This fire is an unmitigated tragedy for ZZR. I acknowledge the efforts that have gone into creating this superb T&H operation and feel intensely for all who have invested so much of themselves in this operation, both for its recent operational hiatus and now for the damage visited upon you by the fire. For all Australian T&H operators, this is a wake-up call. If your efforts over the years are to be worth something, and if you are to accept your responsibilities to yourselves and the greater rail heritage community, you can no longer park your rollingstock in the Australian bush and hope for the best. Effective steps must be taken by you all to ensure the safety and protection from fire of those items that have been restored and those that are awaiting restoration. Have effective firebreaks, keep unnecessary growth such as grass and weeds to a minimum, and sheds and workshops must either be not of timber construction or at least be protected by some form of built-in fire protection system. We may have to accept that track (sleepers), bridges, and trackside buildings (e.g. restored station buildings and signalboxes) in the Australian rural and bush environment may sometimes burn... but it is surely foolish in the extreme for rollingstock and locomotives---be they operational, under restoration, or awaiting restoration---to be parked/stored/stabled in such a position that a bushfire can destroy them. Can insurance ever replace these items? Of course not. Track and structures can be replaced... heritage rollingstock is irreplaceable.Smokestack
As far as people go, I understand this was almost a human tragedy as well. We are all lucky that the caretaker was lucky. That is something 'good' that has come from this event.
Thanks for your comment, it is very timely, and I cannot help but agree (umm!! errr! forced to agree)...doh!!!
We had prepared a 'pad' at Clarence for a carriage shed in previous years, but, (and there is always a 'but' isn't there), other priorities come along and then it languishes until something happens for it's priority to get further up the ladder - so to speak. Now is such a time.
The post bushfire review will cause much ringing of hands, gnashing of teeth and a fair few 'if only' type of comments, etc. etc... but this time, the push for completion of the carriage shed at Clarence can no longer be ignored. I cannot speak for all members, but I detect a gathering momentum for this to be completed in a 'post 2013 bushfire environment'.