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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes, though the point remains - if you split an employee to be part furloughed, part employed, that employee can only do railway work for the part of the week they are employed.

    I don't get the criticism over this - it seems people are asking for the moon on a stick. On the one hand they want the WSR to be pressing ahead with priority projects (such as the level crossing rebuilding). Yet on the other hand they are critical that actually progressing such work requires paying staff, and having to pay wages out of - guess what: a grant that was in part awarded precisely to keep key heritage and operational staff employed. Somehow I think people will only be happy if the WSR proves itself able to win large awards from grant funding bodies, yet not spend any of the grant money thus obtained; while making significant progress on high cost projects, maintain its status in the community as a significant contributor to the local economy but not spend any money paying its staff and suppliers ...

    Tom
     
  2. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    I have a friend at Eurostar doing the same.
     
  3. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    I'm grateful too as it reminds me that I need to trim my hedge :)
     
  4. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Perhaps I should have said that the WSR has a lot more work to do than just preparing for reopening. If you look at the updates about the CHRF grant on wsr.org, there is a list.
     
  5. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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  6. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody New Member

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    Very difficult to tell, It looks as if HRH is alighting from the General managers saloon, It appears to be in the bay platform with a "Diesel Locomotive."
    As it was 1952, could it possibly be one of the two Gas Turbine loco's that the Western region were trialing at the time? Just a pure guess.
     
  7. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps people are surprised at the number of paid staff (I was) and, therefore, the financial cost which has to be covered from income. In these difficult commercial times, this could raise concerns.

    Heritage railways are also largely seen as volunteer-run operations.
     
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  8. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    The K&ESR went through a (painful but necessary) staff reduction in 2020, looking at what the requirements were likely to be for 2021 and 2022. I know that a number of other lines took similar steps as they have taken advice from me on them. The fact that we (the K&ESR) had done so, allowed the forward-looking business plan supplied with the CHRF 2 application to be put forward with confidence and means that we look forward to the restart of passenger services with cautious optimism. Any heritage railway board without a Director called 'Prudence' could do with recruiting one in present circumstances.

    Robin
     
  9. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I think this raises an excellent point about the effects of the lack of income in 2020 on the WSR caused by the inability to run last year.

    A wage bill of £400,000 would emphasize just what a priority revenue is compared a line with lower wage costs.

    If it had run it would have had revenue it could have used that revenue to pay wages (or to keep in reserve for the 'hungry period' - as I believe winter wages were part of many CHRF bids)

    But it couldn't have had any revenue in 2020 because it couldn't run and would have fallen foul of the ORR because of safety related issues including Seaward Way Crossing.

    It got itself in that position because management took their eye off the ball. This time last year instead of focussing their efforts on the safety issues they were instead devoting time and energy to evicting the S&DRT etc etc.

    This is a picture of extensive and sustained management failures by the PLC. Cause and effect. Wrong priorities, wrong approach.

    It also raises the question about what the WSR will do once the CHRF money is spent.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
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  10. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    OMG - nobody told us that before!:eek:

    Peter
     
  11. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Perhaps the WSR finds it difficult to recruit volunteers in sufficient numbers? OTOH, I would understand if they preferred working with paid staff.
     
  12. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Or maybe there’s a problem withdrawing ID cards from those that did volunteer?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
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  13. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I know we are at risk of going around the same circular track again that like every footpath in Britain has been worn bare over the past year but.....

    As an outsider I was also surprised at what seems to be quite a large number of people who are 'on the payroll'. From memory it is only the DSR that operates with almost all full time folk plus a few volunteers but they are in the middle of a tourist area in South Devon and they have a business model that draws regularly on wider tourist and coach links plus, of course, integration with the river activities.

    The WSR cannot hope to get even close to that kind of saturation and may have yet to 'cut their coat' accordingly. To be honest, if they haven't done so by now then the future will remain very edgy.
     
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  14. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    As a point of reference the Ffestiniog at 40 miles had c90 paid staff and had to make c30 redundant, but emphasized keeping engineering and infrastructure staff as critical for restarting running this year.
     
  15. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    That makes total sense. Do we know where the WSR is in that regard? I can't 'read' what @Robin Moira White is implying with her comment but I suspect she is being very proper in her observations.

    And as for the WSR not getting further funding I would imagine that anything more would be predicated on what they have demonstrated that they have done with the previous grant and how they have readjusted their business. Maybe those that made the decisions were not satisfied and thought that further funding would not be used well. Presumably the WSR was given feedback.
     
  16. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    @Robin Moira White might correct me, but it seems to me that the grant was applied for with a schedule of works and estimated costs against those items of work. If the estimated costs had been reduced by allowing for volunteer labour, the grant would have simply been reduced accordingly. Nor, I suspect, would the WSR got away with using volunteer labour on items that were costed to use paid staff or subcontractors and spent the money elsewhere. This wasn't a "here, have £860,000 to spend as you like on the railway" grant, it was paid against specific items, when the money had already been spent, or at least committed.
     
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  17. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Perhaps they should also be looking for others such as Faith, Hope, and Charity? ;)
     
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  18. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Lot of steel sleepers and some rail at Williton today (15:30)

    Can someone advise if this is this new coming in or old going for scrap

    (would post a screen shot but can't see how to do it - anyone help?)
     
  19. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

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    Print screen button and ctrl v always works for me.
     
  20. Dan Taylor

    Dan Taylor New Member Account Suspended

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    Maybe the previous culture from a few, Has put people off from offering their time for free...

    only take s a few people to have a bad experience and that word to spread.
     

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