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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    ...I suspect he might prefer this :)

    loco+coach.jpg
     
  2. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    Could we not have a later diesel gala even if home fleet
     
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  3. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    I believe that the WSR almost failed in the early 1980s, but then recovered and enjoyed 25 years or so of steady and sustained progress, gradually building up its business and passenger numbers to a peak. As far as I know, it did not have major conflicts during that period.

    Many WSR supporters must wish that a time-machine could be provided, able to wind-back the WSR clock to somewhere around 2005.
     
  4. granmaree

    granmaree Member

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    That was when the SDRT bailed them out of a rather large financial hole wasn't it?
     
  5. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Not if you hand the engine back, to the charity, or you engineer a situation where the trust that owns it leaves, once the Track is upgraded then the two engines he owns can be used, I would not bet against him having this in mind, evict the S&DJRT , they take their engine with them, to another railway, then its no longer a PLC problem, ok you loose an engine, but if you happen to own a Hall and Large pannier tank , that are ready to run, no ones going to be that upset enough to sack you.
     
  6. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    Martin,

    It's already been stated that 53808 is under a separate agreement from the lease, meaning it would stay if the S&DRT moved out. A very weird situation!
    I hope the S&DRT hold the plc to the agreement and they force the plc to hand back the loco in running order in 2025 or whenever the agreement expires. I also hope they will not be giving the plc a penny towards a new tender top.

    Keith
     
  7. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    An organisation that is prepared to run roughshod over one legal agreement may well run roughshod over others if it suits them.
     
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  8. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    To be more precise, I think you will find that it is a situation where it could stay should the S&DRT so wish. AIUI the choice would rest with them as to whether they take it elsewhere if they leave, or at least wait until the WSR hands it back in working order again.

    But it's a long time since I last read the agreement to recall all the 'fine print' - for example, if they were to take it away before the end of the agreement, the WSR may have the option to claim for 'loss of use' - I don't know.
     
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  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    According to the S&DRT accounts, the agreement lasts until 2030. Since the loco was last overhauled and entered service in 2016, that suggests an operating life no further than 2026 (probably before) after which there would be four years for an overhaul.

    According to the latest WSR plc accounts, there is a provision of £153k for future loco overhauls, which as far as I can tell is all in respect of 53808. According to the accounting policy, that provision increases on a mileage basis - after four years I would suspect the loco is probably about half way through the estimated final mileage (my experience is that loco work tends to front-load to the beginning of the ticket, for obvious reasons). A flat mileage rate is a rather blunt instrument for calculating repair costs for an individual loco (works better for a fleet in varying states of repair), and if the company is making noises about having insufficient money to overhaul the loco five years from now, it may be because it is aware of an impending large bill that can’t be fully covered; for example, if it is reckoned that the next overhaul would require very significant boiler work in addition to the normal mechanical work.

    The one certainty with locos is that they end up costing more to repair than you planned: one advantage of having a strong and positive relationship with loco owning groups is that they effectively subsidise some of those costs, even if not contractually obliged to.

    Tom
     
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  10. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

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    And not forgetting the premature termination of 44422 locomotive.
     
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  11. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    I suspect that the agreement does not "expire" as the SDRT have drafted in their accounts, as normally you would want obligations and rights to continue until these had lost their potency rather than fall away at a date. Presumably they mean the term of the hire expires. Trying to analyse the agreement really depends on what it says. I think other railways have avoided some nasty problems as the obligation to overhaul did not itself have a fixed date, so the loco owners had to talk if they wanted to see their loco running again. It would be a difficult agreement to draft as if the obligation was time bound and absolutely unconditional as to costs/problems to rectify, then it would (or should) be deeply unattractive to the railway, as well as creating uncertainty as to when they needed to take the loco out of traffic.
     
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  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes, I agree with the thrust of that. I think in normal times, the agreement may go to 2030 but you would be looking to extend well in advance, to give the company certainty that they would continue to benefit from the money invested in the future overhaul.

    I guess the lesson is there are three models you could follow for a railway company: spot-hire on an annual basis (could be expensive and leaves risk that you can’t find a loco when needed, but makes costs very transparent and budgetable); own your own locos (primary risk is whether you can afford to overhaul them in the absence of an allied supporters’ group); or have a long-term relationship with a loco owning group (which requires high degree of mutual trust, something which seems to be in short supply).

    Tom
     
  13. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I suspect that if the PLC carry on with evicting the trust that the hire agreement for 53808 might be thrown into the negotiations
     
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  14. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I don't particularly see why a long-term relationship needs to have an arrangement similar to that for 53808 though. Virtually all the steam locos on the GWSR are owned by groups whom we expect to have a long term relationship with, yet we still pay daily steaming fees into their coffers, and the groups themselves organise the overhauls - aided by GWSR loco volunteers when it comes to onsite jobs. The more I think about it the more a run and repair agreement looks likely to get messy, particularly if more work than expected is required.
     
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  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’m not saying that’s a model relationship - just that if you have long term relationship, high degree of trust is required!

    Tom
     
  16. burmister

    burmister Member

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    Did not they appoint Peter Rivett as MD. I seem to recall he instigated strict financial and other needed controls but took everybody with him as one railway. He had a big advantage in turning the railway round that the track was not worn out in those days. He used to write a piece in the WSRA magazine with a bowler hat header ( his trade mark) . He always thought you eventually needed a product that would support 50 paid staff with volunteers in proportion. If not the railway would not survive as a 20 mile line. No different to SVR, NYMR etc.

    JJP seems more in the mould of Horace May of Bluebell in the sixties who so was singular in his total focus and drive to buy the railway from BR that his methods upset lots of people.
     
  17. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    To a large extent, the basis for the 53808 agreement is buried in S&DRT history. I can't recall all the precise details now, but....

    Restoration of the loco first started when the then S&DRMT were based at Radstock. The loco was in the old engine shed and hence a good, covered place in which to work. Then they were forced to leave (as the site was being cleared for development), so they decamped to Washford (and became the S&DRT in the process). WD was just a brownfield site, so for many years the loco sat under wraps with little or no work done on it, as all effort was concentrated on getting the site up and running. As a result much of the work already done on the loco slowly wasted away and in effect its restoration went backwards, not forwards.

    The deal negotiated with the WSR at that time offered the S&DRT the chance to get their loco 'fast tracked' to an operational state. The WSR got the use of a useful engine, and the S&DRT got the 'visitor attraction' of seeing their engine actually running past their station. And when the time came for its 10-year overhaul, they got it all done virtually for free and continued to get the benefits.

    It is interesting to note that, when a previous overhaul over-ran quite a long while for various reasons, the WSR actually gave all S&DRT members free ticket vouchers each year by way of compensation for the delay. Somehow I can't see that happen this time around.....:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2020
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  18. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    ...and IIRC Peter went to them after having been Treasurer of the S&DRT :) Yet another example of mutual help/benefit....
     
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  19. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    I think one would have to peruse agreements to see quite what parties have come up with. It may be that the categories are not quite so discrete e.g. a power by the hour/spot hire agreement could be potentially be a rolling arrangement, which is where I guess contentment of each party with the arrangement is key (I prefer not to use "trust" when it comes to agreements: that usually means there is something deficient with the drafting, and it is a bit gut wrenching when you put forward the argument "Clearly we all understood what was intended..." and back comes the inevitable response "Please show me where it says that in the agreement."):eek:
     
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  20. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    The railway did get bought, though.
     

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