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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed so. It's my summation, but I think the current position is that our of 11 miles of running line:

    - About 0.75 mile is pre-preservation (probably 1940s)
    - About 2.5 miles dates from the early 1990s
    - About 7.75 miles has been relaid within the last ten years.

    In general, where the track has been relaid, it has been from the formation upwards, i.e. looking at the whole formation, new rail (and I think second hand sleepers) and sorting out drainage issues. I can't think of any recent major p/way scheme that has been just re-railing.

    After the line opened to East Grinstead, there was lots of talk about a period of "consolidation". That doesn't mean sitting back and resting on your laurels, but was focused on trying to make the railway run more efficiently: a good quality p/way is an integral part of that - a "make do and mend" plan wasn't sufficient. Even in the last couple of covid-affected years I think we have replaced well over a mile of track at various locations.

    Tom
     
  2. granmaree

    granmaree Member

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  3. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Basically Bailey.

    So please can someone explain why this sort of structure CANT work in the WSR?
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The Bluebell structure isn't the same as Bailey, as I understand it, in that the ownership of the operating company is with a (non-charitable) membership organisation, and there is a separate arms-length charity. As I understand the Bailey proposal, it was to form the membership organisation as a single charitable body, with a wholly-owned operating subsidiary.

    With any structure, you do have to look at the "where we are now" and "where do we want to get to" and then make sure there is a viable path from one to the other. I think that, in the Bluebell case, if we were sitting down today with a clean sheet of paper, we probably wouldn't design the current tri-partite structure. It did however emerge from specific structural issues in the 1970s, and basically "does the job" even now: the key component being that the membership body retains the majority stake in the operating company. In the WSR case, as I understand, one of the primary constraints is that the current plc holds the operating licence, and any change to that will be very complex (i.e. doesn't meet the "viable path from one to the other" test). Hence my understanding of the Bailey proposal to create the overarching membership / charity body, with the plc remaining in continued existence; the key question therefore being how you get to that point. The siren voices calling for the complete failure of the plc need to remember that were that to happen, extrication of the operating licence into some new body would be problematic. So the key question is how to preserve the plc as the operator, but constrained in governance terms by being strategically controlled by the membership body.

    The other key point of "viable path from one to the other" is, of course, that there has to be good will on all sides to make it happen, something which seems distinctly lacking.

    Tom
     
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  5. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    A more democratic structure seems to be anathema to many at the WSR but, in that case, they could still consider the kind of non-democratic charitable structures which seem to work very effectively (at least in fundraising terms) for organisations such as the Ffestiniog & WHR Trust and the Birmingham Railway Museum Trust (owner of Vintage Trains).

    Charity law & regulation is far from perfect but it would provide a framework for better corporate governance than the current failed model where the plc is supposedly accountable to its shareholders but in practice it is not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
  6. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    The difficulty though is that at the moment on the WSR the 'Non Democratic' structure has not worked.
     
  7. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    It's not necessarily the lack of democratic accountability that is the problem since the non-democratic but charitable organisations I've mentioned seem to work pretty well. Other than the ORR safety overview the WSR's basic governance problem is lack of accountability to anybody or anything until it ceases to be solvent, which would be too late.
     
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  8. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    From the railway's point of view, it could well have been the case. I have very much got the impression that SCC, whose crossing it is, were upgrading it as a matter of policy rather than being legally compelled by a change in standards.
     
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  9. ikcdab

    ikcdab Well-Known Member

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    To be honest I think that personal attacks on people eg calling someone "the clown" are out of order. Not only do forum rules forbid it, but you have to remember that there is a human being with feelings at the end of your insults. Do you honestly think that referring to people as clowns or morons (to quote an earlier post that was moderated) is really going to achieve anything apart from contributing negatively to others mental health? Running the railway is hard enough as it is (and I obviously speak from my own personal experience) without personal attacks.
    This sort of stuff contributes to this forums poor name.
    Ian Coleby
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
  10. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    I think dunster would be a good place to have a museum and somethings more interesting at the station. As it’s where all the people get off to go to the castle and at the moment it is not a very exciting station. There already is building that will make a good museum and maybe brake an rises in the yard there’s
     
  11. Chufferpuff

    Chufferpuff Member

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    How about "Cuckoo in the nest " then ???
     
  12. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    I think 'cuckoo in the nest' was directed at an an organisation, not an individual.
     
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  13. ikcdab

    ikcdab Well-Known Member

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    I was taught at primary school that "two wrongs don't make a right". You (and @Piggy ) probably need to read forum rules again. In particular rule 7.4.
    Ian C
     
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  14. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    How helpful it is to have some freely available rules to read rather than having to use telepathy or divination.

    Robin
     
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  15. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    The Railway has an excellent museum at Blue Anchor station, just a mile or two from Dunster station. (Managed very professionally by the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust).
     
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  16. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Two wrongs don't make a right, but it sticks in the throat a bit when you have turned a blind eye to considerably worse crap chucked in the opposite direction, maybe not on this forum, but elsewhere both public and private.
     
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  17. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    How about the health of those involved with S&DRT, or those who have been removed from the railway? I don't recall any concern for the stress that they suffered and are suffering.

    Are personal attacks helpful or do they advance an argument? No, but it wasn't posters on this forum that created this atmosphere at the WSR. What you are doing is attacking the effect not the cause.
     
  18. Keith_Gold

    Keith_Gold Guest

    Cause it distracts attention from the Dear leader.
     
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  19. ikcdab

    ikcdab Well-Known Member

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    Actually I think this is an excellent idea. There was a plan to make each station into a heritage attraction in is own right, each one set in a different era. So as you traveled along the line, you traveled through time. Some stations are already accurately set in an era (cvda always said that WN was 1947), but others are more widely temporal. Dunster is a great place to build a working goods yard, as you say, all the elements are there. There just aren't enough people on the ground to make this happen at the moment, but I think it is still an ambition.
    Ian C
     
  20. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Agreed, but there was a pretty decent museum at Washford, what happened to that?
     
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