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S&D Railway Trust and Washford Eviction Notice

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Andy Norman, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    Latest 'Pines Express' through my letterbox today.

    "53808 steamed for 148 days in 2019.
    Very intensively used."

    AGM report - cost of overhauling the loco now estimated to be £300,000 to £500,000 and new tyres required.
     
  2. garth manor

    garth manor Member

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    Makes sense to move it to generate income then.
     
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  3. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    But what about the short fall, steaming fees for 2 years won't be enough to pay for the next overhaul, the WSR on the face of it, assuming the present Cabal are still in charge, or that there still is an WSR in 2 years time( very doubtful ) if nothing changes, won't have the money either, even though they have had 8 years free use of it.
     
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  4. gios

    gios Member

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    The fact that no provision has been made by the WSR management for the overhaul of a loco which they have been happy to use for eight years, says much about the organisation and its moral compass.

    I feel for the S&D trust for the deception that has been perpetrated on them on at least two counts. They deserve better for all their efforts.

    The long term damage such unacceptable behaviour will do to the WSR should not be underestimated.
     
  5. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    I thought the most recent statement about 53808 moving to the MHR mentioned it returning in a few years for its overhaul - has that plan now changed?

    Leaving the Washford issue to one side for the minute, surely the loco hire agreement is clear enough that the WSR is duty bound to overhaul or to pay others for the overhaul of the loco, so therefore a very clear legal case could be made?

    Keith
     
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  6. toplight

    toplight Member

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    I agree with what you say but surely is better for any loco owning group, to charge for use of the loco on a daily steaming fee basis, so there is a continual supply of money coming in which they can then save up in an account to pay for the overhaul when the time comes. It appears that they have let the WSR use the loco for free on the proviso that the WSR would overhaul it once it was worn out. Was there even a contract signed by both parties to state this would happen and detailing what exact overhaul work would be done. ?
     
  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Yes, of course there was, no one would be that stupid not to. But yes, even with a contract in place, you need a higher degree of trust between the two parties than you do for a daily steaming fee arrangement. Sadly that trust is now lacking, as the current chairman doesn't seem to understand the importance of sticking to contract obligations.
     
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  8. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    True as that may be, there is another side to it. If the PLC is as short of cash as it appears and claims to be, then either it breaches the contract or it becomes insolvent and the Trust has to queue up with the other creditors. Despite what some have surmised on here, the public announcement of the intention to breach the contract does suggest that the management is not planning to hand the company over to the receivers. However the view from outside remains as clear as mud.
     
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  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    True as that also may be (!) there are ways of going about announcing things to garner a degree of public support. The Plc board clearly failed at that. Worse, I have no particular feeling that they even think public support is important, on this matter or any.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
  10. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

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    The lending of a steam engine on the basis that it is returned fully overhauled is not a good idea. I have seen this play out 20 years ago, albeit in slightly different circumstances. The chairman of a line bought himself a large steam engine, still in ticket. As chairman and with his new toy he saw to it that it was used as often as possible. Eventually it developed firebox problems and he decided to move on to a new hobby (WW2 re-enactments). However, the line he had chaired was quite incapable of spending a fortune on his engine, so, somewhat disgruntled, he didn't press his case (he'd had his fun) but sold it to another line and moved on.

    It taught me what a huge liability the borrower of such a loco is building up over time. Not only does the borrower have no firm idea of the size of the liability (this only becomes clear when you take the engine apart again) but the lender is exposed to the long term risk that the borrower will not perform.

    Far better to pay a daily rate, then everyone knows where they are.
     
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  11. oddiesjack

    oddiesjack New Member

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    Damn! you edited before I got chance to joke about the loss of truss because of the lack of pubic support!
     
  12. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    Ay, there's the rub. The latest copy of "Steam Beano", according to post 29900 on the other thread, claims that the overhaul money had already been spent by the time the current chairman assumed his seat. Even if the £800,000 loss was as much of a figment of the accountants' imagination as the £300,000 profit, taking one from t'other gives you a £500,000 loss, which is surely where the overhaul money went. The previous management must have been ignoring the problem in the hope that it would go away. The new board had a chance to come clean on all this, but I suppose they thought it better to try and show what financial wizards they were before reality bit them in the bum.
     
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  13. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    What SR actually says is there is a provision of £118,537 in the latest accounts but this is down on the figure for overhaul provision of £441,000 that was set aside in the last accounts in 2017. However the £441,000 was for both 53808 & 44422.
     
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  14. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    If the Trust had hired 53808 to the WSR, instead of the highly favourable arrangement to the WSR that has existed, then it seems pretty obvious that 53808 would have left the WSR ages ago as the financial state could probably not have afforded the hire.
    The WSR has had a very favourable and financially rewarding time using the locomotive and I suggest that it was solely due to the enthusiasm of the Trust in maintaining their facilities and station at Washford that allowed the arrangement to go unchallenged.
     
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  15. toplight

    toplight Member

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    Cant remember the details but I seem to recall in the past that the 2.8.0 needed a lot of boiler work. The boilers on these S and D locos were life expired in BR days, so in the 1950s, rather than build new ones they were fitted with boilers from Midland compounds that were being scrapped, boilers that were presumably also well used. This is why the spacers were fitted on the smoke box saddles as the replacement boilers were a slightly smaller diameter.

    This then meant that by the time it was being restored again on the WSR the boiler needed a lot of work and I seem to recall that the WSR at least helped with the cost of contractors (LNWR ? ) doing this, perhaps this is what led to the use it for free then overhaul agreement ? Anyone able to confirm ?
     
  16. Barrie the Beer

    Barrie the Beer Part of the furniture

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    SR quotes JJP: "The plc reluctantly agreed to allow 53808 to go as we needed to respect the owners, and I placed myself in their shoes; the past pot of money for the overhaul provision was spent over two years ago, but we are now in difficult times and they have an opportunity to earn some money to protect the loco's interests."

    So, there you have it. A decision made to respect the owners. How pleasing.
     
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  17. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Apologies, somehow I’d missed that bit when I read it, it does indeed say that having re read it. Even so considering the money was for two engines it wasn’t enough to cover the projected overhaul costs even if they hadn’t spent it elsewhere.
     
  18. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Who actually wrote that article? Someone in Whitehall?
    Boot the Trust off the railway, tell them there is no money, we spent it, to overhaul the loco as per contract and call that respecting the owners! Not in my book it doesn't.
     
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  19. garth manor

    garth manor Member

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    The implication of the quote is that the WSR legally discharged its responsibility by allowing the loco to depart, a smart decision by the WSR leadership.
     
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  20. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    In what way, is it a smart decision?? clearly the WSR PLC has not been fit for purpose for some time. so, where was the funds spent, and was it done with the full written agreement of the S&D Trust. whilst it may be legally ok, morally it isn't, especially if the earmarked funds were used, and the trust were not informed at the time, one thing though it I would say, makes the return of 53808 to the WSR very unlikely
     
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