If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

SVR General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by threelinkdave, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,707
    Likes Received:
    1,998
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Careful I have interests in the area west of Bristol on several counts............as well as those on the SVR.
     
  2. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    974
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Wiltshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    A quite popular approach for a few years around 1850.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,389
    Likes Received:
    40,322
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    bluetrain, 30854, Steve and 1 other person like this.
  4. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,505
    Likes Received:
    7,310
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I wasn't referring to the design on the loco(s), merely the apparent traits of those in the West Country, as typified in postings on Nat Pres. However, as you've raised the subject, I'm surprised that the N.E. design cncept you've shown didn't become more widespread in Victorian times before locos became really constrained by the loading gauge. Driving a crankshaft which is in fixed rigidly mounted bearings has got to offer many advantages, especially in terms of maintenance.
     
    MellishR likes this.
  5. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,247
    Likes Received:
    651
    Location:
    Kidderminster/ Cardiff
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The SVR will be reopening from 12th April but the restaurants/pubs will only be offering takeaway service and the Engine House remains shut for the initial phase.
    https://www.svr.co.uk/NewsItem.aspx?a=958
     
    Great Western, John Petley and D1039 like this.
  6. Dead Sheep

    Dead Sheep New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2021
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    36
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    SVR have now withdrawn Lineside Photographer's Passes, much to the fury of a few on Facebook.

    This perhaps comes no surprise with the risks involved, insurance premiums, resources involved and most significantly, the jaundiced view of the ORR to such activities. However, it will be no great loss to volunteers. There remain plenty of prime locations for photographers in public areas at the railway or from the many public-rights-of-way located adjacent to the line.
     
  7. Macko

    Macko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    2,205

    It sees you have just joined the board to post that message and stir the pot. I could rip your statement apart as it is full of factual inaccuracies and speculation which unless you are an SVR board director in disguise, you simply have no idea why the change has been made.

    I have been an SVR lineside permit holder since the start of the scheme many, years ago. I started my railway volunteer life on the SVR some 30 plus years ago as well, I might live over 130 miles away, but I still think of it as my home line.

    I have to say the decision to withdraw this alongside the now permanent ban (for the foreseeable future) on photo charters on the line to be a massive disappointment and deeply regrettable.

    The preservation movement loves to have a go at "freeloading" photographers who put nothing back in to the railway and yes there are plenty of those around. But for the core of us who take photography fairly seriously as a hobby than the lineside permit scheme was ideal for being to support the railway whilst out being a photographer. Have a look at the SVR website and social media sites, its full of photos taken by lineside photographers which we have been happy to supply (in the past).

    I really take exception to your point saying it will be no great loss to volunteers. I am proud to say I know many loco and signal volunteers who have images from me and have always been happy to create something that little extra special. We are also an extra pair of eyes and ears, helping prevent trespass and reporting incidents to the duty manager. Over the years for example I have stopped a family crossing Victoria bridge, reported a quad bike riding along the line at Highley, supplied images for the police of vandalism at Bewdley tunnel and lost count of how many fires I have put out.

    However, the people I am most upset for is Matt Fielding and Martin Creese who have both run great charters at the SVR over many years, every penny going to the railway or loco groups taking part.
    It's been a great way of being able to put something back to those who put something in front of the camera for us. The charters have raised many thousands for the railway, probably into six figures. I know for a fact the money generated by the charters around a gala have often been the margin needed to make an event profitable and cover the cost of bringing an engine to the line. This all seems to have been conveniently forgotten and currently no explanation has been given on why it was necessary to remove both charters and permits. As far as I am aware there has never been on a single incident on a charter.

    It's a very sad change, done without consultation and I hope the railway can find an alternative approach rather than just give up entirely.
     
  8. OldSchoolTrains2

    OldSchoolTrains2 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2020
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The West
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Sad to read about the lineside permits. I've taken photography ever more seriously since I've been back into this hobby and was getting to the point (before pausing all railway outings due to birth of first child closely followed by global pandemic) of feeling like I was good enough at it that a lineside pass at the SVR would be a worthwhile present to myself. That's partly because I struggle to work out whether several of the key SVR non-lineside photography spots are public rights of way or not - maybe I just need to get better at understanding OS maps but the field at Foley Park tunnel, the curve before Eardington and other spots around Eardington bank always confuse me and I can't work out if the pictures I see from there come from railway land with lineside permits or those fields etc have footpaths over them.

    I also see from the outside and an insurance point of view that it's a concept that might not survive forever. Discussing it with a non-enthusiast friend a while back, they found it surprising that passes that let you 'walk on the track' exist. I did explain that that wasn't exactly the case here but I can see why for instance an insurance company might bristle at the concept itself without paying attention to the detail/reality.

    Definitely surprised this has extended to charters, though. I'd have thought that as a full-on private hire of the line they could be treated very differently.
     
    davidcarbonis likes this.
  9. Dead Sheep

    Dead Sheep New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2021
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    36
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    As an update on the Lineside Pass position, Railadvent have published an article including a statement from the SVR on the matter.

    The Severn Valley Railway has now clarified its position for the future.

    No new lineside passes or any privately-run photo charters will be made available says the railway.

    Helen Smith, the general manager explained: “I know that this news will disappoint some people. However, I ask you to step back and understand the extremely difficult position the railway faces.

    “The income we receive from lineside passes and privately-run photo charters is insignificant when compared to the potential risk these activities naturally contain. This means that to continue them makes little financial sense. As the landowner, train operating company and infrastructure provider, if SVR Holdings continues to permit such activities we also hold liability for any accidents or injuries that the participants have.”

    “The Office of Road and Rail has ceased its ‘light touch’ approach to heritage rail and is beginning to apply more rigorous standards to all heritage operations. The SVR is of particular interest to the ORR because of the two fall from height incidents that have happened in less than a year.”

    “Put these factors together and you will see why it would not be in the SVR’s interests to allow these high risk activities to continue. Only a handful of heritage railways currently do so, and I expect that soon there will not be any.”

    Holders of any existing lineside passes will be able to use them until they expire, and the temporary ban will be lifted for this to happen.

    The Severn Valley Railway says that it plans to find a small group of volunteer photographers who will have lineside access but will have regular safety training.




    Source: https://www.railadvent.co.uk/2021/0...ey-railway-clarifies-position-for-future.html [Accessed: 05/03/2021]
     
    Great Western likes this.
  10. acorb

    acorb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,757
    Likes Received:
    1,263
    Location:
    Powys
    So the last post I made on this thread was in response to someone who thought the SVR is making a mistake in holding an enthusiast event too soon, now they are ignoring enthusiasts...

    The release from the SVR is stating that they have had two incidents in the last 12 months (working at height) that means they are under great scrutiny from the ORR. It also states that as a whole the ORR are tightening their 'soft touch' approach to heritage operations and are treating heritage railways more like mainline operations. This is clearly focusing minds on what can and can not now be allowed.

    Unfortunately, to say 'there hasn't been a problem in the past' isn't sufficient to nullify risk, in any modern risk assessment. There are numerous near misses every day of people being trackside on the 'big railway'. Keeping trains and people separate is a number one priority for the ORR. Clearly, allowing people who are not SVR track safety trained lineside, is now considered too much of a risk, however controlled the situation. Only people with the correct level of training are allowed trackside on Network Rail, the same rules are now being applied here. They have left the door open by stating they are happy to work with a small group of photographers who have additional SVR (PTS) training.

    To state that the SVR is now anti enthusiast I think is crass and wide of the mark. Throughout last year, despite significant challenges they ran trains purely targeted at enthusiasts and much of their YouTube output is of great interest.

    I'm sorry to those who are upset, but clearly times have moved on and I would be very surprised if other railways don't follow suit. If they don't, they will be needing a heck of a risk assessment to demonstrate that they can operate safely, in which case the SVR may look at similar operating models.
     
    Will RL, ghost, Kje7812 and 5 others like this.
  11. I. Cooper

    I. Cooper Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    Salop
    The statement I saw didn't say they'd had two incidents in the last 12 months, simply that they'd had two falling from height incidents. Given that they had a couple of falls a few years ago (hence eventually prompting a change in operating practices in the sheds at Bridgnorth) if you're saying they've now had yet another two incidents over the last year as well, then that really suggests the company isn't learning from incidents and taking steps to prevent repeat occurances of the same type of thing. On that basis one can well understand the authorities viewing the railway as not a very safe or responsible employer. One incident is unfortunate - multiple repeat occurences suggests a more underlying problem.
     
  12. acorb

    acorb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,757
    Likes Received:
    1,263
    Location:
    Powys
    I am merely referencing the statement issued which is on Rail advent and reproduced on the SVR discussion page. Perhaps this conversation is better suited to that thread rather than reproducing it again here.

    The SVR are taking steps to tighten health and safety, one of the actions which they are now receiving criticism for on here.

    If you follow their YouTube channel you will also note they have recently invested in a rail mounted MEWP, to assist in high level work. I would suggest that is further evidence of introducing better working practices.
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,389
    Likes Received:
    40,322
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The exact phrase used was:

    "The SVR is of particular interest to the ORR because of the two fall from height incidents that have happened in less than a year"
    which is not the same meaning as what you wrote:

    "The release from the SVR is stating that they have had two incidents in the last 12 months (working at height) that means they are under great scrutiny from the ORR." ​

    Your phraseology explicitly put those two incidents in the last year; the SVR release said two within a year, but didn't say which year. I'm sure for any safety regulator, frequency and currency are both important, but they are not the same thing.

    Tom
     
    35B and I. Cooper like this.
  14. I. Cooper

    I. Cooper Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    Salop
    As highlighted by Tom, the quote from the railway doesn't say they've had two incidents in the last year, it said they had two incidents within a 12 month period - without stating when that 12 month period actually was.

    I'm aware they had two falls in fairly swift successiona few years ago - which prompted a change in working practices at that time. I haven't seen anything in the latest statement that suggests they've had further accidents more recently, their statement appears to be highlighting something now that occured a few years ago as it happens to be convenient for them to do so now, whereas at the time of the incidents they seemed rather more tight lipped about them.
     
  15. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    3,152
    Likes Received:
    6,339
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Maybe I am missing something but what is the connection between the fall from height incidents and photo charters? Did they take place during photo charters or involve lineside photographers?
     
    zigzag, flying scotsman123 and cg like this.
  16. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    16,467
    Likes Received:
    13,462
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It was the approach to regulation you advocate that I was concerned about when I wrote previously in this thread. The H&S industry has done a good job of detaching itself from the more extreme manifestations that have arisen, and it now appears as though one arm of it - ORR - is undoing that good work by adopting what appears to be a one size fits all policy.

    Risk assessment needs to look at what may happen, the consequences of it happening, and the probability of that event. There are significant differences between a preserved railway and the national network, and treating them as though identical is IMHO a failure of risk management.

    This has little to do with the upcoming SVR event, but is important if it is the start of a wider trend.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    flying scotsman123 likes this.
  17. I. Cooper

    I. Cooper Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    Salop
    Those I'm aware of occurred a few years ago in the sheds at Bridgnorth - prompting a change in working procedures to hopefully prevent further reoccurrences.

    Of course they may make a habit of having fall from height incidents and cultivate a goodly number of them each year - or they may be referring to something that happened some time ago as if it's a very recent thing, more so than a recent change in management and a review of where to focus their business activities.
     
    zigzag likes this.
  18. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    281
    The working at height incidents have very little bearing on the decision to cease lineside permits and photo charters.

    It is well known the ORR are now focusing more on heritage railways.
    The SVR have stated in the internal NBI and the above press release. It is about the liability the company have and the revenue of charters is negligible. As a member of paid staff. I actually welcome the position now taken as I have had to deal with far too many permit holders having next to no knowledge of their surroundings and a lack of common sense when it comes to movements of trains.
     
    Ruston906, acorb, maureen and 3 others like this.
  19. I. Cooper

    I. Cooper Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    Salop
    The current situation regarding lineside photo passes does seem hard to defend - if you go near the place when there's a gala event on then the lineside is crawling with multiple dozens of people. I suspect there are more people lineside than actually travel on the trains on some normal service days at the edge of the season. If the railway was challenged to answer how many people could be trackside on a given day and time, and where, I guess they wouldn't really know.

    If there was the desire it could be tightened a lot more, have only a limited number of passes available per day that need to be applied for in advance and accompanied by an itinery of where the photographer will be at any given time, with their intended entry/exit points from the railway property, meaning train crews could be briefed at the start of the day about where and when they may encounter people trackside. It would also mean the railway can be sure there will be no more than 'n' passes/people present and if the submitted itinery saw a group of the available passes working together then that would be favoured over a similar number of applications for people acting alone ...and none of that addresses the competence/training issues surrounding those elegible to apply in the first place.

    Clearly the easiest and simplest situation is just not to allow non-railway operation related trackside access. The alternative to lineside passes would be running specific charter operations where the risks of having people trackside for photographic purposes can be mitigated by not allowing train movements until charter participants are located, using trained personel as 'look-outs' / having fenced off areas where photos are taken that are 'seperate' from the running line etc. etc. Running a charter allows a more detailed risk assessement of the operations and keeps things in a controlled environment. ....but of course it requires a 'can do' attitude from the railway for something that has little financial contribution to the business bottom line.
     
  20. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    8,533
    Likes Received:
    5,665
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alderan !
    I disagree .The preservation movement deserves a light touch when it clearly demonstrates its house is in order . people believing they are free from H&S regulation and responsibility and carrying on regardless because that is what they have always done does not make them safe .

    Just because people are willing to put themselves at risk doesn't mean they should and incidents where bones are broken and people end up in hospital , there is no excuse for in this day and age .
     
    Ruston906 likes this.

Share This Page