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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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    Quite, my first thought was that steam locomotives were not designed to travel by road and go up and down ramps etc., so a comprehensive examination on arrival was probably what was happening. As any mechanic knows, you can't get at some parts without taking other parts off, at least on an old, British built machine.
     
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  2. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    As regards the 7f, Its possible that the engineering staff are just doing routine jobs, if the motions down, then maybe some bearings needed white metalling to reduce wear, or as the the valves have been done recently, the set up needs fine tuning, but at least the owners will be re assured that it will be looked after,
     
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  3. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    As usual a constructive contribution from John Bailey, much of which I agree with but not quite enough to give it a Like.

    Clearly those who run either a PLC or a charity have legal obligations that take priority over the wishes of any stakeholders, but in the case of a heritage railway surely they should take notice of those wishes and follow them as far as possible consistent with the legal obligations. That seems to be how most of our railways operate most of the time, keeping most of their stakeholders happy.

    I have visited the WSR only occasionally so I have no first-hand knowledge, but my clear impression from this thread is that the volunteers do have that sense of belonging and contributing, and that the PLC has valued them most of the time, but with serious exceptions at times and especially recently. A structure as suggested by John Bailey, with an operating company subsidiary to a membership body, would seem the structure best fitted to keeping nearly everyone happy, and less conducive to serious fights than the present non-structure, albeit that squabbles could still arise.

    Given the apparently final decision of the S&D Trust to vacate their site, it is some slight consolation that negotiations are continuing, but hard to see what they can achieve. One huge issue is the cost of moving the collection and setting it up on a new site. Morally that is the PLC's responsibilty, but that's no good when the PLC is skint. And of course there is still the question of what the PLC will eventually do with the site, given its poor suitability for a PW depot.
     
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  4. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Lineisclear wrote "...as the Trust has announced, it has concluded that its public benefit objects can best be achieved elsewhere..."

    As a former Trustee and member for several decades, I am saddened that this situation has arisen. However it would be interesting to know exactly how/why it's reached that decision.

    If one reads the Trust's Charitable Objects, there is nothing therein which ties the Trust to being at any specific location. Purposes such as having a Museum and educating the public could be done - in theory at least - from almost anywhere. However I think that it would be fair to assume that a S&DRT Museum located in (say) North Wales or the Scottish Borders etc would be unlikely to attract as many visitors as one located in the Counties of Somerset or Dorset (or close proximity thereto). A degree of 'local relevance' is always useful. Similarly, given the nature of the subject matter, being on or close to an operating heritage railway would offer an advantage in attracting an appropriate target audience.

    Noting all that, then under 'normal' circumstances there would seem IMHO to be no obvious advantage in being anywhere else other than on the WSR, given the fact that at least they would be within the County of the S&DJR's birth and the catchment area of those who remember the original line. (The one exception would be if the opportunity arose to be based on a substantial operating heritage line on the original S&DJR trackbed.) So why then is it 'best' to go elsewhere? It is difficult therefore to ignore the idea that the Trust have concluded that, even if the eviction were to be cancelled, their continued future at Washford was no longer 'safe' regardless of whatever assurances might be put in place. And where does the blame for that lie?
     
  5. If there is now absolutely no chance of S&DRT remaining at Washford, then I would suggest best use of the site would be to relocate the stock stored in Shearing's Yard and dispense with that significant rent liability.

    I would much rather retain the S&D jewel of course.
     
  6. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Exactly Correct

    Some twenty years ago I brought down a friend who used to work on the permanent way here in Swindon and he was impressed with what he saw on the WSR

    The American expression Fat Dumb and Happy comes to mind when you look back of years of inaction and forward planning.

    It was almost as though the boards thought they were exempt from the wear and tear that was being addressed by other premier lines!
     
  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I seem to recall some rather uncomplimentary references to "the rail-grinding fiasco". My impression was that was quite some years ago, so people were apparently aware that it would be a looming issue, but just didn't seem terribly proactive about it, beyond the aforementioned "Rail-grinding fiasco" whatever that was.
     
  8. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Maybe that is what the PLC has had in mind all along as it did remove many of its high costs some time ago.
     
  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    But why not say so then!? To me personally it's much more reasonable than any of the reasons the Plc actually gave!!
     
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  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Ca. 2008 as I recall. From dim and distant memory, there was a sudden and very rapid rise in tyre wear, particularly on locos, following track repairs in which the rails had been ground to a new profile. It resulted in all but one of the steam locos being stopped (to prevent further damage) for a few weeks until the gauge faces of the rails in certain locations could be reprofiled. That's as I remember it, anyway.

    Tom
     
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  11. malcolm imps

    malcolm imps Member

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  12. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    I don’t want to this to be used as a stick to beat with what’s going on at Washford but it’s rather interesting that the article in the latest Steam Railway of the S&D trust’s evection shows a picture of the of the yard at Washford remarkably weed free yet the running line isn’t. There’s no date on the photo, but it does make you think.
     
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  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    WSR Facebook has been full of nothing but weeding of the line for quite some time now (I think it's the only thing allowed to be discussed now...). It would be interesting to see pictures now of the very first sections that were weeded to see if it's lasted.
     
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  14. Mike S

    Mike S Member

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    Rapid is one way of putting it....! But it was quite quickly resolved, over 12 years ago now...
     
  15. Mike S

    Mike S Member

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    Posts about Santa events gone up today.
     
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  16. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Absolutely, why do I get the feeling it won’t though?
     
  17. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed, some good news perhaps. Be interesting to see what it consists of.

    Edit - apparently trains will be running...
     
  18. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    I was having a theoretical discussion about forcing a membership requirement upon volunteers in general, not about the WSR in particular. No mention was made of the interest or otherwise of the volunteers on the WSR and no implication was intended.
     
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  19. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    This i think shows the issue nicely. The lack of transparency and clarity, which in turn leads people to be suspicious of actions and motives. No one is going to trust a board that does not appear to be open in its statements.

    Another good example is the claims that the line can't run because it only has TSOs, an argument that took people all of two minutes to disprove (the line has other carriages and other lines are running with TSOs)

    If Washford is needed for sidings, pw depot, or whatever then be honest and moreover, don't say stupid things like calling the trust a cuckoo in the nest. If you can't run trains don't come up with an implausible dog ate my homework explanation.
     
  20. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Blue Anch0r station is weed free, but look beyond the gates. Not weed free there. Kidology?
     
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