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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Member

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    And attached is some suggestions I prepared earlier (2017). It only needs all working together using fund raising to achieve it !!!!
     

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  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    For administrative convenience around the railway, I'd suggest a court room, legal library and forty apartment residential accommodation block for lawyers :(

    Tom
     
  3. 60044

    60044 Member

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    You've forgotten the condemned cell , where unfortunates would be taken to have their worker's card removed.....!
     
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  4. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    ...not forgetting the obviously much-needed PW yard :)
     
  5. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    All would cost money, Money the railway does not have, unless it gets it's house in order, personally, I would love to see a better restaurant facility, that can generate income even when the railway is closed, preferably with an licenced bar, a two road coach restoration building, so the vintage coaches can be worked on in the dry and not open to the aliments, possibly with an enlarged museum/ public viewing area attached, if there is enough room, covered accommodation for the coaches,
    platform 3 can be extended very much as Andy has stated, with possible use by an Main line TOC service to Taunton, and beyond, possibly a Bristol to BL service to tap into the leisure offerings of Bristol, and the bucket and spade market who want to visit minehead, by changing trains at BL.
     
  6. 60044

    60044 Member

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    A good start would be to get all the bodies concerned to agree to a plan of action and priorities, and how/who to approach
    to fund them
     
  7. Mike S

    Mike S New Member

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    So easy...................!
     
  8. 60044

    60044 Member

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    It would be a nicer problem to have than all the bickering about whether this or that group wants to do this or that project and whether they are capable of it. While they do that the money flows elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020
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  9. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Resident of Nat Pres

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    The land was zoned for ‘development which assists the West Somerset Railway’ in the local plan.

    The developer and the PLC had failed for several years to put together a scheme which would satisfy the planners.

    My father practised as a Quantity Surveyor in Wells for many years, so I have some slight understanding of land, development, planning etc. A Railway officer (who has more recently cast me as the devil) asked me to take another look and we put together a fantastic small team who worked between the developers, planners, environment agency, public, railway supporters and local Councils to create a scheme all could buy into, which allowed the Railway to acquire the crucial piece of land for next to nothing. The then Board then patted me on the head and explained that my help was no longer needed and ‘they would take it from there’. I watched the ‘Southern Gateway’ nonsense with horror (including the plan to replace one wall of the goods shed with glass and take a slice through the station master’s house) and was more than a bit relieved when it all collapsed under the weight of its own implausibility and grandiosity.

    Positives are that the Railway owns this crucial piece of development land for the future and the station master’s house. (The opportunity to buy the house was part of the land deal.). Less positive is the fact that all it houses a decade later are a temporary workshop building with a limited life, some staff parking and a collection of portacabin offices.

    Ho Hum. Back to my coffin until I am needed again.

    Mmmm. Satin padding, nice...:Mask:

    Robin
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020
  10. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Facilities for bare knuckle boxing, a few padded cells, and loud speakers so everyone can get with the daily Two Minute Hate for whoever is the target of the week.

    Wasn't Halloween a few days ago? Is the WSR like the dog days of the Tsarist Empire and operating on a different calendar to everyone else?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020
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  11. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Well, I never had you down as the living dead :eek: how do you like your stakes lol I have heard it said from work colleges ( i work for the police) that the legal profession have all sold their souls , well the defence side anyway, when you visit your clients, do they complain of feeling a bit drained? and your opposite numbers say your a pain in the neck, when you sink your teeth into their case. :p
     
  12. Snifter

    Snifter Well-Known Member

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    Ahhhh yes, the multi storey car park that was to be adorned with signal posts and semaphores. Was someone not booted out of that role for monumental incompetence ? I wonder where they ended up ?
     
  13. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Resident of Nat Pres

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    You would have to ask my clients. If any remain alive...:Mask:

    Robin
     
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  14. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    There's a very tricky word in there: "agree". Not something the various parties on the WSR are noted for.
     
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  15. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Member

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    I agree with what Robin says, it was just an unfunded pipe dream which when worked out would need circa £20 Million all in one hit, plus although there were some good ideas in it operationally it just didn’t work and was not future proof. This project was pushed in the same way as today “we have it all under control, leave us alone we will make it happen, you don’t know what you are talking about and you need to go away or else, we are in charge”. (my paraphrase).

    So along with many other things, it was just another plan with lots of brave words but no detail, which falls apart as soon as you scratch the surface. Sound familiar ?

    I didn’t spot the irony until I re-read the last sentence of the original document from the PLC regarding the Southern Gateway Project and then the last sentence of my response document in post #34621, both gives the names of those involved in their respective writing:
    • The Southern Gateway Proposal that disappeared without trace was designed by Chris Austin and Steve Williams.
    • My response was the work of a number of concerned WSR Volunteers, two of these were Robin White and Jeff Price, two of the 10 today.
    It seems nothing changes on the WSR, some people keep the power and nothing seems to move forward and some people sit and say there is another, better way, and try to help and just get ignored.

    Will this go on until nothing is left, or will somebody somewhere break the cycle, because it doesn’t look like the people of the WSR can?

    The thing that really grinds my gears is all of that potential which the WSR has never getting realised, all the effort and the passion turned inside out. Even today I’ve seen some communications from the WSSRT & PLC aimed at stopping others have a say and the 10 being elected which are just as aggressive as anything they have written so far which has been made public, this isn’t going to stop.

    I really, really despair.
     
  16. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Well-Known Member

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    It has ever been thus from day 1 unfortunately!
     
  17. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Resident of Nat Pres

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    Mention of the Southern Gateway reminded me that the sketch below is still on the pin board over my desk.

    It was a shame to lose the opportunity because, properly planned and phased, there was the kernel of a good idea which worked on step by step as funds / fundraising would allow, could have, in time, transformed Bishops Lydeard into the terminus that the Railway needs, while respecting and protecting the heritage buildings on and around platform 1.

    These opportunities for transformative change come rarely and if wasted or muffed take a long time to come round again.

    Robin

    9F426538-7357-4ABF-B3E8-97F1D72767B3.jpeg
     
  18. MAPLE CHRIS

    MAPLE CHRIS Member

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    the wsr is never going to restore any of those GWR coaches they are too costly thats why other railways got rid of them 6705 was in good condition compared to the others if someone wins the euro millions they might get done
     
  19. 60044

    60044 Member

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    Certain people on the NYMR used to say the same about the teak coaches on the NYMR, but the LNERCA ignored them and persevered anyway - and at one point went from no restored coaches to an 8-coach train before three coaches moved away. Six more are partly restored and lined up to replace them in the train in the coming years. All it takes is some determination and cash and planning (e.g. if a component has to be manufactured from scratch for the first coach then its sensible to make the ones needed for future restorations at the same time; collect items such as Mk electrical components now whilst they're still around and don't wait till they are actually needed and may be scarce)
     
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  20. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Was anything done at Bishops Lydeard that prevents an improved version of the Southern Gateway from being developed at a later date?
     

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