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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Nor do I believe that, at least not the "hell bent on the destruction of the WSR" bit. The board of the directors dearly want the railway to survive. After all, at least one of them thinks of it as "my railway". The point is that doesn't mean that they are competent at managing the railway in a way that would ensure its survival.
    The rest of that post is entirely correct, but in a very narrow point of view. As a limited company, the WSR Plc has directors who are mandated to run the company, however they are also supposed to do this in the best interest of the company's owners, the shareholders, not their own interests. Unlike most limited companies, the WSR has three sets of customers: those who give it money in return for a service (the passengers), those who give it their time in return for an experience they find enjoyable (the volunteers) and those who give it money in return for the pleasure of enabling some of its activities, either to happen at all or continue to happen (the supporters). The directors of a limited company may have a mandate to run that company how they see fit, but it is a very foolish board of directors who run it in a way that ignores the wishes of a large slice of its customers and one that is not running it in the best interest of their employers, the company's owners.
     
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  2. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    If I were cynical I might think that WSR PLC board seem to be making **** up as they go along and then claiming that it is all part of a grand masterplan. Obviously the board need Washford to keep their collection of unicorns.

    That is really brutal. They didn't even match the average weekly figure.

    If the WSR PLC board aren't incompetent then I am really not sure what you have to do in order to be considered incompetent in the world of heritage railway management
     
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  3. FrankC

    FrankC Well-Known Member

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    You have that assurance, assuming the Trust also behave in a responsible and legal way, which I am sure they will.
    Frank
     
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  4. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    ...but at the end of the day, who will win the 'penalty shoot-out' at the MD Corral ?
     
  5. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Thank you Patrick, it brings home how underperforming it is.
     
  6. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    I agree with @Lineisclear - if Administration looms then maybe it isn’t a going concern and any potential White Knights would know this. We’ve all heard of company failures where a White Knight is hoped to be riding in - and promptly rides out again after a good look around.
     
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  7. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Let’s just say their ability to market their appeal is underwhelming to say the least. No wonder there was reluctance to release the update - it’s frankly embarrassing.

    @Lineisclear You said that you don’t think there is incompetence, rather some difficult decisions. Do you not think that launching the appeal with no clear aims was a mistake? The figures seem to suggest the general public do. Would you be happy if a NYMR appeal was presented this way or achieved such poor results?

    Nobody denies that there are difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions to be made but, the evidence suggests that it goes deeper than that, the underwhelming appeal, the poor marketing and the fact the WSR seems to be three steps behind everyone else all the time all point to underlying problems, that is before you even consider the allegations surrounding members having cards withdrawn etc.

    Basically, this board needs to do something quickly to restore some faith in what they are doing as at the moment there appears to be little or none.
     
  8. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    As I said a while back:

    Jay Gould, then in charge of the Erie, was having trouble raising funds needed for capital works (in part because of his previous shenanigans to retain control of the Erie; even though, under his guidance, the Erie had finally turned a profit recently). He asked the prominent broker William Butler Duncan what to do; Duncan's advice was pithy: "Change the Board of Directors, and put in some strong names that people have confidence in!"

    Noel
     
  9. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Thank you. I stand corrected, if indeed there was such a need all along, but subsequent posts have disputed that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  10. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    What happened to the Erie?
     
  11. John Palmer

    John Palmer Member

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    Thank you, Frank, for that assurance. I too am sure that the Trust will behave in a responsible and lawful away, which, after all, has been characteristic of its behaviour throughout this sorry affair.
     
  12. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    It didn't go well. Almost sparked a war between the US & Canada after Jay Gould, fighting for control of the Erie, was swindled by a character who called himself Lord Gordon-Gordon.
     
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  13. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    The Erie Railroad went into bankruptcy in 1859 (before Gould's arrival, BTW), 1878 (after Gould lost control of it), 1893, and 1938; after a major decline, in 1960 the failing Erie merged with former rival Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad to form the Erie Lackawanna Railroad. After further vicissitudes, in 1976 the remains of the Erie Lackawanna became part of Conrail.

    Noel
     
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  14. Keith_Gold

    Keith_Gold Guest


    but how can you prove the 4f had issues before coming to stay?
    wouldn't poor pway bring these kind of issues on ?
     
  15. Keith_Gold

    Keith_Gold Guest

    Would make a brilliant museum, surprised thats never been tried at Washford..
     
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  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    In my experience, the obvious issues caused to locomotives by poor permanent way include enhanced tyre wear and greater than normal rate of spring failures. Anecdotally people sometimes also mention certain boiler problems, such as stay failures and leaking tubes, but I think it is much harder to make the direct causal relationship, and there are plenty of other causes of those.

    I think it is improbable that you could take a loco the best part of a century old and wholly attribute wheel cracks after a season or two of running that hadn't materialised in the hundreds of thousands of miles run previously.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
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  17. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    That seems the correct analysis to me. And of course, the moment that you start shipping big locomotives around the countryside on low loaders even with the most careful of loading and unloading arrangements you are potentially creating problems that you just wouldn't have if the locomotives were to travel by rail, which of course they cannot if they are not main line registered.

    I say all that because everyone loves it when visiting locos arrive at Galas from other heritage locations but that can come at a cost especially if it's a big 'un.
     
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  18. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    IIRC, the issues were shrinkage cracks that were likely to have dated back to the original casting. The saga of the varying cost estimates to repair them is another long and sorry tale. With the WSR now circling the drain, I suggest we revert to more immediate matters.
     
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  19. Keith_Gold

    Keith_Gold Guest


    Thing is we can pick over everything since someone took the top job.
    but as with all enquires after something fails we know the response.
    lessons must be learnt


    Does all seem like a ploy this appeal
    that the end game is for some is to pick over the charred remains cheap and set up again
     
  20. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    As discussed before, that is simply not a viable option.
    On the competency displayed thus far though, that doesn't preclude that being the plan nevertheless.
     
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