An uncertain future - Seymour Railway Heritage Centre (SRHC)

 

Pinned post created by Barrington Womble

Posted 6 years ago

  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
I have been waiting patiently for news of the SRHC trip from Seymour to Tocumwal, scheduled for Saturday December 10th.  This is a trip I have really enjoyed the last couple of years, looking forward to it again, but now I see on the SRHC website that the trip has been cancelled, with no explanation or reason given.

Has it really been cancelled?  If so, why?  Will it be run again?

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  Beaver Locomotive Driver

lad porter its probably more important for SRHC to hire out locomotives owned by the government for historic purposes
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I suspect that the head shunt at Seymour is still r/s, and SRHC can't get trains out of the depot.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
I suspect that the head shunt at Seymour is still r/s, and SRHC can't get trains out of the depot.
"Valvegear"


I didn't know about that - could you elaborate?

What would be involved in fixing the problem?

Is this why they didn't run shuttles on the "Tastes of the Goulburn" day in October?  The reason given then was "trackwork".
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
I suspect that the head shunt at Seymour is still r/s, and SRHC can't get trains out of the depot.
"Valvegear"


I didn't know about that - could you elaborate?
"Lad_Porter"
Condemned by V/Line Access, and booked out.

What would be involved in fixing the problem?
"Lad_Porter"
New sleepers, and an interest in running heritage trains, rather than focusing soley on hiring out government owned heritage assets to private freight operators would certainly be a start.

Is this why they didn't run shuttles on the "Tastes of the Goulburn" day in October?  The reason given then was "trackwork".
"Lad_Porter"
Yes.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
The Rev has put into words something that I and others have been thinking.
It seems to me that the SRHC has lost its way.
It is now an organisation devoted to heritage diesel locomotive maintenance and hire.

It began when J515 was sent to Maldon, with no idea when/if it would return to Seymour. In the meantime, a super-you-beaut tender tank was built for 515, complete with an elaborate, ground-level watering set up, so that taking water could be done from a  hydrant without getting on top of the tender. To the best of my knowledge it has never been used, (although I am prepared to be corrected.)

J512 is supposed to be under restoration/conversion to standard gauge, and the frame has been sitting on blocks, and languishing outside the SRHC Mechanical Workshop literally for years. The boiler, similarly, has been sitting near the Seymour turntable for years. Progress is nil.

Now, as The Rev has pointed out, the head shunt which is essential for getting trains out of the SRHC depot, has been booked out of service.

The future, in terms of running heritage trains, is looking a bit bleak.
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
It kinda saddens me that the direction Seymour Railway Heritage Centre has taken - to simply ignore the third word in their name, and to ignore their motto of Preserving Victoria's Railway Heritage.

B74, T320, T357 and S303 were, in essence, gifted to the then SLSPG by the Victorian Government to preserve for future generations.  They have then spent

On one hand, I have no issue with any group getting a sizeable and reliable income stream, which hiring locomotives brings - so long as it is used to further their aims, which is to preserve railway heritage.  

That's why they're called SRHC.  That's why they have been entrusted by the then PTC through to VicTrack Heritage with some unique and marvellous pieces of rollingstock.  Yarra, State Cars 4 and 5, the Spirit of Progress Dining and Parlor cars, the fixed-wheel stock, the former V&SAR Joint Stock sleeping cars from 1906, the E cars, and the freight wagons as examples, are all absolutely wonderful pieces of history.

Instead, it's been concentrating on their ability to hire more locomotives, including C501, which despite a good sum of money being donated by the public with a vague assurance that it will run in a heritage capacity, has spent its entire preserved life hauling goods trains.  While I'm glad that George survives as it was built, it is a disservice to the people who stumped up and helped save it.

If SRHC only want to hire locomotives - great.  Just hand back all the vehicles allocated to them on the Historic Register that they are less and less interested in to someone who will.
  JGS Well. We'll see about THAT!

Location: Junee NSW
Hear, hear.

By accident or by design, the Seymour group appears to be completely focussed on different aims and goals now than those which motivated it in the beginning. And it's disingenuous to pretend otherwise.

Is the "preservation of Victoria's rail heritage" the primary concern? If so, there are many, many questions which could be asked.

That's how it appears from the outside. I can't speak from the inside, but the rumblings speak for themselves.

My personal opinion only.

Cheers,
Matt
  Serviceton_Kev Chief Commissioner

Location: Fecking here!
It kinda saddens me that the direction Seymour Railway Heritage Centre has taken - to simply ignore the third word in their name, and to ignore their motto of Preserving Victoria's Railway Heritage.

B74, T320, T357 and S303 were, in essence, gifted to the then SLSPG by the Victorian Government to preserve for future generations.  They have then spent

On one hand, I have no issue with any group getting a sizeable and reliable income stream, which hiring locomotives brings - so long as it is used to further their aims, which is to preserve railway heritage.  

That's why they're called SRHC.  That's why they have been entrusted by the then PTC through to VicTrack Heritage with some unique and marvellous pieces of rollingstock.  Yarra, State Cars 4 and 5, the Spirit of Progress Dining and Parlor cars, the fixed-wheel stock, the former V&SAR Joint Stock sleeping cars from 1906, the E cars, and the freight wagons as examples, are all absolutely wonderful pieces of history.

Instead, it's been concentrating on their ability to hire more locomotives, including C501, which despite a good sum of money being donated by the public with a vague assurance that it will run in a heritage capacity, has spent its entire preserved life hauling goods trains.  While I'm glad that George survives as it was built, it is a disservice to the people who stumped up and helped save it.

If SRHC only want to hire locomotives - great.  Just hand back all the vehicles allocated to them on the Historic Register that they are less and less interested in to someone who will.
"Sir Thomas Bent"


Hear, Hear!
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
Bollocks, missed a sentence.  I sometimes type up big posts in WordPad prior to this, and didn't bring it over.

My post says:


B74, T320, T357 and S303 were, in essence, gifted to the then SLSPG by the Victorian Government to preserve for future generations. They have then spent
"Earlier, I"



B74, T320, T357 and S303 were, in essence, gifted to the then SLSPG by the Victorian Government to preserve for future generations. They have then spent the last eight years being used on a regular basis hauling grain trains around the state, when they were deemed by the Government and their operator to be far beyond the end of their regular service life up to a decade or more prior.

While the operators (Pacific National and later El Zorro) don't abuse these units, they are no longer suited to mainline grain trains on a regular basis.

This is not an acceptable use of locomotives that are beyond their economic life, and certainly not for locomotives that were given gratis for the purpose of preservation for the future.

While, in my understanding, it can in some cases beneficial for diesel locomotives to work hard, their daily use hauling loaded trains was not the Governments intention.
"What I should have"
  VBAndy Chief Commissioner

I think the reduction in active and financial members in recent years speaks for itself.
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
Recent years? Numbers have been declining for at least 10 years.
  tranzitjim Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
What SRHC really needs is a 'Pizza Night'.

Say on the Friday night before a working bee?  Or perhaps on that Saturday night.

This would entice people to come up, and while they are there they may do something. Even if it is just to grab a piece of sand paper to sand back one pannel of wood.  At least you get something done, and with many people there each with their own pannel, you should get a lot of the work done.

Or simple jobs like moving chairs, even if you had 10 people who did nothing more than move one chair across from the Thommas room over to the shops, you get 10 chairs moved that would normally not ever get moved.

The irony is, I missed one of the working bees all because a family member had a free pie night that I was invited to.
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
No, the SRHC do not need a pizza night. It reaches far deeper than something like that.
  Serviceton_Kev Chief Commissioner

Location: Fecking here!
No, the SRHC do not need a pizza night. It reaches far deeper than something like that.
"TheRev"


It's going to take something a LOT more than just a pizza night to sort the deep issues at SRHC out.
  newington Chief Commissioner

Location: Here, very occasionally.
No, the SRHC do not need a pizza night. It reaches far deeper than something like that.
"TheRev"


It's going to take something a LOT more than just a pizza night to sort the deep issues at SRHC out.
"Serviceton_Kev"


Gotta start somewhere, methinks a pizza night/night gathering would be a good start just to bring some members together. 8)
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
All good and interesting comments, especially from STB with his descriptive list of the wonderful heritage stock which SRHC are not using.

But the fact remains:  they can not at present run heritage trips even if they want to.  It would seem intolerable that all that heritage stock is effectively locked away and unusable (except maybe for static display, or a place to sleep), and likewise it would seem inevitable that sooner or later the problem will be fixed, otherwise you might as well just put a match to the place.  So why not sooner?  Is someone being just plain cranky?

And what about the locos out on hire?  Presumably they can't get back in?
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Sounds like some Deep seated issues here. Sometimes can happen with a volunteer organisation. Shame.

Most/all the T's seem to have come off the elzorro trains at present, and George is resting up there as well at present apparently, pending its next assignment.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Gotta start somewhere, methinks a pizza night/night gathering would be a good start just to bring some members together
"newington"


Methinks it would be a total waste of time because discussion is not encouraged.
  VBAndy Chief Commissioner

Gotta start somewhere, methinks a pizza night/night gathering would be a good start just to bring some members together
"newington"


Methinks it would be a total waste of time because discussion is not encouraged.
"Valvegear"
in some cases, punished!
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
My biggest concern - and I know the current management reads this - is that they have successfully managed to alienate a lot of people under 40.

You want to survive and not atrophy like a few other groups? You have to make sure future generations don't have a bad experience.

Otherwise, all the hiring and running doesn't do s**t if you can't form a quorum in ten years.
  newington Chief Commissioner

Location: Here, very occasionally.
My biggest concern - and I know the current management reads this - is that they have successfully managed to alienate a lot of people under 40.

You want to survive and not atrophy like a few other groups? You have to make sure future generations don't have a bad experience.

Otherwise, all the hiring and running doesn't do s**t if you can't form a quorum in ten years.
"Sir Thomas Bent"


Hear Hear Sir, I'm 15, and I'm into a preservation society too. Sydney Tramway Museum, the society I'm part of, are quite accomodating of people my age, certain members actually show you how stuff works and how to do things, which is what should happen. If you don't attract kids, or younger adults, eventually the median age goes up to such a point that its unworkable to have an organisation made up entirely of 60 and 70 year olds.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Hear Hear Sir, I'm 15,
"newington"


I don't want this to sound patronising, but I congratulate you on your writing. It shows a maturity beyond your years. Keep it up.
  PE Chief Train Controller

Once again an interesting discussion and, dare I say, had it taken place regarding another State it would have devolved into having the thread locked by now. I think it is a reflection on the maturity of the heritage sector in Victoria that such can take place and every now and then I think we should pat ourselves on the back for this being the case.

Now back on topic. I am aware this has been a source of discussion for sometime but on the wider front of using State assets for profit, in particular the hire of locomotives to private rail operators. I have always countered this argument by saying that ALL the heritage railways profit from the use of State assets, be it the occupancy of land for no or very small consideration (the new leases for heritage railways are $104 p/a), allocated rolling stock or the use of buildings etc.... It should be remembered that with the exception of 320, all the flat top Ts out and about are owned by the various heritage railways.

So it would appear that the issue is what a group does with the monies generated.

For entities like Steamrail and the heritage railways the funds clearly go into supporting their operations, be that maintaining track, restoring locomotives, overhauling carriages, running trains and the like. Their public activities make this demonstrably evident, but from what people are saying here, and from my own observations, for SRHC this is not so.

That is not to say SRHC aren’t, I don’t know, it’s just not as apparent. At the end of the day it is up to the members of SRHC (as it is with any group) to decided if they concur with the direction the organisation is taking and either change it or leave if they don’t agree.

With regards to the allocated rolling stock, I personally have no issue with items being stored at Seymour as they are State assets on State land (I do stand to be corrected on this) and most importantly housed securely undercover. The issue I do see is access to these assets by other groups which may wish to utilise them on tours or for special events and they being unable to do so.

As the new lease arrangements for allocated rolling stock are worked through with DOT over the next 12 months maybe issues such as this, particularly for mainline accessible items, will be considered.
  Serviceton_Kev Chief Commissioner

Location: Fecking here!
So it would appear that the issue is what a group does with the monies generated.


Would be VERY interesting to find out where the money being generated by the hiring out of these "heritage" locomotives is actually going....

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