Could be that Trainworks is the safest place for them. A creditor might decide that his debt could be repaid by 300 tonnes of scrap steel. I think the diesels belong to Transport Heritage NSW. Neill FarmerI beleive that some (if not most, or all) of the carriage there are listed as heritage items by the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage; not sure if this offers some (or hopefully complete) level of protection to the carriages there.
In any case it's a big collection that I think even THNSW would struggle to accommodate.
Some time ago, well not that long ago really there was a stack of old carriages situated at Lowanna on the Dorrigo line, that were burnt, many screams went up re the lose of valuable heritage stock. At the end of the line is a monument to the age of preserve everything but allow the weather and climate to take charge of the task.
I love heritage and the preservation of it, the question really is how much can be kept, or how many of the same items can be? The sorrow with many of the loco's even those at Dorrigo is that many were overhauled not long before withdrawal and some steamed their way to the *?* and now all but rust in peace. How many there and at other locations can really be kept in presentable condition let alone in operating condition?
Those who worked on the restoration of 6029 need to be lauded for the work, they put their all into getting it running again and a huge credit to them, that is beside the fact that none really had any experience on them, I think there were few heavy garratts that I did not fire, but the thing is that when the last fires were drawn, I was around 25 and in the depots that I worked at/in and those I traveled to for photography the big thing I noticed was that all the depots steam fitters especially at Enfield - Bmd and at the LES none looked under 35 more like over 40, how many are still alive to show their trade to those doing the work these days?
The garratt really was great to see running again but in all honesty and sincerity its going to be a big ask for it to be a long term viable operating locomotive owing to the costs to keep it serviceable as well as running. THNSW needs to get onto the government to get the heritage industry into some form of unified operation, not only that but to get both the State and Federal governments on side to realiise the importance of rail heritage in our history and in to the future, that should include money for the ongoing maintenance of the fleet, but to identify the significant items of need in operations. The sad waste of money on the German 3801 boiler issue is something that the government no doubt would like to see it go away and be forgotten. Which I would understand however, they also need to get on with heritage and forget it and go forward and invest in our states rail history and heritage.
The federal government should also see the value that Canberra has provided not just there locally but in the sold out shuttle services on the Central Coast and Illawarra lines recently, they could and should also be supporting it, and not just NSW. The LES as a prime example should become a primary location for not just the repairs and maintenance of the NSW operational fleet but also be turned into a real museum that is a working one, a mini York where visits are open every day bar one. York as a result of school excursions has been able to get apprentices and therefore tradesmen that not just overhaul steam but have built new steam locomotives, sure most is private money but their government benefits.
The other big need for the operational fleet of steam locomotives to be able to be effective in running through this state and into others is to have some of the decommissioned servicing facilities put back into working condition. Such items as water columns is a case in point. How many water columns are available on the Short North as an examaple after leaving Sydney? There is but one that is available at Gosford in the old TT exit road, it has no leather bag anymore but if an electric train is stabled in the road the column is blocked for use, unless one can get in via one of the roads if not blocked. Both the #2 platorm down elephant column and the Up Main/loop elephant column at Hawkesbury river are booked out of use. Where is the next watering facility after Gosford Loco? No access into BMD loco, so there is a fire hydrant at Telerah. Where after that? Fire brigades.
What has happened with ARHS Canberra, may end up being a foretaste of the future unless the whole attitude of the governments change. Rail heritage and operating historical trains will die without real support, money and vision. Volunteers can only do so much, no matter how good and how dedicated they are. Canberra tried to have a business side with Espee venture that likely was seen as a means to provide support for their heritage workings, sadly it has not worked also I believe that the distance from Sydney did not help them either, the non revenue empty train running must have been a big burden as well.