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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    If the resignation this spring has left a gap in who is qualified to fulfil one or more of these roles in the SMS, then I am all the more concerned that the "excellent team" described a few days ago by @FrankC is neither "excellent" nor a "team", and especially that it was so lacking in succession planning as to be unable to recover from a resignation.
     
  2. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    From my experience with working with a historic network and the road/rail network, the normal rule of thumb is that whatever was there first is not liable for cost/management of crossings (bridges etc), simply you want to cross my infrastructure you pay for it and maintain the crossing at your own expense, so in this case unless the road was built and crossed the railway after the railway was built the railway operator is liable for maintaining the crossing point.

    So for instance on the canals I worked upon, NR tended in the main to be responsible for rail crossings as generally the canal was there before the railway, likewise with roads unless the road crossing were 'modern' (post late 18th/early 19th C) the canal co (successors) were liable.

    Obviously that may not be the case if the liability is vested in some manner specifically within the lease between WSR and SCC for the track bed.
     
  3. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Likewise, bluntly, why spend £100'sk on track repairs if you cannot get it signed off when you have done it, albeit is it something that can be consulted out?
     
  4. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Is imagine that the money had all been spent before the situation of not being able to sign it off arose.
     
  5. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    As a point of information:

    Seaward Way was a new road built in 1990 in a deal between Butlins and Somerset County Council. Butlins provided the land, some funding and were given development rights over the old Minehead ‘Lido’ site.

    As part of that all cost of the original crossing, its maintenance and of the new crossing about to be installed, are for SCC to bear.

    Robin
     
  6. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Somerset CC is responsible and has plans for the work to be done. However, a suggestion has been made that the WSR has a problem with this taking place.
     
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  7. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    If it is just a matter of certification of the standard of work then surely it would be possible to pay somebody with suitable qualifications from another railway to visit for the few days needed to carry out the required inspection ? Or is the problem much deeper than this ?
     
  8. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

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    It would be taking away their excuse for not reopening. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson Well-Known Member

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    There is a self employed freelance railway infrastructure engineer living in Taunton who is suitably qualified. His name is Andrew Young.

    Sent from my SM-T590 using Tapatalk
     
  10. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Clearly, there is a world of difference between running a bus company, and being the chairman responsible for a railway, You have to ask, what skill set attracted the board to offering JJP a directorship in the first place, I'm not doubting he has contacts, and some knowledge, but I would think being responsible for turning round a failing heritage line, i can't think of many people with experience in that field, generally in business the remedy is to re structure, cut costs, cut out any non profitable business, and reduce your manpower to a level where your stemming the losses, and returning to profit, so you can rebuild, none of that is possible with the WSR.
     
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  11. bristolian

    bristolian New Member

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    The running of 'his' Crosville Motor Services wasn't entirely without incident...
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  12. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure about that - at least exactly as you have put it (although I think you're on the right track, as the saying goes).

    My perception is that fundamentally the real problem they all haven't really, fully and truly taken on board the strong possibility that the line could fail disastrously, unless they all start pulling in the same direction (although at this point, even that is no guarantee of success).
    {Doubling up on my replies, to limit the number of my posts people have to wade through.}

    I must confess I had the exact same thought, but I decided it would not be at all helpful to say it.

    Noel
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think I'd disagree again, both sides are convinced that, if the other side is left in charge, the line will fail disastrously.
     
  14. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think that unfair, and judging with significant hindsight. Working in business myself, I'm very aware that success requires both cost control (which you describe) AND attracting customers - if you can't sell your product, you can have all the cost control you like, but you will end up spending money that you won't own.

    More generally, why are we surprised that a volunteer who also runs a successful local business is asked to take a leadership role within the railway?

    The issue is not particularly the appointment of the present chair, but the performance of the WSR over the last two years, and we should focus on the excellent post #31549 by @ghost, with it's list of the series of events over the past couple of years, which I repeat here:
    • the eviction of the SDRT
    • the removal of HR policies and procedures
    • the debacle over the sale of 4110
    • the removal of ID cards from volunteers who disagree with management
    • the 'cuckoo in the nest' statement
    • the untrue 'complaints' told about Washford and the untrue ORR investigation
    • the lack of running
    • the interference from the plc in the affairs of the WSSRT
    • the statement about not paying for the overhaul of 53808
    • evicting 6695
    • evicting 44422
    • starting to evict the 169 group (and then changing your mind)
    • the censorship of the Facebook 'friends of' page
    • the legal action against the local Headmistress
    • the mess over the Hinkley point grant
    • the shouting and swearing at the WSRA chairman
    • the mess over the sale of WSRA restorations & shop
    I judge by results.
     
  15. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Still catching up with the 'Treacle' that is this thread

    Had the Board of the plc not taken the action they did it would have been put into Liquidation. At what point does that not constitute Saving the WSR?

    and if it were not at that point why would JJP Instruct his fellow Directors to take legal advice on their potential liabilities in the event of that possibility. Anyone who attended the first Shareholder Meeting will be able to verify this fact

    But as we all know Saving it is one thing taking it forward having saved it is a completely different question!
     
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  16. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    If this was a "successful local business", but just not a heritage railway, I wonder how many of these would be a problem. None of them impact on the customer base, if you restrict that "customer base" to people who only care about the business's product and how good that is. The lack of HR policies and procedures may incur official wrath at some point, but otherwise, for a private business that has no volunteers, does not care about public image and can finance itself entirely from sales, none of the above appear to threaten the business in any way.
     
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  17. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Maybe, but as far back as 2009, it appears, when plans were made for new homes and other buildings and its nearby revised road layouts, the PLC and GM, at the time, had concerns as did the HRA about the effects on station locomotive movements - rather then through trains.
     
  18. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think the "lack of running" would also still be a problem... :rolleyes:

    And also potentially the Hinkley funding and interfering with a nominally independent charity.
     
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  19. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    But as this is a business that does rely on it's good name, and the willingness of people to support it.
     
  20. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    It is instructive to have those actions by the PLC (or its Board or its Chairman) set out together in a single list, even though we knew about them already.

    Any one of them alone would be cause for some concern about the present Board's fitness to oversee the railway's operations. Together they are damning.

    Oh yes? Which of the above listed actions are you claiming to have been necessary to avoid liquidation?
     
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