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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Lenny

    Lenny New Member

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    This may be a bit radical for some, but why not email the HRA outlining your concerns?
    Surely that will be a better way of getting a response from the correct people in the HRA than continually going on and on here?
     
  2. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Because it absolves those who disapprove of the actions of the WSR Plc board from doing anything other than moaning on Nat Pres, if they think that it's the HRA's job to sort the board out, not theirs.
     
  3. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Lucky that @Lineisclear has bothered to reply to anything on here given how combative this thread can be.

    As for the HRA, taken at face value I don't see why any organisation needs to be a member of the HRA. The public is not likely to be bothered if the WSR is, or is not, a member. So the motivation to be part of the HRA is low.....other than, of course, wanting to be associated with like minded groups and perhaps enjoying the limelight if given an award. And that chimes with every heritage group, I would have thought.

    The WSR, however, seems to be different and ploughs its own furrow. I can't imagine that the HRA would be interested in doing much other than suspend its membership should it feel that the WSR in some way does not align with the mission of the HRA - i.e.

    To help our members to be more productive and more successful in their world, by delivering what is required by our members and as supported by the ORR
     
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  4. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the "something must be done" brigade seem to think the HRA are the cavalry coming over the hill to save their beloved railway. Unfortunately for them, the HRA is a useful source of information and advice which heritage railways can choose to take or ignore.

    [waits for predictable response ... ]
     
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  5. Jill Jackson

    Jill Jackson New Member

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    Passing Washford saw a new sign so I stopped to photo it
    Appears to be one big problem
    There is no phone provided to ring the crossing operator, whoever they may be
    IMG_0921.JPG
     
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  6. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    That does rather assume that there is something they can do other than bring attention to the shortcomings on NP. I'm sure suggestions would be welcome.
     
  7. Woof Mk2

    Woof Mk2 New Member

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    Not knowing what the crossing is or leads to I hope mitigations have been taken to reduce the risk due to lack of phone.
     
  8. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    It provides access to agricultural land the sea-side of the railway. The position has been somewhat complicated by the new foot/cycle path which now follows that side of the railway.

    Robin
     
  9. Woof Mk2

    Woof Mk2 New Member

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    Hope the sighting is compliant then for the authorised user
     
  10. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I'd suggest that the HRA probably doesn't know how to act because it never expected to be confronted with a situation like the WSR, which is unique in the 70 years of railway preservation. It neither has precedent to follow (and every action/inaction sets a precedent) nor does it have a template to follow. Managing rogue management is as far as I am aware not a seminar they have offered. Perhaps when the dust has settled there will be a serious critical reflection by the various stakeholders about things they could have done differently to prevent this from happening.

    As you point out this is of the WSR's making and it is for the WSR to resolve, but I think the failure of attempts within the WSR to deal with this ie the 10, is why people are looking to the HRA, moreover, those involved with the HRA did publicly criticise the 10, so if nothing else, there has been a degree of inconsistency in how members of the HRA have acted over the last twelve months.

    But none of this alters the fact that the weaponising of ID cards along with evictions and threats of evictions is due to the current senior management of the WSR.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
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  11. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Its clear that a number of lines have had 'issues' not just the WSR so I suggest that 'Post Covid' in light of what has happened on the WSR & elsewhere plus of course the growing interest the ORR has in ,Management' then I agree, this is an issue that needs looking at. The biggest difficulty though as the Ex6 clearly demonstrated was getting those in power to let go.
     
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  12. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Absolutely, I can think of four at least (PR management is even more limpet-like). Clearly, the financial fall out from covid is going to bring poor management and poor organisational structures into sharper focus. We've seen LlR, Alin Valley in financial trouble, Elsecar has gone to the wall and I am not sure that they will be the last.

    I think in the past the lines with bad management have generally been smaller lines ie TVR and PR. Plus the fallout from that bad management on bigger lines (ie Ffestiniog in the early 2000s, MHR) took place in a pre-internet, pre-ORR era (and in both cases the lines were able to deal with the problems - the FR quickly, the MHR took longer to recover).
     
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  13. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Unprecedented? This thread has seen mention of previous strife at the SVR (50 odd years ago), MHR (20 odd years ago), and Peak Rail (ongoing); I cannot believe that these are the only cases outside of West Somerset. I'd suggest that HRA have had every opportunity to be aware, and have chosen a similar approach to members that the FCO takes to diplomatic representation (see the recently ousted ambassador of Myanmar).

    I stand by my view that expectations of HRA involvement exceed what is reasonable to expect from a trade association, and that the precedent of what individuals with dual responsibilities to HRA and WSR said is not representative of HRA itself.
     
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  14. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Perhaps they are supposed to use their mobile.
     
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I doubt the WSR situation is unique in railway preservation. Many other lines, including some quite major ones, have had titantic struggles between different groups at times. The case on the SVR involving Gerald Nabarro is well known, but far from the only such case. I believe on the Bluebell in the early 1970s there was an issue that was basically a "who runs the railway" type argument that went legal in terms of challenging the validity of general meetings etc. - the equal of anything seen on the WSR in recent years. The major difference is that it all happened before the days of social media, so was to an extent outside the gaze of most people.

    The sadness in the WSR case is less that the argument exists - in some ways that is good, it shows that there are passionate people involved on both sides - but rather that it festers without resolution for a long period. For whatever reason, the railway collectively seems incapable of finding a means to resolve the issue of stable governance once and for all.

    Tom
     
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  16. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    If your imagination fails you in this, then I'm sure a PM to certain posters on here would elicit some inspiration.
     
  17. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    To what number?
     
  18. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    That was what I wondered - and how that signage could be said to comply with any reasonable safety requirement.
     
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  19. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Just to come back on this. I agree that this is not new - but Nabarro and the Bluebell were 60 and 50 years ago and the lines were much much smaller, and they were not so financially significant, not major parts of the local tourist industry, employer etc, there was no ORR, no social media. I'd suggest that the more recent example have been on lines that are 'small fry'. I'd argue that it is unprecedented for such as large, significant and established line to run into so many sustained management and financial issues and it is a very different world to the heritage world of the late 1960s-early 1970s or even the early 2000s.
     
  20. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Ok, so this is the most likely scenario as to how it will play out.
    1. The HRA tells the WSR Plc board to get its act together or be expelled from the HRA,
    2. The WSR board tells the HRA where they can stick their membership,
    3. The HRA expels the WSR,
    4. The WSR board tells the HRA where to go,
    5. There is a brief flurry of no more than a couple of hundred posts on Nat Pres,
    6. Everyone forgets about it and carries on as before.
    What has been achieved?
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
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