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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    I think the big question is why it’s taken five weeks to provide this information…
     
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  2. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    They could get their hands on a nice Manor & Mogul - both are PLC assets and quite valuable too.
     
  3. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Odd, I thought the railway was going to die if we didn't pony up the cash. Now all of sudden it is back to making it a red route. The WSR seems to veer between having no plans and completely unrealistic grandiose plans.

    If you compare with other railways ie SVR there the request is for money for uncover funds, at Swanage it is the carriage shed, on the FfR it is for overhauls and undercover, at the DEPG it is for a specific restoration, at the S&DRT it is to help with the move. All very specific, very clear and logical goals. At the WSR all of a sudden it is 'make us a red route'.

    Given the way things have gone, the rules and the decision not to give money to the PLC when they first came knocking, looks an increasingly correct and wise.

    I note that the D1010 funds are protected, however, I also note that the S&DRT had similar rules for their money, not that this stopped a petty PLC board.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
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  4. allan.pyne

    allan.pyne New Member

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    The King at Minehead is double red, and near finishing it's overhaul.
    Also the track on the approach to Minehead crossing will be replaced to flat-bottomed track and insulated sleepers as the existing track is steel sleepers and bullhead track and track circuits will not work for the new crossing. Sleepers already on site.


    Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk
     
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  5. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    I think that the biggest obstacle to returning the line to Red is the condition of Black Monkey Bridge, between Blue Anchor
    and Washford.
     
  6. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    So compare and contrast with the DEPG's D1010 appeal.

    DEPG set out everything that needs to be done, what needs to be done to fix it, how they are going to fix them, likely problems, scheme of works and costings. They walk the donor through the object explaining each thing in order. The costings are clearly presented and the donor knows that the money will go to the specific project and not be diverted to other projects.

    So when it comes to a red route for the WSR where are:

    • The list of works and the explanation as to what has to be done
    • The scheme of works
    • The costings
    • The guarantee that money donated will not be used for other purposes

    I struggle to think of anyone else who has asked for such a large amount of money for such an ill-defined project. It looks like the PLC are making stuff up as they go along.
     
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  7. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    The latest update contained the following -
    Surely, funding infrastructure repairs to safe guard the future is a specific purpose. Ignoring cost implications, there is no reason for that to be a barrier and almost reads as they don’t know what to target a share issue at. It leads to the question if any detailed costings have been worked out or simply on the back of a cigarette packet?

    The reality is that an appeal donator has no idea what infrastructure projects they are being asked to fund. There seems to be an aversion to providing detail, this leads to questions and doubt.

    The DEPG appeal shows how it should be done and it is perhaps ironic they are WSR based because the pitching of the two appeals are polar opposites.
     
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  8. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    The elephant in the room on any capital project is when the investment will see a return i.e. generate a surplus after paying off the outlay ? When Williton was extended on the grounds that charters could pass, I asked the question and got some funny looks.

    It seems that we have moved from a fight for survival to talking about upgrading the line. I'm not sure the line was ever a red route prior to closure, so a programme to do this ought to be the last of the priorities. When the future of the line is secure, there are many other opportunities that would put cash in the till and not cash in the pockets of red route loco owners.
     
  9. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    That the DEPG and also the S&DRT are leading the way on how to set out appeals serves to demonstrate the incompetence of the current board and why they are not fit to hold office.

    As can be seen, it is perfectly possible within the WSR for a coherent logical funding appeal to be constructed. And it gives a lie to 'we do things differently here on the WSR' or 'we won't be told by outsiders how to do things'.

    The line has the people with the skills, the vision and the intelligence. The problem is that they are not running the PLC.
     
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  10. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Turning what was a secondary branch line into a 'mainstream' route might be a good idea had the line in question achieved all its other goals, was financially secure and could foresee a substantial increase in traffic and income were it to do so.

    I'm not certain that the WSR is anywhere near that position at present.
     
  11. allan.pyne

    allan.pyne New Member

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    The branch did have 22 ton axle weight until recently. I understood the down grade was due to maintaining the existing track to a lower axle weight, until the relaying of the substandard track, which has been on going for some years. Much of the track has already been replaced and more will happen in the next few months icw the level crossing renewal. This is another reason why no trains to Minehead, except for planned ECS and loco moves.
    The line will be put back to 22 ton once the track has been renewed, this is why the 47 has been on loan for two years off the branch.
    It will be interesting to see what happens to the King, whether it will run on the branch for testing or will be sent off the branch once the overhaul is finished.

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  12. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I'd thought the issues were also linked to the wear and tear on earthworks and bridges not built with red route loads in mind, not just track?
     
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  13. allan.pyne

    allan.pyne New Member

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    I am only S&T !! There are earth work issues.

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  14. dunghill1

    dunghill1 New Member

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    When the line was taken over from British Rail it was red route from Taunton to Bishops Lydeard This was because they needed to stable the royal train there once.
    It was 17 ton 12 cwt. from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead until some time after 1993. Black Monkey bridge was being monitered back in the 1980s due to cracking in the structure
     
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  15. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I do recall some types of BR 'standard' tenders needing to be operated on the WSR with less coal and water, due to axle load considerations. A visit, many moons ago, by 92220 was a case in point.
     
  16. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    It does strike me that the WSR doesn't have a clear vision of what it wants to be , nor a roadmap of how and what is needed to achieve those objectives . Throw in pronouncements that vere between boom and bust, strife and internal friction, create an impression of a railway out of control and certainly cannot inspire confidence in the broader public to support an appeal
     
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  17. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    In 1993, when 48773 was on loan (pre red upgrade), the tender could only be half filled with water to keep it within the axle loading so I guess the same applied to Stanier 4000g tenders.
     
  18. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    I’m sure that includes regular readers of the Somerset County Gazette, who over the years have featured articles on all the internal fighting such as the WSRA saga. It doesn’t really portray a good image.
     
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  19. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Upping the line status to enable the stabling of a royal train once does not seem to suggest that the line would be suitable for everyday use at the higher loading. Given that the rest of the line was 17t 12c would it be fair to assume that the whole of the line was once thus? Quite possibly the very high profile of the stabling requirement had more to do with the 'upgrade' than any infrastructure strengthening.

    EDIT Added:- With regard to upgrading:- Unless it is known exactly what the construction and fill of the brick arch overbridges (? Can never remember which is which - I mean railway over road e.g.) a full survey to calculate the loadbearing capability would require an inspection of the arch and associated drainage from the top . So that's track and ballast up and inspection pits dug down. (If you are lucky - otherwise it's all off to expose the arch construction) Looking at the WSR's previous tendency to "...do things our way..." I wonder if any formal inspections and loadbearing recalculations were ever carried out. Hopefully they were and, hopefully, all the reports and calculations are stored safely somewhere...
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
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  20. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    It’s also the one bit of line that currently remains as a 20t red section.
     

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