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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Great Western

    Great Western New Member

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    Do people think there is some deep rooted plan to bankrupt the railway. then a white knight sail in with a token £1 bid to buy it lock stock and barrel ? Maybe the stripe out all the heritage to run like a Paigton and Dartmouth style for profit set up ?

    Would this be even possible, if the railway doesn't own the actual trackbed? Why would anyone want to go to so much hassle anyway, surely there isn't the money the make such a long drawn out plan worthwhile ?
     
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  2. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    It seems pretty unlikely to me and I am not sure whether the various stakeholders including the all important SCC would view the white knight as a white knight.

    I think a scheme such as the one you propose credits those you suspect of being behind the scheme as having more intelligence and tactical forethought than they actually have.
     
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  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    You run into the problem that the e.g. £50k you pay into the escrow account this year in anticipation of a £500k overhaul in ten years time is no longer worth £50k when you come to spend it ten years later. You could I suppose buy a component now you know you will need later, and indeed that is common practice, but you are then faced with the issue of storing a potentially valuable (if rather bulky) component securely, and avoiding degradation.

    Another difficult area for a "run and restore" agreement is what constitutes an acceptable restoration is a grey area: it depends somewhat on whether you expect to have continued use of the loco. For example, if you are doing a restoration for your own future use, you may decide that the time has come to e.g. replace a set of cylinders. If you are restoring it in the expectation it disappears afterwards, you may choose not to. There are lots of consumables on a loco where you have to make those decisions. (Hmmm - tyres have got an estimated 25,000 miles left in them - do we replace now, or do it in three years when the loco will probably need a p&v anyway? What about that tender tank - really it needs another one but we could just patch the leaks and send it back out). Those are not easy decisions with inherently right answers even if you are working in an environment of perfect trust and respect between loco owner, restorer and operator; but they do have a major effect on how much an "overhaul" will actually cost.

    Tom
     
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  4. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    My thoughts were more that by paying a proportion of the estimated costs into escrow in lieu of hiring fees, the interests of both parties are then protected to a degree. The hirer links expenditure to usage, while the owner has a level of certainty that funds will be available for the overhaul at the end of the term.

    Otherwise, and as we are seeing with 53808, the arrangement becomes effectively unenforceable until too late in the day - and is entirely trust based.
     
  5. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    Let's test that one. If that were the case then would the actions to date align with that plan ? Don't forget the recent approach to SCC to buy the freehold. At the same time, you would have to do just enough to be able to claim that you were really trying your best all along to generate money while not succeeding. Pie and mash in a stationary carriage with a view of the shed for example. Paying four figure sums per day to external consultants to run a kangaroo court as another. The list is quite long.
     
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  6. granmaree

    granmaree Member

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    The building company was short lived, dissolved not long after that bit of info became public knowledge?
     
  7. John Palmer

    John Palmer Member

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    I'm grateful for @Jamessquared 's clarification of his post. However, it seems that nobody contributing to the discussion about the prospective breach of the locomotive agreement made between the S&DRT and the WSR plc has had access to the agreement itself. As a result, any analysis of such breach and its consequences ventures so far into the realms of speculation that I really can't see what value there can be in it. I recognise that the terms of the locomotive agreement could have placed the S&DRT in a difficult position, so if someone can provide details of what the agreement actually says, or indicate a post that does so*, then I shall be grateful. However, without knowledge of what those terms are I regard speculation about such difficulties as a pointless and possibly harmful exercise in which I see no value in engaging.

    *I've searched for such a post without success.
     
  8. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Despite those congruities, I think Hanlon's Razor still comes down on the side of incompetence rather than malice.
     
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  9. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    Mk1s, if well done, are OK, but shouldn't any organisation that calls itself a heritage railway be aspiring to provide a more representative selection of steam era rolling stock where possible? For all but the last five years or so of the BR steam era Mk 1 stock was outnumbered by carriages from the big 4 and earlier, much of which survived until the early 1960s and ran in mixed formations with Mk 1s. That was more the norm than the exception rather than uniform Mk 1 sets but how many photographers consider that when planning their charters?
     
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  10. allan.pyne

    allan.pyne New Member

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    To get rid of the five signal boxes, to reduce the signalling and convert the level crossings at Minehead, Blue Anchor and Williton would cost millions, so buying the lease for a pound would only be the start of the costs.
    As we all know Seaward Way level crossing has cost £1.2 million alone.


    Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk
     
  11. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Perhaps he same will happen to this one now?
    Interesting to note that one of his other companies is a management consultancy... Looking at what we see here I'm not sure if I'd be too keen on using them... :eek:
     
  12. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Why would that happen? I don’t think that was exactly what the post you quoted meant by stripping the heritage.

    On that basis it is possible for a takeover with a token purchase price, although, I concede you have hit a valid point (which I think was raised on this thread many moons ago), you would still require significant amounts of money to fund the ongoing financial obligations of the business. Even cutting the projected losses by 75% still brings a loss, where are the funds to cover that?
     
  13. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    As regards 53808, I can see the S&D trust deciding to break from the WSR completely because there will be a complete lack of trust in the WSR to stick to any agreement, Where as they by then, will have complete trust and a good working relationship with the MHR, its like an abused partner returning to someone who abused them in the past, you never trust them again, and i dare say, it might suit the WSR PLC to have the trust scrap any agreement, as they need every last penny they can get, to stave off joining the Llangollen in going bankrupt. but you can be sure when it does happen, it wont be the fault of the PLC, but of everyone else.
     
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  14. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    You are right to say that we do not know the facts and are merely speculating but a majority of posts on this thread are speculation and conspiracy theory so any suggestion of stopping is going to fall on deaf ears. There's far more to 53808 and the agreement with the WSR that we don't know about. AFAIK the loco is/was contracted to the WSR until 2030(?) but is presently on hire to the MHR by agreement with the WSR. Is that hire contract with the WSR or the SDJRT? I'm guessing the latter but could be wrong. What happens if the WSR decide that they want it back? Can that be refused and, if so, would it make the existing WSR contract null and void or is it already ended because of the hire to the MHR? All we know is that the WSR agreed to the locos move to the MHR which would enable it to earn money towards its overhaul. In the absence of fine detail Tom is probably right in his analysis of things. The ball is largely in the SDJRT's court, which is probably not where they would want it to be because that puts it out of the control of the WSR and, without control, it is difficult to have responsibility. The best hope for the SDJRT is that the WSR contract has a clause that says the overhaul must be started by (say) 2026 and completed by 2030. If it only says completed by 2030, that's a long time to wait before saying that the contract has not been fulfilled. We may think a four year overhaul period is normal but the big railway used to do them in a few weeks and there is no reason, other than lack of resources of money, manpower and materials, why a well-managed overhaul could not be accomplished in a similar timescale today. (Give me a £1.5m up front and I'll prove it.;))
     
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  15. grahamwright

    grahamwright New Member

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  16. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    I have a copy of 53808's hire agreement on my laptop (not working for awhile) and it is a word document that won't open on my desktop computer, but from what I recall, the agreement is not quite as stated by Tom and others.

    As I recall, it is an ongoing agreement split into stages, so that the loco is on a 'run' then 'overhaul' then 'run' then 'overhaul'. The end date of the agreement is irrelevant to the contractual obligation within to overhaul the loco when its 10 year boiler overhaul is due - which is imminent.

    One other person commented to me awhile back that if the WSR had been charged say £600 per day for steamings since the last overhaul the SDRT would now have a fund of some £250,000.
     
  17. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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  18. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    Is there any need? Ian Riley seems to be able to carry out major works on his engines in matter of weeks.
     
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  19. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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  20. Railpassion

    Railpassion New Member

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