An update has been released by Jonathan Jones Pratt, the chairman of West Somerset Railway, on the situation at the West Somerset Railway, which sees the railway close next year for 3months.
The most recent board meeting has been followed on by an explanation from the chairman concerning a number of key changes that will be made in the future.
As opposed to the current interim basis, Jon Pratt has been unanimously elected to permanently take on the role of chairman.
Mark Smith, HRA Vice Chairman and long-serving managing director of WRS plc. , has agreed to re-join the board as the Policy and Business Development Director.
No Prohibition or Improvement notice has been issued by the ORR on the railway.
Jon Jones Pratt made it 100% clear that there were never any unreported dangerous occurrences or major safety threats.
The 3 month closure in reality only contains 4 gala days and 17days of normal railway operations.
The eight page long ORR letter points out 5 key points that must be taken action for by the railway, some of which are already underway.
Focus will be put on the training and competence of all staff with safety critical roles. A new SMS will be written shortly and the HOPS system set up to operate correctly.
For the postponed Spring Steam Gala, Kind offers of help and assistance has already been received from other heritage railways.
Jones Pratt has spoken with members of the Planning Team about the gala cancellation. There are on-going plans to fix a later date for the gala which would coincide with their 40th Anniversary.