you probably should clarify your post- Beaudesert Rail collapsed in a screaming financial heap years ago and were wound up; ARHS are active out at Rosewood; MVHR are confined to their yard run; Mount Morgan are not accredited to move anything; Ravenshoe are still struggling to get their accreditation back; Atherton collapsed and was replaced by a small group running a trike at Herberton station. Pioneer at Ipswich are alive and well. and Gayndah have only just started, they do have some line, but will throw a Christmas party first.
Not really much to clarify: I'll stand by the bulk of my post, which was - in essence - "Track maintenance is expensive." That was all I focused on, and the status of individual groups wasn't relevant to my point. I singled out the groups where I knew that track maintenance had become an issue.
Beaudesert Rail: QR performed trackwork and I remember hearing about the cost, and thinking it was incredibly expensive (i forget the source). Maybe they were gouging, maybe not. That wasn't the point, rather that trackwork was expensive.
Rosewood: Alive and well on the Kunkala-Cabanda section, but they haven't run from Perry's Nob to Rosewood for quite some time (bridge condition, i believe). I don't know the reason, but it would be reasonable to assume that there wasn't enough money in the kitty to pay for repairs.
Mount Morgan: This one I may concede, my info was from a report i saw posted (it may have been QRIG, not sure). When Mount Morgan was running, they had track all the way to the remains of the Dee River bridge. According to the report, most of that is now unavailable, even if they had accreditation.
Atherton-Ravenshoe: Back when RAILCO formed, the grand plan was to replace the road bridge at Wondecla to enable runs along the entire line. At the time, I believe the cost would have been about $500,000, no doubt it would be much MUCH more nowadays. Obviously, RAILCO and it's successors don't have that sort of cash about.
I didn't mention Gayndah, because the group is still forming. (And I genuinely wish them all the luck in the world - from the impression that I've got, they are making sure that all their groundwork is being done right the first time.)
And I didn't mention QPSR, for the simple fact that they were doing 3rd party operations back before it was cool. The Swanbank loop is maintained by QR or Aurizon (not sure who got the branch after the breakup).
I'm always open to correction on the details regarding the above - for the sake of correctness, which is important - but it still doesn't change my point - "Track Maintenance is expensive".
The impression I got from Sulzer
's original post was that he hadn't put thought into just how much it costs to keep a railway operational. I'm not being critical in the least - people don't visit tourist/preservation railways to look at points or sleepers. And of course, groups are going to focus on what gets posteriors on seats - rollingstock. But track doesn't maintain itself. It costs money to run trains, it costs money when you *don't* run trains.
Clarification enough as to what I was driving at?