You know, I was thinking that the other day. I like the idea of the loco as a static display in a recreated station scene - even if the "iconic" J550 or any other J never went there. The idea of the J sitting at the head of a re-created branchline goods as a static museum piece, in a recreated station yard is a good one.
I think the Noojee mob are in for a very rude shock when it comes time to operate a train, or attempt to. The amount of red tape, and accreditation they will have to wade through to get it to operate the short distance to the trestle will surely put the mockers on things. I suspect that they aren't fully aware of what they're in for, and that they're viewing the venture as operating some sort of full sized train set. It also beggers the question: is the means worth the end?
- Restoring a locomotive to operation costs an absolute motzer (steam or diesel); where is the money coming from?
- Acquisition and/or manufacture of the many parts missing from J550. Where; whom, and how much?
- Acquisition of suitable passenger rollingstock, and it's restoration to passenger carrying service.
- Construction of appropriate buildings for the housing, and maintenance of locomotive(s) and rollingstock.
- Watering and fuelling facilities for locomotives - if fuel oil is to be used, does the fuelling area need to be bunded?
- Planning permits for buildings etc.
- Acquisition of track - this includes rail; sleepers; ties/spikes, and ballast.
- Who does the perway belong to? Does it need to be leased or purchased?
- Perway restoration - clearing of vegitation; restoration of drains; grading etc.
- Laying of track to a standard which enables passenger trains to operate.
- Restoration of the trestle to acceptable load bearing standards.
- Accreditation to operate passenger trains.
- Accreditation for locomotive(s) and rollingstock.
- Satisfying the regulators that standards have been met (PTV, Worksafe et al).
- Training of volunteers/staff in the safe operation of a railway (drivers, signalmen et al).
- Public Liability Insurance.
- Ongoing maintenance costs of both above, and below rail assets.
I am sure that others out there would be able to add more to the list above. When you think about it, that's an awful lot of money and time to spend on a train going around 3km, and returning (that also makes me wonder if and where the loco will run around for the return journey). Noojee isn't exactly a tourist hub either, so one must ask how many people would they expect to pay for a ride on operating days, or indeed how many operating days they would actually run per month? I don't think they have seriously thought all of this through.
Whilst the idea is a lovely one, and hits the warm and fuzzy bone; it's not very realistic at all.