An uncertain future - Zig Zag Railway

 
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville



Lithgow' Zig Zag Railway runs out of steam




05 Jun, 2012 08:38 AM

Lithgow City Council is seeking urgent meetings today to determine reasons behind the closure of Lithgow's most famous tourist attraction, the Zig Zag Railway.

Council and the public at last night's meeting have reacted with shock to the news that the tourist railway had ceased operations at the weekend.
There has been no official confirmation at this stage from Zig Zag railway personnel .

Council was told the shutdown was proably due to the cost involved with some necessary stablisation work on the tunnel.

Council hopes to hold urgent meetings with Zig Zag railway personnel along with State and Federal Government representatives.

Find out the future of this famous icon in Thursday's Lithgow Mercury




http://www.lithgowmercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/lithgow-zig-zag-railway-runs-out-of-steam/2579855.aspx

Can anyone throw a bit more light on this?

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  abesty1 Chief Commissioner

Location: The CityRail Network

End of the line for the Zig Zag railway

ZIG Zag railway will be derailed this month - closing down due to a lack of skilled workers and funds.

The railway, 10km east of Lithgow, in the Blue Mountains, has operated as a tourist attraction for many years now as the home of Thomas the Tank Engine and the Hogwarts Express.

Staff confirmed this morning that the not-for-profit organisation was shutting down on June 17.

"We are definitely closing, that I can confirm,'' a spokeswoman said.

It is understood the railway, which relies on ticket fares and donations, has several trains out of action at the moment and no funds to repair them.

Chairman Larry Zanker also said through a message on their website they were suffering from a "shortage of skilled people to help maintain these trains.''

 "Because of this situation, and the concerns of the Rail Regulator, we are only operating a Heritage Rail Motor Tour service at this time.''


Built in the 1860s, the line was constructed to transport people and produce from the western plains of NSW to Sydney. It was replaced in 1910 by a 10 tunnel deviation.
"Daily Telegraph"

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-news/end-of-the-line-for-the-zig-zag-railway/story-e6freuzi-1226384391567

  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
The Telegraph story appears to be very poor journalism and for the large a part has just lifted unrelated comments for the ZZR web site. I doubt very much the 'spokeswoman' is an official spokeswoman - more likely the lady in the ticket office!

A couple of snippets forwarded to me........ 

Following a meeting with ITSR today the regulator wishes to vary our accreditation and not allow us to run passenger trains as from 17th June. The Board is holding an emergency meeting in the next few days to discuss this matter.





Zig Zag Railway has been issued with a "Notice of Intent" pertaining to the fact that ITSR intends to, on June 17th 2012 ammend the railways accreditation to prevent the railway from operating -passenger- trains.

There are approximately 160 findings that need to be resolved, or have a concerted effort displayed in order to prevent this amendment from occurring on June 17th 2012."



  BM3801 Lobster

Location: Go Hard or Go Home!
Would the accident that happened last year have anything to do with the present situation faced by the society?

http://www.otsi.nsw.gov.au/rail/Interim-Factual-Statement-Zig-Zag-Collision-2011-04-01.pdf
  UP9372 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Banned
Would the accident that happened last year have anything to do with the present situation faced by the society?

http://www.otsi.nsw.gov.au/rail/Interim-Factual-Statement-Zig-Zag-Collision-2011-04-01.pdf
"BM3801"


Why don't you just stop speculating. If you do not know I suggest you shut up.
  trainman3801 Chief Commissioner

Location: Why do you want to know?!?!?!
Would the accident that happened last year have anything to do with the present situation faced by the society?

http://www.otsi.nsw.gov.au/rail/Interim-Factual-Statement-Zig-Zag-Collision-2011-04-01.pdf
"BM3801"


Why don't you just stop speculating. If you do not know I suggest you shut up.
"UP9372"


Calm down dude, he was only asking a question Rolling Eyes

Ben, I'd say that would have quite a bit to do with it.
  Loco Administrator Railpage 2 Developer

Location: Banned
Would the accident that happened last year have anything to do with the present situation faced by the society?

http://www.otsi.nsw.gov.au/rail/Interim-Factual-Statement-Zig-Zag-Collision-2011-04-01.pdf
"BM3801"


Why don't you just stop speculating. If you do not know I suggest you shut up.
"UP9372"


Calm down dude, he was only asking a question Rolling Eyes

Ben, I'd say that would have quite a bit to do with it.
"trainman3801"


All, this thread should remain on topic. Everyone will form a different opinion and they are welcome to share it here.

[rules]To enable this thread to continue, like another thread operating within this forum, please stick to the topic and facts whilst keeping personal feelings out of it.[/rules]

Regards,
Lionel.
  matthewg Train Controller

Would the accident that happened last year have anything to do with the present situation faced by the society?

http://www.otsi.nsw.gov.au/rail/Interim-Factual-Statement-Zig-Zag-Collision-2011-04-01.pdf
"BM3801"


That incident resulted in the ITSR taking an 'interest' in their SMS. It would appear ITSR found some things they didn't like and they want them fixed before allowing them to continue to have passenger accreditation.

At least they can still operate trains. When the GMR ran foul of the ITSR they couldn't even shunt their shed any more.
ZZR can at least run infrastructure trains and keep the line in good repair for when they do get their SMS issues sorted out.  


  jt393 Assistant Commissioner

Location: los jinetes enmascarados' clubhouse
Hi all

Since the homepage on ZZR's website saying that on June 17th will be the last train and I was wondering if anyone go over to Zig Zag at that time and pay homage to one of the world's iconic, famous, popular and the best preserved railway in history for Railway Enthusiasts and Tourists.

If they are going to rip up the track, it might as well turn into a cycling track, that would be awesome since I'm too a keen cyclist, in my mind it's good exercise to climb up the gradients

1975 - 2012 (preservation era).

JT
  FredM Beginner

I find this most disappointing for this tourist attraction, the NSW Government should get behind this railway and rectify the situation, after all, it is a heritage railway, my wife and I are coming down from Nth Qld early July to Katoomba for 5 days .
and the Zig Zag was one of the planned events, I do hope the issues can be resolved for all concerned.

FredM 
  abesty1 Chief Commissioner
  slacker Train Controller

No doubt this will be fixed. The amount of news coverage alone should raise awareness of the situation and hopefully provide ZZR with some people or income to get things literally back on track.

Good luck ZZR!
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
I00% with SLACKER on this- Now that is out in the Public Arena about ZZR'S Plight- They should (Or i hope so) Get offers of support flooding in  - It would be a Massive shame to see such an Iconic Railway shut

Kind Regards
  BIG-BEAR Chief Train Controller

I hope it is not true that zig zag railway is closing down !

It could be a kick up the butt that local councils and goverment need to get involed with funding to help out the local area as if the train does not run then a loss of money for the locals .

I don't know if zig zag railway has paid employee's on it's staff to help maintian the trains or run the trains  but perhaps that is something they could look at . With zig zag railway running trains 6 or 7 days a week there must be some money going in to employee people to help run things to fill the gap of the volunteer . This happens in some heritage railways around australia .

If they are short of money they could always down size their collection for money . Eg SAR 400 class which they have . The people from steamtown in peterbrough in SA would love to have it .

Might need to sell items to survive as there is no point in closing down and having all of the trains not running .

Do they have a businees plan for the furture for running trains or some people who just wont to collect trains ?
  abesty1 Chief Commissioner
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
The two You Tube clips say more about the woeful state of our media than they do about the ZZR Embarassed
  save402 Beginner

for a very long time itsr have been interested in all preserved railways not just the zig zag The problem has been that in the past their recommendations or rulings were simply in some cases not dealt with  and that is the reason that the railway is where it is now. 

The comments that the railway does not have enough skilled workers is an absolute falsehood there is at close to 350 paid up members of the railway and while not all could lend a hand many can or have done in the past. The fact is that many of these people were discouraged from doing work due to the poor reception that sometimes greeted them when they would attempt to lend a hand 

there was many times when little if anything was organised for these people 

and thus they grew tired of this and went elsewhere and I was once a very active member of the railway but have been discouraged from doing work onsite because of the reception that i have received and the general attitude of some of the staff and management. it was at times as thou your were not welcome.


  slacker Train Controller

I don't work for ZZR, but I just found this page on the ZZR website. I'm sure some people can help them out by contributing: http://www.zigzagrailway.com.au/donation.php
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
I'm sure many people would donate if they could be certain that it would help, however with the current uncertainty (see thread title) people will not feel like potentially throwing their hard earned money away. Makes it quite difficult really...
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I know someone from within ZZR and their attitude is somewhat similar to Save402's. They have a licenced trade which is very valuable to preservation societies, but are seemingly kept in the dark when they could be of assistance.

I like the guy in the second clip suggesting that they are not doing anything unsafe, but simply cannot prove that they are being safe... I am not surprised, when you reverse a rail vehicle into another piece of rolling stock traveling in the opposite direction the print on your proof of safety fades a little.
  VRfan Moderator

Location: In front of my computer :-p
What the...

"There's no accusation that we're doing anything unsafe but we can't prove it"

Given that incident with the hi-rail (and the report is out in the public), I don't see how he can make that sort of claim.

I really hope the Zig Zag railway can get everything sorted out, but I think a first step is to at least acknowledge the situation rather than just blame it on paperwork.
  Draffa Chief Commissioner

It is understood the railway, which relies on ticket fares and donations, has several trains out of action at the moment and no funds to repair them.
The reported could have picked themself up a copy of the current Railway Digest...
If they're closing down, I wonder what'll happen to all the rolling stock.  Will it all find a new home?

  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
As suggested, the May 2012 edition of Railway Digest overviews the issues.

I would hope that ZZR can address the concerns raised by ITSSR and repair the mechanical problems with their steamers.
  flathog Chief Commissioner

Location: Central West, NSW
I'm sure many people would donate if they could be certain that it would help, however with the current uncertainty (see thread title) people will not feel like potentially throwing their hard earned money away. Makes it quite difficult really...
"Graham4405"


The money will go towards a valuable cause and will go towards saving the railway.



I'd like to say, 90% of the people commenting on this post -do not- understand the situation themselves beyond what they have read. That includes past members who have not been up to the railway in many months. I don't mean to sound nasty, but that's the fact of the matter. There has been a bad situation months ago and people are still assuming the current situation is a flow on from that, which is not the case.

Yes, there has been an incident in the past and all issues from that have been dealt with so far as how/why it occured and I don't think anyone is trying to deny the fact it happened, you can't deny it happened, it's all there in black and white. (and some colour pictures)

HOWEVER. How much does that incident have to do with the current situation?
Well, obviously the wide held opinion is quite a lot. But is that an opinion based on hear-say because they have heard nothing else since or is that an opinion based on fact?

The issue at hand is quite simple. They have some work to do on administration, nothing more, nothing less at this point in time. They have less then 14 days to do it in which they have said is not achievable. With the current finances, the railway will not survive without the income from passengers and thus, it will be necessary to close down.

If they can cover their costs, they can continue into the future.

I am making this statement as an individual and will not be making an further comment.

I just ask, why continue with the bashing and reading into a story. There are no smoke and mirrors, what is being told in the news, is the bare facts. PRIME 7 News Report is probably the best and most accurate however.

Nuff' said from me.
  DKM89 Station Master

Location: Blue Mountains
 
   Everything should be done to save Zig Zag Railway.
   Zig Zag Railway is an Australian icon.

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