The only reason for the ARHS (ACT division) to undertake some forms of commercial work is to fund the restoration, maintainance and perservation of the Heritage rolling stock, and associated equipment (e.g. signaling, small exhibits, and written resources.) As our current passenger train trips only provide just enough to keep them running, and don't really allow for restoration of other items.
Having said this the ARHS ACT still relies heavily on donations for specific projects, for example, 6029, 1210's wheel repairs and the CPH railmotors.
Please note, these are my views and opinions only, and do not represent the views of the ARHS ACT or other organisations.
Well said Jajb 94
Dare I suggest that if the reference from Salty is based on my comments, I would not think what I said is opposite to that need. In fact I believe that it is probably the only real option for a sustainable future, in order to keep the fleet as well as the other items in operational condition.
The amount of donations that are certainly what is keeping things operational & in restoration works is very commendable & does show that there is a very viable future, yet I also do not think that donations alone can provide the future assurance that will be needed on an ongoing basis, the fact of the costs to get 6029 to the stage that it is now, & then to get her back into operation is but part of the ongoing expense for her operations.
I had around 9 years as a fireman working on garratts, & in the early years I fired them at least weekly, & often more, even in their last couple of years in regular service, I worked on them probably on a fortnightly basis between Gosford & BMD & return, with that I realise the amount of just coal & water that they consumed in both ex works condition as well as downright worn out, those costs alone in this day & age are going to be a huge burden on ARHS Canberra.
The other aspects is that as I have followed the blog & with other reports that I have received, the dedicated work of those involved in her restoration is commendable at the very least, but I also notice that not all of them are young, & there is the need for ongoing training of the younger members in order to keep the fleet operating. These items are but the tip of the iceberg in what will be the ongoing needs, such items as skills are learnt in the practicle world, but they also need the finances behind them, thus the aspect to look for commercial work is a sensible one as that will be the area where there will be the opportunity to gain more finances than donations could provide.
Therefore, I am one that hopes that the restoration work will not be a short lived event, & it would be great to see all the locomotives that are under the care of ARHS Canberra back in operating conditions & being income generated. I also would love to have been part of the work, but my health & distance to Canberra does not allow for it, likewise I can thank the working on garratts, along with other steam locomotives & 1st generation deisels as the primary reason why I have severe hearing loss/industrial deafness these days, which even top range compensation paid for hearing aides do not do a heck of a lot to eleviate the hearing problems.