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Llangollen Railway to enter receivership
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 21789
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:01 pm    Post subject: Llangollen Railway to enter receivership Reply with quote

Not good

https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/llangollen-railway-enter-receivership-debts-19940208

RJ
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MikeEdwards



Joined: 25 May 2011
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Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw that, I really hope they can survive somehow as I very much enjoy popping down there for the various events. For years I thought it was much further away than it is, and I don't think there's another steam railway I could go to that's as close. To paraphrase Father Ted, Severn Valley is a bigger railway, but it is a lot further away.
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
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Location: Derby

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading between the lines I suspect it is more to do with oppressive officialdom and red tape that is behind this.
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kevin2306



Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 1351
Location: nr Llangollen, north wales

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Such a shame.

Kev
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Rick
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'd be a huge hit to the town overall if the railway ceased operations

RJ
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MikeEdwards



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe it's the PLC that has called in receivers, rather than the Trust, but I'm not really sure about the difference. I also read elsewhere that it's not entirely down to the Covid situation, there are some historic issues that have contributed and the lockdown was what tipped things over. There does seem some talk about keeping the railway operating, so all is not lost by any means. I have my fingers crossed.

Rick wrote:
It'd be a huge hit to the town overall if the railway ceased operations

RJ


Yes, I was commenting elsewhere on a "where are you going when we can get out" thread that while I like to visit the town, without the railway it'll be a much less interesting place to see. A local chap has been quite involved with the railway over the years and was telling me how a lot of local shops are very happy for it to be there bringing people into the town.
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Ray White



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps a buyer can be found? It must be worth more as a visitor attraction than the sum of it's parts.

A non working steam engine is just a pile of scrap... unless it is in a museum and even then not many people will want to pay to see it.
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MVPeters



Joined: 28 Aug 2008
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Location: Northern MA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a good discussion thread here:

https://www.national-preservation.com/threads/llangollen-railway.22171/page-32

Scroll down a little to 'Grim news'.
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ukdave2002



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
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Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The directors of the PLC have a legal responsibility to enter receivership if the company can't meet its liabilities, which looking at the accounts appears to be the case.
The value of assets held by the Trust is significantly more than the debit, but I'd imagine its not very practical to sell part of an operating railway infrastructure to cover the debits, and whilst they are pointing to some engineering contractual disputes as a significant cause for the debit, it appears these can't be treated as exceptional items and dealt with by some financial engineering.

The bottom line is that they (or new operators) need to either generate a larger surplus or reduce operating cost, the latter can probably only be achieved with redundancies. I'm sure the board will have pondered many options and not taken this decision lightly.

Very sad, lets hope someone can come up with a smart rescue plan.

Dave
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Bitumen Boy



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
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Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad to say I can see more stories like this going forwards, covid or not - I've been expecting it for some time.

Traditionally preserved railways relied on a mostly volunteer workforce but as time goes on they are needing to have more and more paid staff. It looks like younger people aren't volunteering in such numbers these days; probably they simply can't afford to, earning minimum wage on zero hours contracts with no regular shift pattern and crippled by the high cost of simply keeping a roof over their heads. It's the world we live in now, I'm afraid... Sad
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V8 Nutter



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another problem for young people, they no longer have the opportunity to obtain any engineering skills. Take Worcester as an example, In the early sixties we had about a dozen large engineering companies, employing many thousands of people, plus several smaller companies. Most of the large ones owned their own land, as the company founders reached retiring age, the factories tended to be taken over by large groups, asset strippers, whose sole interest was a quick profit, don't care about the future. As a result the factories were closed and the land sold for housing and shops. Move on 50 or so years and the city council is encouraging the closure of small industrial estates, to build even more housing, shops and the latest thing hotels. Small businesses are forced to close down or move from the city. Some believe the aim is a tranquil university city with no dirty industry. Which brings me to the point of this. Could a completely inexperienced young person be trusted to help rebuild a railway engine or machine parts for it? I don't mean to be detrimental to young people, it's all about lack of opportunity.
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Rootes75



Joined: 30 Apr 2013
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Location: The Somerset Levels

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having younger kids myself and many in the family it is quite a split in what they are interested in, a couple of the boys love the old stuff but all the others have no interest at all.

My youngest always accompanies me to shows and meets but is too young to join in the real engineering work down the yard, he will do at some point but by then we would have probably lost him to his xbox.

Things are so different now for younger people, too many home comforts not a lot of 'physical' type jobs, as has been noted the reduction in Engineering companies and opportunities is dwindling, the company that i work for take on apprentices each year but these days they aren't true apprenticeships, they are cheap labour with a bit of college work thrown in.

I agree with earlier comments, a lot of these steam railways and the like will loose their volunteer base because I simply think the lack of younger people joining in will have a huge impact.
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Keith D



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rootes75, nothing has changed.

During my apprenticeship in Southend, Essex, between 1960 and 1965, that's exactly what we were then, cheap and very low paid labour with a bit of college thrown in. However, looking back on it after a working lifetime, it's quite incredible how much we learned just from working with experienced tradesmen. It certainly gave me a very good foundation for my future work.

Don't wipe out the youngsters yet, the right people will be there when opportunities arise for them.

Keith
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