the SDRT eviction. But comparing previous business activities to this eviction can.
     
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  17. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Sound advice. If any organisation in West Somerset needs financial support the Washford folk do. They are not empire building just trying to continue their nearly half century of effort. Even though some donations may have to be used for legalities - not of their choice of course - it is worth it if only to keep 'big brother' at bay.
     
  18. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

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    I would rather use a slower growing native species. Railways can normally look in the longer term. The awful Leylandii has made a mess of so many suburban gardens. People don't realise that it needs a constant trim, if you try to cut it back once it has overgrown you're left with a mess of dead wood which won't regrow green. It also burns well.
     
  19. Piggy

    Piggy Member

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    In setting up the Job Description for the new GM, we made it clear that the post reported to the Board, but was not a member of it. We have made clear to Justin that this has not changed. Being part of the current Board means that his depth of experience will continue to be available to us, and he will develop a fuller understanding of the Railway.
     
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  20. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Although I think that's what got the other thread locked, so perhaps best stay away from that.
     

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