Canberra ARHS

 
  Mufreight Train Controller

Location: North Ipswich
Sad this comes as a shock indeed, they only just got back after operating successful shuttles between the Gong and Scarborough as well, what exactly happened? , why did they have to close the doors?
Kind Regards
Cannot afford to pay outstanding debts. Hence going into administration.
bingley hall
Time for rail enthusiasts Australia wide to dip into their pockets and bail them out, this group has done everything right in the interests of enthusiasts perhaps they can be saved to carry on their good work for rail heritage

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  steve_w_1990 Junior Train Controller

Location: Trying to fix something on the PTA Network
Does this mean that Espee Rail has closed its doors as well?

If that's the case, does that spell the end of the scrap train out of Canberra?
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Does this mean that Espee Rail has closed its doors as well?

If that's the case, does that spell the end of the scrap train out of Canberra?
steve_w_1990
Don't quote me on this, but Espee Rail was wound up a couple of weeks ago.

The scrap train hasn't been running for a number of largely unrelated issues. I'm sure if they are serious about
rail (which I have no reason to doubt) they will be able to find another operator for that
  steve_w_1990 Junior Train Controller

Location: Trying to fix something on the PTA Network
Thanks for the reply, with $1 million being spent on upgrading the siding there at Canberra for the scrap trains, and the old fuel siding being demolished to make way for it, it'd be logical to think that they'd be able to find another operator to take the train.

Very sad to hear about the ARHS.
  peterreynell Locomotive Fireman

Thanks for the reply, with $1 million being spent on upgrading the siding there at Canberra for the scrap trains, and the old fuel siding being demolished to make way for it, it'd be logical to think that they'd be able to find another operator to take the train.

Very sad to hear about the ARHS.
steve_w_1990
Whilst the  scrappie  might not owe now,  a repeated comment at ARHS  Council meetings was "why are we carrying them for this or that level of debt?".

Gives a small insight into the present problem; altho there were other issue too.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Thanks for the reply, with $1 million being spent on upgrading the siding there at Canberra for the scrap trains, and the old fuel siding being demolished to make way for it, it'd be logical to think that they'd be able to find another operator to take the train.

Very sad to hear about the ARHS.
Whilst the  scrappie  might not owe now,  a repeated comment at ARHS  Council meetings was "why are we carrying them for this or that level of debt?".

Gives a small insight into the present problem; altho there were other issue too.
peterreynell
No insight at all really. Very misleading comment unless you have a copy of the financial statements in front of you.

Nice bit of deflection though.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Ive done business with that scrappy and their payment terms (and adherence to them) were well within the generally accepted payment terms of business.  Though there could be other circumstances here at play of course.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
This (along with South Gippland Railway) demonstrate the need to ensure that any business model is sustainable.  Groups not only need to work on restoring the latest locomotive or carriage but need to ensure they can do so and keep volunteers involved so they can run trains at a profit to pay for it all.  Unlike some of the other failures (eg Rutherglen to Wahgunyah) which failed in the early stages before they were established these 2 are established, long time organisations so what can be learned by their problems to protect other groups.  It's not from a lack of enthusiasm from those involved.

I don't think that anyone involved in either case had anything but the best intentions for the organisation (and if anyone wants to argue differently I don't think this is the place or time for it) but it needs to be a reminder for all the other groups not to lose focus on the ongoing sustainability of the group and it's operations or if times get tough you may find yourself in similar, unfortunate circumstances.  

The primary focus of any of the rail preservation groups needs to be how to attain and retain members as well as what can they do to get more income (usually tickets sales or Bums on Seats).  Once they keep their operational stock going to keep the money coming in they need to reinvest some into improvements for passengers, to reduce business risk,  thanking it's volunteers, members and supporters and then rolling out the new engine /carriage for which there is no real business case financially but helps keep volunteers motivated and provides publicity opportunities which becomes free advertising (even the 3801 boiler problems have made new people aware that it exists and there is someone looking after it).

I am sorry to hear this has happened but it is time for other groups to learn (what were the warning signs? What realistic options may have averted the situation? Is our organisation suffering from the same things? If so what are we going to do so we don't go the same way? What are our options going forward from here?).  Again I am not blaming the individuals involved just looking at the bigger picture
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
This (along with South Gippland Railway) demonstrate the need to ...
HardWorkingMan
There is a whole bunch of others, Mary Valley Heritage Railway, Zig Zag Railway come quickly to mind.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
Beaudesert Rail, Central Australia rail, Dorrigo railway, Cooma Monaro, Michelago tourist railway, Limestone Coast, Yorke Peninsula....
  ivahri Train Controller

I am very sorry for the volunteers who have given so much of their lives towards this museum for decades... I don't know, or particularly care what the cause of the financial collapse has been, but I do care that the precious history that they worked hard to save go on to organisations that can ensure that the efforts weren't wasted. Sadly that is unlikely to be in the ACT region... I hope that the government owners of certain items can appreciate that it is more important to find the best home, not just let them rust away to keep them in the ACT.



Richard
  jibbonpoint Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
http://citynews.com.au/2016/canberra-railway-museum-steam/

We were there a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully they can save it.
  tbuff Station Staff

Light engine movement to Thirlmere 18th 6029/3016/4807/4403
  62440 Chief Commissioner

I seem to remember that in SA at least, what shut down preserved operations was a hike in insurance. The Yorke was operated by the Lions Club, Eurelia had 3 trains a year, even Pichi Richi closed for one day before the City realised the benefit of supporting, Coonawarra rail all closed on the same day
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
Beaudesert Rail, Central Australia rail, Dorrigo railway, Cooma Monaro, Michelago tourist railway, Limestone Coast, Yorke Peninsula....
locojoe67
My understanding is a lot of these actually failed in the start up phase and never got around to providing a regular timetable service for a number of years - running one season doesn't make it an established operator.  The first 5 to 10 years are always the riskiest part of any operation whether commercial or volunteer. Walhalla Goldfields Railway is the 3rd group to have a go at restoring the line, the first 2 failed but WGR seem to be making a success of it.  

My definition of an established railway is one that can cover its cost of operations without relying on people's donations to cover operational costs.  It doesn't guarantee financial security as there is always the danger of your biggest customer going under or external factors puching up costs which you can not recover (Cancelled trips are a good example of this and are a particular problem for those running on the mainlines. The organisation has spent time and money organising trips only to have it cancelled by someone else at the last minute and need to refund all the fares.

The initial problems for the Zig Zag railway stem from a bushfire and not having the appropriate insurance policies in place to allow the line to start running soon after the event.  It's a common issue as groups include the costs of projects in their books but the volunteers hours don't show so the full cost of rebuilding isn't covered.   It may take 10 years to get to where you are today by volunteer labour and, if it is lost, it will take 10 years.  I consider it to be close to the SGR/Canberra case in the sense they didn't adequately assess the risks to their business of a bush fire which, since their line was basically scaling one escarpment, was a different situation to most railways which are long thin lines of assets and total wipe out of the entire line a lot less likely to happen.  The railway closest to having a similar physical location issues would be Walhalla as they run up one valley and there are potential access issues due to the nature of the terrain through which it runs.  I don't wish any of them bad luck.
  Bevan Wall Deputy Commissioner

Given that the Museum is in the ACT, but that most of the rolling stock is ex NSWGR, can anyone comment on what the role of THfNSW could be in moving forward. Obviously managerial advice could be provided if needed, but what about financial assistance?
I've heard that the railway land around Canberra station, including the portion occupied by the Museum, is extremely valuable for real estate development. Who actually owns it? If it was sold, and a portion of the revenue raised was directed to the Museum, would it be viable to create something like a smaller version of the Thirlmere "Trainworks", perhaps in the old Queanbeyan rail yard?
Given the revenue raising potential of having 6029 operational, once current debts are settled surely it would be possible for the Museum to become financially sustainable. I know 6029 has proven expensive to run, but I understand that the shuttles run from various regional locations did turn a profit. Can anyone who was present at the recent AGM confirm that?
Here's hoping this is only a temporary set back for the Museum and that with some strategically directed financial assistance from the relevant government agencies combined with the ongoing work of the Museum's dedicated volunteers we will see the ARHS, ACT Division back up and running sooner rather than later and the full time employees who are currently out of a job getting back to work.
BW
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

Given that the Museum is in the ACT, but that most of the rolling stock is ex NSWGR, can anyone comment on what the role of THfNSW could be in moving forward. Obviously managerial advice could be provided if needed, but what about financial assistance?
I've heard that the railway land around Canberra station, including the portion occupied by the Museum, is extremely valuable for real estate development. Who actually owns it? If it was sold, and a portion of the revenue raised was directed to the Museum, would it be viable to create something like a smaller version of the Thirlmere "Trainworks", perhaps in the old Queanbeyan rail yard?
Given the revenue raising potential of having 6029 operational, once current debts are settled surely it would be possible for the Museum to become financially sustainable. I know 6029 has proven expensive to run, but I understand that the shuttles run from various regional locations did turn a profit. Can anyone who was present at the recent AGM confirm that?
Here's hoping this is only a temporary set back for the Museum and that with some strategically directed financial assistance from the relevant government agencies combined with the ongoing work of the Museum's dedicated volunteers we will see the ARHS, ACT Division back up and running sooner rather than later and the full time employees who are currently out of a job getting back to work.
BW
Bevan Wall
Could be that Trainworks is the safest place for them. A creditor might decide that his debt could be repaid by 300 tonnes of scrap steel. I think the diesels belong to Transport Heritage NSW. Neill Farmer
  exarmidale Train Controller

See from CEO of THNSW.

http://us3.campaign-archive2.com/?u=de9527c8f74a3fbc6e6f4e311&id=dd0cf3214c&e=c89e5ef568


Addresses Neill's concerns somewhat
  meh Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Could be that Trainworks is the safest place for them. A creditor might decide that his debt could be repaid by 300 tonnes of scrap steel. I think the diesels belong to Transport Heritage NSW. Neill Farmer
neillfarmer
I beleive that some (if not most, or all) of the carriage there are listed as heritage items by the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage; not sure if this offers some (or hopefully complete) level of protection to the carriages there.

In any case it's a big collection that I think even THNSW would struggle to accommodate.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
1210 ?

Assume things are all over the place, people have no idea, gunzels like me posting questions like I have just done. Some are still doing stuff even with the events, like the transfer of some locos nth. Others are trying to inform us. Still more trying to work it out with Officialdom.

My thought such as they are are with the people caught up in this latest eventfult chapter in our Railway's history.

Regards,
David Head
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Based on the limited info i know about scrap, i dont think 300t of steel is going to go that far in a liquidation.
  Spiritman Train Controller

Location: Camden, NSW
As mentioned previously the steamers are going to Thilmere for temporary storage but the diesels are going to Eveleigh until ARHS ACT problems are sorted out.

Cheers
S'man
  a6et Minister for Railways

Could be that Trainworks is the safest place for them. A creditor might decide that his debt could be repaid by 300 tonnes of scrap steel. I think the diesels belong to Transport Heritage NSW. Neill Farmer
I beleive that some (if not most, or all) of the carriage there are listed as heritage items by the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage; not sure if this offers some (or hopefully complete) level of protection to the carriages there.

In any case it's a big collection that I think even THNSW would struggle to accommodate.
meh
Some time ago, well not that long ago really there was a stack of old carriages situated at Lowanna on the Dorrigo line, that were burnt, many screams went up re the lose of valuable heritage stock. At the end of the line is a monument to the age of preserve everything but allow the weather and climate to take charge of the task.

I love heritage and the preservation of it, the question really is how much can be kept, or how many of the same items can be? The sorrow with many of the loco's even those at Dorrigo is that many were overhauled not long before withdrawal and some steamed their way to the *?* and now all but rust in peace. How many there and at other locations can really be kept in presentable condition let alone in operating condition?

Those who worked on the restoration of 6029 need to be lauded for the work, they put their all into getting it running again and a huge credit to them, that is beside the fact that none really had any experience on them, I think there were few heavy garratts that I did not fire, but the thing is that when the last fires were drawn, I was around 25 and in the depots that I worked at/in and those I traveled to for photography the big thing I noticed was that all the depots steam fitters especially at Enfield - Bmd and at the LES none looked under 35 more like over 40, how many are still alive to show their trade to those doing the work these days?

The garratt really was great to see running again but in all honesty and sincerity its going to be a big ask for it to be a long term viable operating locomotive owing to the costs to keep it serviceable as well as running. THNSW needs to get onto the government to get the heritage industry into some form of unified operation, not only that but to get both the State and Federal governments on side to realiise the importance of rail heritage in our history and in to the future, that should include money for the ongoing maintenance of the fleet, but to identify the significant items of need in operations. The sad waste of money on the German 3801 boiler issue is something that the government no doubt would like to see it go away and be forgotten. Which I would understand however, they also need to get on with heritage and forget it and go forward and invest in our states rail history and heritage.

The federal government should also see the value that Canberra has provided not just there locally but in the sold out shuttle services on the Central Coast and Illawarra lines recently, they could and should also be supporting it, and not just NSW. The LES as a prime example should become a primary location for not just the repairs and maintenance of the NSW operational fleet but also be turned into a real museum that is a working one, a mini York where visits are open every day bar one. York as a result of school excursions has been able to get apprentices and therefore tradesmen that not just overhaul steam but have built new steam locomotives, sure most is private money but their government benefits.

The other big need for the operational fleet of steam locomotives to be able to be effective in running through this state and into others is to have some of the decommissioned servicing facilities put back into working condition. Such items as water columns is a case in point. How many water columns are available on the Short North as an examaple after leaving Sydney? There is but one that is available at Gosford in the old TT exit road, it has no leather bag anymore but if an electric train is stabled in the road the column is blocked for use, unless one can get in via one of the roads if not blocked. Both the #2 platorm down elephant column and the Up Main/loop elephant column at Hawkesbury river are booked out of use.  Where is the next watering facility after Gosford Loco?  No access into BMD loco, so there is a fire hydrant at Telerah. Where after that? Fire brigades.

What has happened with ARHS Canberra, may end up being a foretaste of the future unless the whole attitude of the governments change. Rail heritage and operating historical trains will die without real support, money and vision. Volunteers can only do so much, no matter how good and how dedicated they are. Canberra tried to have a business side with Espee venture that likely was seen as a means to provide support for their heritage workings, sadly it has not worked also I believe that the distance from Sydney did not help them either, the non revenue empty train running must have been a big burden as well.
  Spletsie Chief Commissioner

Sad that our nation's capital now does not have an operating railway museum.
Sad for the many people who put hours of their time into the place.
Sad for the railway preservation and heritage scene.
Sad for lost opportunities for railway enthusiasts now and in the future.

Hoping they can get back on their feet.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Could be that Trainworks is the safest place for them. A creditor might decide that his debt could be repaid by 300 tonnes of scrap steel. I think the diesels belong to Transport Heritage NSW. Neill Farmer
I beleive that some (if not most, or all) of the carriage there are listed as heritage items by the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage; not sure if this offers some (or hopefully complete) level of protection to the carriages there.

In any case it's a big collection that I think even THNSW would struggle to accommodate.
Some time ago, well not that long ago really there was a stack of old carriages situated at Lowanna on the Dorrigo line, that were burnt, many screams went up re the lose of valuable heritage stock. At the end of the line is a monument to the age of preserve everything but allow the weather and climate to take charge of the task.

I love heritage and the preservation of it, the question really is how much can be kept, or how many of the same items can be? The sorrow with many of the loco's even those at Dorrigo is that many were overhauled not long before withdrawal and some steamed their way to the *?* and now all but rust in peace. How many there and at other locations can really be kept in presentable condition let alone in operating condition?

Those who worked on the restoration of 6029 need to be lauded for the work, they put their all into getting it running again and a huge credit to them, that is beside the fact that none really had any experience on them, I think there were few heavy garratts that I did not fire, but the thing is that when the last fires were drawn, I was around 25 and in the depots that I worked at/in and those I traveled to for photography the big thing I noticed was that all the depots steam fitters especially at Enfield - Bmd and at the LES none looked under 35 more like over 40, how many are still alive to show their trade to those doing the work these days?

The garratt really was great to see running again but in all honesty and sincerity its going to be a big ask for it to be a long term viable operating locomotive owing to the costs to keep it serviceable as well as running. THNSW needs to get onto the government to get the heritage industry into some form of unified operation, not only that but to get both the State and Federal governments on side to realiise the importance of rail heritage in our history and in to the future, that should include money for the ongoing maintenance of the fleet, but to identify the significant items of need in operations. The sad waste of money on the German 3801 boiler issue is something that the government no doubt would like to see it go away and be forgotten. Which I would understand however, they also need to get on with heritage and forget it and go forward and invest in our states rail history and heritage.

The federal government should also see the value that Canberra has provided not just there locally but in the sold out shuttle services on the Central Coast and Illawarra lines recently, they could and should also be supporting it, and not just NSW. The LES as a prime example should become a primary location for not just the repairs and maintenance of the NSW operational fleet but also be turned into a real museum that is a working one, a mini York where visits are open every day bar one. York as a result of school excursions has been able to get apprentices and therefore tradesmen that not just overhaul steam but have built new steam locomotives, sure most is private money but their government benefits.

The other big need for the operational fleet of steam locomotives to be able to be effective in running through this state and into others is to have some of the decommissioned servicing facilities put back into working condition. Such items as water columns is a case in point. How many water columns are available on the Short North as an examaple after leaving Sydney? There is but one that is available at Gosford in the old TT exit road, it has no leather bag anymore but if an electric train is stabled in the road the column is blocked for use, unless one can get in via one of the roads if not blocked. Both the #2 platorm down elephant column and the Up Main/loop elephant column at Hawkesbury river are booked out of use.  Where is the next watering facility after Gosford Loco?  No access into BMD loco, so there is a fire hydrant at Telerah. Where after that? Fire brigades.

What has happened with ARHS Canberra, may end up being a foretaste of the future unless the whole attitude of the governments change. Rail heritage and operating historical trains will die without real support, money and vision. Volunteers can only do so much, no matter how good and how dedicated they are. Canberra tried to have a business side with Espee venture that likely was seen as a means to provide support for their heritage workings, sadly it has not worked also I believe that the distance from Sydney did not help them either, the non revenue empty train running must have been a big burden as well.
a6et
Stop moaning. The NSW government has thrown a huge amount of taxpayers money into heritage rail and probably on the basis of which organisations it thinks has some chance of success. Hence the bulk of it going to Thirlmere.

Thirlmere is probably where 6029 plus other locos from the ACT will end up. I am somewhat puzzled how 6029 plus were released with the ACT Museum being placed in administration as it would be a major asset of the museum if the assets need to be disposed of. Maybe they are just being released into the care of Thirlmere until further arrangements are made?

Not sure how you value such an item. All the way from scrap value to a work of industrial art.

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