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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    What it does bring to the party is the realisation that the three signatories appear worried about the the WSSRT getting a bunch of new trustees who might affect the official views of the WSSRT and even the WSRA towards the Plc.

    Would the charity chairmen be worried if they believed that their existing views were actually shared by the charity memberships?
     
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  2. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    The "vision" talks about grants.

    We are in strange times. As per the previous post affecting heratige railways the Pandemic and also Global warming green awareness will change things.
    The current Goverment see the longterm solution as investing in infrastructure projects quickly.

    Also many people will leave cities to home work in towns like Minehead, they will probably still need to ocassionally visit Cities by rail rather than car.

    What do the 10 think of the proposal to upgrade the line to allow GWR to link Minehead with Taunton and other cities?.
    https://www.mineheadraillinkgroup.org.uk/
    The Government says it will borrow to provide funds for rejuvenation and bring jobs to seaside towns like Minehead.

    The line may not get a full £11.8m grant, but may get enough to update track and signalling with GWR run refurbuished hybrid trains. Passengers will still be able to ride steam trains on the line, and steam charters may increase?.
    This will help paid jobs for local young people, but change WSR, WSSRT and WSRA in a major way?
     
  3. WSSRTcandidates

    WSSRTcandidates Member

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    With thanks to the West Somerset Free Press for publishing our side of the story (see attached).

    It is illogical to suggest that the problem of too many charities is the creation of another one.

    We don't want this war of words to continue. No more excuses, no more prevaricating, no more fudging, no more harassment - let's have an AGM and settle the matter democratically.

    "The Ten"
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    That's been done to death many times before. The short answer is that by time you spend the many millions (far, far more than £11.8m) to bring the line's infrastructure up to a standard that can support 50 or 60 mph line speed to give a vaguely realistic journey time, you end up with a railway that can no longer share with 25mph steam trains; at which point you find all the prospective passengers get free bus travel and don't want to travel by train anyway. It's a dead duck.

    Tom
     
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  5. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    If JJP were to stand down today , A new chairman would be appointed ergo he is not the only show in town
     
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  6. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Do you know of a suitable candidate then?
     
  7. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    To be fair, Hillaire Belloc's "Jim" comes to mind - "And always keep ahold of nurse for fear of finding something worse" (and, yes, given my views on the current management of the WSR plc, these are words that might also be applied to events in 2018). That someone may be appointed does not mean that there is someone better ready, willing and available; or that if someone is ready, willing and available, they would be better.
     
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  8. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    Possibly because it was clearly endorsed ‘Confidential and Restricted’.
     
  9. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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  10. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    at this point the who is merely conjecture and a pointless debate . There is however always a chair so if one stands down , a new one is appointed .

    we also keep coming back to the same point had JJP not been willing or not appointed , someone else would. Someone else may have had to make the same decisions , another person may have executed them very differently , 1000 pages of thread may have never needed to happen
     
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  11. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    I will offer all of you a comment on 4110 as I notice it has been dragged up again in this thread.
    Let me preface my remarks by saying that I was there in all of the key meetings, so I am not offering a second hand view. Aberdare was also there and I welcome his thoughts.

    The WSR plc position was clear from day one. "We'd like a group on the railway to be able to buy the locomotive and keep it on the WSR. We urgently need to get at least £100,000 to keep the railway alfloat. We will have to sell the locomotive by a given future date." The WSR plc never really wavered in that view from the first day to the last. They had no choice but to accept the highest bid given the circumstances. (Googling directors liability and going concern will provide an answer as to why that would be the case. We all love the WSR but how many of us would literally bet our personal future on it?)

    Then rather than co-operative working to achive the stated goal we had the opposite. I make no comment as to the rights and wrongs of the approach.

    The WSRA offered to form a restricted fund to recieve donations to enable the purchase.
    Simultaniously a small group formed a Ltd company and sought pledges of money to enable that small group to buy the locomotive.
    The WSRA at first stood back and then, for those who saw the flaw in the plan and asked for a different way to contribute money, opened a fund to allow donations. That restricted fund attracted £15,000 as has been mentioned. WSRA offered all of the donated funds to support the purchase in return for a pro-rata shareholding in the locomotive (It would have been about an 8% shareholding if the deal had been done.)
    The Ltd company struggled to get banking facilities to be able to reciveve the pledged funds. (I will leave it to others to explain why that might have been the case.)
    The day of the deadline arrived. The Ltd company had no money in the bank, indeed I seem to recall they did not have banking facilities in place, (Pledges are not money). The meeting was held. The WSRA and the Ltd company reps both had to tell the WSR plc to sell the loco off of the railway as they could not complete the purchase. The WSR plc actually offered a further 24 -48 hours.
    A joint statement was issued making it clear from all three parties that it was with sadness that the loco had not been saved for the line and was to be sold off of the railway. The statement is a matter of published record.
    As required, the WSRA then had to ask all donors if they wanted their money back or if they would put it to a different cause in support of the railway.

    Consequently we failed to secure the loco for the WSR. You can do all the woulda' coulda' shoulda' you like with the benefit of hindsight or a partisan view of events. The fact is the loco has gone and I think the reason is fairly simple to see.
     
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  12. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Thank you for clarifying the chain of events.
     
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  13. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Thank you for showing that, as so often in life, Hanlon's Razor applies, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity". However, as far as I can recall, the lack of competence was extended to how this matter was presented to the enthusiast public. Had it been presented like @aldfort has presented it, I doubt there would have much disagreement, but it wasn't, not even by the principal actors in the affair. Stil, I apologise for my insinuations of bad faith in an earlier post, just goes to show you should take everything on here with a large pinch of salt.
     
  14. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Pleasing to read the true account about the sale of 4110 by Aldfort.
    John Bailey must have a very thick skin, many, in his position would have given NP a wide berth.
    However he has, as he suggests had contact with many on the WSR, besides the leading lights. That must have had some effect on his viewpoints and we here are not party to them. He is on a hiding to nothing here on NP it seems. :)
     
  15. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Come on Mike that’s a highly sanitised view of what happened, as a member of the 4110 group and the person who tried to bring the WSRA Chairman and the 4110 group together to meet to discuss that situation you have missed out loads of things. Such as the constant shifting goal posts which every time the 4110 group jumped over were moved again, including the final PLC position due to a ‘new decision’ which was that a private owning group would not be allowed to buy 4110 or keep it on the WSR because all locos on the WSR had to be owned by the PLC or the WSRA controlled by the PLC, the WSRA were not trusted by some of the donators and suddenly the loco was sold before the situation could be resolved. I also don’t buy into the ‘we have to have the money today or we go bust tomorrow' thing either knowing the detailed accounts situation as I do.

    Lastly the legislation says ‘best value’ not ‘highest price’. Which would have been best value for the WSR: a: the money and the loco to use, or b: the money and no loco to use?

    In my opinion this is just another case of the PLC wanting to control everything whilst getting others to foot the bill and not ask questions, there is a theme running through the last 18 months, the 4110 situation was just the first.
     
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  16. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Do you mean that the WSR Plc sought about for new directors and he was the only one they could find who was prepared to take the job, was it the case that the Board decided that he was the man and then approached him, or did he see that the WSR was in trouble, feel that he could help and approached the board?
     
  17. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    Ignoring the bus pass issue. In these strange times assuming the Government gave say a £4m grant to upgrade the line to help: reduce car usage, rejuvenation and bring jobs to Minehead. Through GWR trains mixed in a timetable with steam trains doing 40mph might well be possible?.
     
  18. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Can't be done, the signalling and infrastructure to run at 40 mph, would need massive amounts of money, and every loco and coach would have to be registered on tops, as above 25 mph, you have to comply with the main line requirements,
    The line needs the PW upgrading, just to run at 25 mph, and the company has no money , all this future talk does is to put off the day when the line fails, the only game in town now, is, to support the 9 , join the WSSRT and support the reformers , then change can be made, it has to be this way because the chairmen of the various charities are only looking towards their own futures, as is the PLC, and only a total clear out, and fresh faces and ideas will save the railway.
     
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  19. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Perhaps - but could the WSR sustain the costs of running on that basis, including additional maintenance and the loss of the derogations that heritage railways operating under "light railway" rules? The external capital investment might be great, but could the railway sustain the long term increase in operating costs.
     
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  20. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    its a non starter, for the reasons I gave, plus, where is the money coming from and I would imagine, that a prospective investor would have concerns about the trustworthiness of the PLC, when you look at their recent behaviour , chickens coming home to roost.
     

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