If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    7,577
    Likes Received:
    5,641
    It is its 3rd. Return to service following restoration was August 1987, it then ran until 1996 when it was withdrawn for overhaul which took a while and returned to service in 2005 and ran until 2014, with boiler work taking place around 2013, which is the present ticket It also received a mechanical overhaul completed in 2016.
     
  2. Snifter

    Snifter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    4,230
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Most peculiar. With passenger numbers down, fewer running days and presumably shorter trains, why on earth would upgrading the line for a heavier axle load in the best interest of the line ? What return on investment is anticipated ?

    If locos are required to be hired in, is there a shortage of available locos that comply with the line as it stands ?
     
    Paulthehitch likes this.
  3. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    2,539
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Yes there is a national shortage of suitable, serviceable and reliable locomotives which folk don't seem to get. It is about to get worse as locos go out of ticket and overhauls delayed by covid and beset by funding shortages are slow to materialise and replace them. Hardly peculiar.
     
  4. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    26,097
    Likes Received:
    24,827
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Such would always be likely given the preservation history of the railway and the known interests of it's chair. I'm far from convinced that it's value for money though.
     
  5. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,827
    Likes Received:
    3,875
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Didn't the line used to be able to run heavier locomotives, or am I imagining things? If so, what's changed?
     
    Andy Moody likes this.
  6. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    7,577
    Likes Received:
    5,641
    It was a red route from the mid 90s until 2019 when due to the state of several bridges and worn rail due to a lack of maintenance it was downgraded to Blue. This is why 6960 went to the SVR & the class 47 to NYMR.
     
  7. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,446
    Likes Received:
    729
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Casnewydd, De Cymru
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I think as structures get repaired the axle loading would increase anyway.
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    12,027
    Likes Received:
    10,285
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    You obviously have no idea of the practicalities of running a heritage railway, or sany other railway for that matter. Restrictions such as this place restrictions on how the railway can operate and what it can do. Operating on the cheap, which is what you are advocating, is never the best way to go.
     
  9. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    86
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Honiton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Kilmerson would of been the lightest engine on the railway but which one now is the lightest one?
     
  10. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Messages:
    15,511
    Likes Received:
    11,865
    Location:
    Wnxx
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Axle loading or overall weight?
     
  11. LC2

    LC2 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2012
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    1,012
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    70B
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    FTFY. :D
     
    ghost likes this.
  12. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,827
    Likes Received:
    3,875
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    In which case, the bridges are not going to repair themselves, nor the track either. Repairing the bridges and the track is a benefit in itself and needs to be done anyway, the increased axle loading is just a bonus.
     
  13. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    26,097
    Likes Received:
    24,827
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    That presumes that the issue is on bridges needing repairs anyway. I’d understood the issue to also involve earthworks, and to require investment rather than just repair.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  14. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    9,295
    Likes Received:
    7,334
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    From what I remember I was told that a lot of the documentation that had allowed the line to be a 'Red' route in the past had been lost, which if true doesnt reflect well on the organisation
     
    Matt37401, Paulthehitch and 35B like this.
  15. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Messages:
    738
    Likes Received:
    1,057
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired.
    Location:
    Near St. Austell, Cornwall.
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Maybe we should restrict ourselves to facts, rather than speculation and apparent attempts to put our Railway down at every opportunity.
     
    rodders154, Mike West and SebWelsh like this.
  16. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    17,838
    Likes Received:
    11,433
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Leonards
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Who is " putting the railway down at every turn" ? All we are doing is to remark on what your railway happens to be doing at that moment in time, We are just reacting, to issues, most of use also give praise, and credit where it's due, as regards red route etc, the line was never a red route during its GWR, and BR ownership, and i doubt if the permanent way, especially bridges, earthworks, were built with that in mind, Secondary routes, clearly are not engineered so well as the Main, primary routes, where heavy loads were intended, Lost paperwork is a red herring, it's the actual state of your PW that denotes what axle load is acceptable, It's the one thing any railway dare not keep up to scratch, as a neglected PW bites you back very seriously.
     
  17. goldfish

    goldfish Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    15,182
    Likes Received:
    12,685
    The post was a hazy recollection of information from a.n.other which may or may have been true, and may or may not have been related to the current necessary engineering work.

    Leaping from that to ‘therefore the WSRplc’s dog ate its homework so everything’s terrible’ is hardly a constructive or credible discussion point.

    It’s fun engaging in flights of fancy about current affairs on a forum – we’re not the government gazette and our hypothesising is irrelevant to 99.9% of the electorate – but NatPres is a bit more relevant in the preservation world for good and bad, so random half truths and largely forgotten memory scraps are pretty unhelpful.

    Simon
     
  18. Snifter

    Snifter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    4,230
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    While I have not operated a heritage or other railway, I have been asked to do so on 3 occasions, all of which I declined. I won't bore you with details of what I do elsewhere however the economic realities of other much larger businesses are mirrored across all heritage railways.

    Spending money wisely is very different to simply "operating on the cheap". The line has operated successfully as a blue route however the economics today are very much worse. Examples of this flowing through include the cancellation of the last steam gala which was disappointing however if the numbers don't stack up then the numbers don't stack up. Today, the customers have even less disposable income which is blindingly obvious to all. The passengers that do spend are probably of a similar demographic i.e. if the engine goes chuff and smoke and steam can be seen curling across the countryside then they are getting what they want. That means pounds in the till. The restrictions you mention are that a heavy loco such as a hall won't be hauling 12 coaches stuffed to the gills with paying passengers. As that demand does not exist, let's face it, trains can't even pay their way on a Friday, where do you think it will come from ? Don't forget to also take the increased cost of coal and other consumables into account in your business plan.

    Forgive me if you have an MBA (which in reality, stands for "means b*gger all"), but every incremental pound spent over what is required to operate a business in a steady state has to be earned back on top of BAU revenues. The line has suffered from quite enough crackpot ideas such as designs for multi-storey carparks, petting zoos, expensive outside help on vindictive actions and evicting rent paying tenants. The last set of accounts tells you everything and one individual who I see is allocating "likes" to some recent posts, including your own, stood up at the AGM and told some uncomfortable truths. Would he please repeat them here for all to see.

    If you think that spending money on upgrading the line to a state that it did not have prior to closure is a good thing then please can you demonstrate the economic case. Let's say a generous 15 year period in which to make a net gain on the investment.

    We all want the railway to succeed but the recent accounts show that it is heading in one particular direction..... and that direction was described at the AGM. This is not the right time, if there is ever a right time, to fantasise over projects that have no discernible up-side for the line. I suspect that the red route aspiration has an up-side for someone.
     
  19. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    9,295
    Likes Received:
    7,334
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    If I were to make an obvious point, if the line can be uprated to Red at reasonable costs it clearly means that there is a wider pool of engines that can be hired in if necessary, and that is looking at it from the point of flexibility rather than gettimg something in that might attract the enthusiasts
     
  20. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    26,097
    Likes Received:
    24,827
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Fair comment, but I’m with @Snifter on how reasonable might be defined.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Hampshire Unit likes this.

Share This Page