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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. D1002

    D1002 Part of the furniture

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    Oops. I am obviously way out of my depth on this thread. From now on I will confine my posts to the Picture Puzzle thread and What’s Going On where I feel a bit more at home:(
     
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  2. Scrat

    Scrat New Member

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    I thought everybody ignored this site, and just treated as a bit of light entertainment when there was nothing on the tv.....
     
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  3. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    Many do but, for some unfathomable reason, some people seem to hold it responsible for the WSR’s poor public image. They’re wrong.
     
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  4. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Absolutely. Within the volunteer circles on my railway, not too many people have heard of NatPres, but everyone knows that there's "trouble at 'mill" on the WSR, even if they don't understand the ins and outs of it all.
     
  5. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Several people I know on various other railways have said something similar.
     
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  6. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    This thread would fail dismally under the rules of 'Just a Minute' especially on 'repetition' and also the fact that it just doesn't work without an appropriate 'challenge' that sadly seems to be a problem for some people on WSR matters.

    But a more serious point, and this has been said before by me:rolleyes:, is that there is a great deal to be said for longer periods of quiet on here until matters of significance and relevance arise. People will have noticed the recent arrival, and it seems departure, of @D1002, (who contributes regularly elsewhere on NP), after briefly trying to engage on here. It appears that the echo chamber of the usual voices has drowned out an alternative view and seemingly driven the contributor away. So as always with the truth, as spoken by people such as @bob.meanley (who does not seem to post on NP any more either) the value of informed opinion is lost.

    Of course, this all cuts both ways but even when an independent report is produced (Bailey) the discussion turns into criticism by some. And recent attempts to do something at Minehead have not led to much more than a grudging acknowledgement of the event.

    There are clearly significant problems on the WSR, probably driven by a business model that has become progressively impossible to sustain over a long period and escalating costs that are not allowing the whole line to earn its keep. Possible solutions all seem to involve doing things that long term supporters will not like. Changing personnel seems not to help and that suggests to an outsider that the problems go way beyond the people trying to improve the situation. Those on here talking about 'breaking eggs to make an omelette' may be right but if they are just thinking of people in that context they may be wrong. The line itself may have gone beyond what can be sustained into the future. If you live beyond your means then something has to give.

    A final observation. When the Mid Hants Railway held its excellent pick-up goods event the equivalent thread to this one was full of discussion and images. On here the 'Living Museum' event passed almost unnoticed except for something about a bus and fuel. It's on again today, I see........Just saying.
     
  7. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    The problem, with posting pictures and details events about the WSR on NP seems to stem from the fear by many of the WSR supporters of being castigated for participating on NP. It seems only the bold - those able to stand up for themselves - make positive posts.
    Yes the bus got all the publicity here on NP, but whose fault was that, no one from the WSR, or their supporters, attempted to show other photos of the days events.
     
  8. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    true but I suspect many will soon conclude that this is not going away for some time . Whether you reopen , now, Christmas, next year, 2022 you are still going to have to go through all that . The longer you leave it as well all your staff are presumably out of competence which must add to the costs

    the bigger point is the lines that reopened were almost certainly planning to do so as soon as we locked down . whether it was skeleton team/ volunteers people were working through the issues . My facebook feed yesterday and this morning is full of Severn Valley Railway, Talyllyn, Mangapps, East Somerset, from happy passengers and happy volunteers

    I spoke of momentum in previous posts . A good marketing team will build momentum . After TV on Monday the SVR sold close to another 100 compartments , another 100 following the day after .
     
  9. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    I would be more than happy to see images from the Living History weekends , whether from the volunteers or people visiting
     
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  10. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    these are a couple of videos posted







    so at least people get an idea of what took place
     
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  11. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    One thing that is interesting is the way in which liminality (when you are on the border between two states: survival or going out of business) impacts upon the choices actors make. It seems to make many more risk adverse in the short term, or to perceive the costs as being excessively high and so they do nothing, hoping that next year will be better and will enable them make any changes. But the problem is that next year they are still in this position of being between two states. They remain perpetually liminal

    Let me give an example, a friend of mine is a small scale farmer. He inherited the farm from his dad who inherited it from his grandfather. So there is a deep emotional attachment to the land. Every year, he has to mortgage the land to pay for the seed for his one crop. He knows that he will make enough to pay the mortgage and survive the winter (just). I asked him why he didn’t grow another crop that had the potential to be more profitable, the response was ‘too much risk, too much time, no guarantees of success, better to stick with his one crop.’ So he is stuck and of course a disaster could ruin him.

    There is a point to this. That is to say that the psychology of actors and how they understand their position profoundly influences their business choices. So I would argue that the WSR’s decision is more a reflection of a mindset and worldview.

    What I do find interesting is the contrast with the Llangollen which was in trouble and appears to have taken the decision to take on extra short term costs in order to survive long term (in short to try to move away from being liminal).

    We’ll leave the contrast between the radical approach to managing the WSR vs the conservative (with a small c) approach to reopening for another day :)

    NP Schrödinger’s forum, simultaneously both not influential and read by no one, and also influential and destroying the WSR.
     
  12. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    I did watch the MD station webcam last weekend on several occasions, but really it is too far away from the station to see very much. I've also seen quite a few pix which have appeared on the web since then - what struck me was that very few of them showed anything more than the odd handful of visitors, although clearly from the official reports the numbers were quite good. But it did give the impression IMHO that, if Minehead indeed is bursting with tourists, there were disproportionally few of them on the station. Hopefully this weekend will be better.
     
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  13. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    But was the reason it didn’t look busy because they limited the capacity on the station at any one time?
     
  14. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    that has to be best line on the forum ever !!
     
  15. Dennis John Brooks

    Dennis John Brooks Member

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    It would be a shame if the WSR went under through mis-management by the PLC board & the WSSRT/WSRA stood by & let it happen, but never mind there are plenty of other railways not too distant.

    DJB.
     
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  16. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Not quite

    Bodmin is a different reason (don't panic anyone)

    I see South Devon has reopened Buckfastleigh site four days a week

    https://www.facebook.com/southdevonrailway/photos/a.1903512629922666/2685412281732693/

    https://www.facebook.com/southdevonrailway/ scroll down the main page and a lot of positive comment

    WSR unless something changes is moribund through the busiest four weeks of the year for holiday makers . My question re the cafe was not answered so I assume that isn't open , Stations are closed .
     
  17. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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  18. horace

    horace New Member

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  19. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    Yes, the arrival and departure was noticed, however apart from saying how easily he got into the WSR restricted facebook group and how much more information was provided there and how it "Isn't all about NP", I didn't see a great deal of engagement or actual information provided - and when this was pointed out he fled.
    Sadly Mr Bailey didn't just deal with the problems he was originally asked to, he also took it upon himself to consider the overall picture and what he considered to be the route to take. Hardly surprising that some disagreed with him - at least with his short term view of backing the only horse he saw in town.
    And that may well be the crux of the problem - if there really isn't enough money coming in to run a line of that length in the manner it has been run, what can be done?
    Either find the money and effort from more volunteers, donors, grant providers etc, or cut the railway down to a size (operationally or physically) that is financially viable, by one means or another. I wonder which the Plc favour at the moment....
     
  20. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Twitter post from the railway on Friday (31st July). My highlighting:-

    West Somerset Railway@WSomRailway· 31 Jul
    This weekend will be the last chance to see some #webcam action via @railcamlive
    live on #YouTube Our 03 shunter and 9351 will be viewable throughout Sat & Sun. Almost 300 likes ! How many can it get...? Could we hit 12k #followers too? https://youtu.be/EYMnQnoFWeo

    Does this mean the webcams are being shut down? Does it cost the railway anything to have them? If so it might explain why...
     

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