If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,887
    Likes Received:
    5,834
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Just out of interest, has anything been said about the ORR's visit to the line and the state of play with the railway?
     
  2. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,721
    Likes Received:
    4,916
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West Country
  3. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,887
    Likes Received:
    5,834
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    What was said?
     
  4. FrankC

    FrankC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    426
    Likes Received:
    2,028
    This was in The Platform November Edition:

    Two inspectors from the Office of Rail and Road (the ORR) visited the railway for a detailed inspection on 20th and 21st October. This visit was part of a regular programme of inspections of all railways, including heritage railways. In this case the inspectors had to satisfy themselves that the railway was safe to operate from November, and they agreed that it was. The ORR is the formal government regulatory body for railways, and has statutory powers to require railways to make changes or, in extreme circumstances, to close. Prior to the visit a wide range of paperwork is required and a number of questions are asked. During the visit Directors and senior staff are interviewed and questioned. Preliminary verbal responses are given at the end of the visit and then shortly after the visit a letter is sent to the railway which confirms the various changes required.

    I seem to recall that there has already been a discussion here, a few weeks ago, prompted by those that want more detail. Those that work on the railway have already received further information.
     
  5. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,274
    Likes Received:
    1,760
    The visit was reported in The Platform newsletter which can be read on the News page of the WSR website.
     
  6. Steamage

    Steamage Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    4,621
    Likes Received:
    983
    Location:
    Oxford
    Yes and no. By my calculations, Bournemouth West is only about 45 miles from Alresford against 90 miles from Washford. On the other hand, Bath Green Park is about 62 miles from Washford but 75 miles from Alresford. And of course, the nearest bit of the S&D to Washford was Bridgwater, just 20 miles away. I suspect a more relevant calculation is the distances to the 2 sites from key S&DRT members' houses ;-)
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
  7. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,887
    Likes Received:
    5,834
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Yes I knew that. I was interested in if there has been any follow up and what it said - since I am a potential donor I'd like to know where things lie with a line that I am giving my hard earned money to.
     
    The Dainton Banker likes this.
  8. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,332
    Likes Received:
    3,485
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Did the report not call for any activities to be completed to their satisfaction prior to the resumption of operations ?
     
  9. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,370
    Likes Received:
    2,321
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Atlantic
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I gather that a letter from the ORR went to "all employees and staff of the WSR PLC" last week. Is it common for the ORR to communicate directly with the mass of individuals, and not privately with the managers?

    Noel
     
  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,585
    Likes Received:
    15,282
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    From one that I have seen, although it was addressed like that it was for the railway to distribute as they saw fit, and they decided not to email it out to everyone, just to HODs and other key people, although it was later pinned to at least one department notice board. I wouldn't focus on that specific bit. @Snifter 's question is much more interesting.
     
    Forestpines, Andy Norman and jnc like this.
  11. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,887
    Likes Received:
    5,834
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Oh? Are there things that need to be resolved before trains can run?
     
  12. FrankC

    FrankC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    426
    Likes Received:
    2,028
    It doesn't really work like that. The report required various actions and subject to those various actions being undertaken (including for example aspects of training) they approved the railway reopening. There is, in essence, an open dialogue with the officers of the ORR and they will probably revisit in March or so. Clearly the railway have a legal responsibility to fulfil our obligations, which we will.

    We are pleased that @Monkey Magic is considering donating to the railway, and - as I have offered before - if he wants specific questions answered, please send me a PM and if I can't answer the questions I can pass his query in the right direction.
     
  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,585
    Likes Received:
    15,282
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    So it does work like that?...

    Unless you consider @Monkey Magic 's demand for information particularly unreasonable, there is no reason that all the information required to put donors at ease should not be in the public domain.
     
    The Dainton Banker and baldbof like this.
  14. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,887
    Likes Received:
    5,834
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Surely to appeal to the broadest number of potential supporters why not communicate out in the open? As you say, there is an open dialogue with the ORR, why not an open dialogue with potential supporters of the WSR?

    So to pick up on your post:

    What actions are required to be undertaken before the railway will be approved to re-opened?
    Will those actions be completed in time for the Xmas service and/or the re-opening of the full length of the line in the spring?
     
  15. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,438
    Likes Received:
    3,472
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Out there somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    To save searching for it. In referring to the ORR visit there are lots of suggestions from the Plc base that this is just a routine visit, nothing to worry about bla bla bla... But... In the next paragraph (The CHRF imitative) :-

    Quote from Steve Williams CHRF Programme Board Chairman:-
    "The focus will be on the things we need to do have a fully operational railway in place by that date. This includes the actions that the company needs to deliver following the visit of the ORR. The timing of the grant therefore could not be better in terms of enabling the Board to integrate the two activities."

    So I'd say that was fairly clear. Steve Williams says work needs to be done. (I wonder if he should have mentioned that?)

    Now, whether that is additional work required as a result of this last inspection (let's get the wording correct shall we?) or whether there is still significant work outstanding from their previous inspection that has not been done yet is another question. Anyone from the Plc supporters club care to give us an answer?
     
  16. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    15,870
    Likes Received:
    12,834
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Meanwhile, my understanding is that one of the areas requiring attention is the Seaward Way crossing, which is unusable for anything other than exceptional movements, and where the WSR's proposed design needs to be justified to ORR before it can even go to consultation for a new level crossing order.

    I rather wonder whether the closure this year was caused by Covid, or actually the inability to safely run services to Minehead.
     
    johnofwessex likes this.
  17. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,585
    Likes Received:
    15,282
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I don't think there is any doubt that, had Covid not come along, the WSR would not have been able to operate trains to Minehead for the vast majority of this year.
     
  18. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    688
    Likes Received:
    3,925
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nr Bridgwater, Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I understand that you need to put some positivity around what you say but is the line I have highlighted totally true?

    There is a need for clear and total information because basically everybody deserves to know what's happening on their railway, warts and all to help people decide how to help the WSR re-open. I've read the report and I'm clearly not getting the same message as you have from it. What I took from the report is there are a number of things the WSR has to complete and satisfy the ORR on before the WSR can run with public trains again, words like "before the resumption of train operations" are used.

    Now I don't want to blow this out of proportion and I'm sure many people have total confidence in the PLC Board to complete the actions required before train services re-start, however your reporting on behalf of the PLC Board that the ORR: "had to satisfy themselves that the railway was safe to operate from November, and they agreed that it was". is perhaps not the full picture. Surely at this tough part of the WSR's history total disclosure giving the contents of a report the ORR have addressed "To the employees and staff" (which of course by definition means all Volunteers) would have been a better thing to do in order to stop any rumours and misinformation and allow all a clear view of what needs to be done before the next passenger train runs. After all its not damming and its stuff that can be done (in fact I was surprised some of it was not already done).

    This is of course your story to tell Frank so perhaps you should just post the letter concerned here so the people it was addressed to can see it, I'm sure the ORR wouldn't mind and there is nothing to hide or keep confidential and I'm sure the PLC have an action plan in place to resolve it before the 5th December (plus the other issues not set against a re-start date) which you could describe in order to build confidence in us 'doubting Thomas's' as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  19. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,306
    Likes Received:
    1,839
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    The Potteries
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Quite.

    And the fact that this is even a matter for debate rather than a cut and dried fact one way or the other speaks volumes and goes to the heart of the suspicion and lack of trust which is so evident here and elsewhere, IMHO.
     
    35B likes this.
  20. rodders154

    rodders154 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Messages:
    627
    Likes Received:
    743
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Health care assistant/ Grumpy old man
    Location:
    Yeovil
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Curious to know what you feel needs to be done to the railway for you to change from potential to willing donor?

    You must know what it would take.
     

Share This Page