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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Don't forget the DFR and if you are going to go as far as the WSR then why not go that little bit further to the L&B which certainly offers something a lot more unique that the WSR does at the moment.
     
  2. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    From your very long post, I have extracted the above.

    Do you not understand what all this is about? The SDRT, 45 years at Washford and it's yard, keeping it all maintained at no expense to the WSR PLC, and having a new lease in 2018. And letting the WSR PLC use it's loco S&D '88', on certain conditions, in a legally binding agreement?

    And what of the stress and much else besides imposed on the SDRT board of trustees and SDRT Chairman over all this suddenly descending on them on 10th February 2020. And then 1st May the WSR PLC board stating it won't honour the legal agreement with S&D loco '88' but will renege on it.

    And you think the current WSR PLC Chairman is the one to save the WSR? Really?

    Dishing out redundancy consultation notices to very valued skilled members of staff that have in very many cases been there for a substantial number of years?

    This is not the way for a board of management of a PLC to run a preserved railway that we all love.

    I could say a lot more, but I am mindful of the forum rules imposed; let me just say there are lot of people who are very very upset (an understatement) about current events and the way the WSR is going via the current WSR PLC board.

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
  3. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    If you say Minehead and the WSR aren't a major tourist area, then neither is the GWSR.

    The GWSR literally run through land time forgot. Toddington has a population that doesn't reach half way to four figures according to the 2011 census!

    I live nearer the GWSR but have been once in the last 7 years, and even then I went home early (during the 2018 gala) as I was bored. The WSR is one of the best lines in the UK. It feels like a proper journey. Yes, it doesn't run from Taunton, but it's as near as and runs to Minehead!

    Minehead is a major tourist destination in South West England. Many Butlins have shut down since the 1980s... but Minehead is still there! Minehead is on the edge of Exmoor national park.

    Minehead and Watchet have many kinds of festivals that attract those from all over the country.

    Not sure what you mean by DSR operation. The WSR PLC do not own any buses or boats. Not sure if you are/were involved with Dart Valley Railway PLC.

    Pickering and Grosmont next to nobody in the UK has heard of ......'GROSmont' as a guy called it when I did the 2015 Yellow Pages for Grosmont Close NP10... . Minehead and Taunton many have indeed heard of.

    GWSR I've always felt has an extremely poor ride quality, issue with them not having a mainline connection and unsuitable embankments. The DFR has one of the best ride qualities in the land - benefit of having a mainline connection and being a hub of Network rail tamper training and it absolutely shames the GWSR.

    The WSR is home to two Manors, a 45xx, 7F, a 51xx that has been converted to a Mogul as a Large Prairie was considered inadequate to operational requirements.

    What is the GWSR home to exactly? 2807? Their business model is hiring locos... 5542, 5619, 3717/3440, 7903, 7820, 92203, 6412, 6960 ... the list goes on!

    Not a dig at those who run the GWSR, but the WSR is certainly a premier line!!!!!!!! Greenway unbelievable comment.

    I gave £10 to WSR PLC today,pay day. :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

    Looking forward to bashing 4561 through the Quantocks in 2023!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  4. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Thank you both

    Keith
     
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  5. Devonbelle

    Devonbelle New Member

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    You are correctly remembering things. I’ve visited the line every year since age 9, (1976!) and in the late 70s and well into 80s from when BL dropped into the equation you had to plan a day trip carefully because of sparse steam hauled services over the full length, possibly with Victor, Vulcan or Jennifer; when resources were scarce. As a light aside, once to my chagrin D2994 - a class 07 did BL to MHD as Jennifer broke its spring the night before - so D2994 with a one coach train - a blue and grey BSK - it was, now they were really grim times. Full and standing from BL.
     
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  6. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Erm... I am sure that those involved with the GWSR can better defend it than I can but

    A Merchant Navy
    A 42xx
    A Manor
    A Modified Hall

    2 x 28xx and a 2884

    And, unlike the WSR, they can actually run their red route locos on the line. Indeed, they currently have a 94xx that can't run on the WSR.

    And once, again with the insecurity. It's not a willy waving competition to decide who has the 'best' fleet.

    There seems to be a marked reluctance to accept that maybe, just maybe, other lines in the catchment area have surpassed the WSR.

    You can't keep saying that the WSR is Premier League if the product it puts out is nearer to a division three team that is living off of past glories.

    Thanks, it is good to know that I am not going insane.

    Oddly, enough Geoffrey from Rainbow was there when I visited.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  7. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    4270, 7820 and 7903 are not owned by groups based on the railway, they go to the highest bidder. 7820 has spent 2 summer seasons in Torbay! 3850 had never ran at the GWSR other than when its ticket was nearly up (and a gala maybe prior?).

    GWSR was a mainline, WSR never was.

    WSR living off past glories? What the actual f?

    GWSR surpassed the WSR....hahahahahahahahahaha. Which line had the most passengers last year?

    GWSR is nothing more than a family turn up go for a round trip than go to some stately home for the afternoon. That's why all locos are back on shed by 5pm.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  8. Fish Plate

    Fish Plate Member

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    Funnily enough, that is precisely the model the Welsh Highland follows to pretty good success. It’s also why the service has been operated with just two NGG16s and a core fleet of 18 carriages for the whole of 2019. Of course, more motive power is required in the long term but in the not too distant future, four NGG16s plus the NG15 could be available with two complete sets of WHR profile carriages. But the point is that even in the peak, the WHR has just three departures from each end of the line and carries roughly the same number of passengers as the WSR, so it is a perfectly plausible business model.
     
  9. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    GWSR has an varied fleet. The WSR has a varied fleet. The GWSR has a fleet that it can run on its line, the WSR has a fleet that it can't run on its line.

    BTW - which line is secure and getting on with its own thing, and which line is riven with internal disputes, picking fights with local politicians, may or may not be near financial ruin, is wasting time on fights with supporter groups, garning lots of negative publicity and in short is in pretty poor shape.

    WSR, the Norma Desmond of railway preservation
     
  10. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    Only 9466 (which has never been a resident), 6960 plus D1661 cannot run at the WSR presently.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  11. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    I can never take the GWSR seriously until they build secure overnight storage at Cheltenham...Racecourse..... and make it attractive for people to start their days there. Less than 6 hours between the first departure and last arrival in peak of summer won't cut it.
     
  12. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    When you've got a serious argument do let me know.

    Was the heat a bit much for you today?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Blimey, someone's got a downer on us! I'm not sure discussing the relative merits of the GWSR vs WSR in this manner is particularly helpful, but seeing as your portrayal of the GWSR has been woefully inaccurate, it's hard for me to resist the temptation to reply!

    The Dinmore Manor Group and Foremarke Hall group are as much a part of the GWSR as 2807 or 35006. Their volunteers are our volunteers, and very often, ours are also theirs. In fact it's impossible to imagine the GWSR loco department without the volunteers of each constituent loco group, they are integral to the railway and contribute so much beyond the upkeep of their own locos. Your characterisation of the way 7820 visits other railways is poor too. It was publicly agreed at the outset that 7820 would have regular visits elsewhere. It's not because the group are opportunistic and looking to make a quick buck elsewhere. 9466 and 4270 are in a different category granted, and indeed the hire agreement with 9466 has recently been terminated. But I don't see what's wrong with that. We have a "core fleet" of long term hire locomotives, plus one or two locos not quite so tied to the railway, which gives everyone a bit of variety, and the railway some flexibility. We make it our business to make Toddington as attractive a place to base your locomotive as possible, and we have an excellent reputation for that.

    Moving onto the mainline connection. In what way does that affect the quality of the ride? I appreciate it might make it more difficult to get there if you rely on public transport, but once you're there? When I visit the WSR my enjoyment of the trip between Minehead and Bishop's Lydeard is not impacted in the slightest in knowing that there is a stretch of track that links to the mainline, especially when I can't personally make use of it anyway.

    I have written extensively on this elsewhere so I won't etend tis thread even further, but if you're genuinely interested I shall dig out the thread and point you towards it, but not if you're just in the business of mischief making. The GWSR is in my opinion since re-opening to Broadway a premier line, which is in an upward trajectory. I don't see what having a couple of bits of metal connecting to the mainline has to do with it, certainly for the ordinary passenger. There are more important things. The WSR is also a premier line, no doubt about it. But it is a premier line in a downward trajectory at the moment, and has been for some time. Now whether the GWSR going up and the WSR going down they have actually crossed each other, well that's of course a matter of opinion and also not really a terribly interesting argument.
     
  14. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    I'm not trying to cause trouble and I appreicate the efforts of GWSR volunteers. I wish the railway all the best.

    If 7903 and 7820 volunteers are as part of the GWSR as the guy who laid the first sleeper in 1981, then that's great. 7820 was as part of the WSR 17 years ago, when 7903 hadn't even turned a wheel in preservation. Things are changing all the time.

    I hate this hatred of the WSR that this thread seems to encourage. The WSR is a top UK heritage railway. To discredit those who have worked on it over the past 45 years is terrible. To say the WSR runs through an area that isn't full of tourism is laughable.

    All cause the PLC wanna kick out some group that own a 6 wheeler victorian coach that doesn't see any passengers and a blue Peckett that is based in Cornwall these days...
     
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  15. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Apologies, @acourtrail for mutilating your post like this, but it was quite long, there was plenty I agreed with, but a few specific points I wanted to disagree with:

    I haven't seen many people saying the Plc should go. Nor even, is it essential for JJP to go for now, although I think his position is difficult to sustain in the long run. What would make much more of an impact right now, is not the changing of people, but the changing of a few key decisions, on Washford, on HR policies, and on other issues where JJP has been overly combative. The Plc is a legal entity, not people.

    I'm not in favour of truncating the railway, I think that would be the clearest signal yet that the WSR is failing, and could even risk sealing its fate, talking oneself into an early grave springs to mind. But I do question whether its length attracts significantly more people, over and above, say, a 12 mile line in the same location. I can't really see why it would. Indeed for some, its length, and thus journey time, is a distinct disadvantage.

    I don't think any talk of miniature railways or whatever tied to Butlins does anything but distract this already extremely long and difficult to keep up with thread, although I do apreciate the point I think that you were making, which was how absurd the whole thing would be if followed to its logical conlusion.

    @RailWest and others have repeatedly explained why this is extremely unlikely, I have no reason to doubt them.
     
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  16. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    What I mean by this is, the railways that have mainline connections, generally, have better ride quality as they can host network rail training courses. With the GWSR I have always felt the ride isn't smooth. Like it's a bumpy ride with carriages swaying across the tracks.
     
  17. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    Ball is in your court. WSR is a premier line and anybody that wants it to fail can donate money elsewhere.
     
  18. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yawn.
     
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  19. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Well you've a funny way of showing it! :)

    Perhaps the fact that I consider the guys who joined the GWSR when Dinmore joined in 2014 just as much a part of the railway as those pioneers in the 1980s is why we all get along seemingly much better than folk in Somerset...

    Often people seem to mistake passion for hatred on this thread, it's quite puzzling. It's because some people care so deeply about the WSR that they get so agitated when they see things, in their eyes, going wrong. Now othe rpeople may disagree with their opinions on that, but they are genuinely held and everyone here genuinely wants the WSR to succeed. It's just that people vehemently disagree about the best way of achieving that!

    As for being full of tourism, yes and no, and these things are all relative. Have a look at this visit-britain study, particularly the first table in the appendix on P17 where it gives a break down of numbers for all counties in the South West. The figures for Somerset are a bit higher than Gloucestershire, but dwarfed by those of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. That gap has only widened since the WSR's zenith.

    Ah sorry, I found it so hard to believe you actually meant ride quality I discounted it immediately, aswe've often considered ourselves "above average" on that front. A mainline connection is not required to have network rail training courses, we have had a couple I believe. We get the same equipment, tamping machines and the like, in as other railways regardless. We have a lot more CWR than many other railways which gives a smoother ride, and we try and have fewer wheel flats than many heritage railways, swapping wheelsets not being a massive job for us any more. I'm genuinely at a loss as to how you think our ride quality is poor, I've never heard a negative comment on it, but lots of positive ones from folk from other railways. The only bit your description might be justified on is some parts of the Toddington-Winchcombe Section, which are quite old, and steadily being replaced. The extension to Broadway is exceedingly smooth though.
     
  20. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    Somerset has always and will always have less visitors than Devon & Cornwall.

    If the GWSR is improving the line great, can't be a bad thing. Like I said I wish the railway all the best. I don't want any preserved line to fail. WSR is one of my favourites though and this thread makes me angry, all cause of some Peckett and wagon owning group that don't wanna move on.
     
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