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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. jonathanp

    jonathanp New Member

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    Only if they had little knowledge of corporate vocabluary.

    Compliance is the standard term used in business environment for the people who ensure internal policies are followed.

    A common term used in project management is "grooming", but that doesn't mean that the people who do it are paedophiles.
     
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  2. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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  3. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    Not so sure about the degree of challenge to find the necessary new skills. The whole of the employment sector has been dealing with increased legislation and tighter restrictions for some time (Unless, of course you are an MP or even PM ! [Meyow!]). There have been a whole raft of new roles to meet that legislation (just look at how H&S has gone from being part of a managers role to a whole independent industry) so I don't think that just because the heritage sector may not have them does not mean that they are not out there in other industries.

    Implying that just because the heritage movement hasn't got something means that that something doesn't exist elsewhere is a very short-sighted view.
     
  4. goldfish

    goldfish Nat Pres stalwart

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    I'm not sure that's what was being said. My reading of @Lineisclear 's comments was that whilst getting volunteers who want to drive trains would be relatively straightforward, finding volunteers to do the HR, accounts, or clean the toilets, etc. (exaggerating for effect) is rather tougher – getting those less glamorous roles in place might have to be a paid service rather than something to expect for free. Not so easy for a not-for-profile operating on thin margins – they're hardly able to magic up the cash to buy people in.

    Simon
     
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  5. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    Full time administrative volunteer is no better than unpaid internships . Its downright insulting to say to someone "we value your skills that most people would pay for but we want to give you nothing for those skills 5 days a week". So not only do you have to pay to be a member, your extracted value is something a normal, successful railway would pay £19k+ pro-rata for. If it was a pub signwriter painting carriages or Big Railway driver coming down and doing a bit of driving thats a little different in my book because thats spare time. May as well pay them in WatchetCoin that they can only spend on the WSR.
     
  6. Zoomeg

    Zoomeg New Member

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    This will probably go down like a bucket of cold sick but why don't they go down the route of what happened with the Dartmoor Line if it's no longer viable as a preserved line?

    it doesn't seem to offer a serious public service due to the Taunton - BL issue (and never has)
     
  7. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It has been mentioned before, during the bloodletting before last (or was it the one before that? So easy to lose track). A quick glance at census data comparing populations shows Minehead with 11,981 against Okehampton at 5,922. Of course, the latter is seen as a railhead for surrounding communities as far away as Bude. The Minehead line serves coastal communities before finally swinging inland, leaving the likely catchments to the west (little before Porlock, which is less than sizeable) and south, which already effectively has Barnstaple as it's railhead. Of course, summer patronage could be boosted with regular steam operation ....... (hold on a sec) ......
     
  8. D1039

    D1039 Part of the furniture

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    If it's no longer viable as a preserved line... I still think that unlikely but here goes.

    Okehampton is unsignalled with no intermediate stations and no crossings, and the time from Crediton-Okehampton-Crediton offers a potential hourly service. The WSR has both ballast trains and crossings, which require signalling, and even at higher line speeds with fewer stops it wouldn't support more than ~0.5tph without a crossing point. Nothing's impossible but it's got more complexities. Okehampton cost £40m and I strongly suspect a NR West Somerset line would cost more and take longer
     
  9. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    The "Taunton - BL issue" didn't stop FGW running public transport trains into BL. The reason given at the time why these trains couldn't continue to Minehead was that there were no paths because another railway company was using them all.
     
  10. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    You don't necessarily need an hourly service. The vast majority of Ireland's lines got by for decades with a morning train and an afternoon train.
     
  11. D1039

    D1039 Part of the furniture

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    True, but I had in mind @Zoomeg 's reference to a 'serious public service', my bus route's dropped from hourly to every 1.5 hours and it's usefulness has plummeted as a result. I'd also suggest that 1950s rural Ireland isn't a great comparator to the modern world where an hourly bus and more likely the car is the competition.
     
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  12. Zoomeg

    Zoomeg New Member

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    that's because they were using NR certified stock, of which the WSR has none.

    Sorry but this has came up time and again when preserved railways try to interface with the national network. The Swanage are a case in point. If a preserved line doesn't have a direct interchange with NR like the Bluebell, Watercress, P&D, NYMR, KWV, SVR etc it's doomed to rely on tourist and enthusiast (often car borne) business
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
  13. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    But that is surely subsidised stagnation. Waterford - Rosslare lies mothballed and the Nenagh line (assuming it's still open) has been under pretty much constant threat of closure for decades. Although not the most populous county in Southern England, compared with rural Ireland, Somerset is positively heaving. If you could transplant Williton to Co.Roscommon, the locals would compare it with London!
     
  14. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Your lucky compared to us - we get one bus twice a week….
     
  15. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Strewth ....each of the three routes within walking distance of me get more buses every hour than you get each month. Are you in a village or the deep sticks?
     
  16. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    It’s a village, it’s not even a proper bus being one of those community bus operations.
     
  17. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Doesn’t that depend on the person? For someone with the right skills and motivation, that volunteering may be entirely reasonable and indeed something that they choose to give to the organisation that they support.

    The question is whether reliance on a volunteer fulfilling such a role is sustainable, particularly whether suitably keen, capable and energetic volunteers would be available.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  18. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    Nope, its exploitation because they expect a full time person to be there all the time with the subtext being that their volunteering time is more important than the volunteer's own personal time and needs. Sure they can't get snippy when need a day off or want to go on holiday but if a volunteer position is full time, it should be rewarded as such. Its 2022 and its a workers market and if you can't pay someone and expect them to volunteer 35-40 hours a week, then your business is a total failure (which we already know). I could understand someone doing a day or two a week but 5 days is WSR failing hard plain and simple.
     
  19. goldfish

    goldfish Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think you’re talking at crossed purposes with just about everyone.

    No one ‘expects’ anyone to volunteer, indeed the point has been made that some volunteer positions are harder to fill than others. @35B has made the point that some people may want to volunteer for a role and hours you consider unreasonable. That’s their choice. If you retire at 50 as an HR professional, maybe you’d be happy to do Mon-Fri 9-5 as a volunteer HR person on the WSR, and who are we to judge that choice? If someone is willing to do the role, they’re hardly being exploited.

    But of course those people are few and far between, and more likely, that would require hiring someone to do that role in the absence of a volunteer, particularly to ensure professionalism and sustainability.

    Neither of those scenarios, whatever the WSR’s traumas, merit the melodramatic language of ‘total failure’.

    Simon
     
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  20. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    And just how many people do you realistically think there is in WSRs members pool for that? I've never known anyone to retire then immediately go back to the 40 hour week for free. Maybe a day or two in a voluntary capacity but if I retired at 50 (hah), the last thing I would be doing is chaining myself to the same thing that allowed me to retire so early. It beggars belief all round. Plus almost every HR issue is with a handful of people anyway so being HR at the WSR is a Sisyphean exercise. Even if someone is willing to do it, its still exploitative. We're all aware of the issues surrounded pay and work conditions in hospitality but just because people were willing to do the job (me included), doesn't mean it isn't exploitative. Not even charity shops expect 5 days of volunteering out of people.

    Edit: To this mythical 50 year old HR rep retiring. If thats the case then they've absolutely spent the last 25 years doing circa 70 hour weeks in a high pressure environment. Theres no way they'd suddenly retire and go do full time in a voluntary position. They'd take a cruise then do a day or two a week in consulting.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2022

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