Every year, the board sets aside a whole day for a meeting so that various topics can be discussed at length. Our latest such meeting took place at the beginning of August.
We considered the arrangements for the proposed opening to Broadway It was agreed unanimously that the opening should be a celebration of the achievements of all volunteers in every department throughout the railway, who have worked so hard to make this happen. As such we shall be organising the event around the use of our own in house loco's.
We considered our current organisational structure. In future station groups will be accorded departmental status, and as such will have a clear reporting line to a Plc director.
Succession planning is obviously important. We do have a number of 'pinch points' in the organisation, and it was felt that the best way to overcome this is to seek to widen responsibilities in all departments and avoid reliance too much on individuals - so far as this can reasonably be done. We also need to develop more signalmen (and women); more Duty Operations Officers; more help with special events and more support to fill vacancies in the OTC management team.
The format of the timetables for when we operate from Broadway is still under discussion, but it appears that it will be on a similar format to present operations. We are anticipating the need for eight coach trains, and it appears that the current policy of having two TTI's on a train works well. Tour groups (and especially cream Teas) are a good source of income, and arrangements for them will be essentially unchanged.
There has been a degree of discussion previously about whether or not it would be an appropriate use of resources to extend our railway south beyond Cheltenham racecourse to Cheltenham Town boundary over the trackbed we currently own. After further discussion, we decided that we would not pursue this option and would instead concentrate upon developing and enhancing our railway between Broadway and CRC.
Although we are heavily committed financially to the rebuilding and reopening of Broadway, we are still looking to see what can be done to develop and enhance the railway elsewhere. One of the issues we have been considering for some time is a proper workshop for S&T at Winchcombe, to replace the coach they currently work from. With the impending departure of the privately owned stock in the yard, that can be developed further. We decided to commit sufficient funds for a start to be made upon building such a facility.
We are also very conscious of the need to develop and enhance the messing and welfare facilities for our Loco Department. We agreed that this project should also come to the fore, and that sufficient funds be allocated to enable it to move beyond the planning stage.
As was mentioned in the previous blog posting, we are awaiting a further report on the condition of the embankment at Broadway. We have been aware of this for some time, and provision for repairs was included in the Share Appeal budget. As soon as we know what our options are, we can plan with more certainty.
You can see that there is a lot going on, and a great deal more to be done. Our Share Appeal continues to make splendid progress, and we are very grateful to all those who have already contributed. If you have not subscribed so far, you know what to do ................