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 Operations

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

  1. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    912
    Likes Received:
    1,671
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Given the circumstances of the issuing of the Notice to Quit, it really does seem that the "PLC's desire for the space" is simply justification after the event and that the real reason behind the Notice was to remove a group from the Railway that proved impervious to attempts to shake them down. Given that impression, which subsequent events have done nothing to dispel, combined with efforts to cast the S&DRT and their supporters as "the opposition", as seen both on here and in the press, then withdrawal of the Notice cannot be carried out without considerable loss of face for the Plc. All of which is presumably why this option is still on the cards. It is very unlikely, given the personalities involved, that the Plc is going to agree to do anything that would imply that its past actions were wrong, rather than implying that a change of direction has come about by force of circumstances.
     
    Triumph 2500S and jnc like this.
  2. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    3,117
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nr Bridgwater, Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Its disappointing to hear this, as waiting until September before even beginning to discuss any issues (not least of all the S&D eviction) means it will be the following meeting before any tangible output is seen (that's 6 months away), plus the chairmanship of the PDG being taken from the WSRA and given to a person who sits on both the WSSRT & PLC Boards (meaning the chairman is conflicted during any S&D discussions, along with the S&D of course) means it will be difficult to be effective as a group. Its also going to be tough for the S&D as a member of the PDG to have a PLC Board member as the chair?

    Surely a much more neutral Chairman from within the family who are falling out with each other and taking two defined sides would have been much better ?

    It looks like somebody has just kicked the PDG into the long grass whilst also claiming they re-introduced it to help to appease the Petition/Open Letter and allow people to say to the press 'the actions called for are already happening'. If that's the case that's a great shame as it seems the power plays are still alive and well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  3. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    5,973
    Likes Received:
    4,179
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It might seem to me to be wise for existing/previous PLC Directors/WSRA/WSSRT Trustees to recuse themselves from positions in setting up the new structure and appoint some 'new blood' to oversee the process?
     
  4. Keith Sims

    Keith Sims Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    532
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired from volunteering
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Having just read the WSSRT reprt on the PDG membership it strikes me that one important group are not well represented...the rank and file volunteers who turn up regularly and give so much of the time and effort for the benefit of the railway. As to the"partiality" of the appointed chairman I will make no further comment.
    It will be very interesting to see if 53808 plays any part in the steam displays planned for Minehead.
     
    Fish Plate and Greenway like this.
  5. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2019
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    229
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Is Mr Bailey suggesting that the plc's lawyers were incompetent?

    If the lease is invalid, then surely that means the Notice to Quit based upon it is also invalid?
    (A quick look at some legal websites suggests that the old lease may automatically renew at the end of the term anyway, unless correct notice is served)


    If there is anything in the report suggesting issues with the lease, then every organisation/group that has a lease from the plc has to protect themselves by getting their lease checked.
    Yippee, more legal fees!
    Oh yeah, that then reduces the funds available with those groups to spend on grants etc.
     
  6. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,241
    Likes Received:
    3,019
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South Hams
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Why do the words "cut and dried" seem to be appropriate?
     
  7. Barrie the Beer

    Barrie the Beer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    842
    Likes Received:
    2,211
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Brewery taproom supervisor
    Location:
    Norton Fitzwarren
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    That's because Steve is (only) representing WSSRT at PDG. Justin has the plc brief. We have no choice but to trust our assigned PDG members to do the right thing, so have faith. There is after all no other official forum to address these issues. PDG can be relied upon to circulate their meeting minutes PDQ, so given they've only just met, let's not rush to judge. The fact PDG is reconvened is a major development in itself.

    The chairmanship term at PDG rotates around key family members. It must be the Steam Trust's turn with the baton.

    WSRA have urged colleague groups to accept John Bailey's offer to facilitate family discussion as the first stage of his proposed reorganisation process. It is to be hoped the PDG chair will now extend an invitation to JB to address a specially convened PDG meeting for that purpose. This would seem to me to be worthy of an extra PDG meeting sometime well before September.
     
  8. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2,252
    Likes Received:
    717
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Wessex
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Quite a few people who post on NP are ex WSRA members myself included and it may be a case of once bitten twice shy.
     
  9. Maverick

    Maverick Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    410
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think you’ve miss read my post, yes to can donate to the fund on the link BUT you don’t have to. It’s a community fund scheme that gives away money and there’s a competition to get the most number of likes.

    Don’t want the WSRA to miss out on potential free money for a vehicle which is actually well suited to the current crisis given that it is self contained and a family / house hold bubble could use it. So in fact it’s worth 30 seconds just to go on and like it / vote.

    What we don’t want is more lost opportunities like donating to the plc and not being able to claim gift aid.
    C
     
    Triumph 2500S likes this.
  10. Barrie the Beer

    Barrie the Beer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    842
    Likes Received:
    2,211
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Brewery taproom supervisor
    Location:
    Norton Fitzwarren
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    PDG's briefing note states that a staff representative will be added to their membership in time for the next meeting. I'm quite sure this person will be there to represent both paid and volunteer staff.
     
  11. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,232
    Likes Received:
    3,938
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West Country
    Maybe, but it would need to be clarified up front, given the debacle over the applicability (or not) of the HR policies.
     
    Triumph 2500S likes this.
  12. Steve Edge

    Steve Edge Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2020
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    590
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The PDG "Staff Rep" will represent all staff whether paid or volunteer.

    Steve
     
    Triumph 2500S likes this.
  13. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,629
    Likes Received:
    3,074
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I think some might like to know what the WRSA’s position is on the eviction of the S&DRT before supporting them financially. Perhaps if people knew what the position was that would help.
     
  14. FrankC

    FrankC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    1,874
    Richard

    Just to be clear - Rodders and I are actually different people... Not guilty, gov.

    Frank
     
  15. FrankC

    FrankC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    1,874
    Absolutely right, Richard. No volunteers, no railway. And no public buy-in, no railway.

    Frank
     
  16. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    6,631
    Likes Received:
    3,465
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Freelance photo - journalist
    Location:
    Southport
    NOT an experiment but a choice made on the basis of information provided by BR. BR had stated that is was doing away with unfitted (ie. unbraked) trains hence locomotive weight would be irrelevant for future trains. On that basis the GWR compared the weight of a 2000 hp diesel electric (10203 @ 132 tons) with the German V200 (2000 hp @ 81 tons) and felt the hydraulic option to be the best; in addition the hydraulic option was based on 2 engines per locomotive thus providing surety of continuing to destinations should one engine fail whilst in service.

    The WR choice was sound but failed because (a) BR continued to run unfitted trains for a further 30+ years hence the weightier Diesel electric designs provided the necessary braking force and (b) developments in the field of electronics and infrastructure led to lighter more powerful locomotives including the Class 47s (2750 hp @ 114 tons; upgrades changed to range 112 - 120 tons) and the Deltics (3300 hp @ 100 tons). Nonetheless as a comparison the Westerns also provided 2750 hp but for a weight of 83 tons and the added advantage of 2 engines in the bodyshell.

    Unfortunately the advocates of diesel electric designs were in the ascendency and Swindon figures were juggled to prove Diesel Electrics as a cheaper option. The irony was that the accountancy used to prove the Diesel Hydraulics more expensive was later used to justify the expense of retaining Deltics with their continued visits to Doncaster Works for regular engine replacements. I suppose one must be satisfied that the modern DMU fleet has hydraulic transmission but a return to Wardship, Hymek or Western would be a better sight.
     
    jnc, MellishR and acourtrail like this.
  17. Mel Hillman

    Mel Hillman Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2014
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    262
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Supposedly 'Retired'
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Before we all go off on more tangents, can I make some clarifications about PDG?

    1) The draft minutes are now with the groups for discussion.
    2) The intention is for the agreed version to be made public via the previous channels as soon as possible - remembering that those involved (except one) are volunteers.
    3) The minutes will show that the Group agreed the current Chair would be a temporary position and that the Group would seek a totally independent person for the role.
    4) The staff rep, when identified, will support the volunteers. In the previous structure, PDG did operate at times without a staff rep and the Friends Group rep doubled up for some time...

    There will be a period of adjustment as the Group re-establishes itself in the current circumstances. I am not an official spokesperson for the Group and certainly not accountable to any single person on the thread. I write to add some clarification to the position. PDG has not been 'kicked into the long grass'. Please be patient.

    Mel Hillman
     
  18. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,546
    Likes Received:
    9,424
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Clough's argument, as I remember it, was that the Western as an isolated region with limited inter-regional working could act as a large scale proving ground for comparison of the two transmission types. The trade-offs on weight could detain a relevant thread for ages; on costs, I will merely note not only that the costs attributed to Swindon overhauls were higher, but so were the construction costs of Swindon vs Crewe built Westerns. Whatever the issues with BR accountancy of that era, I have my doubts that it was engineered quite as you suggest.
     
  19. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    3,117
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nr Bridgwater, Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Mel

    Seeing it was me who made the 'kicked into the long grass' comment I should respond. Thank you for taking the time to comment here with your views it is welcome and nice to see somebody taking some accountability (noting as you say not as an official spokesperson), in my humble opinion it does you credit. If more people did that there would be more dialogue which many of us who have been 'cast aside' with no other voice than the likes of Nat Pres would welcome as there has been rather too much slamming doors in peoples faces in the last 18 months which has not helped the overall situation in the slightest.

    It is good to hear that the chair will be more independent and there will be a staff rep, these are both welcome in my view. On a personal level I have the time to be patient and do of course understand that any new group needs time to 'bed in'. However my concern about the time scales of the meetings being so far apart are that due to circumstances set by others, the PDG has some issues to try and help resolve because it appears others can't seem to sort them out and this unfortunately means perhaps the likes of the S&D don't have the luxury of time to be patient, and that's where my comment comes from.

    That is not of course the PDG's fault, I hope it is allowed to flourish as an independently minded group and I welcome its revitalisation, and perhaps also my impatience is because I can see it can help the WSR move forward and I'm impatient for that to happen.

    I wish you and the PDG the best of luck and again thank you for coming on here and opening yourself up to comment.

    Best

    Andy
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  20. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    1,150
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    ynysddu south wales
    Sadly, the other groups such as the WSRA and the WSSRT, and the WSR PLC board, are not quoted in the Bailey Report as expressing any support for the SDRT, except the WSRA statement says there is a 'soft spot' amongst many for S&D loco '88'...

    Given that the WSRA statement on the Bailey Report is very carefully written, the continuing absence of any support for the SDRT over it's 'Notice to Quit' over Washford is shameful. The WSSRT statement on the Bailey Report doesn't mention the SDRT at all or it's 7F loco, and suggests they can carry on regardless, and not be subsumed into a new charitable body; and the reason for this is obvious, but morally wrong in the current climate.

    You have to take the volunteers along with you. I don't myself consider that the current WSR PLC board has wholeheartedly embraced this fundamental precept of a preserved railway, or acknowledged the damage done by the 'Notice to Quit' over the SDRT at Washford to goodwill, and for it having to be a 'happy railway' for it's volunteers.

    Cheers,

    Julian Atkins
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020

Share This Page