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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    I don't know if the ORR see their job as preventing railways being run in an unsafe manner or making sure that railways are run in a safe one. If the former, they would rather there was no WSR than an unsafe WSR, if the latter then they would be interested in the WSR's survival, so long as this didn't involve any unsafe practices. Given that the ORR's view of their purpose is the latter one, they will be hoping to see a railway that is well-run, does not waste a large proportion of its energies on internal squabbles and is not about to disappear into a financial black hole.

    What everyone seems to be forgetting in the latest round of the Gurt Wars of the Roses, is that the WSR was in deep financial doodoo even before COVID-19 struck and that the present management had only been partially successful in getting them out of it. What they have done is the easy bit, hocking everything that could be hocked, tapping up all the groups on the line for all their savings and divesting themselves of their greatest liabilities. The difficult bit is securing an income stream from outside the farebox that will pay for the track renewal that has been estimated to need millions spent on it. This they have signally failed to do. Instead they have alienated a large part of their supporters, taken the rest for granted and been unable to attract significant funds from grant-giving bodies, all this while deciding to close the railway down for a year, thus removing their last remaining source of income. Is this really what the ORR are hoping to see?

    Whether any other management team could have achieved more is completely irrelevant. We never know what "would have happened" had the world been different, but we do know what has happened. "By their fruits ye shall know them" it says in the Bible (Matthew 7:20) and the fruits of the current WSR management are very small compared to the basket they are supposed to fill. They are failing to turn round the WSR. It matters not whose fault this is, or even if it is anyone's fault at all, the point is that the finances tell us that the railway is headed for the buffers if it carries on down the track on which it is heading.

    Whilst the ORR may not want to see "interest groups competing by increasingly bizarre manouevering to become the self appointed saviours of the WSR.", they will want to see some change of direction in both senses of the word. There is absolutely no indication from the current management of the Plc that they wish to comply with point 1 above, nor, given their petty attempt to drag the ORR into a purely internal squabble on a false premise, do they appear to think much of point 2.
     
  2. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    The ORR. I doubt, is concerned with infighting and power struggles within the WSR. Many businesses suffer from that and the WSR is not unique - past or present. Lineisclear mentioned the ability to operate a safe railway and that is foremost in ORR minds.
    I recall from a previous post that not all that the ORR discussed last year with the WSR has yet been completed.
     
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  3. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    A management that has all of its level crossings safe and working maybe?
     
  4. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    BR and then Network Rail on instruction from their Political Masters

    It works at Eridge why couldn't it have worked at Taunton?

    The Basic Requirement is the WILL to make it HAPPEN something that has been so lacking on the WSR.

    Without this we might as well give up now!
     
  5. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Over 180 new posts on this thread within 24hrs. That must be a record, even for WSR threads.
     
  6. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    The problem with the withdrawal of ID Cards for Volunteers is that there are that number Less to be available to Restart Services.

    Are these people being replaced by New Volunteers or is it the case that the Railway can Afford to Lose their Services?
     
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  7. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    It's not a matter of convincing the ORR that they can be trusted nor will it ever be. It is a matter of being able to demonstrate to the ORR that rules and regulations are being followed. The ORR don't care who is in control, so long as their requirements are met.

    And as far as everyone focusing on what the ORR would be hoping to see perhaps you could convince your friends on the Plc Board to release the last ORR report so that everyone might know where to 'focus'. Keeping it secret does not help, nor does it make the problems go away.

    What "...self appointed saviours..."? People are currently standing for election by their fellow members. How is that 'self appointed'? And I'd suggest you tread very carefully down that route as co-opted directors to a small board are far closer to being 'self appointed' than those being elected.
     
  8. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Very important to have a 'release' when you are studying Alex.

    My outlet was to wash cars at the weekend but in my case the money earnt helped me buy a brand new new Triumph Spitfire cash which old hands will remember being present at the early days of the WSR. DNK 21K still exists but sadly not in one piece maybe one day it will return!
     
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  9. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Is that possibly because Alex works should to shoulder with his Company Chairman?

    It says so much about the GWSR that in that capacity this gentleman tries to remain anonymous which probably enables him to relax and enjoy his hobby at the same time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
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  10. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    The ORR pays increasing attention to how railway companies are governed. The wisdom being that a well governed company is necessary to ensure that the company is run safely. Or to.put it another way, if you are not getting the governance right it is hard to get the safety management right. John Bailey is right to point this out and I am afraid other posters are wrong if they think the ORR will not care about what is happening in Somerset. They will pay attention and probably ask questions when the railway starts to run trains again to be assured that safety is delivered.

    Sent from my SM-A405FN using Tapatalk
     
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  11. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Are you saying that the WSSRT now owns all the contents of the Gauge Museum?

    I knew that it had taken over the management, but was not aware that the WSRA had transferred the assets to the WSSRT - or is that buried somewhere in a past Journal report?
     
  12. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I suggest the schemes were different, as were the background circumstances. At the time of my previous post, I was unaware of the failure of negotiations 40-odd years ago; I question the relevance of that to current circumstances and regard the "what if" of operations to Taunton as being capable of very many different possible answers, from a grievous loss to a fortunate relief.
     
  13. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    No it’s just the GWSR is normal along with 99% of railways in valuing the volunteers output and actively encourage ideas and discussion.
     
  14. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    It doesn't matter how good the people, the governance or the systems are if they cannot be demonstrated to be working. The questions the ORR ask are not "Have you got..." but "Show me how..."
     
  15. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    ORR however have indicated a concern about the impact of the infighting and power struggles, and especially what it suggests about the quality of focus on the safe operation of the railway. For what it is worth, I tend to the view that the current plc management are very poorly placed to demonstrate that focus given the emphasis on matters like monitoring the Facebook group.
     
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  16. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Indeed. I know of one heritage railway operation where at least some of the management seem to rely on the fact that their rules and procedures etc etc have "been approved by the ORR", but casual observation would suggest that their day-to-day operation relies upon an interpretation of those rules and regulations that might give cause for concern.
     
  17. ikcdab

    ikcdab Well-Known Member

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    Chris, of course not. The ownership of the artefacts is unchanged. I was respondimg to a suggestion that the wsra still was involved in some way. We replaced the wsra as "owners" (note the inverted commas) of the structure and the operation of the museum.
    Ian
     
  18. Dennis John Brooks

    Dennis John Brooks Member

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    Which is basically what I said, they only manage it.

    DJB.
     
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  19. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    beyond monitoring , controlling. A quick look at the moderators reveals Chairman, GM, PA's , Former GM ? amongst the 8 . That is beyond normal where such matters would be delegated and is basically total control Peruse the group , nothing on the WSSRT of note . lots of weeding posts and old pictures . The curious one is a post on HLF support for the Bluebell and whether the WSR would benefit . From the responses I can't fathom if it has been considered and whether the WSR is considered in scope . A solitary post on the weekends 40's event but no real build up to build momentum and encourage visits
     
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  20. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    With respect therefore I would suggest that the WSRA is still 'involved' with the GM insofar as it owns, or is the custodian of, the artefacts in the collection therein.
    I can see a situation therefore where the contents of the GM may be divided into items gifted or loaned to the WSRA originally and those gifted or loaned to the WSSRT, so presumably they are recorded separately as such.
     

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