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S&D Railway Trust

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

  1. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    And pre-grouping liveries?

    Everything has its place, and the odd debate about liveries isn't a bad thing. It is a well tempered debate and makes a change from the usual intensive debates.

    There is an important point in your first point - that the old days of gentlemens' agreements have long passed and that a change of management means the carpet can be swept from under the feet of anyone at any point in time. However, I do think that the S&DRT-WSR affair has highlighted another problem, that contracts are essentially unenforcible because no one has the resources to actually enforce those breaking contracts to abide by them. So all groups are where they are and all potentially vulnerable (this wider point appears to have been lost).
     
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  2. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    I think that is an interesting point, and runs up against the point in the Ll*******n thread, and the point about the difference between preservation and big business. I suspect a lot of small business work on the principle that minor breaches will be ignored, as will comparatively large ones as enforcement is complex and expensive (and possibly as neither side has run on the basis that they may have to go to court). The banks on the other hand, are ready, willing an able to do so. The tricky area is if you have a bank on one side, and a smallco on the other end of your contractual chain.
     
  3. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    It amounts to ''get on with it and save up for the freehold .'' Probably at least twenty years later than desirable but can be helped along by converting scrap into money .
     
  4. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    Gentlemen’s agreement are fine when dealing with gentlemen. Unfortunately the SDRT have discovered they are not dealing with gentlemen.
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    No, I don’t think gentleman’s agreements are fine - or at least not sufficient - even when dealing with gentlemen.

    As far as I can see, the WSR has, or had, at least four major groups undertaking restoration work: the company’s own workshops; WSR Restorations; the DEPG and the SDRT. But the Safety Management System is a company thing, and it is a company director who is ultimately accountable. That means everything: who is competent to use machine tools, or grinding tools, or welding equipment? Who has inspected your ladders, or lifting equipment? When did they last do it? Are your paints and solvents properly stored? Get any of those wrong in any of the three subsidiary workshops, and it will - as far as I can see - be a WSR plc director who will be accountable for any potential breach of H&S law. So you need a water tight SMS, and part of that must surely include having robust, enforceable written agreements with any subsidiary group that is carrying out work within the overall railway site, or for subsequent use on the railway. A good working relationship undoubtedly makes reaching such an agreement simpler, but it isn’t a replacement for having an agreement in the first place. Otherwise, if the ORR or HSE poke their nose into some workshop and spot Johnny welding away in the corner without proper ventilation or respirator, it won’t be a defence for the accountable director to say “oh we just let them get on with it over there”.

    [Edit to add; I’m not making any insinuation about unsafe working practices in any of those groups: simply noting that in today’s regulatory environment, a laissez faire approach to safety management is no longer an option.]

    Tom
     
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  6. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    A heritage railway workshop is treated no different to any other premises, it has to have the same paper trials and documentation as any professional operation, that the people doing the work are volunteers, makes no difference. As regards Gentlemen's agreements, There was a time when a mans word was his bond,
    Not so much now, and any organisation, or body entering any agreement with another, is best advised to get signed, and witnessed contracts drawn up, that set out exactly the terms agreed by both parties. that way, no one can change agreements without the explicit agreement of the other party.
     
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  7. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    You need the gentleman's agreement to be backed up with a well written contract. The gentleman's agreement is what the arrangement is; the contract is what pins it down.

    That's not about trust, or even the situation that @Jamessquared outlines (though it's true for both). It's much simpler - if the gentleman's agreement is based on what gentleman A and gentleman B have discussed, what happens when they are no longer present? Even if their memories are perfect x years after the event, odds are that what they've told their colleagues about the agreement will have changed in the telling, and will miss some of the subtleties to boot. Capturing what's intended when it's fresh will help everyone understand what's going on.

    Out in the big bad corporate world, I've had an example of that today. In a discussion with a customer, I'm clear what I agreed with my counterpart 3 years ago. Unfortunately, he's left, the relevant section of the contract doesn't fully reflect what we discussed, and his replacement wasn't even around when we made the arrangement. It's nothing earth shattering, but adds grit to the discussion that it's on the edges of. Now, scale that up to something that's about the fundamentals of two organisations futures, and you have the potential for a truly intractable row.
     
  8. Downline

    Downline New Member

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    Completely agree, but unfortunately the whole SDRT disaster may mean that a clearly written agreement/contract, that may be only a handful of pages long, is not going to be sufficient and will now require such a large contract that goes into so much detail about the condition every nut and bolt is at the beginning of the agreement and what it should be presented like at the end of the contract, and be requiring a small lorry to move. Not something I like the idea of, but unfortunately a small group of individuals have potentially brought about this abrupt change in the heritage sector, which is quite sad.
     
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  9. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    Oh dear, has the Ll*******n joined the S********h as railways that cannot now be named?
     
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  10. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think you can get away with mentioning the railways concerned if you go all Ian Hislop on Have I Got News For You and just use the word ‘Allegedly’ after every sentence ;)
     
  11. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    As L.P.Hartley noted - the past is a foreign country they do things differently there.

    To move to a fictional example but which I think replicates many of the issues which stem from how heritage lines have developed and shows the confusion of structures.

    Let us take a fictional station with a fictional yard attached.

    In the yard you have:

    locomotives owned by the railway company
    locomotives owned by the railway societies (some of whom may not like one another)
    locomotives owned by individuals (who may also be members of the company or societies)
    locomotives owned by groups of individuals or societies, including the 5 friends who in 1964 got together and bought the line's best known loco, (2 of the 5 are dead now, 1 is very ill, the other 2 aren't speaking and the relatives of the 2 who are dead are in court fighting over what happens to the loco), there is another loco group whose membership has dropped to 3 men and a dog.
    locos that have been adopted by groups of volunteers ie the 'tiny but historic locomotive group who are slowly restoring the 0-4-0 that hauled the first train in preservation - they've been working on the loco since 1980 but they are almost there.

    repeat that for carriages and wagons

    Then you come to the station which has paid staff, volunteers, then there is the group that looks after the station, does the flowerbeds - their display of hanging baskets is well known (along with their love of climbing ladders and they didn't bother with this 'elf and safety' back in *insert famous CMEs day*)

    In a more light touch era, these groups could be left to get on with it. The problem is managing all these different groups who are used getting on and doing their welding in the corner, climbing ladders like they were 5.

    There is simultaneous overlap where people may have multiple roles in multiple groups, and then there maybe parallel groups who have been at the line since it was an overgrown siding and so on and so forth, but have been very narrowly focussed on their own issue (call them the tanker wagon group whose very impressive tanker collection has won heritage awards and their reconstruction of a fuel depot is top notch).

    There maybe a mix of formal agreements, informal agreements (in 1980 the GM welcomed our offer to look after the station and restore its famous hanging baskets) etc etc.

    So whoever is in charge of the SMS (and indeed managing the line in general) is going to need not just managerial skills but also excellent interpersonal skills in order to get all the different groups aligned and on the same page when it comes to H&S etc.

    The long and the short is that these issues can be found on most lines in some form. The better lines manage these better than those that don't. I don't think that there is a line in the land where a WSR-SDRT debacle couldn't occur. We place our faith in the skills of railway managers and sometimes they just aren't up to the job which is why we end up with things like Washford, Llangollen etc
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
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  12. BrightonBaltic

    BrightonBaltic Member

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    Ll*******n is easily decipherable, but S********h? Can we please stop talking in riddles?

    Incidentally, my vote for the T9's next repaint is S&D Prussian Blue with a Drummond pattern chimney and smokebox door...
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    S********h is the Littoral Gastropod Railway, which for reasons lost in the mists of time is not mentioned in polite society - or even on a WSR thread on NatPres.

    Tom
     
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  14. BrightonBaltic

    BrightonBaltic Member

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    I repeat my request for the avoidance of riddles. I have absolutely no idea what any of the above means. I did notice that the number of asterisks corresponded to a total letter count equalling that of Strathspey, but as the last letter is wrong, I dismissed that as a coincidence.
     
  15. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    You could try a mollusc in a sandy place:)
     
  16. BrightonBaltic

    BrightonBaltic Member

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    At the risk of sounding rude, what part of STOP TALKING IN RIDDLES did you not understand?!

    I am still none the wiser as to what any of the above means. Various heritage railways run close to beaches: none of them fit the description given above, nor have I found any matching S********h.
     
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  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Not an extant heritage line. A long-closed narrow gauge line, miles from the sea in any direction, for which some years ago there was a putative re-opening scheme much shrouded in mystery. For some reason the name is never mentioned, though you'd have to ask others why. Like actors never mentioning "the Scottish play" by name I guess - one of those things.

    Tom
     
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  18. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    I've never been aware of any plans to reopen the Snailbeach line - Seems an odd one to even consider....
     
  19. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    The riddles are because, way back, the project in question became very controversial, discussion became acrimonious to an extent that far exceeded even the WSR at its worst, and I have even heard suggestions of legal threats aimed at the forum.

    The place in question is a compound word, is of industrial heritage, and has no active railways or preservation schemes today.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  20. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Next we will be talking about Asbestos Alf R****** and his S**** B*********** guided busway :rolleyes::eek:
     

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