Members may be interested in the latest announcement (18 June 2015) from their Association Trustees.

It concerns the idea of building a shed on the land known as Sherrings Yard (shown in yellow below) at Williton which is currently leased by the WSRA and lies immediately to the west of the Swindon Shed at Williton and whilst not currently rail-connected there is trackwork leading directly to it from the North Yard.

On the face of it, the opportunity to create further covered accommodation for rolling stock maintenance is to be welcomed, in our view.


The recent WSR Plc announcement to not renew the WSRA’s licence to use the Swindon Shed in May 2016 is the reason for the WSRA’s announcement. A good part of the Swindon Shed is currently used by the WSRA’s West Somerset Restorations and clearly a new covered facility to allow it to fulfill its own and commercial obligations. As far as we can tell the Plc’s decision was not discussed with the WSRA or with the Partnership Development Board.

The proposal can be read in full on the WSRA website

There are pros and cons to this idea. It is early days and we hope to learn more in due course which would seem to be the best time to discuss in more detail.

However, for now, we are more concerned with the lack of announcement and discussion at the Partnership Development Group and we would ask members to consider

  • why the Plc found it necessary to publicly announce their decision to not renew the WSRA’s licence to use the Swindon Shed and not announce it through the Partnership Development Group where the wider railway family could discuss the issue and propose possible solutions at an early stage?
  • why the Trustees did not first raise their idea with the Partnership Development Group and then work with the newly formed Williton Site Group? (This PDG sub-group is charged with looking at how best to get maximum potential from the complex site which is used by several organisations)

It is worrying that neither the Plc or the WSRA chose to use the new Partnership Development Group process to communicate these particular plans.