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Peak Rail General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by kestreleyes, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Member

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    You know I never even thought of one of them things. Yes you don’t half get a thunderclap when it gets A fly

    we usually bow heads and give last rites every time it gets one

    I didn’t see a single fly alive or dead so the birdies must have done a cracking tidy up job. Also no birdie poop so they’re adept at going in and out methinks on a regular basis
     
  2. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works New Member

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    Another week, another Director resigns. Mike Standerline this time. I'm racking my brain but it's no good, if only we had an idea of why so many Directors leave and what the underlying problem is...
     
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  3. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    The name sounds familiar. Involved with the Mid Hants a very long time ago, I think. Can't recall in what capacity.
    Pat
     
  4. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    A quick Google search shows he is 72 and been running restaurants in the Reading and Sheffield areas.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/passion-antiques-ale-and-fine-restaurants-472276?amp
    4 years ago!
    So maybe running down commitments to enjoy retirement?
    A common theme on threads seem to be getting the right directors for heratige railways, they are either old and out of touch, or young(ish) and inexperienced and also upset train enthusiasts?.
     
  5. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    There is maybe a new thread to be made about this. There are I think three issues - increased demands ie safety etc, that means that what would have worked in the early 1970s, won't cut it now. Younger volunteers tend to be time poor. If you are a volunteer, who wants to volunteer for a management position when most people are motivated to restore, work on the ground etc.

    I think as Gordon Rushton's book on his time as GM on the Ffestiniog shows introducing reform is very difficult and there is often a lot of resistance. However, often the solution to that is macho management which alienates people.

    While we often complain about the decline in workshop skills, I think there is also a decline (on some lines) in management skills.
     
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  6. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    We digress from Peak Rail, but is it necessarily a decline in management skills, or is there also a change in what people expect and tolerate from managers?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  7. DcB

    DcB New Member

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  8. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I genuinely don't know which is why I think it is worth discussing the topic more broadly?
     
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  9. crantock

    crantock Member

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    One other factor for Director turnover may simply be that under Covid they simply feel they can not fulfil their duties remotely, particularly if there is strong local management, or there is no longer a prospect of achieving their ambitions.

    The resignation was announced on 30 Apr at Companies House. I trust Mike is well but given the age of many directors, never mind Covid, please be cautious of commenting on departures unless we know the departee is still with us. (Was there a PR announcement?)


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  10. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works New Member

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    I think that you all make good points, they are genuine issues that most heritage organisations are having to grapple with. Covid19 has certainly added to the pressures. What’s striking to me is that it has exposed those railways (large and small) with a good supporter base and social media publicity machine, and those that don’t...

    PR’s woes are more fundamental and in my opinion linked directly to the length of time the certain individuals and family members have been running the show as their own personal fiefdom. Plenty of history and opinion on t’other thread, I know Kestreleyes prefers to keep this thread politics free!
     
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  11. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Well, I've reported my own post :) so hopefully it can be split off into a thread of its own because I think in post -Covid, and with increased ORR scrutiny this is going to become a more significant issue than it has been so far.
     
  12. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works New Member

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    It’s a good point, but PR doesn’t normally inform shareholders and supporters of anything except for occasional snippets in the PRA’s Peak Express magazine and the Plc AGM.
     
  13. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    The problems, detailed in another PR thread, seem to have a remarkable similarity to that of the WSR, only PR pre-dates the WSR.
     
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  14. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I don’t think PR, WSR, or TVR are unique but I do think that they are all at the extreme end of a broader problem. The demands on management are huge and getting bigger. Off the top of my head, I’d suggest three major headaches are:

    I) aging workforce - loss of skills, HR skills ever more important.
    Ii) financial - not just Covid, but also the potential post Brexit world, including external funding opportunities. Boards are dealing with million pound industries here. This is not, one man and his tank engine.
    Iii) regulatory- ORR, but H&S, insurance. Disability legislation etc etc

    These are big issues that are not the sort of thing you can deal with a couple of days a week or on evenings.

    @35B mentioned about changing volunteer expectations. I think this is true. I tend to think that people are less willing to put up with nonsense. No line in the post covid world can afford to burn through volunteers. I’d also say this, what might have flown 20 odd years ago wouldn’t fly today. What would have flown 50 years ago definitely won’t fly now.

    And this then takes us onto the thorny problem of managing downwards. How to manage those who lament that it wasn’t like this in 1973 and those who were born in 2003.
     
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  15. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Something I would add to my earlier post is that managing a line comes with an organisational headache. Again, the WSR is perhaps an outlier here where organisationally it is so dysfunctional, with so many egos and fiefdoms. But nonetheless almost all lines have complex structures that require careful managing. These affect everything from locos to key infrastructure down to the management of shops and cafes. Many of these structures are Byzantine in their complexity.

    Much of this I think stems from the rather ad hoc way in which railways were preserved in the early days.

    You may have the company, there maybe a society, there may then be societies who have a broad remit and run everything from locos, coaches, manage a station, societies who have a narrower remit. You may have single issue projects and groups and you have the people who come in on a Wednesday and run the shop. You may have locos owned by the company, the society, societies, groups and individuals. In some cases, some of these societies or individuals are ageing and there is no obvious plan for succession. Owner gets old, loco doesn’t get overhauled, owner dies family decides to sell recently overhauled loco. Some lines may find themselves dependent on one individual for their loco power and so that relationship needs to be managed carefully. Some projects will ebb and flow and sometimes stall. There will be cross over between groups and also hostility and tension between different groups. All of which senior management will have to manage.

    How you attempt to manage these structures and relationship is a challenge and one which the extreme outliers show how not to do it. How you reform these structures is difficult and clearly, some senior managers are handling the task very badly.

    To add, I can think at various points in time over the last 50 years when the Bluebell, SVR, FR and MHR could all have had threads that would have rivalled the WSR thread for a long drawn out punch up.
     
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  16. D6332found

    D6332found New Member

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    Yes, it would be a great hobby if it wasn't for the Trainspotters!
    I've been getting as many smallefr railways ticked off, because we have clearly reached "peak rail preservation." Sadly I havent 'done the WSR or Teifi Valley, but they are next on the list!A lot is unsustainable in the modern environment. When the govt stopped people retiring, and introduced much safety, it means part timers can't really volunteer anymore. Like I'm able learn a whole second industry on top of the day job?
     
  17. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant New Member

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    The same Sentinel that went into administration in the back half of 2018.
     
  18. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Member

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    DFDE4DB0-FB7F-4D6D-B6C0-BDBA60A7E5AB.jpeg Another week and another update from the easy chair, this week a little different

    Off site John is overhauling one of the hand drills for rail bonding so we can get back to finishing off the pway crossing replacement at riverside when we can get back on site again

    Andrew has made up a wooden frame to suit the midland style diagram for Rowsley box that our colleague at Embsay has kindly drawn up for us.

    The interpretation board will be made into two interpretation boards wen the wood for them is sorted and now my local hardware is fully open ive got the glass cut for Andrews diagram frame too.


    Also another home project to complete is the wooden Midland Arm to finish off the display signal under Rowsley box which also will be illuminated when the box is open for public display.

    So , hoping you are all ok out there now the slight changes to the lockdown have come into effect and another update soon Hopefully from other departments than my own

    Stay alert Enjoy if you can, stay well, most of all see you soon folks
    DFDE4DB0-FB7F-4D6D-B6C0-BDBA60A7E5AB.jpeg
     

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  19. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Member

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    Hoping you are all well out there, I nipped down yest to replace one of the crossing signs down Matlock way which was reported as being faded in the sunlight over time and do some signalling checks, it would happen to be the furthest one away too but the trail was a nice walk and very busy too. The new sign is fitted but still needs a bolt in its bottom hole about pencil width and length to complete, I must have had about three sets of folks while there ask me if we knew about bridge 37s damage from the floods so I took the opportunity to Give them some information, one chap being a structural engineer.


    I also nipped upto Rowsley where the shed staff are back in and tidied up the telephone store which Ray had donated a load of Plastic storage Containers to us for to tidy up and waterproof the spares that had moved out the old grounded van and these plus all the krone stuff is now properly stored away.

    The diagram Andrew made has also had its glass fitted and brass catches too and I dropped some more off with Andrew for the interpretation panels , when they’re done il get the glass cut for them also.

    Hopefully in the coming weeks things will start opening up again and volunteers can get back down, I noted that the weedkilling last week has started to take effect now that it has rained so should start keeping things down a little around the boxes.
    I’m in the process of arranging some recovery work but more on that another time.
     

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  20. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Member

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    It’s good to see key folks back down the line doing checks and lineside maintenance and while the suns still shining the weeds at church lane have been strimmed back and weedkilled , I spotted the old small hand trolley I made for peter fisher for taking weed killer up the line and that’s been pressed into useful service again, nice to see it put to good use.

    Signalling maintenance has started back up again between Rowsley and darley. With darley to riverside next , John has been working alone completing bonding at riverside and I’ve been working alone on the maintenance side. Andrew and rodney are still shielding but Andrew has kindly been making up display frames at his house from some wood I delivered last week.

    While maintaining luckily we spotted the token circuit was failed and thankfully traced it to a high resistant contact on the Rowsley machine which has now been swapped over so that’s good again

    Sunday is my next maintenance day with work at riverside and darley dale to complete next.

    Whilst socially distantly saying hello ‍♂️ to the shed Staff I noted they were busy with the prarie tanks tender welding and repainting. The wheels are ready to get attention next and all the journals are cleaned up and shiny.

    Thanks to Stuart for the lineside photo too.

    Apart from that in the cool morning air the hole out front Rowsley box has been dug and two concrete legs dropped in , the steelwork is on site now for the adjusters for it which will be sorted once Rod is out of shielding .
     

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