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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Agree it is desperately needed but I suggest that costs are not under control something that needs to be addressed in view of the Great Western Electrification was not only late but six times over budget!!

    The people who run these projects are completely unaccountable
     
  2. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Marketing and Promotion are Not one of the WSR's greatest strengths!

    A Board Appointment to correct this is a matter of Urgency if the railway is to survive in its present form
     
  3. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    All very fine Mike but is the Overall Strategy?

    What is the plc doing and what are the WSRA and the Steam Trust doing - seems a little muddled from what I know!
     
  4. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    The project was also cancelled. Electrification of the Oxford line hasn't happened, the wires stop a few yards along the Oxford line from Didcot station. And of course the 800's are bi-modes so they can switch to diesel power when the wires run out. It's not really been one of NR/UK Gov's better managed projects.
     
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  5. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, it was cancelled but in reality it's been postponed? The electrification of the GWML from Chippenham to Bath and Bristol was also cancelled but recently notices have appeared at various locations mentioning work in relation to the project.

    It will happen at some point. <BJ>
     
  6. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    I can tell you what I am doing:
    Covering more firing turns than ever.
    Working to try to ensure the HPC project is delivered.
    Trying to ensure that the new volunteer recruitment system gets embedded.
    Looking at several projects for which we need to raise funds externally.
    In other words I am grossly overloaded with work as are the directors of the WSR plc and my fellow WSRA trustees. This is not a secret, I've posted about the railways need for help many times.
    Nothing written in this thread about how badly we are doing is a surprise, we actually know about all the things that need to be done better. We simply lack the volunteers with the capability to do any of the tasks that NP so often point out that we need to do.
     
  7. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    There must be someone out there who can volunteer for this. After all it's a job you can do without even having to leave your keyboard, let alone travel anywhere. If I had the IT skills, I'd do it.
     
  8. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Which communication channels not so far used, would you suggest are now used?

    Robin
     
  9. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Member

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    I'm not sure it is a matter of communication channels not being used but rather that they are not being used enough. As I commented above, your (WRSA) engine rebuild/ repair fundraising earlier this year appears to have been successful and there is no doubt that the regular progress updates helped with this. I know people are busy but you must have local members, maybe ones who are past wielding tools but who know a bit about railways, who can put together a small update for publication on all channels fortnightly or even once a month. It doesn't have to be long or highly illustrated, just enough to show that things are progressing and funding still needed. Think "Keep the Project in the Public Eye".
    Of course it is nice if you can attract the big cheques early in the project but you also need the support of the small donors. Many of us are retired and do not have large reserves to draw on but we will donate to a worthwhile cause when cash-flow allows. If the project hasn't been mentioned for months we may well have forgotten about it, assumed it is completed, or has been abandoned. (There is one heritage line [no names, no pack-drill ] which to my knowledge has started at least five fundraising projects over the last few years, all of which appear to be still running but have reported little activity with any of them. Apart from the obvious division of income, this suggests very poor co-ordination and project management and therefore deters would-be donors.)
    It also pays to remember that not all potential supporters belong to the WSR or its associated bodies. We may have our own favourite railway to support or none at all but choose to get in behind projects that take our fancy. Keep those communication channels open and you may be pleasantly surprised.
    Mike
     
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  10. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Useful points, thank you.

    I guess 9351 was easier as we were fundraising during the work and could show progress.

    There is sone work to do to understand the Infrastructure programme as the independent report is in prospect and a programme of works is likely to follow that.

    But be assured, when we have a plan to share, it will be. It seems that I may have a relevant role on behalf of the WSRA related to the Infrastructure work, but more news of that when things are settled.

    One thing I can say. monies held by the WSRA become charitable funds and we will be looking carefully to see that they are spent wisely, with features such as the encouragement / training of voluntary to the fore to squeeze the best value out of any donations.

    Keep ‘em coming.

    Robin

    https://www.wsra.org.uk
     
  11. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Noted and understood. I also note that one of the roles shed by the PLC earlier this year was in marketing, yet what is being commented on here is fundamentally a marketing issue. There are bits and pieces to communicate - many of which are only partial as information is still coming together - and the struggle is to package that up.

    There must be within the WSR volunteer base people with marketing and PR experience, who could help with the presentation of what goes out. Personally, I know enough to diagnose but not to cure, and lack the time - quite apart from being outside the magical 200 miles!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  12. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    As has been discussed before:

    * the WSR PLC website is developed and hosted by a small firm in Exeter which specialises in online ticket sales websites for visitor attractions - in other words a perfect combination of supplier and customer!
    * the website is set up so that content can be changed without requiring any particularly high level of IT skills (it's a "CMS-based site", in the jargon). Previously, if I recall, I hypothesized that this would be the case and Robin confirmed it.
    * Notwithstanding the above, it may be the case that some of the suggestions above may need chargeable work doing to the site.

    In other words: if the content of the site is wrong, that's a job for a marketing expert, not an IT expert.
     
  13. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    And, from experience of someone looking after a code based site in the past, content management is possible for those without “IT skills” if they have the willingness to learn.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    But at what cost?!!

    Nobody is Accountable for these Failures
     
  15. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    I hadn't realised that I had commented on your input Mike which is commendable!
     
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  16. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Any Communication Channel hitherto unused but it has to be a co-ordinated effort Robin under the over control of a Director of Marketing and Promotion on the plc Board. When is one going to be Appointed?
     
  17. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Exactly!!

    So when are we going to see an Appropriate Board Appointment?
     
  18. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    If you have any more helpful suggestions, pleased to consider them.

    WSR Board appointments are a question for the plc, who have announced a desire to deepen and strengthen the range of skills on the Board.

    It has been agreed that we will move to a model where the WSRA is Responsible for fundraising / volunteer recruitment allowing the WSR plc to focus on ‘running the Railway’. That is something of a change from they way things are at the moment and will need to be worked through.

    (Almost) all involved with the Railway understand the need for change, and rapid change at that, BUT one has to be careful that the organisation can handle the speed of change without breaking. Remember, the (utterly essential) cost reduction measures of last winter removed some of that ability to handle change.

    On the publicity front, those of us with modest skills are helping where we can, and, once again, where the organisation can handle that input. For example, you have, on occasion, read text in press releases and the like, that came from me. But we must build resilient structures for the future, and that cannot be done at the snap of fingers.

    At the moment, the task is to build the foundations before the tide comes in, and then work on the superstructure,

    All can help

    Robin
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  19. The Man of Kent

    The Man of Kent Member

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  20. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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