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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

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    They probably would but the reality is that they just see what is there. I realise that many of them are privately owned but given the length of time many have been there is it realistic to think that even 10% of them will ever survive? For example there are three tank wagons slowly rotting there. There are two restored ones on the line already so what chance of them being restored. Far better they be moved elsewhere or scrapped altogether. This may be regarded as heresy but the heritage railway movement needs a large dose of reality. We alll know there are limited funds available and huge demands on them. However well intentioned, and desirable, the preservation of rolling stock maybe sometimes hard decisions need to be made. The general public have little interest in the goods rolling stock, they come to see, and ride behind steam engines.
     
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  2. Jeff Price

    Jeff Price Well-Known Member

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    I think this apparent loop arrangement was in fact a way of accessing the yard and shed at Dunster so that the locomotive did not have run through the goods shed.

    The operation of the freight services onto the branch would be to marshal trains to provide for minimum shunting on a simple layout like Dunster.

    Maybe the incoming traffic for the goods shed would be shunted off the MD end on an incoming freight, pushing the emptied or out going loaded wagons out of the BA end of the shed, then train proceeds to MD

    Other permutations are of course possible.

    On the freight's UP working, it might collect the emptied or loaded wagons via the crossover at BA end of the station or indeed putting wagons onto or removing from the dock road.

    I suspect that the method of working was based round ease for the crew.

    I would be very happy if the BA end crossover was restored, even more fun shunting at Dunster and would make the SEC even more interesting.

    Jeff
     
  3. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Tom. That is from the 1929 OS edition, before the running track was doubled West of the DR marsh road crossing during the early thirties as part of the Minehead branch upgrade. (The passing loops at Leigh and Kentsford, high speed turnouts at passing places and installation of Whitaker token exchange equipment being also other improvements.)

    There was an earlier reference comparing service intensity now and in the past. The WTT for June - September 1955 indicates, commencing 07.24 and finishing 20.30, eleven weekday departures from Taunton to Minehead. On Saturdays there were 15 commencing 06.55 and finishing 22.15

    Bradshaw July 1939 has eleven weekday departures from TN for MD and 15 on Saturdays also; but additionally there were two SO services (09.35 & 12.05 ex PDN) that were shown as not stopping at Taunton (or anywhere on the branch). In practice locos would have been changed at TN, if memory serves me right I have read, one at least changed locos on the TN goods avoiding line.

    Not forgetting that at least one daily pick-up goods was fitted in.

    Michael Rowe
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
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  4. Jeff Price

    Jeff Price Well-Known Member

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    I think you are underestimating the value of the humble freight train,

    The story it can tell of the days before articulated lorrys, white van man, the tail lift equipped vehicle the lorry mounted hiab crane etc can be told by these wagons.

    The good shed and yard can provide the insight into material handling before the fork lift, pallet loads, the pump truck and items over 20kg being mark HEAVY lift with care.

    The goods shed office could explain the world before the internet, computers and mobile phone.

    We can either tell this story, let it inform and educate
    or we could open another cafe or restaurant
    or create another museum that displays lots of interesting items but largely out of context.

    Plenty of cafe's, loads of museums, very rare to find an example of a working country station.

    Why not develop the potential of the story of rail borne freight, Dunster or BL station rather than sweep it away forever???

    Jeff Price
     
  5. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Try this link. http://www.s-r-s.org.uk/html/gwe/S766.htm
    Similar to what Tom found but the track diagram for 1950. It shows both the double track and the 'loop' through the shed. Whatever its past purpose, we could today use it to terminate goods trains running from the BL direction giving them a place to go, it would also retain the option of running goods trains through to Minehead or starting them from either, much more flexible for galas, etc. and as Jeff said the ability to run an SEC from Dunster to Bishops Lydeard and shunt would be great. The biggest attraction has to be that the goods yard is right across from the platform along its total length giving customers a fantastic view of the whole yard from a position of safety. To re-create a 'total' station scene like this is too good an opportunity to miss and perhaps may even be attractive for tv or film work as the backdrop is only fields with no new buildings in view.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  6. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    Is 6023 still coming to WSR for speed trails please?
     
  7. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

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    I don't underestimate the humble freight train. However we have one and outside the enthusiasts there is little interest in it. The harsh reality is that there is neither the money, or enthusiasm, to restore all the vehicles that are currently resident on the WSR. I would be delighted to see a longer heritage goods train but the money just is not there. I am not pleased by that but I am pragmatic about it. The WSR lives on the revenue raised from the general public and that has to be the focus if it is to survive. Travelling on the WSR several times a week in summer I am often asked why all these rusty wagons are for. My reply is that some will be restored but many will not due to lack of money. By all means keep those that there is a real chance of saving but I doubt that would be more than 10%. Moving the scrapyard to NF might not be a good idea as it would be visisible from the main line.
     
  8. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think certain people might disagree about there being a lack of money for some vehicles....

    Also worth pointing out covered vans especially are quite useful for storage, so aren't just restored to look pretty, but have an actual function as well.
     
  9. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

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    Care to expand on the availability of funds? PM if you prefer.
     
  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    PM sent.
     
  11. Jeff Price

    Jeff Price Well-Known Member

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    I am mindful that the WSRplc has a limited budget and much to do however the WSR has a number of on railway charities and other focused project groups, all of whom bring funding onto the WSR.

    It is quite possible that the emerging WSR Minehead Loco restoration team will in addition to locomotive (Steam and Diesel shunter) restoration will tackle to odd wagon overhaul with equal enthusiasm.

    Funding may seem and issue but with a positive mindset, focused leadership and a go pitch to go with the begging letters for funds, a small amount of money will be geared up to provide additional wagons for the freight train(s), reduce the linear scrap yard and provide the items for the heritage goods yard presentations in years to come.

    Disposal of the "rusting" wagons may be a quick fix however the potential of the wagons to tell the story has go as well.

    Think how difficult it would be to tell the story of the gramophone player without any records to play!!

    Jeff
     
  12. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    That all depends where you put it and quite honestly how many of the travelling public on NR are bothered by a bit of grot alongside the line? Even customers coming on the link from Taunton won't really be in "heritage" mode until they get to BL. If anyone was really bothered about having a lot of unrestored stuff stored at NF, willow is cheap or free to obtain, easy to plant and quick to grow.
     
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  13. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Sounds like a perfect project for the WSRA.
     
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  14. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    If you want to enhance Dunster, what about a daily bus link to the castle/village & special trains for the Dunster Show?

    The traffic for that is (insert profanity of choice)
     
  15. Another Yorkshireman

    Another Yorkshireman Member Friend

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    Sounds lovely, and clearly something for the future. Presumably removing the p.w. department elsewhere would be seriously expensive when there are maybe more urgent jobs to be done. But lets look to the future, and how it enhances the railway. i.e. will it just be a pretty scene to be observed from a train having its two minutes in the platform to set down and pickup? Or will it be an attraction in its own right, ie something to make people want to get off the train to have a look? If all you get is the view from the platform, I don't see this as a big seller of tickets.
    One of my frequent discussions as a BO clerk at MD is with the family with young children who 'want a ride in a steam train' but for whom money is an issue. They like the idea of a family return MD toDR which costs £ 15 but baulk at the extra costs of travelling further. They then ask if the train 'comes straight back' and I have to explain gently that [on most occasions] they will have a wait of 70+ minutes, and I recommend a walk round Dunster Beach or up to the village. At which point they explain that their children could not, or would not, walk that far. So they go away to find something else to do. If a redeveloped goods yard at Dunster were actually accessible to the passengers that would at least give them something to do to whole away those minutes. But then we are in to safety and staffing problems, of course.
     
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  16. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Interesting point.......................

    What about some 'cheap tickets' aimed specifically at this market EG MD-BA, Watchet - BA etc?
     
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  17. Black Jim

    Black Jim New Member

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    Hear Hear Jeff!
     
  18. Black Jim

    Black Jim New Member

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    True . Including clothes , speech & attitudes. In the 1950s each of these were essentially pre war, & for the older generation most were bought up in the late Victorian times. Changes in everything has speeded up so much in the last 40, or 50 years . Not always for the better!
     
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  19. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    Thanks to person/s who organised pair of 20s for diesel gala.
     
  20. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    I've read the page, but can't see the answer, what is the age of children tickets for flying Scotsman travel in sept, are 3 year old free or £25. Thanks.
     

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