Archive for August 28th, 2008

WHR closing the gap

Thursday, 28 August 2008

27 August 2008, sleepers await the delivery of rail
on the Pont Croesor – Traeth Mawr section of the WHR
(the last substantial gap), photo © Alun Evans

(click on photo to go to go to ‘Alun’s Images’ on Fotopic
to see more of Alun’s excellent pictures of the rebuilding
of the WHR in high resolution)

With so much grim news lately, it gives us a great deal of pleasure to report that, as of 27 August 2008, there was only a half kilometre gap between the Welsh Highland Railway track that runs north from Porthmadog and the track that is being relaid southwards from Beddgelert. Tracklaying to fill the gap could be completed this weekend!

Several short sections of track remain to be finished in Porthmadog itself. It is likely that a through route between the Festiniog Railway and the WHR will exist by September. This will be used for works trains and stock transfer. When further improvements in Porthmadog are complete, an official inspection will be held and, after a formal reopening ceremony, passenger services will commence in 2009.

Further information:

The Little Red Book

Thursday, 28 August 2008

The Little Red Book
A must read for the S&KLR?

Here are some tips from Dyspozytor’s campaign guide. Will the S&KLR follow his advice?

  1. Involve the local community. All that most politicians care about is making money and being re-elected. If they see that your campaign has won local support – and they may loose votes as a result – it may not convert them overnight, but it may just stop them in their tracks while you seek reinforcements and plot your next move.
  2. Recruit some patrons. Patrons should be important public figures capable of influencing people. You will need local patrons who will guide you as regards the ways of the local community and enhance your local credibility. You will also need national patrons capable of making waves.
  3. Get the media behind you. You will need the support of both the local media and the national media. Brief the local media on every move you make, and also brief them on your opponents moves. The more stupid your opponent’s moves appear the better you will look. Cultivate the national media, carefully nurtured, they will add credibility to your cause.
  4. Find out which local politicians support your cause. Help them to help you.
  5. Your opponents will apply the mushroom technique1. You on the other hand must keep your supporters, the press, your patrons and any friendly politicians well informed. Your approach will be refreshingly transparent in comparison. Publish a frequent and regular campaign bulletin.
  6. Recruit experts to your cause. You need experts prepared to support your cause ‘on the record’ and if need be at public meetings. Experts that are only prepared to give you their views privately are a pain.
  7. Fight bureaucracy with… more bureaucracy. Challenge every bad decision, write letters. Write more letters.
  8. Develop a secretariat. You will need lots of people prepared to write and type.
  9. Do something spectacular. Hold a sit-in2, chain yourself to the tracks, organise a public meeting, hold a local referendum, threaten legal action.
  10. Launch a fighting fund. You will need a strategic reserve for legal and other professional fees.

These ten tips were actually tested in a battle to save a branchline in the South of England and proved to be a winning combination. If you don’t feel confident about applying them yourself, why not appoint a campaign manager? Dyspozytor is currently available, and his rates – if the cause is worthy – are very reasonable.

Notes:

  1. Keep them in the dark a throw a shovelful of sh*t over them from time to time.
  2. Warning, if you organise an event that breaks the law, such as a sit in, you will be tagged as ‘a threat to Parliamentary democracy’ and monitored by the security services. One of Dyspozytor’s good railway enthusiast friends managed to get himself tagged by both the (Communist) Polish and the British Security Services.