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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    The Platform newsletter was sent to me as a PDF. So it would seem that who ever uploaded it converted it to a JPG image before uploading it.
     
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  2. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Yes, that's pretty good going for a project of that size if you are going to do it 'properly'
    It's quite a process....
    All you have to do is...
    1 Call for 'expressions of interest' from contractors (i.e. Anyone interested in bidding for this job?) Allow min 28 days for replies
    2 Do your first round tenderer selection to weed out those who stand no chance of getting the job. (Too small, bad history etc.)
    3 Write the User Requirement Specification - or contract that out separately (The URS is basically saying "This is what we want" - in detail)
    4 Get all the required financial tender instructions from your finance department (How you will pay, penalty clauses etc)
    5 Combine the URS with the financials then proof read everything to be sure nothing in either section conflicts with the other...
    6 Send out the Invitations to Tender with the URS, Financials etc.
    7 Wait for responses. For an £850k(ish) job I'd allow between 6 and 12 weeks for tender returns - depending on how complicated the job was.
    8 Done properly, all tenders stay sealed until the closing date then all are opened together and the details noted. That way no one knows the size of anyone's bid before all the bids are in. (Stops someone getting a sneaky peek and letting 'mates' know how low they have to go to beat others bids.)
    9 Review all tenders in detail. Ensure all sections of the URS are covered. Look for exclusions (bits of work NOT included in their bid) Check bidders financial and insurance details
    10 Send out 'requests for clarification' to all contractors. (They never get it all correct at the first attempt so you have to ask lots of questions about their bids)
    11 Wait for their responses...
    12 Finally select the winning bid...
    13 Details of the price quoted in the winning bid to the finance dept. Wait for finance to find the money....
    14 Get finance approval, award contract, agree start date.. (could be 6 - 9 months ahead depending on contractor workload, site restrictions etc)
    15 Job done.

    Simples innit? ;)
     
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  3. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Ah, my mistake. I thought the Plc owned them. That makes things a lot clearer thanks.
    Just out of interest do you know what's the story on the boiler & other bits in the photo?
     
  4. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    I was alarmed at the state of the WSSRT GWR coaches unrestored as in Malcolm
    Imps recent pics and those on the WSSRT website.

    These are not the generally teak coaches the IOWSR has restored, and the WSSRT does not currently have the membership base the IOWSR has - one would query whether there is any realistic proposition of these wrecks being restored.

    I have a considerable interest in these GWR wrecks - but one side of me does wonder whether a newspaper soaked in petrol and a lighted match might be a good cremation for them.
     
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  5. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Looks like Thornbury Castle to me, presumably not long before it was sold and moved to the Great Central. Not sure what the status is of that Mk1 FO though.
     
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  6. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I disagree. This is a basket case GWR coach:

    [​IMG]

    That should be a warning to the WSSRT about what could potentially happen, but those coaches are eminently restorable I reckon as they are now. But not on the Trust's current trajectory I don't think. The one second from the right looks like it's beginning to go the way of the coach pictured above. The project needs a different approach with some imagination if it is to succeed I suspect, I'm not convinced that it'll happen the way it's going currently. As usual, delighted to be proved wrong etc.
     
  7. Premier.Prairie

    Premier.Prairie New Member

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    £25K on a CNC woodwork machine, £25K on a tin shed, and £100K on some seasoned Oak, and hey presto!!
     
  8. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    I was implying that if once the current Washford debacle subsides, which it will, the yard area were used to store the Shearings treasure, a solution to the eyesore/deterioration issues might be a gurt big shed.
    Cheap cover sheets don't cost much, but don't last long at all. Good, durable tarpaulins are expensive-likely £3000 for something to cover a 50' coach. You can't just throw a tarp over a coach though. Tarpaulins hold water. You need a stout framework to hold the tarp off the carbody, to prevent the rain soaked tarp promoting rot. If you use rubberised canvas tarpaulin, you need the same frame for the same reason to prevent condensation.
    Tarpaulins do not hold up well if neglected, nor do they stand up well to storm conditions.
    Either way, a tarpaulin is a short term solution. Wrinkly tin, whilst a much larger investment, can easily give 50 years of service
     
  9. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    90% of the Admins are PLC staff so it’s hardly going to be against it.

    On the subject of Santa trains, I can understand why people are questioning it.

    We were told that the board didn’t feel comfortable with running the trains during what was a declining number of cases, this was when the other railways started up reopen. The second wave was always predicted to hit with the onset of winter and an increase in other airborne transmitting diseases such as flu etc are well known, so why choose to restart when this is likely to happen given the previous concerns? I also note one of the excuses for not running this summer was the railway running at a loss. I am struggling to see that given the Covid-19 news in the press of the last few days, Boris Johnsons announcement today and the fact that it will only be a limited service for a short period how this financial risk is deemed to be lesser.

    I’ve actually been in Minehead twice in the last week. The first visit was last Sunday which would of been the last day of their cancelled 40s weekend. The station shop, cafe etc were open and I was quite surprised to see how many people were visiting the station and thought what a shame to be in this situation as Minehead was really busy with potential customers. It wasn’t as busy in Minehead the following Monday which is to be expected, but there still seemed to be plenty of tourists then too.

    In between I was in North Devon so visited the L&B which is of course much smaller but they were also surprisingly busy on my two midweek visits.
     
  10. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson Well-Known Member

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    That's the bits of Thornbury Castle, which belonged to JJP at the time these photos were taken. Now sold and moved away.

    Sent from my SM-T590 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    Besides which, coaches in that state have very minimal value - probably just the scrap value of the underframe. I doubt a bank would accept them as any kind of security for a loan.

    It’s a shame the WSSRT heritage coaches project has stalled, but understandable in present circumstances. Hopefully in years to come we will still see some of these coaches restored and in use on the WSR.
     
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  12. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    If only they had an influx of keen new members....
     
  13. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    I'm not sure that "current circumstances" can be blamed for stalling the project. It seems to have taken a very long time (it's 14 years since it returned from the US) to restore 6705 and the other carriages awaiting restoration look to be in worse condition. I'm not wishing to criticise the project or those who have put in a lot of time, effort and money, but I think a re-evaluation of the project should be carried out to see what options are available before the other carriages fall apart. Of course after restoration they should really be stored undercover. However that's another project that should have been completed by now if a better WSR-wide structure had allowed more grant funding and the money that was available hadn't gone on lawyers and fighting with each other (making people less likely to donate)...

    Keith
     
  14. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    But how long have we had them and we have not even finished 6705 yet?

    It must be going on 15 years to get that far

    I hope I live long enough to see 6705 in Service!
     
  15. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Having put my request in over a week ago it now looks unlikely but hey ho

    This is Somerset

    and things move slowly down here!
     
  16. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    You should know!!
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Trying to find information the other day about rail grinding, I happened to look at the beginning of this thread to see if it was discussed. The whole saga seemed to generate one post, though there was apparently a specific thread, now lost. Most of the first few pages were concerned with various new or planned projects, notably (given the 2007/8 time frame) the Minehead turntable and NF triangle; there was also talk of projects that ultimately didn't come to fruition, such as moving the High Wycombe station to Norton Fitzwarren; and "a big carriage shed planned for Lydeard".

    What really leapt out though was the following quote:

    Maybe more perspicacious than it first appeared. I can't help wondering how a railway that seemed to be full of energy and apparently well run seems to have so catastrophically fallen from grace in the intervening decade.

    On the carriages: I would love to see them restored, and it would be a big incentive to increase my visits to the line if I knew they were in operation. But the Severn Valley is the only line I know with two full rakes of non Mark 1 corridor bogie carriages, and they were originally obtained, as I understand, basically in runnable condition, though obviously still subject to much work since then. The Bluebell has nine carriages of similar vintage (3 Maunsells, 4 Bulleids, 2 Pullmans) in operation (as well as about 15 or more older carriages, mixed bogie and four wheelers) and is struggling to increase that fleet even with a very well appointed indoors workshop, under cover maintenance facilities and carriage storage for both some of the operational and most of the to-be-restored carriages. That has taken decades to get to that point: certainly twenty five years just of planning and building under cover storage, plus the construction of workshop facilities. So I wouldn't underestimate the scale of the task.

    (Of course, had the last 10 years or so not been essentially wasted, the railway might already be 50% of the way to having built the facilities needed for the project, had it been seen as a priority. But that then would require the railway to have a governance mechanism to be able to define pan-railway priorities ...)

    Tom
     
  18. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Tidying up Dunster yard was something that could have been done with the railway closed. It's not a given that it needs to be an eyesore.
     
  19. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    OK, so there are two possibilities here, either the work could have been done last winter and wasn't, for some reason, which smacks of poor planning, or the project was always going to take three years and so had to wait until this winter, in which case the WSR could never have reopened Minehead Station this year and SCC owe them a large amount of money for preventing them doing so. If the proposed March 2020 reopening date was based on a vain hope that the barrier mechanism would limp on another season and that hope was not realised, why on Earth did no-one say so at the time? Whichever way you look at it, it resembles another major cock-up, either on SCC's part or the Plc's or both. If it's both, that would go a long way to explain the silence that has reigned until now about this matter.
     
  20. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Every heritage railway has a difficult job in not only deciding what it wishes to restore but the order in which it does it. The railway with the longest record and most experience of this is, of course, the Bluebell and even here (I am told) there are difficult discussions about what is 'next' and what it may be necessary to scrap. And when people are saying "This is the only example of XYZ coach so we cannot possibly let it go" people lose sight of the fact that it is impossible to preserve and restore everything. That's just a fact of life especially when you factor in the ridiculously long time it takes to bring an item back to its original state. That's why a plan is needed. It'll never be a decision that everyone will be happy about especially when you have individuals saying "You can have my expertise but only to work on Coach X not Coach Y". It's sadly the nonsense of what you could call 'support with strings'.

    In the case of the WSR you really would think that the scale of the problem is not all that great. As a minimum, it needs a set of locomotives that can be used in rotation to haul trains together with enough smart sets of rolling stock that have a high standard of internal decor and comfort. All the rest - 'GWR authentic this and that' plus unique heritage examples is the luxury you can afford when all the basics and income generation are in place.

    I'm slightly bemused by this discussion about a pile of potential scrap in a yard. anathema for some for me to raise, I am sure. I thought the WSR had far bigger fish to fry at present. Without that being sorted out once and for all I would have thought you could happily create space tomorrow and kiss all that stuff goodbye.
     
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