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S&DRT told to quit Washford by WSR


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I wish the WSR well and hope this time they can sort things out properly. Its fair to say all railways have their 'politics' everyone has their view both inside and outside each railway on what it should / should not be doing. 

 

I sat on the board of a railway for 10 years. Here are some of the things I was told. 

 

Some steam enthusiasts think diesels should be kept to a minimum

Some diesel enthusiasts think there are too many steam turns and there should be more modern traction 

Some suggest that money makes person X or Y more important and influential, yet those who fit that criteria whom I knew were more interested in bringing influential people along and spreading the word about the railway.  There are though always suggestions certain people get away with things as they have money / donate money if they have a faux pas

Some suggested they were never asked to help at event Y and there were no comms despite articles in the railway magazine and requests for help for a number of months before the event. Then followed by they would not work the event as person A worked their who 'no one' got on with - for which read they made sure the job got done. 

 

How many passengers railway X carries in the pre covid world had become appeared strongly from the data to be driven by those on holidays more so than day trippers or enthusiasts (say it very quietly) 

 

Of course we are in a different world now with the potential of airlines / airports potentially not being as widespread as they were.

 

Its really easy to throw stones and bad mouth railway A or B but what does it achieve. We do not have the full facts, we never will have the full facts. 

 

Here's to the Trust finding a new home and the WSR surviving 

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Getting back to the S&DRT...

 

Quote

The Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust (S&DRT), Mid Hants Railway Preservation Society (MHRPS) and the Mid Hants Railway Ltd (MHR) are pleased to announce that they are in detailed discussions regarding the relocation of rolling stock and artefacts belonging to the S&DRT from Washford on the West Somerset Railway to the Watercress Line in Hampshire.

The Watercress Line is, and the S&DJR was, a steeply graded, single track main line both of which had operational links to the London and South Western Railway.  As a result, an S&DRT presence at the Watercress Line would be appropriate to the history of both the S&D and the original Mid-Hants Railway.

The S&DRT, MHRPS and MHR Ltd are discussing arrangements for each element of the move, with an objective, if agreed by all parties, to complete the transportation of rolling stock and artefacts by the end of February 2021

 

Edited by Nick C
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The West Somerset Railway PLC (PLC) and The Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust Ltd. (S&DRT) can confirm that they have opened discussions regarding a new 10-year lease for the Trust to occupy the Washford site. This follows from Washford Yard not now being required by the PLC in its entirety in the foreseeable future although the PLC will still, by agreement with the Trust wish to use the Yard from time to time during the period of the new lease. Any future arrangement will exclude the station which will revert to PLC management. This will allow the Trust to continue with their restoration and maintenance work on their rolling stock at Washford whilst at the same time making arrangements for relocation of artefacts to other sites. The Trust had already completed a strategic review of how it is fulfilling its charitable objectives. It has concluded that moving its museum items and some of its rolling stock to other locations will enhance their access by the public and broaden the appeal of the Trust.

West Somerset Railway PLC Board - Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust Board

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Not sure why the WSR are keen to get hold of two small museum rooms. Most people only visit Washford for the Trust museum there and the shed display. The whole dispute seems so unnecessary. If this is a face saving compromise then at least it is a step in the right direction. 

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As I have said before, on my regular rides on the railway, it was noticeable that almost ALL the stations were manned with staff. The exception was Washford, which was like Doniford, unmanned. This is by observation over several years.

 

Perhaps the WSR would like to have a station that is cared for and manned.

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My only visits to Washford were on steam gala weekends and then the station was manned and always looked immaculate. Bearing in mind the recent history of relationships it wouldn't surprise me if those volunteering for Washford station duties haven't walked away. 

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