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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    It might, but anyone considering that course of action may also be weighing up whether the status quo might also be threatening the future of the railway. And at that point, why not?

    Personally, I think that the WSR is at a stage where the only viable option is to try to make the current status quo work despite the many and serious flaws that it has in both leadership and structure. But with the way that the leadership have behaved to people and organisations, their unwillingness (at least) to honour grant funding arrangements, and deeply confusing messaging over the needs of the railway, I'm struggling to see a future beyond stagnation and decline.
     
  2. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    A most pertinent observation. Looking at things from the bottom line (and forgetting about any and all internal politics, for these purposes), leaving aside income from grants, bequests, covenants and donations, what order of total visitor numbers are needed for a line of this length to cover 'bare bones' operating costs, including annualised breakdown for maintenance of pw, buildings, locos and stock?
     
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  3. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    There is one of the key problems - various numbers have been bandied around, but it's hard to know what the truth is. The management have said that it needs a million a year investment to recover, and also that the winterlights trains made £200k profit. I can understand how the two might relate, but it's really hard to follow through.
     
  4. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    On the 'closer to impossible side of hard', I suspect. I've not been down Minehead way in many moons and I'd be surprised if the majority of the pw inherited from BR(W) were still in use on the running lines and if it is, would imagine imminent replacement is a very live issue.

    From what's been written elsewhere, it sounds as if it's reasonable for rails to last 40 years or so. Sleepers, I'd not care to guess, not least as softwoods, hardwoods, concrete, steel and now plastic behave so differently. Concerning ballast, bridges drains, culverts and fencing, I know even less!

    With locos, the '10 year boiler ticket' provides only an extremely basic picture. There'll be a world of difference between a new build loco's first ticket and restored ex-Barry loco, heading for it's fourth. On carriages, enough has been written by those familiar with the design shortcomings of ex-BR MKI and MKII stock to take a stab at the sort of work needed to keep 'em in harness, if not the cost, but quite how much maintenence is needed to keep, say, a Collet or Hawksworth era carriage (let alone a 'toplight') in running order I couldn't begin to guess.
     
  5. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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  6. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    Actually. They are no different to maintain. When it comes to bits wearing out. Most carriages will develop faults in the same places. Around windows, doors and the ends. Anywhere water can get in. The only thing that changes when it comes to repairing bits is the materials and relevant skills involved.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2022
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  7. Windsor branch line

    Windsor branch line New Member

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    In the recent picture up date on .wsr.org there’s some photos of some work being done to a Dmu , is this the normal 3 car which is being prepared for the season, or the Dmu that was moved from Bl To Md before Christmas,
    It can’t be the one opposite the mindhead signal box that was under sheeting .
     
  8. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Funnily enough there are those who have the same view of Boris and his government ......
     
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  9. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed. The difference being that it is easier to dislodge a PM than a plc board, and carries less risk.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. Ian Monkton

    Ian Monkton Member

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    It's the normal 3-car DMU.
     
  11. Windsor branch line

    Windsor branch line New Member

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    Many thanks for your reply.
     
  12. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Resident of Nat Pres

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    Imagine, for a moment, an 'entirely imaginary' heritage railway's senior management standing in front of the Dragons from Dragon's Den:

    'You need how much investment?'
    - We can't tell you.

    'And your current business plan is...?'
    - We can't share it with you.

    Or replace the 'Dragons' with the Trustee awards panel of a grant-making Charity (like the one I have been a member of, perhaps).

    'What are your organisation's values? Volunteer policies? Director appointment policies? Diversity policy? Track record on diversity? Business plan for the next year? Plan for the next 5 years? Project management track record? Track record with similar grant-making organisations? Why do you have the corporate structure that you do? How much of a grant were you asking for?

    Err, err, err...

    And you think the status quo has a snowball's chance?
     
  13. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    So grant-making bodies won't help, half the WSR's friends have been alienated, and the other half have donated all they can afford. How much of the operating expenses is covered by income from the fare box remains as clear as mud, likewise whether the half million per annum to make good the backlog of maintenance on the infrastructure was an accurate figure or wet-finger-in-the-air. Which will happen first; insolvency or closure by the ORR?
     
  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    As I said, I don’t. And I pity anyone caught up in the situation. But sometimes there’s little practical choice.


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  15. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Resident of Nat Pres

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    Well, at a time of financial stringency, the WSR plc are advertising for an employed compliance officer.

    Answers on a postcard, please…
     
  16. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Not, I'd have thought, a position too likely to attract properly qualified voluntary interest, though I suppose stranger things have happened.
     
  17. Piggy

    Piggy Member

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    That's probably why it's advertised as 24hrs/week ..... is that WSR-speak for one day ?
     
  18. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Dunno ..... best ask the compliance officer! ;)
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    You never know if you don’t ask.

    Tom
     
  20. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Can't argue with that. :)
     

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