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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    I am sure there would have been a traffic in domestic coal. I think during WW2 many P.O. Wagons were pooled, which may explain why by 1951 the lettering had become rather faded.

    Robin
     
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  2. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    And another WSR 'then and now' to start the weekend -Washford station.

    Here, folk are gathered on Coronation Day 1937, and the same shot yesterday, 80 years later with somewhat different transport.

    Robin

    1937

    IMG_5034.JPG

    2017

    IMG_5049.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    P/O wagons were pooled during the war, so by 1951 pretty much anything could turn up anywhere - no inherent reason that wwagons would relate to a local merchant by then. They would also be pretty faded, since any trace of original livery would by them be at least a decade or more old.

    One of my little gripes about heritage railways in general (not specifically aimed at the WSR) is that they set out to represent a period - say the 1950s - and then paint everything in 1950s style, ignoring the fact that things changed very slowly. As an example on a railway near to home, I know a station in which the strategy says should represent the 1950s, and it no doubt follows the BR painting guide for that date to the letter - but photos show that when it closed in 1958, it was still clearly hadn't been painted from its pre-war colours except for wartime visibility stripes on canopy supports. So the correct interpretation of "representative of the 1950s appearance" should be "as painted in 1930s colours". Things changed slower than we might imagine.

    Tom
     
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  4. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Well said.

    I call this 'reverse anachronisms'. So whilst a 1958 station will have features from the 1880's, 1920's and 40's, anything from the 1960's is wrong...

    Robin
     
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  5. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    That’s a fair assessment and I don’t want to be critical of the WSR as it has achieved many, many things, is very large and needs many volunteers to get these things done but I have to agree with both Robin and Aberdare and I think the time is approaching to make something of Dunster Yard. I included it within my Southern Gateway Consultation response (attached and on page 5) and tried to put it within the development plan plus give it more of a rationale with Bishops Lydeard using them both as a start and finish point for goods trains, photos charters, educational, SEC’s, etc.

    In my mind its more about the next step in preservation, the movement has come a long way from a few enthusiasts messing about with rusty things in a siding to full blown tourist/enthusiast attractions which have a major impact on their local economies. The WSR as a fully operational 23 mile branch line which operates most likely nearly as many trains as in its ‘real’ days needs to keep improving and developing to survive and of course the WSR as an organisation fully recognise this with the Southern Gateway Project.

    I think Dunster can easily and cheaply be turned back into a great asset and that’s Robin’s & Aberdare’s point. Regarding space the WSR is blessed with it at places like Norton and the good people of the PW Department could be relocated and still be rail connected. With a couple of points to reinstate the run round loop and a general tidy up of the site you have a genuine and lovely goods yard which would also provide goods wagon storage and workshop space, it’s a great low cost way for us to move forward and the wider Southern Gateway project is an ideal opportunity for everybody to re-focus on the future so I would encourage all to comment on it.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  6. Another Yorkshireman

    Another Yorkshireman Member Friend

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    Bit confused by 'reinstate the run round loop' at Dunster. Access to the goods shed from both ends is not really a run round loop, is it ? I don't see any sign of a run round loop on Ian Coleby's maps.
     
  7. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

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    As far as the public, on whom the WSR relies for much of their revenue, the removal from view of the linear scrapyard between Minehead and Dunster should be a priority. It creates a dreadful impression to many visitors. Realisticly a lot of these vehicles have little chance of restoration.
     
  8. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I would agree. On my few trips, Dunster station has given me no reason to alight or explore, without those pictures I would not have realised what lurks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  9. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Having spent much of my early working life in the National museums, I learned that there is always a tension between the curators of historic artefacts, who want them, if not on display, at least as close as possible, and the administrators, who want to release valuable and scarce space by removing items in store to somewhere where space is not a premium. If something is going to rust/rot untouched for many years, why have it in an exposed position at Minehead, where the rusting/rotting process can proceed at its maximum rate on a site where the rain is laden with salt and the wind has the greatest opportunity to remove or damage any temporary coverings, when storage at NF would give it a better chance of survival until such times as money can be found for its restoration? I sense that Minehead started as the restoration base for the railway and the "linear scrapyard" is a relic of this.
     
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  10. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    I agree with both Andy, Aberdare and Robin. It would be nice to see Dunster tidied up made more of and it would provide an excellent home for our collection of goods wagons and somewhere to house a few more, once restored, which would please 813 group as well.
     
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  11. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    Part of the answer to this is that nobody, AFAIK, has asked to be able to use space at Norton in this way. They may well get a positive answer to the question if they chose to do so.
     
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  12. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    The Plc strategic plan of some three years past, despite being some hundred pages in length did not include a Heritage section. This oversight was corrected by a section added by then Plc director Mark Smith. As a result of this a Heritage Committee was established under Mark's Chairmanship, with an agreed over arching remit eg from ensuring the correct/appropriate use of Railway terminology on notices and signs to major items such as Dunster yard. The Committee met twice, once within DEPG's offices and once in the Somerset Heritage centre.

    Although such committees can easily descend into unrealistic talking shops the overall greater Railway support was encouraging and the adopted approach seemingly practical. Unfortunately Mark's many commitments, including to the HRA, led to his resigning from the Plc Board. The Committee has not met since. It is to be hoped it will be revived with the greater support of the whole WSR family.

    Michael Rowe
     
  13. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    It should not be forgotten that all railway lines require maintenance at some point.
    To do so often requires the use of specialised or dedicated vehicles.
    These vehicles will tend to only work in the closed periods when no one sees them in use.
    I am sure that the owners of a just restored 5 plank open wagon would not want it anywhere near a toothed digger bucket.
    So the PW would need somewhere along the line to operate out of.
    Also somewhere to store new material and dispose of old material.
    Road access for bulk delivery of Stone, Rail and other gubbins also needed.
    Noise, Dust and keeping the neighbours happy is another couple of considerations.

    I suppose that at one time Dunster may have been thought of as the ideal location but now with all other stations getting restored eyes may now be returning Dunster to the same standard.
    The question now is:-
    Where to put the PW?
    A cramped inaccessible spot is not an option, the layout must be thought about with consideration for the points made above.
     
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  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    On a quick signalling question: I know in the past, the WSR has stationed a loco at Dunster during galas to shuffle a few wagons about while services continued on the mainline.

    How did they do that in signalling terms? As I understand, the single line section is Minehead to Blue Anchor. So how do you end up with a loco at Dunster and then clear the single line section? Presumably covered by a specific written operating notice?

    Tom
     
  15. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Dunster has an intermediate token instrument for the BA to MD section.

    The Gala shunting tends to be shuffling between two roads accessible to a loco and a set of wagons 'locked in' at Dunster.

    Robin
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
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  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Thanks Robin.

    Tom
     
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  17. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    It is good to see another moan about the linear scrapyard at Dunster.
    May be they would prefer to see the Polar Express stabled there.
     
  18. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Here's a track diagram dated 1950 which should explain what I meant, it would enable engines on goods trains to run round through the shed and round the train.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Can't see your image, Andy?

    Robin
     
  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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