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South Devon Railway re-organises team

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

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SOUTH Devon Railway has announced the reorganisation of its management structure. The move has been triggered as a result of South Devon Railway Trust general manager Dick Wood's convalescence from a period of ill health.

The changes have seen the role of general manager phased out, with the responsibilities previously fulfilled by remit set to be carried out by key line managers and directors.

The SDR group of companies comprises three businesses looking after its rail, retail and engineering operations, with a collective £2.1million turnover.

SDRT chairman Alan Taylor said that the group had gone from strength to strength under Mr Wood's stewardship since 2008. But he said that the structural review was timely given the business's growth since it took over the running of the Buckfastleigh to Totnes line from Dart Valley Railways in 1991.

He added: "With the expansion of the railway's operating and commercial activities, plus ever increasing safety and legislative requirements, it had become clear that having one single general manager was too big a task for any one individual to perform."

The SDRT is currently looking to appoint an overall group manager and railway manager.

Mr Wood has taken on a new part-time role as PR and business development manager and also hopes to resume footplate duties as a steam engine driver.

John Haslam, who managed the business through the busy 2013 season, has been appointed in a temporarily combined role as senior manager and company secretary over the quieter winter period. Until a new group manager and railway manager are appointed, chairman Mr Taylor will continue to oversee SDR affairs and provide support to its various line managers.

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