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Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by WickhamofWare, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. Fish Plate

    Fish Plate Member

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    Could not agree with this more. IMHO, there are several far more deserving railway preservation causes in the North Wales; I hope that the way that this lot are carrying on does not rub off on the others.

    The total would appear to be £1,530. There are two sources for this information. The first is the original GoFundMe page, which can be found here:

    https://www.gofundme.com/class-414-2hap-4311

    This was reporting a total raised of £1,390. There then seems to have been some sort of internal split that resulted in the "Snowdonia Railway Preservation Society" being formed; this group has a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SnowdoniaRailway/) and, at one point, also had a Twitter account, although has since been closed (the URL, which I have taken from my browsing history, was https://twitter.com/SnowdoinaRail). However, whilst it was active, the Twitter account linked to a page on JustGiving:

    https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/save-4311

    This was reporting a total raised of £140. Combining the two figures gives £1,530.

    They have been asked several times on their various Facebook pages about what has happened to this money and the questions have gone unanswered, which I find worrying. Perhaps the money has been allocated to the harebrained idea to commission the feasibility study into reopening Trawsfynydd to Cwm Prysor...? In one post on Facebook, Colin Dale wrote that the money was available for the study. I can no longer find it as the post on which it appeared has been locked and it would appear that a number of comments have been removed, but given that they seemingly have virtually no other funds to speak of, it would seem to be the most likely explanation and they do have form (in a comment from Matt Henchcliffe, he concedes that the funds raised for the 08 were "converted" to the chipper fund).
     
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  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Personally, I’m very wary of any crowdfunding appeal by a group (as distinct from an appeal into a ring-fenced fund organised by a charity) since the protections of the funds being “reallocated” if the appeal fails to reach it’s target seem much weaker. If a charity raises money for a specific appeal which then doesn’t go ahead, there is an obligation to contact donors and offer them their money back, and it can only be reallocated to a different fund if the donor assents.

    Tom
     
  3. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    I think this is imploding.
     
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  4. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    I think a more productive time and for laughs here, is highlighting all the negativity.

    I hope for one, the railway is a success, as I hope anyone anywhere trying hard to make a difference, has success visible on the horizon.
     
  5. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    I would normally wish any scheme well . However until this group get properly organised and ideally a lot of distance between themselves and some key protagonists this scheme is not going anywhere .
     
  6. RA & FC

    RA & FC Member

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    It'll be very difficult to be a success as it stands at the moment. It seems a complete new management team is required, but will the ones who need to go, go without a fight? Also, with a lot of people who have put money into the crowd fund thing now asking for it back and looking into fraud investigations then it really is a no go scheme.

    I guess if you want it to be a success then you have to be one to step forward and make it so. A lot needs to be done behind scenes before a bow saw is picked up again.
     
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  7. Woodster21

    Woodster21 New Member

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    Companies House makes interesting reading
     
  8. sycamore

    sycamore New Member

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    in general or in this particular case? Perhaps a quote or a link on here?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  9. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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  10. ross

    ross Member

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    So there's only one director-Colin Dale and the secretary resigned last June. The only other person named, Mr Valaitis, resigned ion 16th September 16, the same day he was appointed as a director.

    Odd.
     
  11. 6024KEI

    6024KEI Member

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    Valaitis is probably just a company formation agent - sets them up at Companies House, packages up the relevant paperwork and then resigns same day - he's listed as having 15678 appointments as director - only about 570 of them current!
     
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  12. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    Is it not a little odd, considering how long the scheme has been going in one form or another, that the company was only registered 15 months ago?
     
  13. 6024KEI

    6024KEI Member

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    To be honest the whole thing is rather odd. Looks from what I can see to be a one man pipe dream, that has some how snared in a few interested volunteers to do the actual grunt work of clearing the line but with no clear objective. Same bloke was behind another scheme to launch a cafe and lake boat service - but that folded about 6 years ago and he went quiet (or home to Essex). Looks like 18 months ago he popped up again.

    Whilst I wouldn't class the project as a total basket case - it has some potential even if not an obvious winning concept - there are some alarm bells ringing from my professional angle such as funds being raised for one thing and then being diverted to others, a charitable support society that appears to solely fund a company owned just by one person (and apparently on winding up all funds from the society go to the company). Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole in its current form. To be fair from what I can see the current society Treasurer seems to be trying very hard to get things at the Society end back on a compliant footing but whether they can do anything with the company still hovering in the background looks doubtful.
     
  14. Fish Plate

    Fish Plate Member

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  15. sycamore

    sycamore New Member

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  16. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    One chap is unhappy at being quoted in the article ! A directors sole comment is this sound "Fishy"
     
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  17. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    The report? Or the whole scheme?
     
  18. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    I have to say, if you're going to post comments on a public Internet forum like the Facebook groups in question (or here for that matter) you can't really grumble when an interested journo reads it. This is why social media policies exist!

    That "fishy" comment from Mr Dale seems to have expanded a bit into claiming that all the questions like "why has the group been banned from working on the line" and "what was my donation for failed project X actually spent on?" are "not really normal" with implications that all the questioners and Network Rail have some sort of sinister ulterior motive; that the reasons Network Rail have for the license revocation either didn't happen or don't matter; and that the people asking questions aren't really who they say they are. None of it makes him sound fit to run any sort of business, unfortunately.
     
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  19. meeee

    meeee Member

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    I'm not sure what he thinks is "Fishy". Network Rail granted them permission to do some gardening on short sections of the branch subject to various restrictions. They subsequently broke those restrictions resulting in damage to Network Rail property. They also posted a video on Facebook of them losing control of a trolley and it crashing into a set of gates. It's not like a covert operation was required to dig up this info. Mr Dales reaction was then to bad mouth Network Rail in the press which i'm sure went down well.

    The upshot of all this sadly is that well meaning people have been conned out of time, money, and goodwill. Not to mention the damage done to the reputation of railway preservation in general.

    Tim
     
  20. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    there are now even suggestions that other railways are up to no good and are behind both the damage and the resulting ban

    upload_2018-1-4_16-41-59.png

    and then the Takeover Coup

    upload_2018-1-4_16-43-29.png
     
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