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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. lochness8

    lochness8 Member

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    Recent posting on 4110 Facebook page confirms that 4110 Ltd were given the chance on 9th Jan to endorse the joint WSRA / PLC statement that came out today but turned it down and decided to continue ploughing their own furrow.

    You have to wonder why their Directors decided to do this.

    They could easily have endorsed the statement perhaps in exchange for a seat on the WSRA/PLC decision-making table.

    It will now be a decision for pledgers as to where they put their money. Some have already made up their mind clearly on the basis of the relative faith they have in the various parties. Some may decide not to bother at all. But what has essentially happened now is that the ‘vote’ has been ‘split’. Oh dear oh dear oh dear why is nothing ever simple round here.
     
  2. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Ah, thanks for posting that.

    I d wonder if those involved ever contemplate what their actions look like from the outside.
     
  3. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Who was it who said this topic was going to be quiet now the railway has shut down for the winter?
     
  4. Colin Allcars

    Colin Allcars Member

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    From the WSR.org website -
    "We have recently been made aware by the WSR plc that they are seeking to negotiate to sell the the locomotive to the West Somerset Railway Association".
    That should have been the first thing done. Good luck to the WSRA in their attempt.
    But.
    If, as I suspect, significant numbers of pledges are withdrawn and the WSRA bid fails, I will happily re pledge to 4110 ltd.
     
  5. Greenway

    Greenway Well-Known Member

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    More haste, less speed maybe? :D
     
  6. lochness8

    lochness8 Member

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    Reading between the lines, the basic problem seems to be people wielding the ‘my way or the highway’ tribal approach, rather than exercising a bit of compromise here and there.
     
  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Absolutely, although I do wonder whether much of this could be avoided if the WSRA had been a bit more awake and got involved with the pledges right at the beginning when it was first announced this group was being formed.
     
  8. patriarch

    patriarch New Member

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    If WSRA are successful in acquiring 4110, then it will be moved to Williton, sheeted and stored for 5 to 10 years, when there will be a Members ballot with one of the options being to sell to 4160 Ltd. for spares at a 'knockdown' price........perhaps.
     
  9. lochness8

    lochness8 Member

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    How does that sort of comment actually help? You must know perfectly well that the WSRA is a very different organisation these days to the one that let that happen? Or perhaps you don’t. Careless talk.
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Not so long ago, there were two groups on the railway bidding against each other to buy the freehold of the line - must be a Somerset thing.

    Being serious, do those threatening to withdraw their pledges of support not see the bigger fundraising picture: that the financial straits the railway finds itself in and the persistent inability to define and execute a clear, pan-railway fundraising strategy are inextricably linked? It’s hard enough fundraising at the best of times, and there is only so much money available. All this competition just wastes energy circulating the same pot of money around fruitlessly and, I suspect, causes many to simply refrain from putting their hand in their pocket at all. Meanwhile, money that is raised just gets frittered away. The statement from the 4110 Ltd group says they have set up their company, are proceeding with insurance etc. How much does that all waste if they end up not obtaining the loco?

    I’m afraid no-one seems to come out of this well: only in Somerset, it seems, could an announcement between a railway operating company and its primary membership support charity coming to an entirely sensible arrangement about how best to protect an asset end up immediately polarising opinion.

    Tom
     
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Surely there are 2 key points here though? One you mention; "Members' ballot". Why would the WSRA consider disposing of a loco agreed to be useful to the railway? That was the only reason the pannier was disposed of. Second, how is it being owned by a separate small company going to secure its future any better? Who's to say whether the current individuals involved will be in 5-10 years' time. And if it was purchased by a small group, there's no reason to think restoration work would start immediately, there's only so much capacity to restore locos on the WSR and it sounds full for the moment.
     
  12. lochness8

    lochness8 Member

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    Well said Tom. The more I reflect on the previously referred-to statement from 4110 Ltd, refusing to accept the offer of the WSRA/PLC to ‘come on board’ to achieve the objective, the more it looks like a totally self-defeating gamble by 4110 Ltd to ‘go their own way’. I made a pledge to 4110 Ltd and I will now have no hesitation in transferring it to the WSRA. In fact even if WSRA can’t raise the money, perversely it actually raises a question mark in my head about the wisdom of the 4110 Ltd Directors in making this decision. Funny how much this has a parallel with the WSRA trying to buy the freehold of the line in competition with the PLC though - albeit that was a different age and things have moved on considerably since then! Sure the 4110 Directors would not wish to have their behaviour compared to that of the Ex6 but that’s a little bit how it has come across. Shame as it all started so well.
     
  13. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    The private company can sell shares in the locomotive though, so that those people funding the purchase/restoration get to own a proportion of the whole.

    The WSRA, on the other hand, can only appeal for donations and offer nothing in return other than a year's membership (normally £25 but of no lasting value).
     
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  14. patriarch

    patriarch New Member

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    OK then. Let's have your take on the future of 4110 if the WSRA get ownership.
     
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  15. Colin Allcars

    Colin Allcars Member

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    1. Fundraising. The WSRA is in the throes of regaining momentum and that is very encouraging. But fundraising wrt the 3 currently owned locos does seem to have stalled. Your point "there is only so much money available" therefore is valid. However, 4110 ltd seem to have struck a chord with another part of "the money pot" as you call it. Promises of £120k in 3 ish weeks have been made specifically for this loco. That's quick!
    2. The big picture is that the WSR will get £120k rapidly if 4110 ltd succeed.
     
  16. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I should imagine that it would retain its place in the overall railway overhaul queue, which everyone was perfectly satisfied with a month or two ago.
     
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  17. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    How do you know this?

    Maybe the people who have pledged £120k in a very short time were not "perfectly satisfied"

    BTW - your signature is well out of date!
     
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  18. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I did say "I should imagine" because I see no reason to think any differently. The Plc want to sell the loco. £100k will keep the loco safe on the WSR. I don't see why it would change anything else.

    I suppose my signature is a little less relevant than it was, but still not technically out of date! :) 10p per word if you're interested? ;)
     
  19. patriarch

    patriarch New Member

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    But what exactly do YOU think the WSRA would do with 4110 ? By all accounts thing are are moving slowly with 4561, and although 7821 is nice and cozy at Swindon (which, incidently I said hello to today) they don't appear to me to have a great track (sorry!) record when it comes to locomotive restoration, and thus your guess is as good as mine as to when 'Ditcheat' might be progressed.
     
  20. Greenway

    Greenway Well-Known Member

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    As commented in previous posts, it is only three weeks since the group hoping to raise enough money for 4110 was formed. They achieved their target of pledges which, given the holiday dates not long after the launch, is quite remarkable.
    What is curious is why now after that has been achieved do we get a complication - within the WSR - of potential owners. It would be more understandable if it were from another company or line that had made a better offer for 4110. Somehow, I think, it seems to be the WSR malaise of conflicts of personalities once again. I guess the Association can afford to pay for it but if they do not get the same support the 4110 Group received then they will probably have to use some of their current resources if they are to meet the deadline which is only just over a fortnight away.
     
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