The Zig Zag Railway Board of Directors, upon industry based recommendations, has engaged the services of ATRS (Australasian Transport Risk Solutions) as consultants to address the issue of the ITSR variations upon our commercial passenger train accreditation. That is, the curtailment of locomotive hauled commercial passenger services last December (2011), and commercial Rail Motor services last June 2012 (as reported and discussed in the above mentioned thread).
In the immediate aftermath of the cessation of all commercial services on Sunday June 17 2012 (and staff redundancies a couple of days before), there was much soul-searching and internal reflection within the Co-Op whilst the future of the organisation hung in the balance. Daily expenditure costs were reduced to the barest minimum while reports and meetings with (both local and state) authorities analysed and evaluated the Co-Ops situation.
Subsequently, with no rescue package either imminent or likely, the Board committed the Co-Op to the engagement of ATRS to consult and, where appropriate, assist in the addressing of the ITSR issues and guiding the Co-Op on its journey of variation of its accreditation with ITSR for the express intention of re-establishing steam and rail motor passenger carrying operations over the Zig Zag.
This also required the Board of the Co-Op to commit its remaining (and finite) financial resources to meet the cost of the ATRS consultancy. It also requires the Co-Op as a whole (the Board, the management and the members) to totally re-think and restructure the way we manage, operate and even think about the things we have taken for granted since we began operations in 1975. We have one go at getting this right (and one go only).
We now look at this halt in our services as a hiatus that will enable us to take stock of what benefits we do have, shake off any bad habits we have gotten into, restructure and reshape our future and go forward positively.
So! Why is all this being posted here on Railpage?
Well, I am a foundation member of the Co-Op, (all the way back to formation in 1972) and, while I have been absent for over 14 years (family duties) until the current situation arose, I have come back and ‘rolled up my sleeves’ to get things ‘back on track’. I have also found myself on the “Project Restart” committee, and, from our very first meeting with ATRS, a big topic of conversation was the prevention of the conditioning of/and the public acceptance that, we, the Zig Zag Railway, are closed and not re-opening. Add to that the perception of our credibility and the public (and industry) view of our ability to operate viably and sustainably, (and not just under ITSR and the 2009 Rail Safety Act, but post January 2012 under the [very soon to be] National rail regulator).
To get our message back out there that Zig Zag will re-open, one Board Director has been posting updates on ‘facebook’. Now, when I added to the facebook solution discussion by suggesting placing updates on Railpage (and those of you familiar with volunteer railway society management know what happens to members who make suggestions!!!!) guess what? Yeah! Right!!!!
So, here I am!!!
I have registered as "Zig Zag Reporter" and created this new thread, so welcome!
Now, the said Director (updating facebook) and I will work together to synchronise (as much as reasonably possible) announcements, news and photos (where applicable) to anything related to the Zig Zag Railway “Project Restart”.
I will keep a lookout on this new thread and reply to questions or responses relevant to news and updates within my role and charter on the "Project Restart" committee.
There are also folks out there in RP land that are members of the ZZR, and membership updates will become more frequent and more detailed than these RP updates as “Project Restart” gains momentum, (expect a detailed email newsletter in the next day or so).
As previously posted, we are targeting mid 2013 for a restart and we would like to inform and engage with the Railpage community with our progress. That way, you can all join in ‘virtually’, if not physically, in our re-birth.
I look forward to these and future discussions as we restart.
(and the feedback on this thread should at least be interesting, if nothing else)
Happy New Year and regards to all here on RP