South Coast Express - Major Fundraiser for 520s restoration

 
  sarail Chief Commissioner

Location: Redwood Park, Adelaide, South Australia
The dream to see 520 back in steam has become a reality, largely thanks to the kind and substantial donation made by founding ARHS Member, and former Tours Director, Dean Harvey. However, we still need to raise further funds to complete the loco’s restoration.
In order to assist this project, join us on Sunday 30th November, as we depart Mt Barker behind former South Australian Railways 930 class diesel locomotive 958, heading south for Victor Harbor.

Our train will work over the lower Mount Lofty Ranges to Strathalbyn, where ample time has been allowed for a photo or two. Before long, our train will be on the move once more, rolling down through the fertile farm lands and Mallee scrub to the river port of Goolwa.

Here, we will cross the regular Sunday Cockle Train, and continue on to Middleton. At Middleton, our passengers will have the option of leaving the train for a sumptuous three-course meal (included in your ticket price) at the Middleton Tavern, while our rail-only passengers can continue onto Victor Harbor.

Two hours later, it’s off again, heading northward for Mount Barker. A brief stop at Middleton to collect our guests who chose the lunch option, and to cross the Victor Harbor bound Cockle Train, before a quick run across the plains to Goolwa. Another brief stop for a photo and to obtain a train authority will be held, before we recommence our journey home. At Finniss we will hold a run-by photo stop, before listening to 958 doing what it was built to do – work hard, as it hauls our train back up the ranges to Mt Barker.

Limited Buffet service will be available onboard, selling cold drinks and a small range of snack foods.

Details of the menu for lunch and details for booking tickets can be found at: http://www.steamranger.org.au

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  BIG-BEAR Chief Train Controller

http://www.steamrangerheritagerailway.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=2

This link takes you to the steamranger news page which has the info about the event .
  sarail Chief Commissioner

Location: Redwood Park, Adelaide, South Australia
Sorry, not sure what went wrong with the link there.. Here's the correct link.

http://www.steamrangerheritagerailway.org/images/south%20coast%20expressa5flier.pdf

Pete
  sarail Chief Commissioner

Location: Redwood Park, Adelaide, South Australia
Sorry, not sure what went wrong with the link there.. Here's the correct link.

http://www.steamrangerheritagerailway.org/images/south%20coast%20expressa5flier.pdf

Pete
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
Interesting.  

While 520 is literally my favorite loco (I have memories of being lifted into the cab at Adelaide Railway Station as a kid) its just such a poor fit for the Mt Barker to Victor Harbour line.  They don't need a loco that can slip between mainline schedules (when 520 was important); they need something that doesn't trash the track for the Southern Encounter (621) and something smaller for the Cockle Train (e.g. the Rxs and the F).

While I recall (from my time volunteering at Steamranger years ago) the main problem was the rusted out tender frame, but now you're likely going to have to do a full boiler overhaul etc. which is a lot of time and resources that aren't going into the other engines, and I understand that the smaller 3 are all up on blocks.

Perhaps the decision has been made that 520 is an easier fix at this point?  Anyone know?
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

G'day SAR523

The talk is that the main problem which sidelined 520 was the tender. Considering the present problem with 621's firebox crack, Steam Ranger could well be without a large engine.

Sentimentally it would be good to see 520 back running rather than in the back of a shed.
Your comments regarding 520's effect on the track is not consistent with reports from the old SAR days.

That said, an Rx could well handle most trains over the whole line, even 4 steel cars out of Mt Barker, having two Rx's available and getting the F going would give more flexibility in running.

I don't know what preserved 12" to 1ft railway experience is but for the miniature railway experience is that the general public don't care if a finely detailed steam loco pulls their train or a box of batteries on wheels. I suggest that after 5 minutes it is the ride that is important.

Steam Ranger's money might be better spent getting one or two 830s.

Ian
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
G'day SAR523

The talk is that the main problem which sidelined 520 was the tender. Considering the present problem with 621's firebox crack, Steam Ranger could well be without a large engine.

Sentimentally it would be good to see 520 back running rather than in the back of a shed.
Your comments regarding 520's effect on the track is not consistent with reports from the old SAR days.

That said, an Rx could well handle most trains over the whole line, even 4 steel cars out of Mt Barker, having two Rx's available and getting the F going would give more flexibility in running.
steam4ian


Sentimentally I'd love to see it running as well.  

However my understanding from the Steam ranger track gang back in the day was that 520 was a lot rougher on the track than 621 or the smaller locos and money spent on track is money not available elsewhere.  I'd imagine your reports from the SAR days are relating it to say a 500 or 700-740, compared against which it is undoubtedly lighter on the foot.

I hadn't kept abreast that 621's firebox had cracked, that's obviously a significant problem.  Hopefully the retrofit for the oil-coal conversion done after the accident, which I understood was no longer acceptable to the boiler inspection years ago, goes off without any other problems!
  SAR_enthusiast Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Steam Ranger's money might be better spent getting one or two 830s.

Ian[/quote]


I totally agree. Steamranger needs to invest in a couple 830's. What's the current status of the ex stone train broad gauge 830's? 2x830's would be ideal motive power for Steamranger's operations. Restoring Steam locomotives is great, but consideration is needed to be given to preserving heritage diesel power as well.

Does anyone know if Steamranger has approached GWA and questioned a possible acquisition of the ex broad gauge 830's?
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
I heard that Steamranger have bought 845 (stored at South Dynon) from PN earlier this year.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
The substantial donation provided to Steamranger is rumoured to be in the order of $100,000, but specifically tied to the restoration of 520.

I take it the first thing that the armchair preservationists on here would done would have been to knock this money back?

Yet again on this forum, in just a short space of time, we see a new generation of younger enthusiasts being pro-active and getting off their arses and doing something for preservation in SA getting lectured by the coulda, woulda, shoulda crowd Evil or Very Mad
  BIG-BEAR Chief Train Controller

The restoration of 520 is meant to be a good news story .


It brings a lot of interest from train buffs , etc.  from around the country to see what Steam ranger is doing .

Hopefully one day Steam ranger will have both  Rx class loco's  running along with 621 and 520 .

Steam engines put bums on seats .

Which then helps pay for track work , etc. or even buying a couple of 830 class engines .


And this thread should not be where the knockers out there . Start saying Steam ranger should be doing this or that .
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I don't know what preserved 12" to 1ft railway experience is but for the miniature railway experience is that the general public don't care if a finely detailed steam loco pulls their train or a box of batteries on wheels. I suggest that after 5 minutes it is the ride that is important.
"steam4ian"

I disagree - steam locos have the wow factor that draws people to a group like Steamranger. The experience at the station before and after, and at Victor also walking down to see it on the turntable, is more important than the actual ride for the families with kids. If the sights and sounds of a steam loco didn't matter, why else would they continue to call themselves Steamranger when the vast majority of their trains have been diesel-hauled for many years?

To the older rail enthusiasts, you're right that the ride is more or less the same with whatever is hauling it. My parents went on the Pichi Richi Railway for the first time recently and loved it, but it would have been a disaster if they'd tried to do it with the whole family back when we were kids because a great deal of the experience is the spectacular landscape of the Pichi Richi Pass, and the kids being unable to appreciate that would have flowed onto the parents also being unable to appreciate it.

Case in point of the importance of steam locos to Steamranger, the Tour Down Under a few years ago back when Steamranger still had their excellent (but rather under appreciated) marketing person on board. They organised with DPTI for the level crossing on the main road near the Port Elliot Caravan Park to be deactivated for the race to go past while a Rx-hauled Cockle Train was parked up right next to the crossing. The attention drawn from that shrewd publicity move included…
  • Eddy Merckx taking a photo on his iPhone as he went past in the media convoy (for those not in the know, Eddy Merckx was the cycling equivalent of Don Bradman or Michael Jordan in the 60's/70's)
  • lots of excited kids getting a fairly close look from just behind the fence as they waited for the race to arrive
  • adult fans on the side of the road taking photos with their phones
  • some of the cycling world's elite photographers arriving at that spot ahead of the race to line up the perfect shots
  • a low swooping pass from the camera helicopter as the peleton went through
  • a mention on the commentary accompanying said helicopter shot, despite Steamranger not being in the official speaker's book for the race (i.e. Phil Liggett made himself aware of it)

Would an old railcar or a 930 have rated that sort of attention? Probably not.


The date of this fundraiser makes it impossible for me to join it, but I might make a no-strings donation anyway. It's good to see some leadership at Steamranger being taken up by a generation who have more motivation than just hanging on to faded glories.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Justapax.

It is good when you disagree with me, I then know I am onto something.

I have car captained many times at PRR the never seen children not enjoying the whole experience, but then that may be part of my skill, if any, as a car captain.

You are right, there is a "wow" factor with steam but in my experience it is not essential. Any tourist rail journey over 10 minutes needs some creative embellishment to keep children  amused.

Regards
Ian
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

ALL take note.

I am not say 520 shouldn't be restored, those looking for some agro may think so.Twisted Evil

It is shame 520 is not running due to a problem which, with all due respect to Simon H, can be fixed in a back yard (a very large one) shed.

Ian
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Justapax.

It is good when you disagree with me, I then know I am onto something.
"steam4ian"

In this case I suspect that what you're onto is a certain herb of marginal legality.

I would point you towards YPR and the Limestone Coast as examples of heritage railways in SA which tried to operate without the drawcard of steam (at least on some trains) and failed.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
The substantial donation provided to Steamranger is rumoured to be in the order of $100,000, but specifically tied to the restoration of 520.

I take it the first thing that the armchair preservationists on here would done would have been to knock this money back?

Yet again on this forum, in just a short space of time, we see a new generation of younger enthusiasts being pro-active and getting off their arses and doing something for preservation in SA getting lectured by the coulda, woulda, shoulda crowd Evil or Very Mad
bingley hall


Settle down Bing.  

If the money is tied specifically to the restoration of 520, then that's the answer.  And if it's coming from Dean Harvey, that's hardly a new generation of younger enthusiasts!  During my time with Steamranger (when I lived in Adelaide) there were clear reasons 520 was put at the bottom of the priority list.  I'm not aware of any of those reasons changing in the intervening 15-odd years.

We are discussing the relative merits of restoring one engine against other uses for money and time.  That seems to be a completely reasonable point of discussion.  It's Steamranger's call, but that hardly seems to preclude discussion of it.

Personally I think it's great news; I'm just curious what has changed.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

In this case I suspect that what you're onto is a certain herb of marginal legality.

I would point you towards YPR and the Limestone Coast as examples of heritage railways in SA which tried to operate without the drawcard of steam (at least on some trains) and failed.
justapassenger

Justapax I was hoping you would share some.

Let us not let the historical facts get in the way of a good discussion.

First, include in the "failed" heritage railways Steam Town Peterborough which ran steam almost exclusively.

Lack of steam locomotion may be contributing factor but it is not the factor. A Red Hen, no matter what colour it is painted is not a train in the public's eyes and if it reminds them of anything it is crowded trips to/from school. The Brill RMUs have a little more appeal.

Of the "failed" ventures I suggest (know) the reasons were as follows:

  1. Track no longer serviceable

  2. Relatively non spectacular scenery

  3. Small membership base

  4. Difficulties maintain rolling stock operational

  5. Low number of tourists passing through



Of the venture which are succeeding they have in their favour the following:

  • At tourism hubs, South Coast for SHR, Quorn Flinders for PRR, always passing trade.

  • Spectacular/unique scenery

  • Broad membership base

  • Reasonable track

  • Historically sound use of Government funding schemes



The PRR got a huge but largely unrecognised boost into existence from the then CR and started life with two steam loco in sound condition.

The future, who knows, but PRR's track is looking great this season.

Ian


  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

In this case I suspect that what you're onto is a certain herb of marginal legality.

I would point you towards YPR and the Limestone Coast as examples of heritage railways in SA which tried to operate without the drawcard of steam (at least on some trains) and failed.
justapassenger

  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

In this case I suspect that what you're onto is a certain herb of marginal legality.

I would point you towards YPR and the Limestone Coast as examples of heritage railways in SA which tried to operate without the drawcard of steam (at least on some trains) and failed.
justapassenger

  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Settle down Bing.

If the money is tied specifically to the restoration of 520, then that's the answer. And if it's coming from Dean Harvey, that's hardly a new generation of younger enthusiasts! During my time with Steamranger (when I lived in Adelaide) there were clear reasons 520 was put at the bottom of the priority list. I'm not aware of any of those reasons changing in the intervening 15-odd years.

We are discussing the relative merits of restoring one engine against other uses for money and time. That seems to be a completely reasonable point of discussion. It's Steamranger's call, but that hardly seems to preclude discussion of it.

Personally I think it's great news; I'm just curious what has changed.
SAR523


I doubt very much that DH has anything to do with the specific fundraising event which this thread was originally about, until hi-jacked.  

If the DH's money is tied, which I already alluded to, how would you use it elsewhere? Discussion over.

Would you knock back a tied donation of this size if it did not fit in with your organisation's current planning?

How would you explain that to your membership?
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
I doubt very much that DH has anything to do with the specific fundraising event which this thread was originally about, until hi-jacked.

If the DH's money is tied, which I already alluded to, how would you use it elsewhere? Discussion over.

Would you knock back a tied donation of this size if it did not fit in with your organisation's current planning?

How would you explain that to your membership?
bingley hall


The OP and the Steamranger page credit Dean Harvey.  What they don't say is that the money is only for 520 (which was made clear in the last big fundraiser for the track of about a decade ago), but if it is, then that's all there is too it.

No-one is suggesting that they should refuse the money.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
As for 520 being to hard on the rails that is a bit of a mystery they were made to run on 60 lb plant and the Victor Harbor line was rebuilt with 85 lb per yard rails, If my memory serves me correctly. They were a lot easier on the Track than some of Webb's big loco's though like 500/600/700 They were also less prone to rail pounding as well as it was all said in the 500 book from years back. Dean has made a large start into this fund to get it going again and we should be thankful to him for doing it. I also cannot go that weekend on the trip but I will endeavour to make a donation to get her back in steam as I have done previously when it was first restored!
  sarail Chief Commissioner

Location: Redwood Park, Adelaide, South Australia
Wow! This thread has derailed slightly!

Just for the record, Dean's donation was aimed specifically at 520, and 520 alone.

This trip has been organised in order to raise funds for whatever else needs to be done to 520 (aside from the tender rebuild works which are being documented elsewhere). Remembering, there are still other works that need to be completed on the engine unit of 520 before it can run again (the loco's smokebox and firebox are the two big items).

These works are/will be performed by outside resources, rather than solely using SHR resources, and as such allow continued work to return to two Rx's to traffic, as well as keep 621 operational.

Whether you like it or not, want to support us or not, this is a dream which is going to happen.

Can we please keep this thread on the trip itself.

Pete
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
If my posts have been interpreted as being opposed to restoring 520 or otherwise denigrating the efforts of volunteers, then I unreservedly apologize, as it was not my intent.  I wish the endevour well, and look forward to seeing 520 back in steam.  Taking a ride on a 520-hauled Southern encounter in the 90s re-kindled a long dormant passion for trains which has provided me with much joy ever since.

And lest my posts here poison my future contributions regarding the organization or the engine, I was a SR loco volunteer when I lived in Adelaide and spent a number of weekends also clearing the right of way.  After I left I could only donate money and have done so.  A review of my posting history will also show that I have encouraged others to join Steamranger on more than one occasion.

I will note that when I was a volunteer I was a little younger and pestered a number of very patient people about why we couldn't get 520 running again.  I have only been attempting to relate some of the reasons (other than the basic $s) that I heard, many of which I only now better understand having taken more leadership roles in not-for-profit organizations here in the US.  

So simply curiosity, apparently poorly expressed.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
If my posts have been interpreted as being opposed to restoring 520 or otherwise denigrating the efforts of volunteers, then I unreservedly apologize, as it was not my intent. I wish the endevour well, and look forward to seeing 520 back in steam. Taking a ride on a 520-hauled Southern encounter in the 90s re-kindled a long dormant passion for trains which has provided me with much joy ever since.

And lest my posts here poison my future contributions regarding the organization or the engine, I was a SR loco volunteer when I lived in Adelaide and spent a number of weekends also clearing the right of way. After I left I could only donate money and have done so. A review of my posting history will also show that I have encouraged others to join Steamranger on more than one occasion.

I will note that when I was a volunteer I was a little younger and pestered a number of very patient people about why we couldn't get 520 running again. I have only been attempting to relate some of the reasons (other than the basic $s) that I heard, many of which I only now better understand having taken more leadership roles in not-for-profit organizations here in the US.

So simply curiosity, apparently poorly expressed.
SAR523

Maybe not poorly expressed, but poorly understood might be the better way to put it. I have noticed on here that a lot will read into something, something you never intended at all. Some posters are worse than others though like this. It seems that the younger ones seem to read some things differently than us older ones. Not all of course and I will not name any one but it is rife on here at times! Also some of the older posters get their wires crossed at times as well so it works both ways!

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