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Llangollen Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by 14xx Lover, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    I can't speak for every owner or every railway of course, but in my experience BR provided bills of sale for their vehicles. I have been lucky in the respect that all of the vehicles I have purchased were from owners who still had their BR sales document. I consider the photocopies of these BR sales, coupled to the sales agreement I signed with them, as proof of ownership, as one can effectively show the vehicle's journey from build to present owner. Rather like a car log book I guess?

    I was most insistent on getting this paperwork before purchasing, having seen others go off handshakes in the past and regretted it 10 years later when it all went wrong. Such insistence actually delayed one of the deals by some months, but it was definitely worth it long term.

    "Railway owned" Mark 1's can often be a nightmare.... there are plenty of examples in the past where cash strapped railways have received Mk1's in the 90's when they were going cheap, with individuals or directors stumping up the cash. The coach is often under the railways name but the chap who paid for it still believes it is "his". These coaches can run for decades with everyone happy until something upsets the apple cart and ownership is disputed. If the original bits of paper have gone missing that's a real issue.

    Sent from my moto g(8) power using Tapatalk
     
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  2. cav1975

    cav1975 Member

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    I am sure that this is a relatively common experience. In the 80s we set about checking the ownership of every vehicle on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway after a similar incident.

    The funds to purchase a carriage had been provided by a former committee member in about 1970 and he considered it to be his carriage. After some research we were able to demonstrate conclusively that the funds had been a donation to the Society and that the Society had purchased the carriage from the vendor.

    This prompted us to regularise the position relating to every vehicle on the railway and the handful of privately owned wagons were then donated to, or purchased by, the railway. Subseqently we have also acquired the independently owned locomotives.

    This has proved to be a wise investment in the long term as we now have no independently owned vehicles and can manage the assets cohesively.

    Nick
     
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  3. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    A cautionary tale from the annals of the Western Locomotive Association. The business of the then owner of D1013 unfortunately became insolvent and the loco was a company asset. The receiver advertised its sale, but the WLA pointed out it owned various parts, including one engine. An agreement was reached between the receiver, WLA and one of its members for the member to buy the loco (which they later passed to the WLA).

    Patrick
     
  4. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    One would have thought that the bank would have been keen to clarify what its charge covered and thereafter sought annual updates which would have forced the PLC to clarify the status of all assets. Otherwise you are in a a sort of finance for farming situation where the farmer takes the bank manager into the field and waves his hand at a herd of cows and says these are all mine. It also puts the directors on the hook for misrepresentation if not correct.
     
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  5. Masterbrew

    Masterbrew New Member

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    Maid Marian at the Bala Lake Railway has one as well. Apparently, there was a danger a number of years ago of the BLR going under and several privately owned wagons have the owners' names painted on.
     
  6. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    The P.O slate waggon fleet running on the Ffestiniog were historically ID'd by colours on the bars, or the upright thingemybobs* separating said bars. Stock bought from manufacturers on the 'never never' often carried a cast plate, stating 'Maker and Owner'.

    Perhaps an appropriate register (and plates!) might provide some degree of security for owners .... plus recognising the incredible, too often unsung efforts of same?

    *sorry 'bout using a technical term

    Edit: I've removed my previous reference to the HRA as it was a daft suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Not sure why it would be the responsibility of the HRA to manage such a register - surely an accurate asset register is the responsibility of each railway company? Of course, the points are well made up thread about how sometimes details of ownership are lost in the mists of time, but the HRA are no more able to resolve that than the company on the ground. At some point you have to do the hard yards of clarifying the ownership of every fixed and moveable asset on the railway, and then keep that register up-to-date.

    Tom
     
  8. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    True, but not necessarily insurmountable. When you think about it, a solitary MK1 flogged off in error would account for a fair percentage of any running costs. Potentially, this would solve more than one issue. How much stock is kicking around on sidings, here and there, is 'owned' by someone now utterly untraceable? Is that a situation liable to improve over the years?
     
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. You can't sell something you don't own - and owning it means being able to prove you own it. Are you suggesting they sell equipment without being able to prove ownership? (I couldn't understand what you meant by "a solitary MK1 flogged off in error would account for a fair percentage of any running costs. Potentially, this would solve more than one issue.")

    Tom
     
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  10. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Isn't there an issue at Bala about the inability to get hold of one owner as well.

    I don't know about other people but I have to admit I'd feel pretty icky if I were bidding against the Llangollen for the various things on the railway. I'd hope that there would be some community spirit within the heritage railway sector to not take advantage of a line that is in a bad situation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
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  11. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    Receivers and liquidators have never been known for their compassion and collective spirit has no place in their vocabulary.
    Beware of thinking that everyone else will think and act charitably.
    The worst case scenario if all decide to stay out of the bidding to keep the price low and the offer from the scrap man is higher than the railway can afford. That would lead to coaches going for scrap and being lost to the heritage railway sector for good. Rose tinted glasses rarely help in making effective business decisions in today's commercial reality.
     
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  12. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    What though, if ownership can't be traced? does the receiver say, as there is no clear owner, we claim that vehicle as an asset and sell it? after all if the owner has not claimed that vehicle, and can not be traced, who then owns it? i did say i a previous post that if there are no bids for the coaches, then the reciever will by law have to take the best offer they can get, even if that's to sell them at a knock down to a scrap dealer, they are only tasked with raising ready cash to pay their own fees then whats left goes to the bank, then creditors, often creditors get just pence in the pound .its the bank who get the majority of whats been raised.
     
  13. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    If that was the case, the scrapman could make a massive profit selling them on.
     
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  14. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps every Board should have a decent lawyer in the team!
     
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  15. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Very true. A receiver or administrator won't take on the job unless he 0r she's sure that there are enough assets to at least cover his/her fees!
     
  16. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    Indeed. I don’t know why people keep raising the possibility of Llangollen railway coaches being sold for scrap. The fact is MK1 coaches in reasonable condition are worth significantly more than scrap value.

    There are many things we need to worry about with the current Llangollen situation. The coaches being sold for scrap is not one of them.
     
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  17. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    I am not sure I agree with your analysis of what constitutes ownership. For chattels where there is no accepted register or means to record ownership, practically it is more an issue of having a better claim than anyone else, possession being a major factor. I don't think you would ever get an unqualified legal opinion as to ownership, as it would always be subject to the putative owner having disclosed all facts and there being no other claims out there which the putative owner is not aware of. Typically in drawing up a sale and purchase agreement a buyer would require the vendor to represent that he has good title to the the chattel and it is also free and clear of any encumbrance (other interests/security), which apart from giving the buyer a claim against the seller if not true, also provides prima facie protection against a charge of receiving or handling stolen goods.

    I would have thought the more problematic issue for the Llangollen PLC was establishing which rails/sleepers etc it owns (previous posts have suggested some of the track is owned by the PLC and some by the Trust), which to an outsider seems more likely to be a test of the fixed asset register.
     
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  18. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I was thinking more about other heritage lines bidding for things. If people at a line I were associated with were 'this is a great chance to pick up x or y cheap' it would make me a :Yuck:
     
  19. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Or at least to ensure every thing is tied down legally, Recent issues especially to do with loco ownerships, where in the past shares were not legally recorded and it created a real problem when a loco was gifted by its share owning group, to a railway, and later, some shareholders could not be traced, and others who claimed they had shares had no proof of those shares, the same is possible across the railway network, especially where shareholders have passed on, and their shareholding could determine the future of an engine.
     
  20. Kempenfelt 82e

    Kempenfelt 82e Member

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    Interesting that you think that the Llangollen is the wounded party in all of this!?

    A little controversial I know, but think about it. The people/organisations who are owed money are those who the LR engineering team have mismanaged or done substandard work on and for which there are legitimate claims for. Morayshire and the Patriot are two of the better know cases. By hoping that the sales of assets by the receivers go low to the LR trust, you’re effectively hoping that the guilty in all this gets off lightly at the expense of the Morayshire and Patriot groups. These groups have spent years of savings and donations with LR engineering for which they haven’t received what they’d paid for. These groups have then had to dedicate further funds towards a legal case which would’ve been better allocated to the restoration/build. Now despite winning their legal cases they’re still not going to get what they’re rightfully/lawfully owed.

    So with the above in mind, I hope that all the assets have been sold to good homes for a fair price. If this means that some/all of these assets get sold off of the railway, then surely that is only to the benefit of the innocent parties rather than the guilty ones?

    I would like to add that I wish the Llangollen railway and trust we’ll in their recovery and in no circumstances wish to see the railway fail. I would however like to see the losses to those affected by the mismanagement of LR engineering minimised and resolved as best as possible first.
     
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