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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. FrankC

    FrankC Well-Known Member

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    We're getting a bit deep into the technicalities but Ian wrote: Anybody who does active work on the railway must have a plc ID card for the reasons you mention. That includes the weeding parties etc. ... The team I was in were all issued with cards and it was led by a PTS qualified person who gave a briefing.
    There is a formal process for issuing (temporary or long term) ID cards, and, assuming the individuals had also signed in and were led by an authorised person working in conformity with Safety Management System (SMS), they are deemed to be present with the permission of the company. It has been made very clear that those offering to help with weeding don't just wander in and start pulling up the vegetation. Contrary to some of the views on this thread the WSR is currently a live railway!
     
  2. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Just as a point of information, we also need to include the legal category of ‘lawful visitors’ such as specialist contractors, owner’s reps of visiting locos, visiting main line train crew, Network Rail staff on organised assistance to the railway, Bridge inspectors, Boiler inspectors, Persons attending for interview, work experience, etc etc etc. None of these would have WSR plc ID. All of whom would be working and all of whom for whom the operating company would be responsible.

    Robin
     
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  3. unslet

    unslet New Member

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    I was reading the thread today and this fairly innocuous post stopped me in my tracks. Thirty one thousand odd posts!

    I made a point of reading the first few pages from nearly thirteen years ago. There was little strife,just good humoured discussion about the day to day events on a successful preserved railway.
    Indeed,in the first ten pages there were posts containing statements that would not appear credible today.
    One example was that the WSR was almost certain to inherit the NYMR's crown as most visited preserved railway.

    Having dipped into the thread at various points,I see that there have always been murmurings about various aspects,but nothing on the scale of the last five or six years.

    I wish the Railway all the best,Mr Bailey has certainly got his work cut out.

    Here's to the next thirteen years. Joke(I hope).
     
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  4. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    You are right, of course, as I should know :) Some inaccurate phrasing on my part, in an attempt to distinguish it from Plc property.
     
  5. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    There were other threads earlier, now closed, that were at times disputatious

    Patrick
     
  6. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    I represent a stakeholder via the GWR 813 Fund. I do not have an ID card, I am not a member of The WSRA, WSSRT.
     
  7. Forestpines

    Forestpines Part of the furniture

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    My memory is that this thread was originally started specifically as the "WSR Operations" thread precisely because the other WSR threads had become irrevocably mired in Minehead politics
     
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  8. tom-bex

    tom-bex New Member

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    Sorry Ian, but it's impossible to find that information on a mobile without the direct links you provide (Samsung S8 using Samsung internet). I've tried before, and can only access the home page and any links on that and other pages, no way I can find to bring up a menu.

    With the vast increase of people only using mobiles for all their online access these days, a mobile friendly site should be considered a must in this day and age.

    Thanks for providing the links though, even if you have suspended new memberships! Any timescale when it might be possible to join?

    Tom
     
  9. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    From my recollection the 813 Fund often has a stand at WSR Galas, usually in the Swindon Shed? Anyway, from my understanding of the Plc's rules- as they were explained to me a couple of years ago - anyone manning such a stand is deemed to be 'working' on the WSR and therefore have at least temporary WSR Staff IDs while on site. Are you perhaps suggesting that has not been the case then ?
     
  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think this thread is still nominally the original one set up in 2007 as a general WSR discussion thread, when such was quite an innocent thing. Some of the other threads have in the past been "hived off" of this one, and others have been set up specifically. The thread title here has been altered over the years to try and stress that this thread is for operations, not politics, which belonged in any of the other split off threads, mostly now locked, but that hasn't been terribly successful, otherwise we wouldn't have added approx 450 pages since the last WSR operations last Christmas and New Year...
     
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  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    On the subject of membership of an organisation to volunteer, the key thing to me is to ensure the people running the show are actually accountable to the volunteers. If you don't have to join the support organisation, then if it starts to lose its way, rather than do something about it, volunteers just don't renew their memberships, shrug their shoulders and carry on. The "support" organisation ends up being less and less relevant, until you end up with the situation where it's now a separate camp to "the railway", which is a dreadful state to be in. Having all volunteers be members is an anchor between the support organisation and the railway. It stops them drifting apart and turning into the wretched mess that the WSR is in, and it prevents there being more than one major support organisation, because there's only 1 you need to join to become a volunteer. Every. Single. Other. Railway. (Bar 1) does this. Every. Single. Railway. Is in a better position currently than the WSR. I appreciate that starting from a point of it not being mandatory to join to volunteer and moving to a position where it is will be tricky, but it seems so fundamental to me that it simply must be done.
     
  12. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    Going back to another topic, I note the SDRT can adequately cope with significant new member applications, and all via online, and novel and easy.

    I won't go as far to say, as 'Big Al' did, that the WSSRT's response was 'pathetic', but it does suggest a lack of anticipation when the spotlight has been shone on it, as would inevitable happen.
     
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  13. Fish Plate

    Fish Plate Member

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    I am curious... Which one are you thinking of?
     
  14. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I believe it is the Ffestiniog? I know every other time I've raised it someone has gone "ah but, such and such doesn't either!" as if that is in any way relevant.
     
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  15. Fish Plate

    Fish Plate Member

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    Yes, that's correct. The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland do not require volunteers to be members of the associated societies. It does show that to be successful, membership does not have to be mandatory, although it is undeniably true that it is the case for the vast majority of heritage railways in this country.
     
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  16. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    Yes, that's the point however the WSRA literature suggested otherwise.
     
  17. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    I believe that the requirement of "membership to volunteer" on MHR lapsed some years ago. Bad move, IMHO, as I have been a Member since 1974 (Life since 1976). The initial argument for membership was to do with insurance: the society had income and could afford it, the company hadn't and couldn't. We use to sign in a book, which wandered about over the years. I remember when it turned up in Medstead station in the late 80's. There I was, on my first day (can't remember the date).
    Pat
     
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  18. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    Another example where volunteer membership is not required is the L&HR which actually evicted what was once their official support society, after it morphed into the Furness Railway Trust. Fortunately both sides seem to have done ok since then, but the L&HR has a much smaller infrastructure cost base than the WSR, and is more commercially focused. I therefore suspect it depends a lot less on volunteer support.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  19. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    As I understand it the Festiniog Railway is owned by a Trust and the FRS is the official supporting body. When Alan Pegler bought the Railway back in 1954 he asked supporters to form the association to help him run the railway.
    I don't know the answer so I'm asking the question: is the WRSA a similar official supporters association of the WSR plc?
     
  20. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    Unless I'm mistaken (and if so please correct me) there aren't formal agreements between the PLC and the various support bodies as to who does what, how they interrelate and collaborate/ prioritise in a common purpose? In their absence the only mechanisms seem to be the PDG (which can only be advisory) and the charity's shareholdings in the PLC .
    Apart from creating some horrible liability gaps identified in previous posts it's hard to imagine a more dysfunctional and ineffective structure!
    As Steve will know the relationship on the NYMR is governed by an agreement between the owning Trust and the PLC operating company. Whether the WSR outcome is a new charity or a rehash of the existing ones such an agreement will be absolutely fundamental.
     

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