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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. RobHickerton

    RobHickerton New Member

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    The group that created the 4110 fund are people who have a day to day involvement in the railway, untainted by the past horrors. They are a group who want to roll up their sleeves and rebuild the loco. Many of the pledges are from similar people I believe. Once its ownership goes into the WSRA, who knows what will happen. How much effort did the WSRA make to raise funds to buy it? None that was evident. I'm not confident that whatever talk of ringfencing is made that the loco's future is secure. I am a WSRA member, but with little confidence that they will help the locos rebuild. Will 4561 take priority? Too much baggage for me, as they say "I'm out"

    Rob
     
  2. Greenway

    Greenway Well-Known Member

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    In view of subsequent ramifications illustrated in the latest posts I bet there are many that are glad that they didn't.
     
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  3. granmaree

    granmaree Member

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    .The WSRA have already 'got' the funds :-
    Existing pledges and further donations for the purchase of the locomotive should be sent
    to the West Somerset Railway Association, The Railway Station, Bishops Lydeard,
    Taunton, TA4 3BX or to the Association’s bank account with Lloyds:
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  4. lochness8

    lochness8 New Member

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    If the WSRA end up buying the loco, what is preventing the people on the coal face from petitioning the WSRA to let them crack on and restore the loco, or indeed standing as WSRA trustees etc to determine the future direction? I don’t see the problem.
     
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  5. Greenway

    Greenway Well-Known Member

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    If you don't then consider the pages of this thread and previous closed ones which adequately portray the crises, turmoil and conflicts regularly found on the WSR.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  6. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

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    Yes I can see the advantage of the WSRA acquiring the engine because of VAT and gift aid but if they also own this engine they will need to sort out raising money to overhaul/restore/rebuild three engines as they will need to get £250 K year after year to get 4561 finished then start on 4110 and last 7821. Between the PLC and the WSRA they need to get people trained up to do most of the work in house on these engines, as training people to produce the stays etc for all these engines would reduce the costs against getting a contractor doing the work for them as now. When you see all the machinery in the Swindon Shed doing nothing most of the time and 4561 hasn't been touched for must be for at least a year and the new horn blocks in a box collecting dust with just one clamped in place but nothing done to drill the holes in this one even to get this one fitted. In early August the WSRA said they were getting a firm to look at doing the new cylinders machining for 4561 but at the end of December they were still at Williton and I think there is a machine in the Swindon Shed which can do this work so why not do it in house with the old cylinders which are still about to be used for the learning to do this work.
     
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  7. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    While there are very valid questions about what the next stage is, that is perhaps inevitable when reacting to essentially a 'fire sale'. I seem to recall all that 4110 Ltd said they were merely securing the loco for the West Somerset Railway and that there were various options for the future - sale back to WSRplc when funds permit, restoration or sale to a 3rd party if the WSRplc decided they didn't need the loco. In other words, no greater plan than the WSRA (at least publicly - yet) has revealed. I would rather expect that raising several £'000,000s would be rather harder for a private company than an established charity with a membership. Yes, it has been done elsewhere but takes a long time as structures and supporting 'memberships' are built up. This is exactly the problem the West Somerset Railway faces - a lack of a clear 'membership' organisation supporters can join to be 'part of' the Railway and this seems a very good move to strengthen that, as well as an excellent sign of a co-operative and mature relationship between WSRplc and WSRA.

    The past is the past - are people saving they won't support WSRA because of what, the 'Ex6 + 1'? Yes, always a danger - why is it impossible for any other 'new' organisation to fall victim to similar circumstances? Given the battle to 'save' the WSRA, don't you think it might be rather safer than many just by extra awareness of the dangers?

    As I said earlier, it seems that continuing old battles is more important to some on the West Somerset than securing the future.

    Steven
     
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  8. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Active Member

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    Perhaps we should wait for a representative of the 4110 group to make a statement about the situation outlined in the PLC/WSRA letter before we start throwing stones about.
     
  9. lochness8

    lochness8 New Member

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    I don’t know much about the goings on at Williton as I am normally only passing through on this train but did I read somewhere recently that 9351 is being sent there soon from Minehead for completion? Which suggests a certain level of confidence in their abilities to finish projects? How long has 9351 been sat there at Minehead now - five years? Don’t know much about the status of 4561.
     
  10. lochness8

    lochness8 New Member

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    Couldn’t agree more Steven. I do think there are some people still trying to fight the battles of the past but I am heartened to see the WSRA and PLC united in this objective, albeit they have taken a while to catch up.
     
  11. lochness8

    lochness8 New Member

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    Time to move on though? Those who want to get involved in 4110 - nothing preventing that as far I can see.
     
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  12. gwilialan

    gwilialan Active Member

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    So why did the Plc/WSRA wait until sufficient monies had been pledged before proposing this? Why didn't they propose this solution to begin with? Why didn't the WSRA just offer to buy it? Perhaps the WSRA are trying to save face now that a group of the railways supporters (who I thought the WSRA was supposed to represent) have taken action while the WSRA did nothing?
    With all the current goings on with the Plc board and lack of communications and the still fairly recent WSRA management issues I'd feel much happier to see the loco in the ownership of a group of genuine supporters of the railway who are looking to the future and are prepared to put their money where their mouth is to see this happen rather than any organisation whose words don't seem to be matched by their actions currently.
     
  13. oddsocks

    oddsocks Well-Known Member

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    And would they be dispatched by a tender fender sender?
     
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  14. Colin Allcars

    Colin Allcars Member

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    It seems to me that the WSRA are being a bit opportunist here. Nothing has been heard from them until now. But now £100,000 ish has been pledged and they think they would like some of that action and basically get a free engine.
    I pledged a donation to 4110 ltd because it is made up of none of those who regularly play "musical chairs" in the plc or WSRA etc. I also assumed that we would all be part owners in a small way. I did not promise money to the WSRA, worthy as the latest outbreak of peace is.
    I will have to await developments before proceeding.
     
  15. granmaree

    granmaree Member

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    There's already a statement on wsr.org.uk
    The situation is as clear as mud. The group are saying they will continue to raise funds just in case the WSRA don't obtain the loco, the WSRA/WSR joint statement are saying pay the existing pledges straight into the WSRA's bank .........
     
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  16. RobHickerton

    RobHickerton New Member

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    Bit of a cheek I thought and I'm not going to
    Rob
     
  17. patriarch

    patriarch New Member

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    " EXISTING pledges.... should be sent to the West Somerset Railway Association " Someone please , please tell me they're joking.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  18. Colin Allcars

    Colin Allcars Member

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    I agree, Rob.
    I will happily support 4110 Ltd, but not the WSRA. I suspect that others will feel the same.
     
  19. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    WSR problems over the last 10+ years summed up.

    I'm still in despair that this isn't viewed as a good idea. But it also seems bizarre that this joint announcement was not joint with the people organising the fundraising to save 4110. How mad is that!?

    It sounds like some serous questions still need to be asked about Williton though, and exactly how it currently benefits the WSR compared to what it could be.

    Once again I look at this from the fabled 200+ miles away and think "Only in Somerset"...
     
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  20. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Active Member

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    Thanks for letting me know about the statement on wsr.org.uk
    As you say the situation is as clear as mud, there now seems to be two WSR based groups trying to buy 4110. :Banghead:
     

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