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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. SebWelsh

    SebWelsh Member

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    That is a complete pie in the sky idea I'm afraid...

    I've heard multiple estimates from respected professionals to say that your £4 million figure wouldn't even get you one upgraded station to facilitate GWR operations. Let alone the fact that the trackwork needs very approximately that much investment to maintain the 25mph running standard.

    This doesn't include the cost of new colour light signalling systems (probably £10m), new loops to enable the capacity to allow GWR and steam trains to fit on the line (maybe £2 million per loop?)... etc etc

    This issue has been done to death. The cost of upgrading to allow GWR trains at any speed above 25mph is going to be nearer to £100m.

    Think it is best to leave our tourist attraction that generates 45 jobs for Minehead, and hosts between 150-200k passengers a year alone......
     
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  2. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    To be fair, Steve, it is not "Three independent and apparently warring organisations" coming together, it is the chairmen of those "Three independent and apparently warring organisations". What the members and the other trustees, shareholders and board members think we don't know.
    As for "getting behind it", get behind what? This "vision" adds very little detail to the proposals in John Bailey's earlier report and spends much of its substance putting forward dire warnings about supporting those who wish to put themselves up for election to the WSSRT. I, for one, will get behind a plan when it puts forward a clear and immediate timetable to implement the recommendations in the Bailey report, namely
    - Forming a new membership body, whose officers/trustees are not currently trustees or directors of a WSR-based organisation and
    - That body having a controlling interest in the operating company.
    Also, I would like to see some mechanism in the new membership body where the members have more than a once-a-year input into the direction of the railway.
     
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  3. Anne C-B

    Anne C-B Member

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    I would take a lot of convincing to vote for a new chairman of the PLC.

    The churn of trustees and directors in the WSR family over a number of years is of great concern to me as I believe the present situation is costing us the best people for the jobs.
     
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  4. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    As an aside, has anyone else noticed that contrary to part 10 of it's Articles of Association the WSSRT do not have a membership application form on it's website,

    and that applying for new membership of the WSSRT is convoluted.

    Strange.
     
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  5. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    Andy, I am in no way belittling the efforts of individuals. The simple fact of life remains that we did not retain the loco for the WSR. I am happy to accept my share of the blame for that, it was a valuable lesson and a crying shame all at the same time. Until we all decide to line up and form a consensus it will happen again. As so many on here are so fond of saying, rinse and repeat.
     
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  6. ikcdab

    ikcdab Well-Known Member

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    Julian, completely untrue on all counts.
    the membership page is here: http://www.wssrt.co.uk/membership/
    the membership form is here: http://www.wssrt.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/membership.pdf

    convoluted? No. if you are unable to fill out the forms, then, as the form says, a single email to info @ wssrt.co.uk gets you registered.

    couldn't be any easier really.

    Ian
     
  7. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    It therefore sits very well on this thread where so many other issues have been done to death but are perpetuated continiously here.

    On the issue of 4110, a topic seemingly dear to the hearts of many here, just suppose that it had been bought by a consortium of members who had just about managed to raise the purchase price - what then? It would have continued to languish, slowly rotting, at Minehead as clearly no one has the financial wherewithall to fund its restoration on the WSR. To this uninvolved observer it's sale to the P&DR was a win/win for the loco, its new owners and the WSR. It is now recieving the overhaul that it has long needed. The fact that people keep raising this and many other past issues indicates to me that the WSR is beyond salvation. You have to move on if there is to be any chance of survival.

    Peter
     
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  8. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    With respect Ian, not quite that easy...:)

    Out of curiosity, I looked at the relevant web-page, which says:-

    "If you are interested in becoming a member of the Trust ...........fill out a copy of the printer friendly form when wishing to Apply for a New Membership, or to Renew your existing Membership click here or for a copy of the Donation form click here...."

    but does not provide a link to the 'printer-friendly form' mentioned for NEW members. Ironically, it is actually the same form as the one linked to for Renewals, but then - if you were applying to become a new member - you wouldn't bother to follow a link apparently specifically for Renewals would you? :)
     
  9. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Nostalgia is fine and so much of the WSR seems to be smitten by it, but it is compatible with the 21st. century, other lines have proven it to be so. Another lesson for the WSR to learn maybe?
    As far as leaving 'the tourist attraction' alone is a plausible aim but only if if becomes sustainable, which given the apparent present position and the resources that are known to be needed to maintain it, suggests that is a very tall order.
     
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  10. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    @jma1009 - that seems to be an 'oops' moment. Time to stop digging before someone fills in the hole on top of you.:D
     
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  11. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    Can we draw a distinction between the motives of the 10, which seem to me to be entirely honourable, and the means they are advocating to achieve them? It ‘s been claimed that the proposed use of the WSSRT is just democracy in action. I’d say be careful what you wish for. Suppose for a moment the same technique was adopted by those who aim to transform the railway into part of the national network with all the loss of heritage ambience that would inevitably involve. Would that be an acceptable democratic exercise? I suspect there would be howls of protest.
    Even the most optimistic observer would conclude that the plan involves confrontation and division to force regime change. Is that really the best message to send to the list of organisations and people on whose continued confidence and support the railway depends?
     
  12. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    True but we talk about it and respect each other’s views
     
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  13. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    Another option would be to get GWR to extend the Saturday shuttle from Taunton to be 7 days. Then WSR would be still be able to apply for money from Grant Shapps fund to renew the track and they can say they are helping the climate by reducing reliance on cars on roads?.
     
  14. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    My apologies Ian.

    I did not click on the link you provided, because as RailWest pointed out, it is stated to be for renewal of membership for the WSSRT, as opposed to being for new membership applicants.

    Perhaps the wording on the WSSRT's website can be amended?

    If I pay say £25 (£12 subs plus £13 donation) by bank transfer straight away, what is the status of my WSSRT membership pending receipt of my application form as I haven't got a printer to print off the form?
     
  15. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    There are posts every now and again for which the simple like function is just not enough
     
  16. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. But the alternative view is that, if you believe in something and can't see a way through, what alternative choice is there?
     
  17. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    You could well be right on that one but can I respectfully suggest that you might be wrong to assume that what applies to one set up also applies to another.

    In an aside to @Steve you mention that on the NYMR you may disagree but "we talk about it and respect each other's views". I'm happy to believe that as it sounds much as you would expect across the heritage system as a whole. I think we all know that for bizarre and 'personal/historical preference' reasons some people find it difficult to accept alternative ways of running a railway - be it stock, livery, locomotives, whatever - so talk and compromise often is necessary.

    The trouble is that on the WSR there seems never to have been a coming together of minds near the top and a good system of communication and consultation with partners and stakeholders. For that reason, I really think that any attempt to achieve a solution without grief is unlikely. It's an 'omelette and eggs' scenario in Somerset, I think, and as long as the change is a 'grass roots' one rather than by an individual or a very select coterie, it might be the only solution.
     
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  18. Forestpines

    Forestpines Part of the furniture

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    I've said this before, but I don't understand this continued insistence that putting yourself forward as a trustee of the WSSRT automatically means you will somehow then have full control over the charity and its aims.

    Half of the posts on this thread over the last week or two seem to forget that if the WSSRT doesn't support the @WSSRTcandidates slate, they will be voted down and won't become trustees.

    The argument that someone who wants to make the WSR part of the national network could do the same thing hits exactly the same roadblock.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    You've been quite clear in several of your comments that your preferred model is "a new controlling membership charity for the railway" and not a merger of the two existing charities to form that new body. ("It is wrongly portrayed by some as recommending a merger of the WSRA and WSSRT.")

    Can you explain why you have the view that it has to be a new body rather than a merger? And in particular:

    1) What do you think the WSSRT and WSRA should then do, once the new body has been formed - bearing in mind that both charities are currently significant shareholders in the PLC; own significant railway assets (locos, carriages) and in at least one case are major creditors of the plc? How does that all get resolved?

    2) How does having potentially three charities on the railway, all with very similar charitable objectives and all competing for funds, clarify the position for potential donors, as against having a single charity which could have ring-fenced funds for the major items they currently raise money for (museums, heritage carriages, track renewal, loco restoration etc)?

    I totally get the end game; I just don't see how creating yet another new charity with no discussion at all about the future of the existing charities is helpful. The likelihood just seems to me to be adding yet another organisation into the mix. The options seem to be creating a new charity and leaving the existing ones which just seems to add massive complexity and potential for further wrangling about primacy; or creating new and recommending that both existing charities are wound up - well, how is that different from a merger?

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  20. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    If the shareholders and stakeholders were asked to consider the options and then vote on it, then I am at a loss as to why that would be unacceptable. While I would not agree with changing the character of the line, if that is the view of the majority then who am I to stand in their way ?

    What would be unacceptable would be for someone to declare that they know the views of shareholders and stakeholders without bothering to actually ask them. Similarly, outside interference from let's say, a minicab company, would not be acceptable.
     

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