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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Regarding title changes, usually on most fora, not only Moderators can change titles but often OP's can as well.
     
  2. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    I agree forum contributors should never call each other idiots, and I get tired of the kind of pessimistic posts which like to imply the railway can never succeed or be saved. I deplore the PlC’s eviction of the S&D Trust but this does not justify the accusations, usually without evidence, that the chairman or others might be doing what they’re doing for personal gain. Similarly the allegations that some of those seeking to change the plc’s or WSSRT’s current policies are on a personal power trip. If someone has evidence they should produce it, not post ineffective insinuations.
    I doubt anyone’s happy and I hope all these railways, including WSR, will reopen and succeed when their staff & volunteers think the time is right. I think the reason the WSR receives more scrutiny and criticism than other lines is because it draws more attention to itself by frequently playing out what should be internal strifes in public. And that seems to be the consequence of the lack of any formal linking structure between the plc and all the railway’s support groups and charities. This railway suffers from the lack of a ‘Top Table’ where all the main players should have influence (not merely representation - that’s why the old PDG failed). The Bailey Report tries to address this and any of the possible structures discussed there and in this thread would be an improvement.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  3. tor-cyan

    tor-cyan Member

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    in my professional capacity as a stage lighting technician, I installed the lighting systems for "trains of light" on 2 railways last year. it took 4 of us, 4 days to install and program the systems and 3 days to de-rig on each railway.
    the lighting is not just a few led strips, on average each coach has 16 theatrical LED fixtures fitted under the sole-bars/frames (4 floods and 4 spots each side) and approximately 400m of LED rope light on the sides and roof. all of this is powered of 1 or 2 generators
    (not a diesel loco) placed in a BG or other non passenger vehicle, . All these fixtures have to be supplied with power and control data all of which has to run under each coach. All of this equipment has to also have a IP rating (minim 3,4 preferred)
    All this is then controlled via a laptop running an LX desk emulator program triggered by a GPS tracker.
    So to buy just the kit to light your train you are looking at 10k plus and this does not include lighting stations and other line-side features. Several professional lighting company's in the UK do offer a bespoke lighting package for railways, although I have heard that One railway is looking to buy its own kit this year, which given the upfront costs of purchasing the kit, the ongoing costs of the maintenance and storage and the depreciation and resale value, looks like financial suicide, but that is for another thread.
    any body interested in lighting trains, stations ect please PM me and I will pass on contact details for relevant company's

    Cheers
    Colin
     
  4. oddiesjack

    oddiesjack New Member

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    From the viewpoint of someone like me, who has no involvement in the WSR, we only learn about the shenanigans there thanks to threads like this. Clearly, the overwhelming majority of well argued postings are those critical of the current setup and those in charge. I have noticed that opposing viewpoints mainly come from either those who appear to have issues with anti-PLC regulars, or those who come across as "trollers". Consequently, my own sympathies lie with those who wish changes to occur "at the top"

    Ian Monkton's post however came across as coming from a different perspective , and I would have appreciated seeing a decent dialogue developing. Your attitude has made this much more difficult.

    If things were quite as cut and dried as you think, don't you reckon all this politicking would have been sorted out long ago?
     
  5. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    No because the culture on the WSR is so toxic. This is a line where volunteers launch petitions to have other volunteers banned...

    I didn't see a different perspective, this is the same lines supporters of the PLC trot out every couple of weeks. 'Why are we being singled out, what about...', 'we don't contribute because we get criticised', 'we are working hard'

    Where was the condemnation when the SDRT was called a Cuckoo in the Nest? Where was the condemnation when the PLC went to the railway and local press and attacked volunteers who decided to stand as trustees?

    The fact that supporters of the WSR are unwilling to condemn what is frankly indefensible makes it hard for me to have much sympathy that they feel that they and their line are being singled out or treated more harshly.
     
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  6. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    There really are a lot worse fates than being made to feel unwelcome on an internet forum, being banned being one of them. I really can't think that there is anything less welcoming than being summarily ejected. Yes, there are those on this thread who tend to "jump down the throat" of anyone putting up comments supportive of the Plc's current course of action, and I would agree that that can be counterproductive, but that generally happens when the comment made is logically wrong or in some other way preposterous and the "jumping down the throat" is usually pointing that out.
    If anyone wants a safe space where no-one will have their feeling hurt and people can safely pontificate without fear of being disagreed or argued with, or having their assertions doubted and their arguments picked to pieces, there are places on the internet to go, but, thankfully, Nat Pres is not one of them. Nat Pres remains a place where people can float their ideas, state their preferences and test their arguments, to see what other similarly interested people make of them. When the subject is an emotive one, like many of the happenings on the WSR over the last few years, it is nonsensical to expect feelings not to run high and that not be reflected in the language from both sides as they react to what is placed on here as comments. If I say something idiotic in a comment in the heat of the moment, I expect to be called an idiot. Hobbies and organisations that people have put decades into are at stake here and it is a bit snowflaky to be complaining about some mild name-calling and some slightly enthusiastic challenging of statements and arguments.
     
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  7. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    My personal favourite line is the Brecon Mountain Railway- I'm a bit yankee minded, and their Baldwins and open platform stock do it for me. They are not running at all this year, which is puzzling. they have certainly missed out on income this past two months. However, although I had an e-mail back in April telling me they were not running until further notice, they did not ask me for anything. I know they operate on a different model to many heritage lines, and I'm not wanting to start a discussion here about the merits of the BMR and its business plan, the point I'm making is that whilst it vexes me that they aren't running, they aren't begging me to fund them until such time they see fit.
    Other lines have needed support through this year. Most of them, however, have visibly been doing their best to cut costs, use opportunities, support their staff, volunteers, and just "we're all in it together, lets pull together as far as social distance allows". As soon as it seemed possible to re-open, these lines planned and reacted accordingly. The opportunities presented by so many Brits not going abroad have been grasped.
    At the same time, the WSR apparently turned on a loyal friend, failed its staff to the point some departed to other employment, failed to maintain its infrastructure, failed to make a plan to operate once restrictions were lifted, but has consistently had the begging bowl out asking for support. This is why it cops more flak than other lines
     
  8. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Your explanation certainly puts it all into great perspective; far more involved than most bystanders or travelers appreciate. Given what you say does cause thought about where the money would come from in the WSR's case.
    Good to learn something on this thread. :D
     
  9. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    I think it's also the number of disagreements, the intensity of them, and the degree to which personal issues are a major part (unlike, say a debate purely about building design). It's 'reasonable' to have disagreements about substantive issues (because different people will put varying weights on different real factors), but when it turns into personalities, that's a danger sign.

    Noel
     
  10. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    This is a point that the management of the WSR appear to fail to understand: you cannot, on the one hand say "Go away, stop criticising us, this is a private company, not a democracy, we are the management and we will manage it as we see fit" and in the other hand hold out the begging bowl and expect much to be put in that begging bowl except coppers.
     
  11. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    The opinions of the majority of the regular posters on this thread have been formed as a result of the actions of the Plc; some of those actions have verged on the bizarre - and none of the most controversial have had rational explanations provided. Anyone who simply makes an emotional appeal to "Leave the Plc alone" would appear to be uncritically endorsing the actions of the Plc. Anyone who appears to uncritically support the actions of the Plc is likely to receive short shrift here.

    Should anyone who supports the Plc be able to provide rational and sensible reasons for the behaviour of the Plc, then the thread would be the better off for hearing from them.
     
  12. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    It's probably worth pointing out that this is in part a general problem with electronic-mediated interaction; Internet 'bulletin boards' like NP in particular, but really all across all of them - email, IM, etc. In part it's that it's all so new, and we haven't learned how to deal with it yet; in part the lack of immediate feedback (such as you get from facial expressions, when talking to someone); it's complicated. The WSR discussion is particularly problematic, as feelings are running so high, especially with the SDRT's (r)ejection.

    Alas, I don't have a solution for you. Similar problems are occurring all across society, e.g. in the political sphere; they are a real challenge which may well have terribly damaging effects. For what it's worth I do hear you; and I also appeal to all posters to keep these issues in mind. All, at all times, please try and keep in mind what I keep repeating, 'How would you feel if someone said that about you?' [And if you have what you feel is a valid criticism, please try and state it civilly - after all, the target is more likely to take it on board if it's put in that manner.]

    Noel
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  13. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    I don't think the Plc has a p*t to p*ss in.

    Forgive me, but I still think the eviction notice could be withdrawn & save everybody a great deal of money. I confess it's unlikely, but still possible.
    Have the S&DRT volunteers actually started packing for a move?
     
  14. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    True, and a point many seem to miss, myself included. Another point is that some people revel in, how shall I say it, robust discussion. They can dish it out and they can take it. Sometimes such people forget that there may be others who have not become used to that style of debate and are genuinely hurt when their statements are met with a "barrage of demanding questions" (don't all questions, apart from rhetorical ones, at least demand an answer?). OTOH, unless they think that it is their right for their opinions to be heard in silence, or at worst with polite demur, no matter how forcefully put their points may be, why on earth are they posting on Nat Pres? Can it really be the case that there are lots of good and cogent reasons why the WSR Plc have been acting like it has over the past year or so, but all those who know them are too scared of being heartily disagreed with to actually come and state them on here?
     
  15. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    IIRC apart from the 3-way point which came from Radstock, the mess hut came from Wells and so did the main doors for the shed. Then of course there is the Burnham SB, mentioned by a previous poster. While some of the larger items of 'hardware' are also ex-S&DJR (eg the 'flap' signal in front of the station building, which came from Highbridge), as has been mentioned previously there are quite a lot of items which are simply of railway origin but not S&DJR - for example, the 'Midford' display actually contains probably just 1 or 2 items which actually came from Midford and maybe 2 or 3 from elsewhere on the S&DJR, the rest of the equipment being simply "of the appropriate type" but sourced from elsewhere. On the other hand, the more that you sell off to help finance the move, the less you then have to re-create a decent Museum somewhere else :-(
     
  16. Forestpines

    Forestpines Part of the furniture

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    Well, if people will go around inventing routers, protocols, and so on...maybe that's who is to blame for all this!

    (I hope you realise this is most definitely a joke and I have an enormous amount of respect for you and your peers)
     
  17. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Hasn't it gone to far now, there must be zero trust or respect from the SS&DJRT towards those who, have just stood by not raised as much as an finger to stop the eviction process, No, the S&D boys , and girls are better off away from the WSR,
    the WSR PLC deserve every bit of bad publicity coming to them, It was their decision, their choice , they will get help, and a friendly reception from the MHR, not the snide, you don't belong here attitude of some on the WSR. and I wonder, how many of those who post in favour of those miss guided actions, actually share the view that an LMS designed loco has no place, on an GW branch line? it don't matter because, I can't see the line reopening, and the trust being kicked out, might turn out to be a blessing in disguise when the liquidator starts pricing up the assets of the PLC. and the trust shown to those at the top, turns out to be miss placed.
     
  18. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    It would be nice to find a new home for the 3 way turnout - and the nested turnouts as well, but without them the site become much more difficult to lay out for maximum trackage so they might be retained on site.
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    IMHO, sensible negotiation would have been the way forward with this whole affair and would probably have resulted in such a result. However, the campaign of nastiness towards the plc waged by many on this forum has undoubtedly hardened peoples attitudes and I now doubt that such a conclusion will be reached. People such as Monkey Magic have done their cause absolutely no good whatsoever. And talking of this person, I see that he very much hides behind the anonymity of his name and gives away no information on his profile. I wonder why this is? Usually it is the sort of behaviour of internet trolls.
     
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  20. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    There are definitely mixed feelings for many among them, as there are significant downsides (e.g. computer fraud, which didn't really exist before the Internet; in addition to the various problematic social behaviours we've been noting here), to go along with all those wonderful upsides. (A rail-related - to minimize the off-topic - early upside; one early Internet person said he only realized what the Internet would mean when he (in the US) was able to instantly look up Swedish railway timetables, online (for a sabbatical). Before the Internet, he'd have had to have written to the Swedish Embassy, asking for printed schedules to be mailed to him!)

    Like all new technologies, there have been negatives as well as positives - many of which (of both) were unforeseen by the pioneers. I think the scale of the downsides has surprised most, though; e.g. it's easy to dream that free flow of information will inform people in controlled societies, and allow people to connect to people in other countries; harder to foresee that such governments will work out how to use the Internet as a tool in their control.

    Anyway, apologies to all for the off-topic; it's a 'near and dear' topic to me, I plead in asking for leniency! :)
    Oh, I would have even without the note; but thank you for making it formal, to prevent misapprehension. (Something else we're all having to learn to do; for some reason it didn't seem to be as common a problem back in the days of letters.)

    Noel
     

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