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Swanage Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Rumpole, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    That’s not how projects work. (And just imagine if it did: you buy all the bricks snd electrics snd steel and plasterboard you need as and when you can afford them: where do you put them? The only clear space is where the shed is due to go - but dump them there snd you can no longer do the groundworks. And meantime the steel is rusting, tje plasterboard crumbling and the electrics mysteriously go missing overnight …)

    You make your plans, do the best job of estimating costs you can, raise the money, appoint a prime contractor (who may have sub contractors) then manage the project as it delivers. Along the way some things may end up costing more than intended (perhaps ground conditions aren’t as good as you forsesaw); some come in cheaper (perhaps you acquire a job jot of some component second hand but good condition at an advantageous price). Your project manager meanwhile is balancing all that and monitoring the budget. You’d have a contingency in any case.

    Unfortunately, inflation is going to wreck a lot of heritage railway budgets; we’ve had a quarter century of generally low inflation and low interest rates, so people have forgotten a bit about it. 10 years ago, if you estimated £100k and it took you five years to raise it, the budget had probably only got to £110k in the meantime. Now the same five year wait might see the project hit £150k by time you complete your £100k of fundraising. Such is life …

    Tom
     
  2. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    Would have thought a fixed price contract would have been placed for Jan 2022, with perhaps extra storage costs added when it was delayed to this year?.
    From the last SR Magazine in the Spring the frustration with the delay was mentioned, but looks like they are committed to start in October. The magazine does not mention about any extra fundraising needed, so the contingency costs might cover it?
    No further updates since the spring, other than an unofficial photo (by Jamie Smith) on Facebook showing the track has recently been relaid in preparation.
    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php/?fbid=5294775087295958
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022
  3. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    That assumes that there were a contractor willing to enter such a contract. Which isn't all that likely as most have not been idle of late. It also assumes that the SR were in a position to enter such a contract in January. It wouldn't be a huge surprise to learn that cashflow precluded that. Forget everything else. Cash is king on a HR. I am not saying this is what happened, because I don't know, but deciding not to do an expensive project that isn't essential during the low traffic season might have been a sensible, even the only, correct choice.
     
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  4. ady

    ady Well-Known Member

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    Hardly, that's the best time to have done the carriage shed, which as already pointed out to the silly Canadian when he said why it could be done 'now', was the construction would have interfered with the operating line. Shut down periods are normally the best time to do big projects.

    The shed was fully funded back then thanks to the appeal last year.

    Obviously we haven't anything officially yet but now my eyes been opened to the possibly we won't see it next winter neither. Another example of Swanage's inability to finish anything.
     
  5. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    My comments were about finances not operational considerations, but if the money ain't there it doesn't matter how appropriate it is operationally you can't do the works.

    As a general comment, the environment for heritage railways is extremely difficult. These organisations are now relatively old, their structures are often poor, and they have been under resourced for decades. (Not all of that necessarily applies to the SR so don't take it as a direct criticism. ) Often the only way to deal with this is postponed projects.
     
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  6. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    This thread is a perfect representation of my mantra "either do the work yourself or shut up". JTFC.
     
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  7. ady

    ady Well-Known Member

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    I did put donations in to the carriage shed appeal last year thank you.
     
  8. ady

    ady Well-Known Member

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    I just said they had the money last year but they delayed it last year due to Omicron they said
     
  9. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    historically I have been a proponent of getting the Carriage shed done NOW as in whenever was the current time. I beleive that this year's(2022) postponement was not the first but have been arguing that it should be the last. Given the current economic climate is it not more important than ever to extend the life of our rolling stock? and also for the SRC to be seen to answer the claim made in your last sentence.
     
  10. ady

    ady Well-Known Member

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    We have already pointed they can't build it now because they can't run trains at the same time.
     
  11. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Would you rather they had gone ahead with the build and maybe gone bankrupt in the process?

    Fully funded at that time. As we've been saying, inflation, covid, war etc will all have seen the project cost increase.

    If you were a building contractor, would you have entered a fixed price contract for 6-12 months in the future, not knowing how much the materials and labour would be costing you because of the current chaos in the world? Thought not.
     
  12. oliversbest

    oliversbest Member

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    The plan always was to build the shed in the off season. Obviously not during the running season. however a couple of "off seasons" have passed, and as pointed out, the costs of materials etc are constantly rising,. So the next NOW has to be the next off season ot else it will indeed fall into that category of "unfinished projects " and I recall that this whole thread started later last yet when another delay to the Carriage Shed was announced
     
  13. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    Has anyone actually said that there's no chance of it being built next winter? I do not recall it, if they did. Perhaps we should wait till the time comes to start work. Maybe, if it doesn't and there's no reasonable reason (like a collapse in traffic due to whatever) that might be the time to get hot under the collar, but not before then, I suggest!
     
  14. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    When I was doing IT projects would tender and get fixed price contracts. Can see how things have changed.
    Hope the SR get a good contractor October so the shed can get completed.
    And later get a loco shed for 563 and other locos.

    I see one of the Bulleid carriages are at Margate One:One under secure cover, does not say how much they are charging?.
     
  15. ady

    ady Well-Known Member

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    Off course I dont want them bankrupt, but last year it was fully funded thanks thanks the appeal which me and 100's of others donated to. But they delayed and now it isn't enough money potentially and its like 'why did we bother putting money if it won't achievedwhat the railway said it would?'

    You forgot this shed has been an ongoing thing for at least a decade. And like the water tower, the turntable, 31874's overhaul, going to Wareham; all seems to stuck in some sort development hell (way before March 2020) which the management seemed unable/unwilling/clueless to find a way progress them. Meanwhile other railways before March 2020 like the SVR as an example have made headway with them. And even with the current challenges the Bluebell for example is progressing it's Hosted Keynes refurbishment because they came up with a plan.

    The one project which finally looked like it was there last year looks like now it's back where it started
     
  16. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    Prices have been going up significantly over the last year, and reports of contractors and subcontractors going bust almost a weekly occurance. Last December prices for any thing steel from suppliers were only being fixed for between 7 and 14 days . Contractora are being very carefully what they are prepared to enter into. I have never known anything like it, and have worked in the construction industry since the late 80's.
     
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  17. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    We got our patio done last year, and even then the builder was saying the quote was valid for 14 days as prices were rising that quickly. He could take the hit if it was an extra few quid or so for a pallet of slabs, but when prices were going up 10% in a month at times there's no way he could honour it. I would imagine it's even worse now.
     
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  18. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    And doing a fixed price contract works well when the costs remain predictable and both sides can manage risk effectively. I also do them in IT, and balancing risk is often a lot tougher than people realise - especially for software development projects.

    That fixed price contract’s worth nothing if the builder goes bust, or if materials prices rise so much that he comes back and says he needs more cash or he won’t be able to deliver.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  19. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    Yup, nailing down contractors is damn near impossible from anecdotal evidence. I'd hope a decent sized contract like a carriage shed would inspire more communication and willingness than someone trying to get their living room painted. The company I'm in involved in just had a bunch of work done by a contractor who sadly folded with 6 figures of work still to be done around the place. It's immensely tough out there so even the extra amount needs to found somewhere. Turning it into a whinge fest from our Man(itoba) in a field and other parties doesn't help.
     
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  20. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody Member

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    The facebook link apparently no longer works, so I have included three photos that I took on the 7th July 2022 The first is taken from the Herston Halt end and shows how little space there is. The second and third which I took from the first carriage, shows that the siding next to the running line would only accommodate five coaches and the siding nearest the field three or four coaches.
    I do not want to be quoted on this, but I would imagine that there will only be room to accommodate the bulleid, maunsell Pullman observation car and the dining set? I don't see the two mainline Mk 1 sets going under cover.
    Again please don't quote me again because this is purely my own observation.
    As you can see, the only time that the erection of the steel supports can take place is when there is no service running which is in January time when the running line is under engineers possession!
     

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