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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    I understood it has not been functional for about eighteen months, thus the inability to access Minehead station. On the face of it that should have given plenty of time for planning but there may have been other factors involved. @MellishR 's question is not unreasonable.
     
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  2. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    It hasn't functioned up until now, in fact it ceased to be considered safe to work as intended about this time last year, hidden by the sudden pandemic lockdown which must have spared a few blushes. Plans to replace it were delayed, it was known that it would need to be replaced soon some years ago, and they fluffed it. It would have been a lot more embarrassing for them had it not been for Coronavirus.
     
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  3. baldbazza

    baldbazza Member

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    Exactly. I think it's all been covered by the free 'Platform' newsletter available for anyone to download from the West Somerset Railway website or can be emailed direct to the inbox of anyone who asks for it. But then some people much prefer a good moan to finding out for themselves, don't they?
     
  4. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I would suggest that it is one of many issues that successive WSR boards had not 'managed' for want of a better word.
     
  5. Downline

    Downline Member

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    Well it is clear there are those on here who want to see the WSR Plc improve how they communicate out to there supporters and wider public about what they are upto, and then there are people like you who are happy for the WSR Plc to slip backwards to communicate in ways that were 'cutting edge' 10/15 years ago.

    Considering other organisations on the railway like the WSRA can provide regularly updated news articles and blogs on projects, such as the blog on the restoration of 4561, why has the WSR Plc got to take a closed book approach to a project which has a serious effect on the running of the railway?
     
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  6. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Not exactly the same but WCR has been running for years with that business approach and it has done them no harm. I guess the way to change things if that's what people want is to be active in the set up and get into a position of influence.
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Ah, communications. As a bit of a dilettante in the field, I’d make two points.

    The first is that to do it well is really time consuming. It is also really dependent on having buy-in from each department / station. Ideally you’d need a board-level director to set the overall tone; at least one volunteer to do the production / editing legwork; and a string of people around the railway you can lean on for content. It doesn’t just happen on its own, but nor is it something that one person can carry - you need a team.

    The second point is not to assume people will find news when you do put it out. “The platform” is fine as far as it goes, but I’m not going to go looking on the WSR website for it. The main two places I get news are the WSR friends Facebook site, and here; and I can’t remember seeing an issue publicised for several months. That is definitely an area the railway could tighten up on. Likewise I signed up months ago for email updates, but have never received one.

    All of that is really about the mechanics, not the message itself. On the specifics of “level crossing gate” :) - it was asserted above that “senior management, apparently, making an executive decision to conceal these works from the greater WSR community”. Do we know that is the case? There are multiple stakeholders (SCC, WSR, contractor) each of whom might have their own communications requirements - all of which makes coordination of communications that much harder.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  8. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Apart from you know the issues with ORR, H&S where the approach to business came in for considerable scrutiny and criticism and one of the points was lack of openness and engagement.

    Communication/openness is good way of assessing a management culture. What is communicated, how it is communicated, does it engage or announce.

    A weekly cult of personality email about how the Chairman has attended the opening of an envelope is every bit as bad as nothing at all or important information being posted in a locked cupboard marked 'beware of the leopard'.

    Poor communication leads to mistrust because people (rightly or wrongly) think something is being hidden.

    It seems to be a leitmotif that the response to any question is akin to 'you don't deserve to know the answer'.

    @Jamessquared - notes that good communication takes time and this is true. There are plenty of options available though - you can do it in house via a member of staff who has it as part of their job remit, you can create a volunteer role, or you can hire someone to manage your communications for you, you send them the content, they put it out on the relevant channels. 1 and 3 cost money, 2 you are dependent on the quality of your volunteer - and that your volunteer has time - if they get busy with real life then volunteering and communication may go backwards.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  9. phil_o99

    phil_o99 New Member

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    Regarding the temporary shutdown of the Railcam covering the Seaward Way level crossing; readers may recall that the cameras were switched off for the duration of the trackbed works at Minehead 1Q17, so the action isn't without precedent.

    Cameras are switched off to ensure that the armchair "Elf an safety" experts can't gather ammunition for vexatious reports of perceived H&SAW infringements.
     
  10. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody New Member

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    You've got it in one!
     
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  11. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    How many vexatious H&SAW infringement reports stemming from the cameras being on have there been?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  12. phil_o99

    phil_o99 New Member

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    I don't want to get into a protracted discussion on this but my reply to the question is "personally, I haven't witnessed any"

    Better to ensure that there's no chance of it happening than to try to repair the damage afterwards.
     
  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    We've had one or two as a result of pictures on our C&W blog, all of which we were perfectly fine doing what we were doing I hasten to add. So I think it's a perfectly reasonably explanation, albeit perhaps preferable to have not just ignored it.
     
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  14. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    You called?

    Robin
     
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  15. phil_o99

    phil_o99 New Member

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    At the moment, the Railcam website has approximately 600 users logged in, watching various cameras and plotting movements around the network. In the last 30 days, the website has processed 268,931 user logins (not page hits), some 2% down on the previous 30 day window - the downturn is probably a result of the easing of lockdown restrictions. Steve Edge's website relays Railcam's WSR feeds to a separate, but possibly overlapping pool of viewers via wsr.org, so the possibility of just one viewer reporting a perceived HASAW transgression albeit with the best of intentions is too great.

    Least said, soonest mended and all that...

    Someone up thread mentioned Crowcombe Heathfield camera. We're hoping to get that back in action asap now that the internet connection has been reinstated following the disconnection by the ISP late last year. Don't expect too much of the CH camera as the broadband speed is atrocious.

    Roll on rural fibre.
     
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  16. Windsor branch line

    Windsor branch line New Member

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    Just a quick question on the webcams , Crowcombe Heathfield Before the disconnection there was no sound available for that camera , or the one at seaward will these be put back on

    many thanks
     
  17. phil_o99

    phil_o99 New Member

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    Both Minehead cameras and the unit at Crowcombe are located on the respective signal boxes. Due to the possibility of overhearing conversations between the signalling staff and the train crews, Minehead 2 and Crowcombe are not equipped with microphones. Minehead 1 has a long extension cable to a remote microphone located away from the operationally sensitive area and the audio gain is restricted to ensure minimal potential for eavesdropping.

    In accordance with the above restriction, neither the Seaward Way nor the Crowcombe camera will support a microphone so will need to be replaced with new units - at a cost.
     
  18. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    If you don't mind my giving advice, get a decent payment on account first!
     
  19. Downline

    Downline Member

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    If this is what the official reason for switching the camera off is, then that's a bit of a rubbish reason to be honest. The WSR might aswell go and remove all the webcams incase someone makes a mistake and someone spots it. A train using the crossing probably presents more risk of a health and safety infringement compared to renewing the crossing barriers and installing a control cabinet. Construction projects purposely put up webcams for people to see whats happening, and I think some steelwork swinging several meters up in the air, or other similar activities found on a construction site, are a bit more riskier than a crossing replacement

    But then again, as has been noted many times on this thread since the camera was turned off, if they just said they will provide regular updates....

    (p.s. - nothing above is aimed at Railcam, the cameras are brilliant especially when life stops us getting out for our heritage railway fix!)
     
  20. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    With respect, Broadway was an extension to the GWSR, a massive project that took several years funded through public donations.

    This project is more similar to Falling Sands Viaduct's refurbishment on the SVR, however, that was financed through a fundraiser.

    This is a SCC funded project, so not using donations, on SCC property. I assume if you want an update for this, you'd want an update when Bishops Lydeard toilets are being renewed? It's exactly the same thing. A council renewing their assets once they've become life expired.

    If anything, SCC should be communicating on a regular basis about the project as they are using public money.
     

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