Richmond Vale Fire

 

News article: Live updates on the Richmond Vale fire

Firefighters are throwing everything they've got at the Richmond Vale fire, as strong winds frustrate authorities and put residents on edge.

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sadly there looks to be quite a bit of damage to the rollingstock.

  simstrain Chief Commissioner

For sure this is a shame but maybe it is time for these heritage rail operators to have some fire fighting capabilities of their own. We have lost so much rail history in recent times to fire that inbuilt fire fighting equipment on the property should be made compulsory from now on.
  TheLoadedDog The Ghost of George Stephenson

Yes, that's the ticket. More compulsory, expensive hurdles for heritage operators to deal with when they are strapped for cash, skillef labour, and volunteer hours as it is.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Yes, that's the ticket. More compulsory, expensive hurdles for heritage operators to deal with when they are strapped for cash, skillef labour, and volunteer hours as it is.
TheLoadedDog™™

Agree it is a difficult one but what's the answer in that case?
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Thankfully everyone in the area has been safely evacuated and no lives have been lost so far.

If the burnt out old rolling stock is beyond repair, hopefully there is at least one original component (ideally, the plate with the builder's number or a nameplate) which can be put on display with a donations box until such time as funds are raised for a faithful replica to be built.

Yes, that's the ticket. More compulsory, expensive hurdles for heritage operators to deal with when they are strapped for cash, skillef labour, and volunteer hours as it is.
TheLoadedDog™™
I wonder if @simstrain will be the one putting his hand up to stand in the depot holding a hose when the next bushfire roars through?

I wonder how he will go convincing police at roadblocks that he really does have a good reason for putting his life at risk in the fire area and is not just a scummy rubbernecker? What a flog.

This is Australia. Bushfires happen.
  HardWorkingMan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Echuca
Each organisation needs to make decisions based on their environment as the options vary depending on their surroundings. Eg at Walhalla there is effectively only one way in or out in a steep twisty environment while the Yarra Valley Railway has wide open fields around most of it so are more likely to have a fast-moving grass fire then a tree jumping bush-fire.

Puffing Billy recognise the different areas along the line and put the Lakeside-Gembrook area as a much higher fire risk so run diesels there during the summer to minimise the risks and are looking at oil-burning NAs as an option.

The all have a duty of care to the public as well as Work Health and Safety issues for their volunteers.  They would need to get their volunteers trained and tested as fire fighters to meet modern requirements.  A better option may to be help to ensure the local fire station knows the layout and where the more important assets are stored. They also need to ensure their assets are insured for their replacement value, not their historical cost.

In all these cases the society's most valuable asset is their staff - whether paid or volunteer - everything else can be rebuilt using insurance money
  Oztrainz Beginner

Hi all.
Now you can add Richie to the list of NSW transport-heritage organisations that have suffered major fire damage loss to significant heritage items and infrastructure. Past victims in NSW include Zig Zag, Loftus, Valley Heights, State Mine Museum and Parramatta Park.

Currently in NSW, THNSW has the responsibility for managing an annual state-guaranteed budget disbursed to them through Transport NSW in the order of about $4M to $5M each year for ALL NSW transport heritage, apart from ferries.

Under the current financial deal between THNSW and the NSW government through Transport NSW, grant funds are available for affiliated transport-heritage organisations like RVRM and others. Items such as fire protection and sprinkler systems are specifically excluded as suitable items in the annual grant program. Under the 2017 grant application terms at https://www.rahs.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/2017-THGP-Guidelines.pdf in the list of exclusions is "track and infrastucture" items, which includes fire prevention equipment such as fire main and hydrant upgrades, sprinkler systems in main exhibit areas and workshops.

Over the past 4 years of operation of a 5-year financial agreement:
2014 - Nil awarded to other organisations with the undisclosed total annual budget of that year going to THNSW.
2015 - $158,480 awarded to affiliated organisations out of a NSW transport-heritage annual budget of $5M approx
2016 - $164,991 awarded to affiliated organisations out of an NSW transport-heritage annual budget of $5M approx
2017 - $??? yet to be announced - Applications are now closed, given past years, I would expect less than $200K to be handed out across ALL other transport heritage activities (non-THNSW) in NSW for the coming 2017/2018 expenditure year.

Yes, I wrote successful grant applications for a rail heritage organisation in previous years under the current scheme, so I am fully familiar with the fire equipment exclusion. I was specifically advised at the time of writing my applications that fire protection systems or enhancements were excluded by the terms of the grant process,

At present I am not affiliated with any transport-heritage organisation in NSW, so these views are those of an "interested observer" watching from the sidelines, but who has previously had some "significant skin in the game" over many years.

Reports on another forum are that the fire has gone right through the site and out the other side. With only 6 volunteers members on site at the time the fire broke out, Richie was indefensible. Hopefully everything has not been lost like at the Yarloop Workshops in WA.

Regards,
John Garaty,
born in Kurri Kurri, when Dad was working as a fitter at Richie

PS. Moderators - If this post in the News area explaining why firefighting capabilities cannot be easily upgraded at THNSW affiliated organisations under the current funding model is perceived to be in the wrong forum, please move this post to the Preservation and Tourist Railway forum under the Richmond Vale topic at https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11396152.htmhttp://
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Yes, that's the ticket. More compulsory, expensive hurdles for heritage operators to deal with when they are strapped for cash, skillef labour, and volunteer hours as it is.
TheLoadedDog™™
So you would rather see the trains go up in smoke when a fire prevention system could have saved these assets that have burned to the ground never to be replaced.

In recent times there has been fires at Lithgow state mine, zig zag, the tramway museum and now richmond vale in NSW and with these fires we have lost significant amounts of irreplaceable heritage rolling stock. All of these museums had one thing in common. They were based within a national park with a high danger of fire occurring, so yes this is something that these heritage operators should be forced to protect with a fire protection system.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Thankfully everyone in the area has been safely evacuated and no lives have been lost so far.

If the burnt out old rolling stock is beyond repair, hopefully there is at least one original component (ideally, the plate with the builder's number or a nameplate) which can be put on display with a donations box until such time as funds are raised for a faithful replica to be built.

Yes, that's the ticket. More compulsory, expensive hurdles for heritage operators to deal with when they are strapped for cash, skillef labour, and volunteer hours as it is.
I wonder if @simstrain will be the one putting his hand up to stand in the depot holding a hose when the next bushfire roars through?

I wonder how he will go convincing police at roadblocks that he really does have a good reason for putting his life at risk in the fire area and is not just a scummy rubbernecker? What a flog.

This is Australia. Bushfires happen.
justapassenger

I'm an IT guy so I would have an automated system with no human requirement other then to make sure the system is operational. I know it is Australia and I know bushfires happen but if you live by the sword then you will die by the sword unless you have something to stop the sword.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Scoping a preliminary feasibility study
Thankfully everyone in the area has been safely evacuated and no lives have been lost so far.

If the burnt out old rolling stock is beyond repair, hopefully there is at least one original component (ideally, the plate with the builder's number or a nameplate) which can be put on display with a donations box until such time as funds are raised for a faithful replica to be built.

Yes, that's the ticket. More compulsory, expensive hurdles for heritage operators to deal with when they are strapped for cash, skillef labour, and volunteer hours as it is.
I wonder if @simstrain will be the one putting his hand up to stand in the depot holding a hose when the next bushfire roars through?

I wonder how he will go convincing police at roadblocks that he really does have a good reason for putting his life at risk in the fire area and is not just a scummy rubbernecker? What a flog.

This is Australia. Bushfires happen.

I'm an IT guy so I would have an automated system with no human requirement other then to make sure the system is operational. I know it is Australia and I know bushfires happen but if you live by the sword then you will die by the sword unless you have something to stop the sword.
simstrain
Get your wallet out and cough up then. Talk is cheap.
  allsmiles Station Staff

It is not about cheap talk, and mandating that it has to be done is not the right feel, it all takes money, but it is unfortunate that the museum operators do not seem to risk manage their collections and the outcome when things go wrong is the collection is lost. The despair we all feel at the loss should not be expressed in anger and statements from arm chair experts directed towards the collection managers who are feeling the tragedy first hand.

It is true that lessons are not being learnt from past experiences but may be an effort to organize and lend some weight to direct attention to the preservation equipment needed to preserve the preserved is needed.

I would be interested in reading from any one who has some positive ideas as to the most effective way to install the needed protection, rather than reading negative posts as to how mismanagement has lost collections.
  Spletsie Deputy Commissioner

It's always sad when important rail heritage items are lost.
Tourist and heritage railways have many challenges, and an event like this can have a big impact on the morale of volunteers.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: no longer in Sydney
Fire protection for such assets is always difficult due to the size of the collection and disposition over the site in question. Then there is the significant problem that all such organisations face - the money to provide the same. Then there is the cost of Insuring things - prohibitive for most to get full replacement cover.

In a dream world we could have a fully automatic system that covers the whole property, remotely controlled - but that's a fantasy, even for ones home. Even then, a sprinkler system would deal with ember attacks, but wont hold off a raging bushfire.

In such situations, human life and limb come first - and it seems that, fortunately, none of the RVR people were harmed. Its not like RVR would have had many people there on a weekday in any case, and given the amount of timber to the North and West of the site, the wisest action when the fire was detected heading their way would have been to get out...and quickly, assuming that a safe exit was available.

It's the Australian Summer (though a bit early on this occasion), fires happen.
  Oztrainz Beginner

Hi all,
FYI - An excerpt from the RVRM Facebook page posted a short time ago
"Sadly we have lost:

• 3 stainless steel passenger cars

• 90 percent of our Non air hopper collection this includes 10 restored ones and an ex SMR brake van

• the entire collection of mostly timber freight vehicles stored along the western fence

• approximately 400 sleepers in our rail corridor to Pelaw Main plus about 100 within the Richmond Main site



There has been NO damage to our timber passenger cars, nor any of the locomotives stored or operational or site buildings



We will be realising an official statement later this week will a full damage report"

Regards,
John Garaty
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Thankfully everyone in the area has been safely evacuated and no lives have been lost so far.

If the burnt out old rolling stock is beyond repair, hopefully there is at least one original component (ideally, the plate with the builder's number or a nameplate) which can be put on display with a donations box until such time as funds are raised for a faithful replica to be built.

Yes, that's the ticket. More compulsory, expensive hurdles for heritage operators to deal with when they are strapped for cash, skillef labour, and volunteer hours as it is.
I wonder if @simstrain will be the one putting his hand up to stand in the depot holding a hose when the next bushfire roars through?

I wonder how he will go convincing police at roadblocks that he really does have a good reason for putting his life at risk in the fire area and is not just a scummy rubbernecker? What a flog.

This is Australia. Bushfires happen.

I'm an IT guy so I would have an automated system with no human requirement other then to make sure the system is operational. I know it is Australia and I know bushfires happen but if you live by the sword then you will die by the sword unless you have something to stop the sword.
Get your wallet out and cough up then. Talk is cheap.
LancedDendrite
Unlike the museum and it's wonderful volunteers. I don't work for free and I am not charitable or abled bodied enough to do the work for no money or by myself. So get your wallet out and for a fee I could work with some fire brigade people I know to build something that should help protect these wonderful places.
  Shed_Rat Train Controller

Location: 'A' Shop - Swindon Works
Part of the problem with the damage to many of the wagons (especially the stored wagons) at the RVRM was their position under or close to many gum trees. This lead to most of the wagons having a thick layer of dried dead leaves on or in the wagons, which is just inviting a spark to set them alight. Better clearing of trees, undergrowth & leaf litter and better positioning of stored wagons where this wasn't possible would have most likely lessened the effects of the bushfire.
  allsmiles Station Staff

Simstrain, your self promotion is badly timed and I think your attitude stinks. Take all of your wonderful self proclaimed skills and jam them some where else.
  nswtrains Deputy Commissioner

Thankfully everyone in the area has been safely evacuated and no lives have been lost so far.

If the burnt out old rolling stock is beyond repair, hopefully there is at least one original component (ideally, the plate with the builder's number or a nameplate) which can be put on display with a donations box until such time as funds are raised for a faithful replica to be built.

Yes, that's the ticket. More compulsory, expensive hurdles for heritage operators to deal with when they are strapped for cash, skillef labour, and volunteer hours as it is.
I wonder if @simstrain will be the one putting his hand up to stand in the depot holding a hose when the next bushfire roars through?

I wonder how he will go convincing police at roadblocks that he really does have a good reason for putting his life at risk in the fire area and is not just a scummy rubbernecker? What a flog.

This is Australia. Bushfires happen.

I'm an IT guy so I would have an automated system with no human requirement other then to make sure the system is operational. I know it is Australia and I know bushfires happen but if you live by the sword then you will die by the sword unless you have something to stop the sword.
Get your wallet out and cough up then. Talk is cheap.
Unlike the museum and it's wonderful volunteers. I don't work for free and I am not charitable or abled bodied enough to do the work for no money or by myself. So get your wallet out and for a fee I could work with some fire brigade people I know to build something that should help protect these wonderful places.
simstrain
Unless you have experienced a major bush fire you have no idea what you are talking about. All the systems in the world will not stop a major conflagration. And I mean it, nothing. Simstrain your comments are most unhelpful and probably very stressful for those most closely associated with the fire as you are really implying not enough was done. You keep on leading your Sim life and let the big boys deal with the real life situations.
  nswtrains Deputy Commissioner

Part of the problem with the damage to many of the wagons (especially the stored wagons) at the RVRM was their position under or close to many gum trees. This lead to most of the wagons having a thick layer of dried dead leaves on or in the wagons, which is just inviting a spark to set them alight. Better clearing of trees, undergrowth & leaf litter and better positioning of stored wagons where this wasn't possible would have most likely lessened the effects of the bushfire.
Shed_Rat
In this type of fire I doubt any of the strategies suggested would have prevented what happened.
  Iain Chief Commissioner

Location: Concord, NSW
I am very sad about the situation at Richmond Main. I have been working on an updated Conservation Management Plan for the site and was there a few weeks ago. Did not get enough pictures of the coal hoppers. Fortunately the buildings, which are State Heritage listed, seem not to have been damaged and there were no injuries or loss of life.

For those who want a fire protection system. It is a HUGE site and it is difficult to see how one could be installed that would do the job even with 100% Government funding.

Iain
  ivahri Junior Train Controller

Thankfully everyone in the area has been safely evacuated and no lives have been lost so far.

If the burnt out old rolling stock is beyond repair, hopefully there is at least one original component (ideally, the plate with the builder's number or a nameplate) which can be put on display with a donations box until such time as funds are raised for a faithful replica to be built.

Yes, that's the ticket. More compulsory, expensive hurdles for heritage operators to deal with when they are strapped for cash, skillef labour, and volunteer hours as it is.
I wonder if @simstrain will be the one putting his hand up to stand in the depot holding a hose when the next bushfire roars through?

I wonder how he will go convincing police at roadblocks that he really does have a good reason for putting his life at risk in the fire area and is not just a scummy rubbernecker? What a flog.

This is Australia. Bushfires happen.

I'm an IT guy so I would have an automated system with no human requirement other then to make sure the system is operational. I know it is Australia and I know bushfires happen but if you live by the sword then you will die by the sword unless you have something to stop the sword.
Get your wallet out and cough up then. Talk is cheap.
Unlike the museum and it's wonderful volunteers. I don't work for free and I am not charitable or abled bodied enough to do the work for no money or by myself. So get your wallet out and for a fee I could work with some fire brigade people I know to build something that should help protect these wonderful places.
Unless you have experienced a major bush fire you have no idea what you are talking about. All the systems in the world will not stop a major conflagration. And I mean it, nothing. Simstrain your comments are most unhelpful and probably very stressful for those most closely associated with the fire as you are really implying not enough was done. You keep on leading your Sim life and let the big boys deal with the real life situations.
nswtrains

IT people like you should be made to wear a sign saying "IT Person- Does not play well with other children".

Sometimes being smart needs to take a back seat to being sensitive. You clearly don't know that.

Only an insensitive prat would immediately after a fire lecture from afar how they would somehow have prevented it from happening. I know few IT people who are expert at fire prevention. I suggest you stick to offering advice on subjects you have an expertise in, and instead pull your head in & respect that right now there are a bunch of very upset, hard working volunteers who don't need to be lectured to by a smart-smeg like you.

I started this thread to inform the rail community of this tragedy. I didn't start it for smart-arses to use as a soap box.

My sympathies go to the RVRM volunteers today.


Richard
  Valvegear The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Norda Fittazroy
My ex-wife and kids were burnt out in the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983 at Cockatoo in Victoria. Their house adjoined a fire break which was 65 metres wide, and it didn't make a blind bit of difference.
The fire roared over the hill, and the tops of trees 100 metres in front of it were exploding into flames.
If it ever happens again, I intend to take Simstrain to the site; tell him to wait until the fire arrives, and then show us how its done. I'll even contribute to the cost of his funeral.
  lkernan Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
IT people like you should be made to wear a sign saying "IT Person- Does not play well with other children".

Sometimes being smart needs to take a back seat to being sensitive. You clearly don't know that.

Only an insensitive prat would immediately after a fire lecture from afar how they would somehow have prevented it from happening. I know few IT people who are expert at fire prevention. I suggest you stick to offering advice on subjects you have an expertise in, and instead pull your head in & respect that right now there are a bunch of very upset, hard working volunteers who don't need to be lectured to by a smart-smeg like you.

I started this thread to inform the rail community of this tragedy. I didn't start it for smart-arses to use as a soap box.

My sympathies go to the RVRM volunteers today.


Richard
ivahri
I get you are upset and Simstrain made some silly comments, but please don't go around sprouting such things about an entire group because of the comments of one.  It doesn't make you look much better.

(Disclaimer, I'm a IT person too)
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Hi all,
FYI - An excerpt from the RVRM Facebook page posted a short time ago
"Sadly we have lost:

• 3 stainless steel passenger cars

• 90 percent of our Non air hopper collection this includes 10 restored ones and an ex SMR brake van

• the entire collection of mostly timber freight vehicles stored along the western fence

• approximately 400 sleepers in our rail corridor to Pelaw Main plus about 100 within the Richmond Main site



There has been NO damage to our timber passenger cars, nor any of the locomotives stored or operational or site buildings



We will be realising an official statement later this week will a full damage report"

Regards,
John Garaty
Oztrainz

Is there a list somewhere of what carriages/wagons were held by RVRM?

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