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. malcolm imps

    malcolm imps Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    504
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Hillman Imp Specialist
    Location:
    norton fitzwarren
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The screw holes get to far big & go oval to hold the chairs in place to keep to the gauge, & some have been re drilled for new screws years ago & only fit for a siding maybe .............
     
    Monkey Magic likes this.
  2. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,503
    Likes Received:
    15,863
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    There are two main routes.

    Firstly, in a main line, they abrade on the base by scraping against ballast as they are moved by the passage of trains.

    Secondly, the rail fixings abrade against the sleeper. Bolt / screw holes enlarge or elongate and so gauge is no longer maintained.

    Robin
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  3. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,865
    Likes Received:
    5,780
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    There are some good images of an extreme example in the report on the derailment at Liverpool Street (photo on pp.29 and 31)

    https://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/documents/RAIB_LiverpoolStreet2013.pdf
     
    jnc likes this.
  4. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,503
    Likes Received:
    15,863
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Heritage railway folk often don’t understand the energy put into the track by the passage of main line trains. I remember a relay on the Kent coast where the lower half of the sleepers had been abraded away and the ballast was making short work of the steel reinforcing in them.

    Robin
     
    35B, Swan Age, jnc and 1 other person like this.
  5. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,865
    Likes Received:
    5,780
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    And just because you say it doesn't make it so either. However, you are the one arguing for something where there is no evidence to prove it to be so and the absence of evidence points more to absence than presence.

    You are relying on the same articles of faith that PLC supporters rely on. Just because you want to will something to exist doesn't mean that it actually does.

    If your argument boils down to 'well it could have been worse, so it must have been the HRA that stopped it being worse'. Which isn't really an argument.

    Irrespective of whether the HRA has or hasn't been active the bottomline is the PLC have gone ahead with this and with evicting the SDRT.

    I think that is of cold comfort to the SDRT or the four. You'd have to be exceptionally generous to the HRA to present this as a success.

    However, I will also argue that if the SDRT is anything to go by, being kicked out may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Just as the SDRT has been able to rebuild and re-establish itself at the MHR, AVR and Shillingstone (albeit a process underway), maybe the four will be able to find other lines where their skills and abilities will be welcomed and frankly they are probably lucky to free from the toxicity and stupidity of the WSR management.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
    Dennis John Brooks likes this.
  6. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    5,189
    Likes Received:
    2,183
    Occupation:
    Ex a lot of things.
    Location:
    Near where the 3 Ridings meet
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Concrete sleepers wear out by the action of ballast wearing away on them.
    Also susceptible to the action of tamper tines doing the same thing.
    Chemical action from Salt or other substances.
    Axle loadings causing cracking.
    Running road vehicles over the sleepers.
    Wheel flats causing impact damage.
    Badly packed.
    Wet spots.
     
    35B, Steve, malcolm imps and 2 others like this.
  7. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,729
    Likes Received:
    1,038
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Bus Driver
    Location:
    Loughton Essex
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    And once they have abraded far enough to expose reinforcement, water ingress causes corrosion and the same spalling occurs which has made some concrete buildings suffer.
     
  8. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,659
    Likes Received:
    2,670
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Well put, sir ! In a nutshell.
     
  9. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,659
    Likes Received:
    2,670
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    A friend of mine was involved with vetting independently some elections in Zaire.

    He received a bullet in the frame of his windscreen as he drove home, as the winning party decided to machine gun the HQ of the losers!

    Pardon me if I get the same impression here :)
     
  10. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,435
    Likes Received:
    3,466
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Out there somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Can anyone confirm if the HRA has actually been formally involved in any way with the current goings-on at the WSR?

    Yes, I know @Lineisclear has been working trying to achieve something out of this mess but, as I understand it, his involvement was that he was asked to make a report as a knowledgeable independent individual who also happened to be a senior member of the HRA, not as a HRA individual.

    It may be just my failing memory but I don't remember seeing any formal HRA involvement in any of the disputes.

    Perhaps you could clarify please John? Are you aware of any formal HRA discussions with the Board?
     
  11. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,248
    Likes Received:
    1,458
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    ynysddu south wales
    Given that the 4 individuals who have had their ID cards removed by the WSR plc board have not gone public about any of this, it is perfectly understandable why those of who were told of this kept silent.

    I don't think it is right to expect John Bailey or anyone else associated with the HRA to discuss on here no doubt confidential stuff involving the WSR plc board etc.

    A discussion about concrete sleepers is illuminating, and use your imagination and brain to interpret certain posts in reply.
     
    Monkey Magic and johnofwessex like this.
  12. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    6,848
    Likes Received:
    5,049
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It seems to me that it has been established that over several years, successive PLC boards have mismanaged the railway in a variety of different ways.

    In addition to this there have been issues involving the support organisations.

    The structure of the WSR is significantly different to most other heritage lines.

    Two reports have been produced recommending restructuring, Coombes for the WSRA & Bailey for the PLC. Coombes it seems is being implemented at least in part but the PLC has rejected Bailey.

    Personally I suspect that there is some sort of significant underlying culture problem within the wider WSR family which remains undiagnosed, and unaffected by what has happened at Llangollen, which I am sure must have been a wake up call to all other lines - if they needed one.

    I am not really sure though what can be achieved at the moment by getting over excited by what is happening.
     
  13. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,396
    Likes Received:
    2,961
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    No I am not. You are the one that is arguing that absence of evidence is evidence of absence. I am not saying whether there is any evidence or not, nor am I trying to prove anything. That the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is a logical truth, i.e it can be proved by logic, it doesn't just depend on my bald assertion, unlike your assertion to the contrary.
    Neither am I willing anything to exist. Your errors of logic are plain for anyone to see. I am not willing them into existence. Yes, it would be better if the HRA had had a beneficial effect on the Plc's actions, but that has no bearing on whether the fact that you, or even I, are unable to discern them means that they are not there. You are the one that is indulging in wishful thinking. You want to be right, so you want the fact that there is no evidence that the HRA had a beneficial effect to be proof of your contention that HRA are, at best, no use and, at worst, colluding with the Plc in their wrongdoing.
    Nor does my argument boil down to 'well it could have been worse, so it must have been the HRA that stopped it being worse', which is, as you say, a non-argument, or at least a non-sequiteur. My argument is 'well it could have been worse, and it could have been the HRA that stopped it being worse but we can't tell'. Just because something isn't true doesn't mean that its opposite is automatically true.
    I think we all realise that the HRA failed to stop the S&DRT being evicted. That doesn't mean either that if they had waded in with a big stick, as you want them to do, they would have succeeded, nor that your chosen course of action is the best tactic in any circumstances. It is not, and never was, the only alternative.
     
  14. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,396
    Likes Received:
    2,961
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I don't think it has remained undiagnosed, in fact it has been highlighted many times on these thousands of pages. The only thing that is unclear is when it started. The problem is a "them and us" culture and it was certainly around 30 years or so ago, when I was a volunteer.
     
  15. Piggy

    Piggy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    261
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It essentially, currently, has its root in the attitude of a chair who, from his appointment, has always viewed it as 'his' railway and who clearly IMHO is not in touch with reality as he recently claimed that the Washford station building is now 'back in the hands of the PLC'. It isn't.
     
    Chufferpuff likes this.
  16. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,865
    Likes Received:
    5,780
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I don't mind discussion and I am happy to take my lumps, but can you not misrepresent my views. If I have explained my opinions in an unclear manner I am happy to explain or reformulate them. For the record - my view is i) the HRA has been ineffective in its current approach and ii) it has failed to provide industry leadership by not speaking out about the behaviour of the PLC.

    Because so far, all I can see is that I have an opinion on the effectiveness of the HRA based on the absence of evidence of it being effective. If there is evidence to the contrary to show what they did then I'm more than happy to change my view on the HRA.

    I take your argument that if the HRA did speak out it may make things worse. However, I disagree, because I fail to see how things could be worse, nor do I see any evidence to support the assumption that speaking out would make things worse.

    Needless to say all this is doing is directing the discussion away from the actions of the PLC and as that is where the attention should be focussed, I am going to agree to disagree with you on the effectiveness and role of the HRA.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  17. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,108
    Likes Received:
    1,905
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over the hills and far away
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I think you are being deliberately obtuse as, again, I was very specific in my example of where, and why, the volunteer might have a claim to a hearing under Natural Justice but you choose to imply something quite different. The point at issue is whether it is reasonable to dismiss an established volunteer without giving any reason, let alone a warning. Obviously, serious infringement of Safety Policy is one good reason for dismissal but that should be made clear to the volunteer at the time, not only for their benefit but also to reinforce the seriousness of the offence to others.

    Now, perhaps we can agree to differ on this, as, unless @Robin Moira White can enlighten us, it seems there is no case law to prove the matter one way or the other.

    In the meantime I am concerned that we, the participants in this thread, are addressing something that happened some months ago and was well discussed at the time. I got the impression from @nick813 's post #36946, and the initial responses thereto, that a further four individuals had had their ID removed without explanation. Is this the case or are we just going round the houses again ? Anybody ?
     
    35B likes this.
  18. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,577
    Likes Received:
    15,258
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Nick's initial post is the first time this particular controversy has been discussed on this thread, yes, although reading between the lines it's been rumbling on for a little while now.
     
  19. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,396
    Likes Received:
    2,961
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    We can agree as to what has happened, serial failures of management and PR by the Plc management, the decline into an authoritarian regime etc. and we can probably agree on why this has happened, nature of the shareholding, peculiar structure, culture of division etc. The only thing we need to agree to disagree on is where we go from here. You want an outside agency, like the HRA, to knock heads together and I don't think that would do any good. We can all rail against low moral standards in the Plc board, but, ultimately, nothing is going to happen unless those same low moral standards are bad for business, in its widest sense. I happen to believe they are and that they combine with a lack of financial competence that will see the railway dwindle to insolvency, but only in the long run. All we can do is wait and see.
     
  20. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2020
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    439
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thanks for the helpful post. The HRA was asked to help with a negotiated outcome of the problem at Washford where it soon became apparent that resolution would involve agreement on the immediate future for 53808. It was agreed by all parties that the role would be facilitation of an agreed way forward. Posters on here may not approve of the outcome but, thanks to goodwill and realism by all those involved, further damaging confrontation has been avoided. The credit for that goes to them.

    In getting involved it was impossible to ignore the effect that structural issues have on the railway. I volunteered a personal review with recommendations which has since been the subject of further detailed work. The important point is that it was personal and not an HRA exercise.

    There has been no request for any further advice or guidance from the HRA with regard to any matters at the WSR although confidential initiatives involving HRA representatives were volunteered in an attempt to resolve tensions arising in connection with the WSHRT AGM.
     

Share This Page