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Author Topic: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - merged topic, ongoing discussion  (Read 115703 times)
grahame
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« Reply #315 on: July 26, 2020, 06:26:20 pm »


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We look forward to 53808 joining the running fleet during August and operating alongside another locomotive 76017 that also ran on the S&D.

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The PLC recognises the need for the Trust to generate income from using the locomotive as soon as is practically possible in order to contribute towards the costs of overhaul after 2022. The Company is therefore working collaboratively with the Trust to complete the winter maintenance programme which was halted by the impact of Covid 19 restrictions in preparation for departure.

Adding those two together rather suggests it would not have run on the WSR in the near future - is that because we do not yet have news on when trains will run to / from Minehead, or for some other reason such as weight restrictions or too many engines available on the West Somerset?
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« Reply #316 on: July 26, 2020, 07:11:52 pm »

There are several reasons why 53808 would not have run on the WSR in the near future, none of which relate to having too many engines or weight restrictions relating to the track. In fact 53808 is/was the ideal engine to handle incoming excursions off the main line.
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grahame
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« Reply #317 on: July 29, 2020, 03:55:28 pm »

There are several reasons why 53808 would not have run on the WSR in the near future, none of which relate to having too many engines or weight restrictions relating to the track. In fact 53808 is/was the ideal engine to handle incoming excursions off the main line.

Thank you.   I have just come across this page which goes into more detail on the line status - wsr.org.uk which describes itself as "An unofficial website featuring the West Somerset Railway"

Quote
An update on the outstanding trackworks

One of the factors holding back any chance of re-opening the Railway during the main 2020 season, even on a limited basis, are the unfinished winter track works at three particular locations. Unfinished due to the enforced and swift implementation of Covid-19 lockdown in March and the introduction of furlough for the WSR Plc's paid staff including the supervisors and track workers.In the latest edition of the WSR newsletter, 'The Platform', the Plc explains 'Some staff in critical areas, including permanent way, managed to get jobs elsewhere....this has left a gap on the permanent way side in particular, which will take time to fill.

[snip]

Given the Plc's comment and the fuller information from local sources (not revealed here), it all suggests the trackworks will not be completed for several months, possibly well into 2021.

27 July 2020

With overcrowded (under distancing) issues with buses a couple of months back, someone suggested a 3 car d.m.u. trundling up and down to provide capacity from Minehead - I think to a railhead at Bishop's Lydeard was suggested from where buses would head to the hospital, town centre, etc, in Taunton.    Sounded sensible at the time, but now sounds like it would not have been possible even if taken forward.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 04:23:48 pm by grahame » Logged

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« Reply #318 on: July 30, 2020, 08:46:18 am »

With overcrowded (under distancing) issues with buses a couple of months back, someone suggested a 3 car d.m.u. trundling up and down to provide capacity from Minehead - I think to a railhead at Bishop's Lydeard was suggested from where buses would head to the hospital, town centre, etc, in Taunton.    Sounded sensible at the time, but now sounds like it would not have been possible even if taken forward.

I dreamed of Utopia - a charming seaside town in the South West of England where I can take an early morning train to the county town of Shangri-la through Cloud Cuckoo Land to do my shopping, meet with friends in "The Plough" and connect onwards at the same station for London, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth and any of 2,000 other stations.  I can travel back during the day on a quaint old train - for which there may be a premium to pay, in amongst the holiday makers enjoying this lovely land, or take a faster modern late afternoon or evening (all day in winter). On Saturdays, it's lovely to see longer trains arriving from further afield bringing holiday makers in for a week at our holiday camp, and then seeing those people out and about enjoying our town.

Sadly, it was just a dream.  More likely we have factions of people each of whom have part of my view, but aren't working together as well as they should to provide something that works for all, with high walls between their views, and red tape then further tying them within their sectors. Financial constraints largely caused by them not sharing resources and costs prevent them doing much about the issues; it might take just a week or two to sort out the problems, but there's no-one with the skills on the staff to do so and so the railway from Utopia to Shangri-la lays through Cloud Cuckoo land lies fallow and unused.  I just hope that newts don't take advantage of the quietness and move in, adding a further layer of complexity to any potential train services.



My thanks for the fill-ins by personal message ... much appreciated.  Reading the sources there, I have written "more likely" above - but I could have written "most likely".   I don't expect to be able to visit Utopia by train in the near future, and for me and many other that will mean I don't visit Utopia at all; the bus for that distance is unattractive to me and is reported to have capacity issues.   And that must be pretty depressing to the businesses of Utopia who are having a pretty torrid time this summer in any case
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 08:51:22 am by grahame » Logged

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« Reply #319 on: July 30, 2020, 11:19:34 am »

One wonders whether, if the current "Reversing Beeching" movement continues to progress, and the associated government policies and local/regional aspirations and proposals to expand the national rail network progress with it, there might come a time where the likes of the West Somerset Railway, Bodmin & Wenford, Isle of Wight Steam Railway etc might end up being nationalised to smooth the way, with perhaps the odd "Steam Special" thrown in as a sop to their heritage past?
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« Reply #320 on: July 30, 2020, 12:19:09 pm »

I for one would LIKE to see the present WSR to become a part of the national network with a year round service of through trains to other parts of the national network.
I appreciate that this may be a minority view, but we should remember that the ORIGINAL PURPOSE of the WSR was to run a year round service, similar to that run by BR before closure.

I would hope that a heritage operation could co-exist.

Similar arguments no doubt apply to other heritage lines, but I am more familiar with the WSR.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #321 on: July 30, 2020, 08:23:38 pm »

I for one would LIKE to see the present WSR to become a part of the national network with a year round service of through trains to other parts of the national network.
I appreciate that this may be a minority view, but we should remember that the ORIGINAL PURPOSE of the WSR was to run a year round service, similar to that run by BR before closure.

I would hope that a heritage operation could co-exist.

Similar arguments no doubt apply to other heritage lines, but I am more familiar with the WSR.

I'd certainly like to see a GWR IET operating from Paddington to Minehead during the summer months at least.
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« Reply #322 on: July 30, 2020, 08:52:28 pm »

I'd certainly like to see a GWR IET operating from Paddington to Minehead during the summer months at least.

I think a GWR HST Castle set from Bristol to Minehead is more realistic
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« Reply #323 on: July 30, 2020, 09:14:41 pm »

Similar arguments no doubt apply to other heritage lines, but I am more familiar with the WSR.

I have followed up on this in a new thread - http://www.passenger.chat/23852 - looking at a number of branch lines in the South and West, and commenting about future shape of services "reversing Beeching", whatever the current use of the line is.
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broadgage
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« Reply #324 on: July 30, 2020, 09:53:12 pm »

I doubt that an IET to Minehead would be an option, nothing to do with my dislike of them, but the longer vehicles would almost certainly be out of gauge in many locations. Remember all the costly and disruptive works required to clear main line routes for IETs ?

A Castle set sounds more likely, these are also out of gauge but have run to Minehead relatively recently, so presumably only minor works would be required to again run HSTs to Minehead.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #325 on: July 30, 2020, 10:17:56 pm »

I doubt that an IET to Minehead would be an option, nothing to do with my dislike of them, but the longer vehicles would almost certainly be out of gauge in many locations. Remember all the costly and disruptive works required to clear main line routes for IETs ?

And yet ... cleared to Pembroke Dock, Newquay, Inverness, Aberdeen, Hull ...
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« Reply #326 on: July 30, 2020, 11:25:32 pm »

I doubt that an IET to Minehead would be an option, nothing to do with my dislike of them, but the longer vehicles would almost certainly be out of gauge in many locations. Remember all the costly and disruptive works required to clear main line routes for IETs ?

And yet ... cleared to Pembroke Dock, Newquay, Inverness, Aberdeen, Hull ...

Yes, the works weren't that costly or that disruptive at all in reality.

I don't know much about the Minehead route, but I remember all sorts of doom and gloom about other routes having to have lots of money spent on them so the IETs would fit.  Narberth Tunnel and Ledbury Tunnel being two good examples where it was doubted by 'experts' that the trains would fit.  In actual fact very little, if any, works were required on any major structures - it seemed to mostly be just shaving a little off of some platform edges here and there.  The same largely applied for getting Turbo route clearance in the west.

This discussion over on Railforums in 2017 and 2018 demonstrated how the rumours of Narberth Tunnel being too twisty and narrow ended up coming to absolutely nothing:  https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/narberth-tunnel.150755/
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« Reply #327 on: July 31, 2020, 03:24:46 am »

Perhaps IETs could run to Minehead more readily than I suspected ? I still don't like them, but better an IET than no through train.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #328 on: August 12, 2020, 03:56:49 pm »

I doubt that an IET to Minehead would be an option, nothing to do with my dislike of them, but the longer vehicles would almost certainly be out of gauge in many locations. Remember all the costly and disruptive works required to clear main line routes for IETs ?

A Castle set sounds more likely, these are also out of gauge but have run to Minehead relatively recently, so presumably only minor works would be required to again run HSTs to Minehead.

Hardly, wasn't this issue mentioned for years about Pembroke Dock - Paddington services, and in the end it was found out that IET's could work them anyway?  Those who say it doesn't make sense, it does as currently BOS runs a shuttle service from Taunton to Minehead Butlins.  I suspect many would prefer a Paddington to Minehead service with a short shuttle to Butlins park.
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grahame
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« Reply #329 on: October 23, 2020, 07:30:31 pm »

From the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust - Facebook page

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The Chairman of the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust, Chris Austin, has announced today that he is stepping down as chairman and as a trustee with immediate effect.  He remains a member and loyal supporter of the Trust and a volunteer worker on the railway.  Chris said:

?I am sorry to be leaving the Trust after ten successful years as Chairman.  I am afraid that I can no longer carry out this role while I continue to be the subject of intimidation and harassment by a group of people who are bent on taking control of the Trust in order to secure the PLC shares it owns and to force a merger with the Association which, as a Trustee, I do not believe is in the best interests of the Trust, or of the West Somerset Railway. 

At the age of 75, I believe it is time for a younger person to take over, and the strain of the last six weeks is now affecting my health and well-being.  I have been subject to threats of legal action from both Robin White and a number of the group who are seeking to become trustees, together with a threat to refer the Trust?s management to the Charity Commission and a complaint to the Information Commissioner?s Office.  The accusations made have become increasingly hostile and are quite inappropriate in relation to a small charity run entirely by volunteers; enough is enough.
   
I am grateful to my nine excellent trustees who have given me so much support over the last few difficult weeks.  I am grateful too for the support of members who have written to me and to the wonderful group of Trust volunteers with whom I have had the privilege of working.  I have enjoyed working with Jon Jones-Pratt as PLC chairman and Mike Sherwood as Association Chairman and am grateful to them for their support, advice and encouragement.  I would underline that my departure does not reflect any problem or dispute between the organisations that run and support the WSR, but stems from the actions of a small group of people with a strong sense of their own infallibility and a cavalier approach to working with those volunteers who have agreed to take on the heavy responsibility of managing and supporting this wonderful railway.

I am grateful to my vice-Chairman, Steve Williams, who has agreed to step up as Acting Chairman while my successor is sought.

I will leave comment to some of the people on that page ...

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Chris has been so very supportive to me on lots of things over the years, but especially during the introduction of the Shuttles....which definitely wouldn't of happened without his influence and guidance....a very sad day, especially being treated so badly. Disgraceful.

and I echo this one ... not only to the WSR but also to the railway / community rail movement in general.

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Such sad news, but never forget the massive amount of support Chris has given to the Railway. I wish you all the very best.
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