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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    For all your huffing and puffing there's now twice as many posts cluttering up this thread than there need have been. In a bid to not entirely waste this post...

    Not much, but "the general public" isn't one amorphous group of people. Folk closer to the WSR I'm sure would rather hear it direct from "their" railway rather than "discover" it in a magazine. An example on the GWSR recently was when a magazine got hold of the news of the Churchward County being based here. Negotiations were still under way so very few people knew about it before hand. Rather than have its supporters discover this in the steam beano an email was sent out to us telling us beforehand, which I thought was very good and showed respect for volunteers and supporters.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I don't think Malcolm Imps was being serious with what he posted, more being sarcastic. That's the way I read it, anyhow.
     
  3. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    The problem, as far as Yorkshireman is concerned, is that he has people on ignore - many are frequent posters in this thread - therefore he does not get to see the full picture thus missing some of the more salient posts and can only reply to that which he chooses to see.
    Now why does Westminster flash through my mind? :D
     
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  4. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    The ignore feature is useful but should only be a last resort. Even posters you disagree with most of the time can still make good posts which is why even if I wasn’t a moderator i’d use it personally.
     
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  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed though there have been sterling efforts in that regard of late. All the running lines and pointwork through all of the stations has been renewed in recent times, and about 60% of the plain line from Sheffield Park to Horsted Keynes - which was the part inherited from B.R. - has been relaid since about 2014. Nearly 3/4 mile was relaid this winter. Not out of the woods yet, but the situation feels much better than it did, say, five years ago.

    Infrastructure is the factor that can shut a railway: in extremis, you can always hire a loco to maintain a service, but you can’t hire in a replacement railway.

    The other interesting point in the Heritage Railway article was about Mark 1 carriage maintenance, and particularly corrosion of the end structures. Our C&W Director (we have directors for named functional areas ...) has been making some interesting comments recently about the carriage maintenace programme. Essentially, we will need to do one thirty-year, from the ground up total carriage rebuild; one 15 year mechanical and two 7.5 yearly door and lock overhauls every year just to stand still. That maintains a core fleet of about 30 carriages - the WSR, by virtue of running a higher carriage mileage and needing a bigger fleet, would need to be turning out carriage overhauls at a greater rate than that. We are all aware of the near miss at the South Devon Railway that was, in part, attributable to a railway falling behind on carriage maintenance.

    Tom
     
  6. Ken_R

    Ken_R Member

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    I noticed that as well. Their solution - make an inspection panel and throw in some Waxoyl.:rolleyes:

    We are finding with most of ours, and have been for some years now, that the Crash Pillars are rarely even attached to anything.:(

    For us, the first job on any 'Major' are the Crash Pillars and the Drag Box reinforcing plate.
     
  7. oliversbest

    oliversbest New Member

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    Having done all the PW work the WSR will have to improve its image to the fare paying public. I visit the UK every three years or so and this is a recollection from 2017. Yes I thoroughly enjoyed the Stations and most of the steam hauled experience. The lineside detritus and rolling stock disappearing into the undergrowth(and overgrowth) in the vicinity of Dunster and Minehead was appalling. The service DMU was disgraceful. Dirty upholstery and torn and dirty carpets,definitely not a heritage experience but perhaps indicative of the Railway's decline. It will be a long way back!!
     
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  8. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    They could make it Perspex so all the passengers could have a look... :) Maybe not!
     
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  9. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Member

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    Thank you. An interesting and honest article.
     
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  10. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Well-Known Member

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    The folks at the Steam & Vintage Rally have posted the following on the Rally's facebook page:

    We will be offering the opportunity to have a cab ride in one of the diesel chunters that operate on the West Somerset Railway. Depending on availability of the loco and crew, this is likely to be either the 03 or the 09: the details will be clarified nearer the time. So come along on 3 and 4 August 2019 and experience the sound, smell and driver's eye view.

    15 March 2019
    Details kindly provided by Steam & Vintage Rally


    What is a chunter? Is it similar to a Shunter loco?
     
  11. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    The sale of the GWR locomotive to The DVR was one of two options. Had option two been taken up, the the locomotive could still be on the WSR.


    My view.
     
  12. Thanks for pointing out that typo, Anthony. I've rushed, red-faced, to amend my copy/paste version ;)

    Steve
     
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  13. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Member

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    According to various on-line dictionaries, to chunter is to grumble or grouse mildly or tediously.
    So perhaps a diesel chunter is a diesel that grumbles a lot. :)
     
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  14. 46229

    46229 New Member

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    That wasn’t “the solution”. The WSR solution when corrosion is present is to undertake a structural repair. As Bob Meanley said, Waxoyl was applied to prevent corrosion. An inspection window is part of being able to demonstrate to the ORR in the post SDR incident world that a robust condition monitoring process is in place for mark 1 crash pillars.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  15. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Member

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    My reading of the Heritage Railway article, and other official statements, is that the DSR offered a higher amount and could provide payment quicker than calling in lots of pledges and it would appear the WSR Plc needed the money very quickly.

    Edit: Put the letters in the right order!
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  16. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    More to the point, given the financial situation of the company, accepting a lower offer could have placed the directors in a very difficult legal position
     
  17. Aberdare

    Aberdare New Member

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    With regard to the historical repairs of the Mk1 fleet of carriages based at Minehead I can advise that since the early 1990's there has been a continuous programme of heavy structural overhauls. The current fleet of 27 vehicles include around 20 that will have already received those heavy structural overhauls at the rate of approximately 1 per year.

    Things that would have been part of an overhaul include:-
    • Asbestos removal.
    • Stripping off any corroded steel skin and replacing with new, usually seam welded throughout.
    • Replacement of any corroded frame components including door frames and floor beams.
    • Removal of gangways and end skins.
    • Replacement of any corroded crash pillars and floor plates (in practice originals were rarely good enough to remain useable) .
    • Replacement of gangway support structure.
    • Replacement of any suspect flooring.
    • Replacement of all doors with cast aluminium doors
    • Normally removal of all window frames to reseal.
    These are just a selection of items included in the work undertaken. To enable this the C&W dept has always carried a large stock of all the standard steel sections used in Mk1 construction.

    Following an upgrade of the running gear, undertaken around the year 2000, the WSR fleet does not have any B1 bogies with plain bearing axle boxes, these have all been replaced with either B4 or Commonwealth bogies on roller bearings.

    At overhauls Electric Train Heating (ETH) equipment has always been removed as it was usually contaminated with asbestos and the wiring was often in very (-very) poor condition with missing insulation and stray connections. As the WSR is predominately steam with diesel hydraulics removal was not seen as a problem.

    Every year in November and January all vehicles would be split to detailed undertake inspections/gauging of the draw gear and buckeyes.

    The WSR C&W dept have a long history of improving the condition of it's MK1 stock. I can relate that we once purchased from a mainline operator a late build TSO that up until the date of purchase had regularly been racing around the National Network at 90-100 mph. After purchase it went straight into the C&W shed for attention only to find that at the toilet end there was not one single piece of steel joining the body to the chassis, from the vestibule door one side - right around the end - back to the vestibule door the other side. At it's most recent overhaul it had been subject to a very good decorative repair of body filler and paint that hid the lack of structural integrity.

    The recent access holes have been cut to confirm the crash pillar condition of both previously repaired vehicles and the remaining 25% yet to be overhauled. Our experience will demonstrate that those operators who have not yet investigated Mk1's (under the skin) they will find that after 60 years a lot of steel will have been converted to non-structural rust.

    Hope this clarifies the historical aspect.

    Andy.
     
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  18. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    There are none so deaf as those who won't hear
     
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  19. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    It wasn't the SDR (they are still paying off their fine I guess) but the Dartmouth Steam Railway. I know there have been name changes which make identification tricky at times. ;)
     
  20. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    Tom - I just did a rough count of SVR coaching stock and there are at least 50 servicable coaches curently in traficc. There are then those stored or undertakinng deep maintenance
     

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