Rail Heritage Review - All Aboard! A fresh start for Transport Heritage in NSW

 
  Dover Chief Train Controller

Hi Everyone,

Today the Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian released the Rail Heritage Review and has supported it's recommendations.

Rail Heritage has been very fortunate in the level of funding it's received in the last period, but as the report highlights there have been some pretty major shortcomings within the sector.

After scanning the report, I'm pretty happy that it 'tells it as it is' and gets to some home truths about the sector. It'll probably make some people feel uncomfortable about what is about to happen, but that comes with all change. I think that what's been recommended is needed and is a step in the right direction.

Have a read and a good think about the report. I think that, so long as we get behind it and actually want it to work, something really good could come out of this change. I hope that rail heritage will be strong when my kids are old enough to participate and am looking forward to the removal of the politics and issues that have dogged the sector of past.

The report and media release can be found here: http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/publications-reports/transport-heritage-report

Dover

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  SJB Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
After reading the report front to back, it seems an ideal way forward.
  VRfan Moderator

Location: In front of my computer :-p
What I've read so far is rather interesting. It will be interesting to see how much is actually implemented in the long run.
  7006 Locomotive Driver

It is a game changer with some groups like 3801 Limited not happy with this new direction. Will also mean that smaller groups can be associate members. It was interesting to note the new Transport Heritage NSW can take back items of heritage importance to the State that are now in private hands, where does that leave groups like DSRM?

The final result with all these changes will mean more Government control as well as funding for all rail heritage items. Transport Heritage NSW needs to apply for accreditation so it will be interesting to see if this will cover all the associate members as well?
  fernhill Chief Train Controller

I have only read the media release but.....
Funny wasn't that the same brief of the Office of Rail Heritage and we can see how they joined everyone's hands together. I always look forward to investment and recognition of volunteers but this is just moving the deck chairs.   What about some detail of how all these   volunteer groups are going to be helped and joined together because I doubt that there we be any better success unless a good solid charter of how and who and what the aims are.  Will there be some independence and some open way to discuss issues in a democratic way.

I feel a bit of detail would help because at the moment it sounds a bit like Scully's media release.  And look what that gave us
  fernhill Chief Train Controller

Sorry, I meant Watkins, not Scully's media release
They were changing so often back then
  fernhill Chief Train Controller

Read the report
Where's the rest of it?  Seems to be missing a lot of information and not quite sure how they got to the conclusions when it says it was looking at across the spectrum of rail heritage activities especially the; $$$ section, how the proposed model is anymore sustainable and inclusion of volunteers across the state.  
Also not sure if Puffing Billy can simply be transferred as a business model but an excellent one to study.
Keen to hear the experts analysis on a number of issues it says it is going to investigate but simply missing.
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

I have only read the media release but.....
.........

I feel a bit of detail would help because at the moment it sounds a bit like Scully's media release.  And look what that gave us
fernhill

How ridiculous.  Only reading the media release then saying "not enough detail".

Read the whole 117 pages.  It is a fascinating read if you are truly interested in preservation.

3801 Ltd are the big losers.  But so are the Board of Directors of RTM who will all be spilled.

I agree with the findings and find it amazing, as a Victorian, to see that Thirlmere and mainline steam tours in NSW are currently being propped up to the tune of over $6 million per annum from the NSW Government.  The good side to it all is that this report ensures that an equivalent amount is to be given each year from now on, to all those who join the party.  That also includes Zig Zag, Lachlan Valley, Loftus Tram Museum and the Bus Museum.

All in all, a sensible approach.  Which makes me nervous that the fractured groups in NSW won't accept it.
  SJB Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I would hope that this report and its resulting implementation will act as a catalyst for healing old wounds between the various groups.
  fernhill Chief Train Controller

How ridiculous.  Only reading the media release then saying "not enough detail".

Read the whole 117 pages.  It is a fascinating read if you are truly interested in preservation.

3801 Ltd are the big losers.  But so are the Board of Directors of RTM who will all be spilled.

I agree with the findings and find it amazing, as a Victorian, to see that Thirlmere and mainline steam tours in NSW are currently being propped up to the tune of over $6 million per annum from the NSW Government.  The good side to it all is that this report ensures that an equivalent amount is to be given each year from now on, to all those who join the party.  That also includes Zig Zag, Lachlan Valley, Loftus Tram Museum and the Bus Museum.

All in all, a sensible approach.  Which makes me nervous that the fractured groups in NSW won't accept it.
DalyWaters
I have read the  report

There seems to be gaping holes in it

I suggest that we get the whole report to read and then make a judgement
  mccormickkennyg Beginner

Hi Everyone,

Today the Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian released the Rail Heritage Review and has supported it's recommendations.

Rail Heritage has been very fortunate in the level of funding it's received in the last period, but as the report highlights there have been some pretty major shortcomings within the sector.

After scanning the report, I'm pretty happy that it 'tells it as it is' and gets to some home truths about the sector. It'll probably make some people feel uncomfortable about what is about to happen, but that comes with all change. I think that what's been recommended is needed and is a step in the right direction.

Have a read and a good think about the report. I think that, so long as we get behind it and actually want it to work, something really good could come out of this change. I hope that rail heritage will be strong when my kids are old enough to participate and am looking forward to the removal of the politics and issues that have dogged the sector of past.

The report and media release can be found here: http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/publications-reports/transport-heritage-report

Dover
Dover
Media coverage says it all

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/railing-against-the-sidetracking-of-history/story-e6frgczx-1226646324316
  c3526blue Deputy Commissioner

Location: in the cuckoos nest
Hi all,

I have not read all of the report but the sections that I have read leave me somewhat disappointed.  I have made the following observations:

1)  The so called independent report was arranged by the government.  The report has sat on the Minister’s desk for around twelve months.  Why has the report not been released during this time?  It appears as though there has been some severe massaging of the original report but who (apart from the authors) can say what these changes (if any) were.

2)  The report includes many spelling errors, errors of fact and inconsistencies.
Some examples are: -
a) On P35, Figure 8.  Did the Igloo really cost $33.0M?  Did the Thirlmere project only cost $0.2M?
b) On Page 37 both Dorrigo (DSRM) and Goulburn to Crookwell Heritage Railway (GCHR) are missing from the list, also Casino and NERI etc.

One would ask the question “Has anyone with knowledge of the Rail Heritage Sector (RHS) in NSW (or even Australia) proof read the report before it was released?”

3)  It is distressing to see that the forecast upgrade at Thirlmere ($15.0M) ended up costing $35.0M, an over expenditure of $20.0M or over 130%.

4)  The restoration of 3801 has been poorly managed and the public (and the RHS) has not been kept informed of the problems and delays.  One can read more about the boiler issues in the British magazines than we hear in Australia.

5)  The NSW Government will have to find many $M for the Broadmeadow precinct.  Here's hoping!

I shall finish reading the report and digest the remaining sections but I am definitely underwhelmed by the parts that I have read.

A quick summation appears to be that we will get a Super RTM (to be known as THNSW), but will this operate any differently from ORH as far as the “small” groups are concerned?  The group 3801 Ltd must be shell shocked as I haven’t heard anything from them, or is the volcano about to erupt?

The reviewers did a good job of listening to the heritage groups but is the (original) report what the government wanted to hear?

I see some significant opportunities for resource and information sharing between groups.  Hopefully fostering of this will be part of the charter of THNSW.

Happy hoping,

John

PS;  Welcome aboard for the busses and trams.  I hope that your journey ahead is a smoother one than the RHS has had over the last thirty years.
  mccormickkennyg Beginner

Sir Humphrey Appleby 's answer to 'Rail Heritage Review and recommendations'



(a) that it leaves important questions unanswered

(b) that much of the evidence is inconclusive

(c) that the figures are open to other interpretations

(d) that certain findings are contradictory

(e) that some of the main conclusions have been questioned


Points (a) to (d) are bound to be true.


In fact, all of these criticisms can be made of a report without even reading it.
  The Man in Blue Deputy Commissioner

Location: Trackside in Baiyin NW China!
Sir Humphrey Appleby 's answer to 'Rail Heritage Review and recommendations'



(a) that it leaves important questions unanswered

(b) that much of the evidence is inconclusive

(c) that the figures are open to other interpretations

(d) that certain findings are contradictory

(e) that some of the main conclusions have been questioned


Points (a) to (d) are bound to be true.


In fact, all of these criticisms can be made of a report without even reading it.

mccormickkennyg
You should be PM, if not treasurer!
  fernhill Chief Train Controller

This is what I found as well. Many mistakes, outcomes that are not backed up by content and not all the $$$$ ad up.
It seems to have been produced by spin doctors to get the desired outcome.

I respect the 3 independent authors but I dont know if this is their report. We may have to verify this with the authors directly.

Until then I do not think much has changed from the previous Government or may be Gladys is right and getting a straight response from Railcorp is - lets just say problematic for the moment.
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
OK now I've read the entire report, I can respond.

It's a game changer, that's for sure. Big time. A lot is said which I agree with, especially the recommendations at the end and the fact that unlike ORH, the new entity will be an accredited operator. Far too little is said about operators on their own right of way - in particular Zig Zag, in light of the enormously bright lights they point at Puffing Billy, Zig Zag easily being the NSW equivalent to that operation.

However I have big reservations about folding RTM into the new entity and giving that membership exclusive voting rights in the first few years.. They're trying to resolve the absolute septic tank that has become Trainworks, but I'm not sure that's how it should be done. Yes RTM has a large membership but that membership is very inactive and (in many cases, pardon the discrimination) rather senior. (There's a good chance a significant chunk of it has retirement homes on the address labels and that deleting deceased members off the list is an annual chore that takes weeks).

I would have preferred to see RHNSW incorporated separately but with the "individual members only" rule still applying - and then simply require everyone who wants to be part of it to join up separately from day one for a reasonable , say, $20 per year or something. Only then can we get a truly "fresh start". There should also be specific purpose of RHNSW to become the single accredited heritage (main line) operator in NSW, with ownership of the respective rolling stock staying with whatever group owns it now (well, maybe with the exception of resolving the 3801 issue).

Only in this way can a train genuinely consist of a run of locos and carriages owned by different owners but operated by a single crew. And only in this way can operations be made large enough to be able to suck in and train new crews and give them enough weekly runs to be able to qualify before they die.

The authors have certainly talked to everyone and presented a true picture of the scene in NSW as it stands. It's my opinion that it's too late, but I guess this is one of those times we'll just have to close our eyes, have faith and jump. And maybe make sure one's RTM membership is paid up.

ZM
  mccormickkennyg Beginner

Upon closer reading im not with the "Puffing Billy" is a heritage cash cow model

In 2012 Puffing Billy lost $200K!

http://pbps.puffingbilly.com.au/media/uploads/PBPS_Annual_Report_2012.pdf
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
It was interesting to note the new Transport Heritage NSW can take back items of heritage importance to the State  
7006
Nah not quite right there.

Under the new regime it simply means that groups that in order to receive a grant for funding, a vehicle need not necessarily be listed on the s137 register. That is in stark difference to the old ORH way of doing things.

I imagine the criteria for funding will change a lot too - they'll be looking at the outcome of the funding in regards to benefits to the public, not just benefits to heritage.

ZM
  Duffy Chief Commissioner

Location: ACT

However I have big reservations about folding RTM into the new entity and giving that membership exclusive voting rights in the first few years.. They're trying to resolve the absolute septic tank that has become Trainworks, but I'm not sure that's how it should be done. Yes RTM has a large membership but that membership is very inactive and (in many cases, pardon the discrimination) rather senior. (There's a good chance a significant chunk of it has retirement homes on the address labels and that deleting deceased members off the list is an annual chore that takes weeks).
Having seenmaintained the membership lists of one of the states other mainline operators, I can fairly safely say that this is not limited to the RTM, both in terms of participation and age.  Its an industry wi