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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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    My more pessimistic figure would exclude the cost of major infrastructure developments/replacements.
     
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  2. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Other than the fact that the railway may or may not be facing financial meltdown, and that the last chance before bankruptcy to change the direction may have been missed. So it's hardly been a rip-roaring success and your plans have been kicked into the long grass since you aided the defeat of the 10/14.

    Remember you were berating people for not donating? As has been explained to you, people are not willing to donate with the current management in charge. There was a small window of opportunity to potentially change direction. You helped shut it. Saying you have no influence is disingenuous. You have enough influence to propose a radical restructuring of the WSR which is embraced by the vast majority of those involved with the WSR, enough influence to involve yourself in the PLC-S&DRT dispute, and yet apparently you want us to believe your views had absolutely no influence over anyone on the WSR when it came to the 10/14. Yeah right, chinny reckon.
     
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  3. bluetrain

    bluetrain Well-Known Member

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    Quick arithmetic indicates that 20p per minute corresponds to about £100K per annum and 20p per second to about £6M per annum. The second option looks the more likely cost of NYMR operation.
     
  4. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    unfortunately the last retort rather devalues a point with some value . Whether you agree with @Lineisclear or not fair play for willingly engaging in the debate despite some of the bricks thrown at him . I am also cautious in allowing any latitude to the board in creating a scapegoat if the worst case happens .

    ultimately the buck stops with the chair and board and decisions made . you rightly highlight that opportunities for change from basic to complex have been missed . The alarm has been sounding on this forum for a number of years and members have been derided by the usual suspects for a number of salient points made which now feel like chickens coming home to roost

    for those looking on and thinking the Llangollen administration wasn't too bad , might want to reflect that the WSR structure vests in LRO and much of the assets in the operating company and not a charity . Should a similar fate befall the WSR the auction of assets will probably be catastrophic to any notion of reopening for a considerable time .
     
  5. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Didn't know that. In that position how do you answer the legitimate question "What action is in the best interests of my company portfolio and how well does it fit with the action that is in the best interest of the Railway"?
     
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  6. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    A good many years ago I was talking to a senior figure in a since restructured and now much better funded heritage organisation as to why the supporting society did not appoint directors to the operating company or make certain posts in the supporting organisation directors.

    His response was that the responsibilities of directors if things went wrong were onerous and it wasnt fair to put 'non business' people in such a role.

    Given this comment I do wonder what is going on and the extent to which those involved understand what is happening.
     
  7. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Maybe, but one of the features of our current age is the unwillingness of people, especially those at the top, to take responsibility for their actions. I don't buy the argument of no responsibility.

    In the end if the WSR goes under we will all have to take responsibility
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2021
  8. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    I knew the 20p bit was correct but wasn't certain about the seconds bit.
     
  9. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    I just hope that in due course no-one decides to re-brand the WSR as 'The Quantocks Line"...imagine the furore from those offended by the lack of reference to the Brendons or the seaside etc....

    But seriously, as the WSRA Chairman pointed today at the AGM (see, I was paying attention @aldfort :) ), the (private) West Somerset Railway has been in existence now for more than twice the length of time that it was owned by British Railways and the name does what it says on the can.
     
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  10. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    More clearly and concisely put than my prior response. And as @Sidmouth observed, the PLC's own accountants have opined that "the Railway's future viability is dependent on the business being able to operate profitably, which is not yet forecast ... material uncertainty exists that may cast doubt on the company's ability to continue as a going concern", so these concerns from "many people" are hardly outlandish.

    Many people feel that the WSR needs major changes to both its overall organizational structure (to improve its governance), and also probably major changes to its operation (likely changes to its service pattern) to make it profitable, but there seems to be strong resistance to making any such changes. In that environment, the accountants' warning is all too appropriate.

    Noel
     
  11. Keith Sims

    Keith Sims Member

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    Whatever the name changes that may take place, the important fact is that the MHR has seen the value of a re-organisation to protect the assets of the railway. That and its adoption of the S&D suggests that it has a board which is aware of the future and the challenges that it may bring. well done MHR and watercress Line.
     
  12. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    One issue I do find surprising is that many on the WSR board are 'younger' and have their future careers to consider.

    Connection with the WSR board that ran a railway into avoidable bankruptcy wont do much for their future employment prospects.
     
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  13. Downline

    Downline Member

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    One 'young person' is causing all the issues, one 'young person' is a director of the company which has been acting as secretary for the last 2 years, one 'young person' has a sideline business with another of the 'young people'. I think they all know what they were walking into, so wouldn't be worrying about it.
     
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  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    If said accountant is on the board, and also conflicted due to that firm's advisory services to the WSR plc, then there may be some significant questions to be asked by the relevant professional body.
     
  15. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    I went to the WSRA AGM today. The hall was packed with about 17 WSRA members. Most of The WSRA trustees were present along with WSRA Staff. These officials and Trustees almost out numbered membership present in person. There were some more members on line. The Chair rattled thru the formalities. The highlight was the nominated Trustees. Neither was present. One sent an apology being they were working on The Railway. The other .........I do not know why this person was not on line/in person/no apology. Looking forward to see further discussion on this. They were both voted in as Trustees. I feel quite overwhelmed with emotion that I had to lie down in a darkened room for a considerable time sipping cold water. Gosh......Go WSRA Go!
    In conclusion was not the most stimulating meeting. There were some very good projects run by those with know how otherwise the only word I can think of at the moment to describe the whole event is :impotent.
    Maybe I can find some wiser words to write tomorrow. :) :) :)!!!!!!!!
    BFN!
     
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  16. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    No appearance or apology at the time of their election is awful. What if members wanted to ask them questions? What if members wanted to know who they were? Sorry, if someone couldn't be bothered to turn up or notify the meeting then I think they were not worth the space on the ballot paper.

    And 'Sorry, can't come, working on the railway...' ? How long has the date of the AGM been known? Was it really impossible to swap turns with someone so they could attend?

    Sounds to me that neither could be bothered to turn up, did it really matter to them if they were elected or not?

    For me that does not bode well for the WSRA Board. Does this motivate the Board or promote inaction? More sitting on the fence? Or maybe even ignoring whatever is happening as if they couldn't be bothered?
     
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  17. Downline

    Downline Member

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    I don't know who these new trustee's are, what they do on the railway, or why one was working on the railway. But considering the circumstances we are all currently living under, and that you would hope a potential WSRA board member has the best intentions of the West Somerset Railway at heart, and there could be a genuine reason why they sent there apologies for the AGM and spent the day working on the railway. Without details from say an AGM report, I don't see why someone should be so disgusted?

    Not bothering to turn up, well there's no excuse for that...
     
  18. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    sounds like an element of " its a forgone conclusion, i have enough votes to be elected so i don't need to attend," Its a common problem across all of the directorships, and trustee ships of the bodies connected to the WSR, the same names revolve from position to position.
     
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  19. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    I think the Mid Hants/Watercress has had a dual personality for some time and this change must simplify things for them. The WSR is the WSR no confusion with the name there at all (did someone say Quantock Heritage ???) However, while the WSRA Board may boast about the time the line has existed I would ask what are they doing in future to ensure it continues to exist? Are they looking to the future like the Watercress or just resting on their laurels and saying 'Haven't we done well?'
     
  20. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    are both not heavily linked/ in favour of the plc too . one reacted in their facebook group when matter got a little feisty and withdrew . An interesting CV to enter into the world WSRA
     

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