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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    What is the obsession with the HRA being some over arching authority to control preserved railways ? It isn't ,its a trade association. It can mediate when requested but to my mind and understanding it is not there to act as enforcer
     
  2. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    It's because we're used to the idea that businesses are regulated, and that regulators wield some kind of big stick. The reality is that very few businesses are regulated, and that the regulators try to avoid using that stick unless absolutely necessary.

    The success or failure of the WSR, or any other heritage railway, may well have an impact on many people who have an affection for the line, or the trains, or whatever. But it's no more meaningful to whether the railway will survive than affection for Debenhams, or Woolworths, or any of the many other mismanaged businesses that have gone to the wall in years past was to their survival.

    But, and it's a major but, the HRA is perceived rightly or wrongly as the collective voice of heritage railways. It does have a degree of influence and has provided input to railways (including the WSR) where there have been problems. That sets up an expectation in some minds for how it should respond where things go wrong, and it does raise questions about the impact on the HRA's credibility when it stays silent on a matter. HRA therefore carry a risk to themselves from their (non-)position on the behaviours at the WSR.

    But none of that should distract from the reality that problems within the WSR organisation, as at any other railway, are of the WSR's making, and ultimately for the WSR to resolve.
     
  3. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I agree, there is nothing anyone can do to make the PLC change direction, Things will have to work their own way to an conclusion, most likely there will be further clamp downs on any dissenting voices, and only people that allow the authoritainical board to carry on regardless will be allowed to work on the railway,
    In time either the line will manage to just survive year to year, slowly getting worse, of it will become insolvent, and the inneptitude of the board will be exposed, but they will take the railway down with them, The only option i can see now is for the WSRA to canvass every small shareholder, asking them to transfer their shares to the WSRA, so they can get enough voting shares to nullify the WSRHT's shareholding, and unseat the board, and remove the factions that support the PLC ,This might involve taking action against the WSRHT and evicting them from the railway, if they won't work with the WSRA.
     
  4. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    Absolutely! As posted before it does expect its members to comply with its Code of Practice and, to that extent, it is upholding standards across the heritage railway and tramway sector.
    It's also worth remembering that it's almost totally staffed by volunteers who already have their hands full on their own heritage operations!
     
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  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Heritage Railways are indeed regulated - but it is by the ORR, not the HRA.

    Tom
     
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  6. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    Is seaton tramway having the same rules as th west Somerset railway and other railways as when you look at it the track is completely different and doesn’t look like it could be looked after by the same rules
     
  7. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    Mr Lineisclear sir,

    What is your view on the repeated statement that the single charity solution would cost a 6 figure sum to implement ?
     
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  8. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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  9. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Maybe you would be kind enough to let us know (3rd time of asking), how the HRA deals with members who do not adhere to the code of practice? If the answer is 'nothing' (as appears to be the case with the WSR HR policies), then what is the point of having the code of practice?
     
  10. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I distinguish between the general view of businesses being regulated, and the specific instance of railways being regulated. I would agree, though, that the regulation of the activity by ORR may lead people to consider that the businesses themselves are regulated.
     
  11. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    It would appear as though the board are attempting to use the Face ache "friends of..." model. Bar, ban, chuck out or otherwise get rid of anyone and everyone who has the audacity to disagree with the decisions that the supreme leader has made. Maybe that will work in the short term but what happens when it starts to go wrong? If they have got rid of all the dissenters who will they blame then?

    Perhaps there is an old adage that applies here. It refers to a troop of baboons climbing a tall tree. The leader of the troop and his cronies at the top of the tree looking down are happy because all they can see are smiling faces, unfortunately all those at the bottom of the tree, looking up, can only see a*****oles
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  12. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Part of the answer lies in the names. Seaton is a tramway, the WSR is a railway.
    There are fundamental differences in the concepts and methods of operation. For example, a tram could run from (say) MD to DR simply on 'line of sight' - ie it could leave MD if the driver could see there was nothing at DR waiting to come towards him. A driver on a railway such as the WSR would probably get sacked if he did that without first being in possession of the relevant 'token' for that stretch of line.
     
  13. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    "upholding" sounds good, but in this case it appears to mean providing a set of suggested standards and hoping the various heritage railways follow those standards. Without any form of effective sanction against those who don't comply, it seems little better than an expression of good intentions.

    And we know where good intentions lead....
     
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  14. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    If you care to look at the HRA website it is there for you to see.

    Clause 2.3 states: Members should have policies in place to provide for adequate safeguarding of children, young persons and vulnerable adults, and to guard against harassment, bullying and unfair discrimination or treatment.

    Section 8 states:
    CONFORMANCE WITH THIS CODE
    8.1. Any allegation of a breach of this Code by a member will be considered by the Board of the HRA and if the Board considers that there is an arguable case in support of the allegation, the case will be remitted to the Code of Conduct Panel (the Panel), an independent body established by the Board to determine such issues.
    8.2. The following sanctions will be available to the Panel:
    i. Issue the member with a warning as to future conduct which would remain in place for two years.
    ii. Direct the member to take specified steps within a stipulated time, a failure to do so causing the matter to be reconsidered by the Panel.
    iii. Suspend the member from membership of the HRA for a period not exceeding three years.
    iv. Expel the member from membership of the HRA.
    8.3. In the event of the Panel imposing a sanction specified in either paragraph 8.2.3. or 8.2.4., the member concerned may appeal to the membership of the HRA at a general meeting in accordance with procedures laid down by the HRA Board.

    The HRA will not get involved in any way unless requested to do so. If you want to make an allegation of a breach of the code then go ahead and do it rather than pontificating on here. However, before doing so you should be fairly certain of your facts. It's also worth pointing out that the code uses the word 'should' and not 'must' or 'shall' in clause 2.3 so it is arguably not mandatory, only advisory. Only a few clauses of the guidance state must or shall.
     
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  15. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    Exactly the point I made several pages ago soon after this latest fiasco became known.

    As I said then, any comments, criticism or anger should be directed in only one direction, and it's not the HRA's direction
     
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  16. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Thank you for the reference @Steve

    For the record I have no desire to make allegations of breach of code and I have not pontificated about anything, I merely asked a question which is what I thought Nat-Pres was about.
     
  17. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    @Lineisclear has been incredibly generous with his engagement on here and given some of the rather belligerent questioning by some , I would be reaching the point of taking my leave . I suspect there are some questions better answered by other HRA members
     
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  18. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    To be honest, i don't think that even if the HRA had come down on the side of S&DJRT, condemned the PLC over its actions as regards expulsions, would the PLC have taken any notice, most likely not, most likely you would have seem the usual suspects on Facebook defending the PLC, and telling the HRA to buzz off,
    outsiders can not change the WSR, It has to come from with in, and if it can't then there is no hope, and all that can be wished for is that those who have given their labour, supported the railway, put the blame fairly where it belongs, if the hot heads ignore good advise, and just plow on, towards the obvious end, bankruptcy , and loss of the railway as it stands now,
     
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  19. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    The ORR is becoming increasingly interested in (Worried about) the competence of the management of Heritage Railways, clearly the management of the WSR raises what I might call a number of fairly well established issues about competence.

    Certainly I understand that they are showing an interest in the line.
     
  20. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    And would any other members of the HRA be prepared to take questions? I appreciate that certain questions have become b
    I was under the impression @Lineisclear was responding as an individual, not officially on behalf of the HRA. As such, you are correct that his participation has been appreciated.
     

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