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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    Transfer the voting rights in donated shares would require compliance with the share transfer provisions in the Articles and would only be effective on registration by the PLC . It would also mean loss of any associated travel benefits for the donor.
     
  2. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    What though are the potential outcomes of the current situation on the WSR,

    1. Implement Bailey - BUT the PLC says no, although it has the potential to address many of the problems the wider WSR family currently face, or
    2. Stagger through 2021 with a better 2022, BUT it doesnt address the fact that the PLC doesnt make enough money through the farebox to maintain the railway, and why would supporters pump money into the PLC if they have no control over it, and given the track record of the current - and previous boards, so at some stage we are faced with
    3 Bankruptcy or some variation thereof.
     
  3. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    The real concern must be whether the Plc has raised sufficient funds, whether through fare income, donations or whatever other means, to get through the coming winter.
     
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  4. Hirn

    Hirn Member

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    Pages 46-49 in the most recent Railway Magazine for September are devoted to the WSR. The text is apparently based on a visit in late June and a later one in August. The situation is adumbrated. There is mention of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust and there is a list of works in hand: largely building maintenance, civil engineering work and some S&T.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
  5. 242A1

    242A1 Member

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    So where exactly does the appeal stand now? Are the WSRHT and the WSRA members both capable and willing to make up any short fall?

    If they are this will only provide a short reprieve so this begs the question concerning what they are prepared to do in the future. The line needs more income. As I have posted before, passenger numbers are simply not good enough and have not been for a very long time. So how do these associations propose to increase the numbers or is this purely seen as the PLC's job? Or do the members believe that support for the railway is so strong that passengers will not be put off by substantial fare increases?
    The associations could try to recruit more members and also increase the cost of membership but being realistic that is not going to go very far, it might even go backwards. Would there be enough support for a "save your railway for the price of a pint of beer a week" (apologies to the A1 Trust) form of fund raising? Given the activities of those with the GW or nothing attitude such a concept could well be rejected out of hand as a matter of principle. Could alternative revenue streams be made profitable enough to have a significant impact on the overall finances?
    Are members of the associations all buying lottery tickets and hoping for the best or are some of them awaiting a significant inheritance?
    So members and supporters what are you going to do? Carry on Squabbling?
     
  6. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean by this? (said in an inquiring, non-hostile tone). The WSR is acclaimed by its supporters as a GWR branch line to the seaside, so I don't quite see what principle would be at stake.
    One of the significant problems with this appeal is that the request seems to be "Save my railway ", rather than your railway or our railway.
     
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  7. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    reading the last few posts it is like the WSR twilight zone , where reality , fact , fiction all collide interspersed with little hints of normality and a reminder the railway is running

    I admire those willing to donate in the hope of being part of change , change though that will only come with collective effort and recent history shows the odds are stacked against change
    even collective change . Where though is a body to be the beacon of hope and offer a rallying point

    meanwhile the railway continues its journey , we can guess the destination , but until it gets there it becomes a waiting game .
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
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  8. 242A1

    242A1 Member

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    Quite simple; they reject anything that does not have GW identity or roots, they might accept the odd guest briefly but that is as far as it goes. This was further exemplified by those proclaiming at BL that 53808 should not be working trains on the railway , a certain 78XX ought to be. They ought to be more open, more creative and more flexible but the very fact that the issues afflicting this line remain unaddressed indicates that they are willing to continue to do things their way regardless even though the financial evidence shows that what they are doing is not working and they have to take on lessons from elsewhere. And that isn't going to happen in time.
     
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  9. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    I have heard the big model railway isnt open at bishops lidyard and had been shut down as it’s the Somerset and Dorset line. I would think any railway would be happy to have it so it is your lost thanks very much. Soon the railway will not have anything
     
  10. granmaree

    granmaree Member

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    Where did you hear that?
     
  11. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Probably the same source that told him the MHR is extending west of Alresford
     
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  12. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    Is there any actual evidence, other than hearsay, for these statements? I have read speculation and insinuation to that effect but nothing more. If it is true then it is very stupid for a line that depends almost 100% on BR Mk 1 coaching stock!
     
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  13. John Palmer

    John Palmer Member

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    This is a post that seems to beg a number of questions.

    First, in what circumstances will a buyer of the plc's assets assume an obligation to “give creditors a better deal than they would get from insolvent liquidation”? So far as I can see, such a buyer owes the company's creditors no such obligation unless he chooses to assume it voluntarily.

    In any case, where is the plc going to find a buyer willing assume such an obligation? Is not a prospective buyer more likely to await the opportunity of acquiring the plc's assets cheaply in the course of any ensuing insolvency, without having to incur any such obligation to other creditors?

    Next, if insolvency does indeed loom, but the plc has option of selling the assets but not the company, isn't that an option the plc can exercise irrespective of whether the WSRA is trying to buy additional shares and/or exert pressure for change?

    In any case, the plc directors must be presumed to believe that the company is currently capable of meeting its debts as they fall due, as they would otherwise be subject to an obligation to cease trading. Until that state of affairs changes, is it not their duty to serve the best interests of their shareholders in priority to those of the company's creditors? How do they discharge that duty by the sale of assets on which the company's ability to earn income depends?

    If I'm correctly following the message @Lineisclear is seeking to convey, the WSRA should be lending its financial support to the plc but only on terms that it should not seek to exert influence upon the direction the company is taking or acquire additional shares to enhance such influence. Latent in that message is the threat that if the WSRA were to exert its influence or attempt purchase of the means to do so, the plc might be induced to sell the family silver and thereby wipe out the rights of all the shareholders, not merely those attributable to shares held by the WSRA.

    And just in case any WSRA trustee may be wavering about whether his association should be giving the plc money without any quid pro quo, let's toss in the deterrent that he may be required to bear personally the cost of any share purchase the Association makes.

    I find this a very odd way of soliciting funds to save the railway. It's one redolent of the Major Bloodnok formula for extracting cash: “Open your wallets and say after me 'Help yourself!'”

    Of one thing I am quite sure. I have a choice between donating my spare cash to a company that says it's going down the toilet if I don't do so, or instead giving it to the S&DRT who will have urgent need of it if the WSR plc defaults on its overhaul obligation by going bust. No prizes for guessing it's the S&D Trust that gets my donation, and that too is something for potential donors to reflect upon.
     
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  14. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Though a successful Cultural Recovery Grant 3 would go a way towards it. The Arts Council version says "we expect that you wouldn’t apply for more than 25% per cent of your annual turnover ... We aim to notify applicants of the outcome of their applications by the end of October 2021."

    (I don't know which year's annual turnover, or if different parts of the scheme have different criteria or dates).

    WSR PLC accounts for the year ending March 2021 are due to be published this month

    Patrick
     
  15. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    My personal take on that is you may have stumbled on the reason that the non subservient charity were refused a meeting with the Finance Director.
     
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  16. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Out of curiosity, I recently dropped into the 4160 site to see how yet another WSR related outlet was supporting the railway.

    After about a ten month silence on its news page I see that in June it had posted a message about the WSR financial appeal and also the delayed work on Seaward crossing. It then had a pop at the WSRA.

    There's no need for Nat Pres to be accused of stirring the pot on issues at the line. It seems that people associated with it are happy to do that themselves.
     
  17. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    A glimmer of light has emerged in that Mr Edge's excellent website hints that the Emergency SOS Survival Appeal figure has reached £43k which will be announced next week. A back of an envelope calculation suggests it is cantering along at £260 a day.

    Edited to add, would that be the same 4160 team who were engaged by the 6+1 to find a buyer for the shares in the locomotive ? IIRC, they sold the shares to themselves at a knock-down price. As for excessive expenditure, it seems that they can neither afford a dictionary nor an atlas. The plc also gets some attention under "damming news". I had no idea that it had diversified into hydrology engineering. Is there a prize for the first reader to locate the mythical welsh village of "Llagnollen" ?

    4160 Ltd - Home
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
  18. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    So cruel. :( I'd decided to avoid commenting on the typos. Thought the 2020 news headline about mediation was suggesting that this group was actually supporting the PLC and WSRA as I took the strange 'propsed' word in the first line as a local Somerset dialect term to suggest shoring up the ailing Railway!
     
  19. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    OK, we can laugh at other people's spelling mistakes, but at the end of the day reconciliation between 4160 Ltd (in which I have some shares) and the WSRA and the plc could bring this very suitable loco back to the WSR, where to my mind it really belongs to be.
     
  20. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Is that actually the case? There is a contract with 5542 Ltd which effectively leases 4160 to them, with 5542 Ltd having control on where 4160 operates and any running contract would be between WSR PLC & 5542 Ltd.
     

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