Tourist and Heritage railway groups and their response to COVID-19

 
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
As the spectre of COVID-19 rips through every aspect of our lives, it isn't realistic to think that the tourism and heritage railway groups and their operations will not be affected.

This thread therefore is the place to put any updates from our favourite railway preservation groups.

I will get us started:

Steamrail Victoria have made the following announcements:

The WhY not Suburban Tour (Take 2) is still running on the 29th of March at this stage. Refunds are being offered to those who wish to no longer ride on this tour.

Suburban shuttles for the 4th of April have been CANCELLED

Suburban shuttles for the 11th of April have been CANCELLED

Bendigo Easter Festival run to Bendigo on Easter Monday with R711 has been CANCELLED

No doubt there will be more to come. It is going to be a tough year for everybody.

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  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
VGR latest news on the website.

http://www.vgr.com.au/homepage.php

Service alterations to try to keep some sort of service going for as long as possible,

As a witness to some of the discussions around this matter I can attest to just how difficult an issue this is for people running T&HRs most of who are after all volunteers.
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

And Puffing Billy now shutting down for 3 months. Last passenger train runs tomorrow (Sunday 22nd March). Trains for non-public purposes may still run (ballast, rolling stock maintenance, etc).
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Southern Downs Steam Railway have ceased operations until further notice. ARHS-Qld's Sunshine Express Railtours have no upcoming tours scheduled. ARHS-Qld's Rosewood Railway has ceased operations until further notice. Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway has ceased operations until further notice. The Valley Rattler is still running services at this time.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Suburban train and Vline trips atarting to look good, time to check out unusual place one would not normally visit.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Alrighty, then, these are the others I'm aware of that have responded

707 operations and The SRHC have suspended their services until further notice, Unsure if this includes the SG Spirit charters, EDIT, it has been postponed. EDIT 2 Daylesford too has suspended operations, Walhalla currently still operating normally for the time being, MRPS has suspended operations too.

Over the Pond in Tasmania the WCWR and TTM have canceled all their operations for the next few months.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Pretty well everything in NSW suspended.
  DCook Chief Train Controller

Location: The standard state
For the NSW museums- Valley Heights, Goulburn and Junee are closed while Thirlmere and Canberra are currently open
The most notable cancellation was the 3801 relaunch which was planned to happen on the 27th, 28th and 29th
  SAR520SMBH Train Controller

In South Australia,

Pichi Richi Railway at Quorn have suspended all services.

Tramway Museum at St Kilda have closed until further notice.

SteamRanger are still running Cockle Train services but are restricting the carriage numbers from 70 capacity to 40 to ensure correct social distancing rules etc. They're continually monitoring the situation and will make changes accordingly.

National Railway Museum at Port Adelaide and Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre at Peterborough are still open for business and I'd imagine will be monitoring the situation closely.
  ssaunders Train Controller

Tourist rail will also have to look at paid staffing levels, already rumors THNSW is going to look at staffing levels. Not good but the whole country is heading the same direction.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The BPR was running yesterday with a lunch train which looked quite busy.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Canberra Railway Museum closed until further notice.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
Services finished up at Walhalla Goldfields Railway yesterday, good patronage all weekend.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

The BPR was running yesterday with a lunch train which looked quite busy.
bevans
Closed from today, I heard.  Their website says "no more bookings" or words to that effect.
  studdo Locomotive Fireman

Just received an email from THNSW saying that NSW Rail Museum is closed to the public from Tuesday 24 March 2020 until further notice. This is in addition to previously announced closures and suspensions.
  SAR520SMBH Train Controller

An update on my previous post in regards to S.A.

The National Railway Museum at Port Adelaide has announced today that they will close until further notice.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I have seen nothing as yet from Steamrail on the trip end of this month https://www.railpage.com.au/events/why-not-suburban-tour-sunday-29t
Should we assume these trips will also be deferred?
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I have seen nothing as yet from Steamrail on the trip end of this month https://www.railpage.com.au/events/why-not-suburban-tour-sunday-29t
Should we assume these trips will also be deferred?
bevans
The Steamrail Victoria facebook page says:

STEAMRAIL VICTORIA UPDATE as at 22/03/2020 - COVID-19

With further changes by the Australian and Victorian Governments to control the spread of Coronavirus, Steamrail Victoria has now cancelled all upcoming planned tours until at least the end of May 2020.

Our next tour, the whY not Suburban Tour planned for Sunday 29th March 2020 is now cancelled....


That was posted at 9:30pm last night (Sunday).
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Every Tourist & Heritage Railway in Victoria is now closed until further notice, including Puffing Billy (not 3 months as stated above, the period is indefinite).
Sad but ultimately it’s for the best given the current pandemic we’re experiencing.

Federal government assistance for non-profits to help them retain staff during the pandemic applies to most THRs as well which will hopefully cushion the blow a little bit.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The same appears to have happened for Heritage operations over there and now we have some groups in financial trouble.  A difficult time for all.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
The same appears to have happened for Heritage operations over there and now we have some groups in financial trouble.  A difficult time for all.
bevans
The groups I am a member of (see my signature) are begging members for donations, early payment of membership fees etc.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Southern Downs Steam Railway are hoping to re-start operations in September.
  DCook Chief Train Controller

Location: The standard state
NSW update
The NSW rail museum is opening for pre-booked sessions from the start of July, Valley Heights will also be reopening at the same time with a visitor limit of 60

LVR at Cowra reopened recently

All tours until at least August have been cancelled including the Thirlmere loop line services

Goulburn roundhouse and the Canberra railway museum remain closed with no date set for reopening

Junee roundhouse will reopen on the 17th of June

Volunteer activities recently recommenced at Thirlmere, Valley Heights and Cowra
I am unsure about Junee and Goulburn in relation to volunteers
Volunteer activities at Canberra recommenced a while ago

The only organisation that has not stopped volunteer work throughout the whole pandemic is Zig Zag
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Brilliant video here:



https://youtu.be/CstXbhryYp8
  Railwayfan Train Controller

Location: By a Railway
South Australian Heritage railways are slowly coming out of 'hibernation'.

NRM is back open.

Steamranger ran their first train/s over the long weekend with the Cockle Train. Cockle train services, with modified Covid rules, are operating on sundays until the school holidays when they will run daily. From then it will be usual timetable for the Cockle train. However, other services including Southern Encounter, will not occur until August at the earliest by the looks, with the first Southern Encounter scheduled (on the website) for August 2nd. The Bugle Ranger and the Highlander looks like it resumes in August too.

Pichi Richi's first service looks to be June 28 (at least according to their website) with the Barwell Bull run, although on their instagram page, the afghan express on the 4th July is supposed to be when they resume regular timetabled services.

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