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Teifi Valley Railway

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Anthony Coulls, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    While I was in the area visited again on Thursday and again was surprised to find how busy it was, the track had been extended, and now runs a little past forest halt.

    Definitely aimed at the family market but seemed to be doing well with visitor numbers. Alan George was in steam and working the trains.

    My last visit was in July last year and saw the same faces who were still working to the same aims as my last visit. It's a small team so it all takes time but progress is being made.
     
  2. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    With no railway track, it was logical to develop the childrens' playpark side to bring in some revenue at least , but disappointing lack of progress over the 3 years on the tracklaying and restoration of Sgt Murphy. Shortage of volunteers shows in the uncontrolled vegetation particularly in Henllan station. And the caravan doesn't help. Any reason for the railway cafe to be privatised?
     
  3. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    @Elizabeth Perry many railways have outsourced cafe's . It reduces risk , guarantees an income and allows volunteers to focus on core railway operation
     
  4. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    In this case, the cafe is run by a limited Company, the Busy Bee Cafe Ltd, with the 2 shareholders the Railway general manager and the Company treasurer. No Accounts yet so can't tell how this has helped the Railway.
     
  5. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    Just had a quick look at Companies House and noted in one document:-
    "Each share has full rights in the company with respect to voting, dividends and distributions." (My highlighting)
    Maybe the bean counters will tell me that this is a 'normal' statement but, if the cafe is there solely to support the railway, why would they include the reference to dividends etc? I also note that Mr Mc.- is a little shy about being shown in the list of directors and also the list of shareholders. Perfectly within his rights of course...

    I note that the companies accounts are overdue. As the cafe was there before the company it will be interesting to see what the company lists as capital assets and, if those assets were there before the company, how much the company paid the railway for the transfer of assets to them. Have you seen the railway accounts? Do they list an income from the company for the transfer or for rent or lease payments on the building or for electric, water etc,etc?

    I really do hope this is not a case of 'out of the frying pan...' for the railway after all the work the volunteers have done putting it back together again.
     
  6. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    The "new management" are very shy about public enquiries and take advantage of current regs by submitting abbreviated Railway Accounts to Companies House. These consist of a simple balance sheet only, so it's impossible to find out what the relationship between cafe and Railway may be. Mr M for 10 years has steered clear of the responsibilities of being a director, finding it perfectly possible to run the Railway as the general manager. Since March when the cafe Accounts became overdue I have been trying to find out why Companies House has not closed the Cafe Company down (the normal penalty for not providing Accounts) but have not received any explanation so far. It's all rather peculiar.
     
  7. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    The Teifi Valley Railway website currently shows a very mixed bag of reviews. I was struck by the headline on one: "Lovely staff except for the finance director" ....
     
  8. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    The Accounts are out - only 6 months late ... The Accounts date is 30th June 2016 - right in the middle of the season 2016 and thus must include operations in 2015. They show over £4k in the Bank but no other assets, so they must be renting the building and all its contents. Abbreviated Accounts so no further details.
     
  9. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    Accounts for the Teifi Valley Railway Ltd show that in 2016 they sold £4,400 worth of the freehold property i.e. the trackbed covered by a Light Railway Order. Must be desperate.
     
  10. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    For that price it doesn't sound like a very large parcel of land. How do you know it is trackbed?
     
  11. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    £4,400 at 2004 Valuation (or cost), at least in theory - what the filed accounts don't show is whether this was at a considerable profit - the year certainly has seen a reasonable profit from the £46k movement in Retained Earnings.

    Steven
     
  12. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    Have you noted that these are 9 months Accounts so aren't really comparable with anything? Forestpines: the only freehold property the Company owns is trackbed of the former GWR branch line Pencader to Newcastle Emlyn.
     
  13. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    As the filed accounts are Balance Sheet only, you are comparing two 'snap-shots' of assets and liabilities at given dates. However, the good result will have been helped by the lack of a January to April 'off season' in calculating the profit!

    Does the Company not own any station sites or anything not part of the actual trackbed? If not, the Valuation looks rather high for a long, thin strip of land - which is often seen as potentially worthless!

    Steven
     
  14. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    In other news I see that Alan George's boiler certificate has expired and they are currently steamless. Saw on their Facebook some progress on Sgt Murphy but no timescale for completion. Hopefully not to long.
     
  15. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    As one of the many who raised money in the 70s to buy the trackbed, I fear that they may have sold off the part of the trackbed behind houses in Newcastle Emlyn. This will mean abandoning any future extension to the town - in any future, however remote. Particularly shortsighted in view of the fact that the station site itself has been put on sale more than once over the past 10 years and these sales have fallen through, so it remains a secondhand car sales business.
     
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  16. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    2018: TVR is without any steam engines. Alan George's boiler certificate ran out end of 2017. Sgt Murphy still being put back together, but in June Dave James had a serious fall and has been in hospital ever since. 2 diesels out of action and remaining diesel able to operate for the occasional passenger. But all the focus is on the childrens' playground side of the operation.
     
  17. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    I've stayed out of conversations around the Teifi Valley as it feels like a complex situation with a lot of personal attacks flinging round. That said, I'm really concerned for the future of the line and would be prepared to 'step-up' and help where possible once I've moved to South Wales in the next few months
     
    Reading General likes this.
  18. MartinBall

    MartinBall New Member

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    A very generous thought, but my feeling for some time is that the TVR's days are numbered and it would be better for them to develop the playground aspect and sell on the locos and stock to railways that might be able to make use of them. Both could profitably be used on lines such as Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid/Bala Lake Railway or similar. Rather than let them gather rust (as it appears the large amount of cash needed for servicing one and reassembling the other is not going to be readily forthcoming). I think pressure from the heritage community is needed to ensure these locos are not just abandoned by the TVR for years to come.....
     
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  19. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    It'd be a huge shame to lose the TVR, it has potential to being a significant attraction, it is the only narrow gauge railway, and one of only three heritage railways in the whole of South Wales (I don't count Brecon or Barry Island as they're essentially commercial operations). Shouldn't give up on it based on past mistakes - if that's the benchmark then we'd have lost many railways long ago. Just needs a new team and better PR - the line, locos and rolling stock are all there.

    That said, if it does go I can think of at least two locations where it could relocate en mass that are still in South Wales and potentially better locations
     
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  20. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Are the rolling stock, locomotives etc. owned by the operating company or a charitable trust/association?
     

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