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Severn Valley Railway to launch £4,000,000 share issue.

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by geekfindergeneral, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Robert Heath No.6

    Robert Heath No.6 Well-Known Member

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    Well, to be fair, I personally do continue to return to the SVR on a semi-regular basis - in fact I've already returned since the caped train issue - I just wonder how many people wouldn't, for the sake of some pretty small things. Loco overhauls, coach maintenance, PWay, etc are all vital, and very expensive, but there are small touches which cost nothing and may make the difference to make a few extra £16.50s from returning visitors (and those coming based on word of mouth) over the year. I'd be very interested to see the figures should anyone have an informed guess as to what percentage of passengers on the SVR (or other lines, for that matter) are first time visitors.
     
  2. D1039

    D1039 Part of the furniture

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    Just sticking to the financial questions:

    The shortfall following the repairs following the storm was £256k

    http://www.svr.co.uk/pdf/Share Offer/Severn Valley Brochure LOW RES.pdf shows the railway's balance sheet at 31/12/11 on page 16, and the published accounts show more detail. The bank and other loans referred to upthread were:

    Up to 1 year £312,790
    1-5 years £483,331
    5 years plus £164,764
    Total £960,885

    It paid interest of £19,000 on its borrowings, after which its profits were £70,000. Its income was £5.5m in the year and it had £250,000 cash in the bank.

    Its net worth (after taking account of loans) was £5.1 million. For reasons too boring to go into here, the Railway doesn't include around £5.6m in respect of Kidderminster station building improvements, Highley Engine House and Bridgnorth loco shed refurbishments for which it got grants. If you were to add that back in the railway's worth would exceed £10m

    This was all at December 2011 and before the share issue.

    Details of the Share Offer can be found at Severn Valley Railway - Shares Issue. "Sharing the Passion for the Severn Valley Railway - Your opportunity to be a part of a growing national treasure"

    Hope this helps

    Patrick
     
  3. Ruston906

    Ruston906 Member

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    I am assuing these are fixed term loans and the year are when repayment is due
     
  4. geekfindergeneral

    geekfindergeneral Member

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    The people who own the Company know all that, cos they got it through the post as usual. The trouble is, not one of those numbers is worth the pixels it comprises if the off-Balance Sheet liability for undelivered loco overhauls remains unresolved, with the associated possibility of it going to Court. 8233, Jinty, 75069, 7819, 80079 (and the liability transfers to any new owner if one completes but decides not to grant H a waiver), 7325, 46443, the Stanier Mogul, Lady A, 5764, 4566, 5164...

    12 machines. 12 Heavy overhauls owed to the owners. Most with a very robust case against the Company, should they elect to go in front of a bloke in a wig to settle it. Some of the machines are only little,some might not be in complete tatters, and a couple didn’t stagger to the end of their full ten-year certificates, so what shall we say? £4 million liability, give or take a cracked drag box or two?

    Some of the owners are attending a meeting with the Company on 18 January. Others are not attending. It is the ultimate game of walking on egg shells. The owners, being human and very out of pocket, will be looking askance at the £1 million share issue cash and the curious prospectus shopping list, not to mention the Directors stubbornly clinging, in public at least, to the idea of building Xanadu at Bridgnorth and spending money on consultants to help them fantasise about it. Some of their machines have been OOU for a very long time. Not one of them wishes the SVR ill, but it is a nerve wracking time...

    Pip Pip!

    GF-G
     
  5. D1039

    D1039 Part of the furniture

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    At 31.12.11:
    Loan 1 was £330k outstanding, payable in instalments of £4k per month until 2026 at base rate + 1.25%
    Loan 2 was £423k outstanding, payable in instalments of £9k per month until 2016 at base rate + 2.24%

    [Slightly simplified]. So not fixed, but will increase only as does the bank base rate.

    The balance (I make it £207k) consisted mainly of "Other loans falling due within one year" of £176k, the terms of which are not published.

    This was the position at December 2011. The 2012 accounts don't have to be published for many months but are usually available from end of May.

    Again, hope this helps

    Patrick
     
  6. oldmrheath

    oldmrheath Well-Known Member

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    While I take his point ,is GF-G perhaps being a tad unsporting including the in-traffic 5164 and 4566 in his list of undelivered overhaul liabilities, unless he is referring to those two as the ones which "didn't stagger to the end of their certificates?"
     
  7. geekfindergeneral

    geekfindergeneral Member

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    I would hope I am not being unsporting! I included them because they are both, to the best of my knowledge, covered by traditional agreements, and with the best will in the world we cannot turn back time - it is beyond peradventure that both machines will clank and bang their way onto the stopped/expired certificate list in the very forseeable future, unless the laws of physics can be amended, which is not usually deliverable. Someone somewhere did an excel spreadsheet with all the expiry dates on it, but I seem to have mislaid my copy...

    Best

    GF-G
     
  8. Andy2857

    Andy2857 Member

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    5164 expires late 2013, 4566 expires sometime in 2016.
     
  9. Lingus

    Lingus New Member

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    Back to the share issue.

    I'm curious about the amount expected of the share issue to be used to overhaul a GWR carriage rake. Are these carriages owned by the railway or owned by individuals or groups subject to agreements not too dissimilar to those that exist(ed) for locomotives?
     
  10. D1039

    D1039 Part of the furniture

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    The 9th edition stock book is not quite up-to-date (Edition 10's been "in course of preparation" for a while) but it shows around a third (12) each of the GWR passenger vehicles being owned by by SVR(H) PLC, GW(SVR)A - Restoring Great Western Railway Rolling Stock and others. Counter-intuitively, the Railway's own Charitable Trust [formerly the Rolling Stock Trust] owns only one GWR item of rolling stock - a sleeper.

    Unfortunately I don't know about owner agreements and am not well-versed in matters C&W.

    Patrick
     
  11. Lingus

    Lingus New Member

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    Which leads one to ask which GWR carriages are included on the share issue list?
     
  12. geekfindergeneral

    geekfindergeneral Member

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    Someone very closely engaged in the process of stopping the GW Kit/Diner says it is not too tragic and could be shopped, including making the kitchen, food prep and stores legally compliant, within a “reasonable” budget, but at the time a Mark 1 kitchen was on hand so repairs were deferred pending an improvement in cash flow, or the import-export question, or whatever.

    Out went the Swindon art deco, in came BREL’s best Mk 1 efforts. From 2013 The Limited no longer conveys non-dining proles, so there is an opportunity to double the number of covers within maximum train length. They will have to do that, because the Limited now has to justify an engine, set, path, crew and consumables all of its own. Stand by for A) an announcement about a tranche of FOs being added in very quickly, or B) news next year that on-train dining has fallen into complete financial disarray as well. At present capacity the food and wine sales margins combined will not pay the (post loco agreement contract renegotiation) daily rate for a loco and fuel.

    Perhaps someone official from SVR H will be along shortly to provide you with the painted numbers and work plan for the candidate vehicles. Oh no, wait, they have all been told not to respond to posts here until they find out who I am or I get banned... so you’ll have to hang on a bit or ask in the Other Place.

    Talking of the Other Place, there is a new and hugely entertaining development about the Bridgnorth MPD’s lovely new £500,000 bothy,for which some early enabling demolition was staged for a snapper from the Shropshire Star last year. Some weeks on emerges the full scale of what a chaotic blowback fiasco the publicity effort caused. It is worth reproducing for Nat Pres readers.

    The S & T are having a hissy fit, and toys are departing the pram... b
    efore taking sides or leaping to conclusions it should be remembered that the Valley S & T Dept., although staffed entirely by the unwashed,are held in the very highest professional regard by the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, and play an active part in that organisations affairs up to and including setting UK National Standards, which is about as Holy Grail as it gets. There is no higher endorsement of their work, track record and pedigree. They do not speak out often, or demand things either, so when they do, we ALL have a duty to listen. They have written as follows:

    “Now getting to the specifics of the shed at KR - this was promised by the company at least 2 years ago, because a) it was much needed and b) the space occupied by our smaller shed at BH was needed for the proposed redevelopments - moving the S&T out of the constrained BH site obviously helps this. The promised shed has been consistently delaying, but what really rubs salt in the wound is the fact that the BH S&T shed was demolished anyway, not only without the replacement being erected first, but prior to its demolition, the front door was barred from the inside and the backdoor lock was changed, so that we couldn't get in to access our remaining equipment anyway. Frankly, having had our existing facilities demolished in return for delivering all of the above on schedule and budget, does not do anything for morale. If there is a way to disenfranchise people who give up their spare time freely, this is a good way as any!”

    So, just to go over the main points, a building containing S & T spares was demolished for a PR stunt in support of a part of the wretched Project Xanadu. S & T infer they had insufficient notice to clear their stocks before finding the doors locked against them. And they may be right, because they certainly didn’t read about any £500,000 bothy in the share prospectus.

    GF-G begins to wonder if he has been beating the wrong drum in saying the SVR is in the hands of weak ineffective and incoherent management and direction. Perhaps the truth is that the railway isn’t actually being directed or managed AT ALL! It is unthinkable but would explain everything....

    Aye

    GF-G
     
  13. D1039

    D1039 Part of the furniture

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    I really don't know, but according to the last SVR Stock book the SVR (H) owned GWR vehicles [excluding sleepers] are:

    Hawksworth-designed 1950-built Corridor Brake Third 2148 2214 2218 2233 - the old guide has them out of passenger use
    Churchward 1910-built Corridor Third 2426 - unrestored at Hampton Loade used as accomodation
    Collett 1926-built Corridor Third 4786 - For many years a 'camp coach' at Kidder as a dorm
    Collett 1934-buit Corridor Brake Third 5804 - masquarading as an ambulance coach
    Collett 1932-built Diner third 9627 - restored for use
    Collett 1932-built Kitchen diner First 9615 - restored for use

    If it were to be some, any or all of those, it would be enough to start with! Two big caveats are I'm not well-versed in C&W matters and - as I've mentioned before - just a station maintenance volunteer at the other end of the line

    Hope it's of interest

    Patrick
     
  14. hassell_a

    hassell_a Member

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    GF-G,

    Congratulations on getting me to breaking my lengthy NP posting hiatus... Since you have chosen to selectively quote my own disatifaction from a post elsewhere regarding volunteer input in laying a shed base (here for those who are interested: SVR-Online Forum :: View topic - Upgrading of the SVR to NR mainline connection) to push your own agenda, I'll make a few observations:

    1. Thank you for acknowledging the high regard that we be held in (although Holy Grail is probably pushing it).
    2. We are not staffed 'entirely by the unwashed', as has been seen on this thread although you are obviously well informed in some quarters, maybe not in all of them eh?
    3. Back on page 37 of this thread, you said:

    While agreeing that shareholding investment shouldn't go near real (total) operating costs, when did 'old' SVR (or any other heritage railway) ever really 'get it'? Casting my mind back, from the mid 70s until maybe the late 80's, there was much infrastructure investment in rail, viaducts and the like, but locos & rolling stock were being restored by groups and handed over to the railway to be worn out under the running agreements - i.e. while the infrastructure was being spent on, the much discussed overhaul liability was being ignored. Moving on, post the early 90's recession and the Draper departure, the railway's finances were in a hole - the infrastructure holiday started and the loco overhaul liabilities continued to build up. Gradualy the railway turned the bank balance around, but there was precious little spend on the infrastructure until post 2007. Since the, the infrastructure has been invested in with the consequent hit on the finances. So, when was this golden age of the SVR, or is this a case of rose tinted specs? Sadly I don't think that the SVR (or many other heritage lines) has ever covered its true operating costs.

    This is a much wider issue, because this issue applies across the entire heritage railway movement (notwithstanding the Paington & Dartmouth who I'd regard as outside of this discussion).

    There, I'll probably be back off for another NP hiatus now...
     
  15. lostlogin

    lostlogin Member

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    I was staggered when I read this as it does put into a different light a railway's finances. Is this a one of in respectof the SVR or is it an across the board issue which might start affecting loco availability for lines in years to come>
     
  16. Ruston906

    Ruston906 Member

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    I would be interested how it compares to the KWVR railway as they started the same time are both near large population centre an have good tourist atractions on the line.
     
  17. geekfindergeneral

    geekfindergeneral Member

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    I might be being thick, but although I can see you are a bit ratty with me, I cannot see where, or about what, we actually disagree. Your toddle through the financial history is pretty closely observed and useful to the debate I think. I agree with it completely.

    Unless you are saying my claim that a consistent 250,000 paying pax being the right number for a 16 mile line is wrong, I am not sure where we can go with this ....but here goes. Old SVR was a safe pair of hands with capital and grant. Kidderminster Town, the Boiler Shop, the carriage shed, all valid capex items that were either operationally critical or would have a sensible payback.

    Then the nutters took over the asylum and built the Engine House visitor centre , embedding heaps of new operating costs with no – and I mean not one - additional passenger. The latest response, to build yet another bloody visitor centre two stations north of the existing White Elephant, is to pass through the looking glass. You may as well paint the rails yellow and go with Dorothy to ask the Wizard to fix everything.

    Agree too that the issues affect every heritage railway, but to be honest, the only one I give a damn about not going under is SVR. P & D is an interesting exception. I had a very frugal lunch with Barry Cogar once. A chilling but educational experience.

    Or, if you are sniffy about my selective posting to suit my agenda, sorry an' all but go back to the other place and see what 'tigger' has done with some of mine to suit her agenda. By comparison I am the very model of subtlety and discretion.


    Aye

    GF-G
     
  18. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member

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    Nicely summed up by someone who has been around the Valley at least as long, or longer than me: I don't really care, it's not a willy-waving contest. The position we are in now is as a result of history and the conclusion of many separate threads of that history. All the engines mentioned by GF_G, whoever he is, were restored over various periods by dedicated groups of people, at, usually, their own expense, coupled with public contributions.

    During this long period, all have been restored, and used, some more than once; during the same period, their restorers have aged, engineering capability and expertise has all but vanished from this country and costs have risen stratospherically. None of this is the fault of the Railway, or its management and none of it could have been prevented by anyone in the Heritage movement. During the same period, many railways have budded, grown, flowered and flourished, as the Valley has. Some were earlier, the Bluebell, the KWVR, some later, the Moors, the Mid-Hants, the GlosWarks down the road, the Llanny, the Wizzer, the Swanage; and that's just some of the bigger ones. I'm not forgetting the pioneers either, the Tal-y-Llyn and the mighty Ffestiniog, bless them, but we all have one thing in common; we've all struggled at one time or another.

    We have other things in common; we've all overcome various obstacles that have beset us at one time or another and we've all faced doomsayers and proved them wrong. We all rely on volunteers to survive, and we always will, large numbers of them. We will also need extra money, over and above what is received in fares, or other sales, to survive. It's the nature of the beast. The kit we use is inefficient, obsolete and costs loads of money to keep going.

    We just have to live with it.

    All the best,

    jtx
     
  19. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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    GF_G: I think you are being a little disingenuous about the Engine House: Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't much of the cost covered by the Heritage Lottery? An "education centre" for grant purposes, but otherwise a damn good out-of-ticket loco storage facility with a cafe!
    Given that (incredibly...) around half of the money raised directly from the share issue is going on this mess and stores facility at Bridgnorth it is clear that you will not see the structure built behind platform one any time soon, that will depend on grant money, which is difficult to obtain and takes much time and effort into applications. As far as the Lottery is concerned, it will depend on how much of an "educational" twist can be woven into an application for a shop and cafe.
    Maybe for the time being the best that will be seen at Bridgnorth will be improvements to the MPD/works, scrapping the footbridge/viewing gallery, and putting up an improved but more modest cafe facility.
    In the meantime life goes on, and soon the discussion about the size of the 2013 working steam fleet will commence!

    Nothing has yet leaked out about the working members meetings over last weekend, I wonder how well they went?

    46118
     
  20. gios

    gios Member

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    GF-G has made some valid points that we would all be well advised to consider. However I think he is a little lacking in suggestions and ideas on how the current Loco situation, his underlying theme, should or could be addressed. As a previous poster has said, we are where we are, times have changed in terms of costs and the availability of experienced engineers with the required background in undertaking such work. This is a situation that will continue to become ever more critical as time continues. There are still active volunteer groups on the SVR planning, financing and looking after their own Loco's. There is little value in blaming the present management for problems which have built up over many years, unless there is an offered solution. Having said that, I take on board the issue of the current managements constant need to hire in 'professional' advice, for even the most minor solutions.

    The engine house can be viewed from several points of view, and agreement over its contribution, in whatever form, to the SVR will continue to be the subject of debate.

    The question of Bridgnorth redevelopment is still not clear. I agree with the previous poster that a cafe/shop toilet solution is the only viable option on the table. The rest is day dreaming. Such a course would also save the SVR from the original proposals !

    There are many completing interests on the railway, all clearly wanting the best for their own group. S&T being one good example of such a group who feel let down by their treatment - and who can blame them. The crux of the problem, no surprise, is money. How and where to generate the extra income is still something that the SVR management has not made public - increasing passenger numbers appears to have been ruled out.

    Until such times as a realistic, well constructed, long term financial plan for the future is produced, it is difficult to see how the current situation will change.
     

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