Heritage Express - Newcastle Flyer, 27th October 2013

 
  a6et Minister for Railways

I didn't realize that Heritage Express/NSWRTM had crews "on call" to just rush out there and fire the steam locomotive up, then just "get a path" straight into Sydney at the drop of a hat. Clearly they don't roster their crews months in advance, or contact ARTC/RailCorp to arrange pathing and timetables for the trains.

I think that's something everyone can agree on, and hopefully this new Heritage Report will make inroads into making the LES available for all. Currently though, you'd have to negotiate with 3801ltd for that kind of access...
Raichase

Did I say anything about having crews on call?    The aspect I am talking of is simple, if  & therein is the point IF, as Archer suggested there was crews getting the engine ready on Thursday, or starting to, I asked & still do, Why the need for that to take place 3 days prior to operation taking place?

Likewise, & from what I have read the engine & train was scheduled to run to Sydney on Saturday, they would need 2 crews, 1 for the diesel & 1 for the pig. As the diesels were used there affectively was 1 crew not used.  Therefore they would have been available for use for light up etc, or placed on stand by.  

The other option of course would have had the pig taken as part of the load in a dead condition.  Happened a lot when they ran all the time.  With that crew riding the pig as per old regulations, & available at the LES where I guess the whole shebang was parked.  Lets also not forget that if the pig had been in steam on the Saturday, then had it stayed that way from Saturday until the Sunday, then someone would have been there as an attendant for it, so no reason why that person could not have lit it up.

Not a matter of crews on stand by, but a matter of using those intended.

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  Duffy Chief Commissioner

Location: ACT
As far as I know, all mainline operators consult with the RFS during the fire season before confirming steam regardless of the conditions and if only a matter of courtesy.  If the RFS advises you not to run (as it had in this case), you can be sure they had good reasons for doing it.  The location of the locomotive had absolutely no bearing on the situation, nor did the availability of crews to work it.

As for the museum being 'over cautious', people need to look past the relatively minor disappointment that steam did not operate to the fact that there had just been significant damage (including to a heritage railway) caused by a bushfire that started at an military facility on a non-total fire ban day.  The department responsible faces potential lawsuits etc as a result.  Do you think that any mainline operator would want to run that risk?  

All it takes is one stray cinder landing in the right patch of grass with a bit of wind.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
As far as I know, all mainline operators consult with the RFS during the fire season before confirming steam regardless of the conditions and if only a matter of courtesy.  If the RFS advises you not to run (as it had in this case), you can be sure they had good reasons for doing it.  The location of the locomotive had absolutely no bearing on the situation, nor did the availability of crews to work it.

As for the museum being 'over cautious', people need to look past the relatively minor disappointment that steam did not operate to the fact that there had just been significant damage (including to a heritage railway) caused by a bushfire that started at an military facility on a non-total fire ban day.  The department responsible faces potential lawsuits etc as a result.  Do you think that any mainline operator would want to run that risk?  

All it takes is one stray cinder landing in the right patch of grass with a bit of wind.
Duffy
The risk of creating another fire would be a huge thing image wise, and to be over cautious and not run a steamer is great cudos for public impression.

Yes a steamer was not run. We had  older Diesals instead, and I coe from a generation who do not mind that at all.

Now any photos taken of the train/trip ????


Regards,
David Head
  MC3801 Train Controller

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