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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    I'm no lawyer, but unless someone knows differently, I've seen nothing to suggest legal responsibilities, for issues such as site safety, are altered one jot by lockdown arrangements and AFAIK, no-one from HMG has actually defined terms like "essential", with regard to Covid arrangements.

    Any matters landing in front of a judge will be the subject of legal arguments over the extent to which current (and forthcoming) restrictions represent mitigating circumstances, with the only odds-on "given" being that several "learned types" will doubtless do very nicely out of the inevitable litigations.

    In a relevant position of any responsibility for the safety and security of a site (or anything else, come to that), IMO the only sensible course of action seems to be to get written guideance from any insurer liable to stump up for any claim and keep the old axiom in mind "t'is easier to ask for forgiveness after the event, than to seek permission before".

    That's all just my own (distinctly un-learned) two penn'th tho'.
     
  2. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Given what we’ve heard about the need to make railways safe under Covid, I think the social distancing is less clear cut than you suggest.

    As for heritage railways, the challenge will surely be balancing their essential activities with the reality that many of the tasks will be performed by volunteers, working on what is a hobby. Those trade offs, however judged, will be messy as hell.


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  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I am not a lawyer (God knows, the thread has enough of those ...) but I think one of the things that is going to be uppermost on many minds is how realistic is the 4 week duration of the lockdown? If you could have real certainty in that, the Santa Season would be largely unaffected, at least from current plans / business case for numbers, so you could prepare the railway on that basis, including running training duties. (Though the travel restrictions for volunteers, as well as any reluctance to take part, might further restrict that activity).

    However, do you believe this will be four weeks? From the last lockdown, deaths continued to rise for about three weeks after the lockdown was imposed before beginning to fall, and this is less draconian and starting from a higher base, so that lag could last longer. It is at least feasible that the number of daily deaths will still be rising four weeks from now, at which point it would be well-nigh impossible to ease the lockdown at that point. That takes you into December, and even an additional two weeks of lockdown then pretty well scuppers the Santa season.

    If I were a betting man, I'd wager on the lockdown lasting well into December, possibly being lifted as a grand political gesture shortly before Christmas itself. If that analysis is right, it would be a brave railway manager who authorised the expenditure necessary now to prepare for a Santa season that may well not happen, particularly on the WSR where much of the general expense in preparedness (that has already been sunk on other railways) still has to be made.

    Tom
     
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  4. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Only a slight disagreement here Tom, but I suspect it will all happen as advertised, given any 'grand political gesture' from Boris ain't about to omit the politician's stock phrase "providing what help we can for small businesses" .... by which time, of course, "cutting it a bit fine for xmas shopping" would be a charitable description of HMG's concern for high street shops, the decline amongst which has been going on since the advent of broadband, irrespective of who's at the helm.
     
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  5. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I think that is spot on. I would not want to have anything riding on lockdown being eased after 4 weeks.

    If I were a railway manager I would be looking to the spring and what could be done then.

    • Could you rely on consumer confidence to splash the cash on a family trip out
    • Would people feel confident coming out in the cold/wet?
    • Would volunteers feel confident coming out in the cold/wet?
    • Given that uncertainty, could you manage things like stock, rosters, fuel, maintenance, rolling stock etc.
    I hate to say it but I think the horse has bolted on the possibility of trains running again in 2020.
     
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  6. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Wrong to like that post, but I won’t disagree.
     
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  7. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Given that at the moment we all seem to be waiting for "guidance from the Gov" - which, on past experience, will mean different things to different local authorities, police forces etc etc depending upon how it is 'interpreted' - my suspicion is that:-
    1. There might be an argument for the paid staff to continue to attend as clearly you can't drive a train from home (yet)
    2. For volunteers, then going out in the car to volunteer at a heritage railway will probably not be considered 'essential travel'. However, if you can walk to the takside then pulling up some weeds might be classed as 'exercise'
    But who knows?
     
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  8. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    certainly I would say, its going to be very hard for the Santa season, post chrismas might be possible as then it might be possible to run a few trains with social distancing as by then people will want a distraction from everything, assuming we are not all broke by then, it would be a lot easier to run winter warmers that Santa Specials, as you don't have all the extra overheads, to pay for, gotto's etc, and all the other bits, and of course if you say only prebooking, as there are only a few tips possible due to the shorter hours of daylight, you stand a better chance breaking even, or even making a profit.
     
  9. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I await publication of the draft regulations before I'll try and guess what is allowed, and what not allowed.
     
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  10. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    From a commercial viewpoint, absolutely. Just to clarify, my earlier post [34522] was referring only to the ability to keep stuff safe and secure during the present situation.
     
  11. 60044

    60044 Member

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    As many railways start their Santa Special programmes in late November, lockdown is bound to affect them even if it is not extended beyond Dec. 2nd - as I suspect it will be.
     
  12. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Understood. I write from the perspective of one who is unsure whether or not his windows can be finished on schedule, depending amongst other things on the letter of the rules.
     
  13. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Cheers. :)

    At the risk of teaching one's grandmother to suck eggs, perhaps a key factor with jobs like windows (replacement?), doors, roofs, underpinning etc. comes down to adequate weather proofing, building and personal security. It'd be ruddy difficult for a contractor to claim a half-completed job, which leaves a building in an insecure (as opposed to merely 'incomplete') state, is remotely acceptable. Even if, initially, such a job may reasonably be categorised 'cosmetic' (i.e. when one is merely seeking a contractor), it's quite quite otherwise, once work already commenced, when it comes to leaving things in an unacceptable state. In that position, if the contractor deems outstanding work 'unsafe or impossible to complete under lockdown', my next - and immediate- port of call would be my insurance company (from bitter experience, by email, as well as by phone), if for no other reason than not leaving myself liable to fall foul of one of those myriad small print exclusion clauses, so beloved of insurers.

    Whoops .... thread drift, although much is just as applicable to railway structures.
     
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  14. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Fortunately , it’s more “cosmetic” work that’s required than structural. Or do I mean unfortunately?


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  15. LC2

    LC2 Member

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    I suspect that in an attempt to avoid decimating the high street (Christmas shopping being the thing that keeps them going through the year), 2/12 will likely be kept to if at all possible.
    Bear in mind that Wales are keeping to their 17 day firebreak and have announced they are coming out of it irrespective of the situation in England or Scotland.
     
  16. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    You think it will be clear then?
     
  17. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    No - but I know it won't be before the legislation's written and published...
     
  18. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    Could some say what times the Manor moves to Minehead from BL and by Road or Rail so I can go out photo it please.

    Also the Road down to the station building at BL buy the Phone box, is it okay to bring a vintage truck down to photo it against the station buildings. thanks
     
  19. WSSRTcandidates

    WSSRTcandidates Member

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    Another quick reminder for WSSRT members

    This is a reminder that voting forms must be returned to WSSRT Acting Chairman Steve Williams no later than Saturday 7th November.

    Don’t forget that the voting form is double-sided.

    Make sure you vote on each motion to ensure your choice is counted, otherwise it will be left to the discretion of the Chairman.

    There is a section which asks whether you would like to appoint somebody other than the Chairman to act as your proxy.
    As far as we can tell, because of the virtual nature of the AGM, there is no point appointing anyone other than the Chairman as your proxy – this could mean your votes are not counted.

    There is also a section which says, “(Delete the following sentence if your proxy is to have the discretion on how to vote) I direct the proxy to vote for /against the resolutions to be proposed at such meeting, or to withhold his or her vote as indicated below.”
    This wording could be a bit confusing.
    If you do NOT want to give the Chairman freedom to ignore your voting choices, please DO NOT delete the sentence above, and then make sure you select your voting preferences against each resolution on the form.

    We recommend that you take a copy of your voting form, for future reference if necessary.

    We recommend that you send your completed form to both the e-mail address (by scanning it) and also to the postal address of Steve Williams as stated on the voting form, and if you feel so inclined, let us know how you voted by e-mailing it to wssrtcandidates@gmail.com.

    Although two more Trustee nominations have been made (Dan Lehmann and Allan Pyne), the WSSRT Trustees have refused to accept these nominations. Whilst this is a very clear breach of the WSSRT Articles of Association, it is very unlikely that this position is going to change, so please submit your voting forms as they are now, before the 7th November deadline.

    Don’t forget that in the AGM papers, members are invited to “submit pre-prepared questions in relation to the agenda and resolutions only”. Again, these questions should be submitted to Steve Williams, either by e-mail or to his postal address, and again, if you feel so inclined, let us know what questions you have posed by e-mailing us at wssrtcandidates@gmail.com.

    We remain receptive to questions via wssrtcandidates@gmail.com. You will be assured of a prompt response.
     
  20. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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