Byron Bay train

 
  Spletsie Chief Commissioner

The Byron Bay Railroad Company has announced that the world's first solar train will be launched at 11.00 am on Saturday 16 December.

http://byronbaytrain.com.au/

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  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

If the picture contained in link above is an accurate representation of the solar conversion, visually top job.
Was picturing a 620 class RM with residential PV panels screwed to the roof.
  steven_h Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Australia
http://byronbaytrain.com.au/sustainability/

"Custom curved solar panels"
  steven_h Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Australia
also it seems not everyone is happy about the train:-

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/peeved-locals-bid-to-derail-tourist-towns-solarpowered-train/news-story/cf95ad788893620cc087e437a325cf82
SydneyCider
Article requires subscription... care to share what they're whinging about?
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Its the Australian, what do you expect!
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Stooped by paywall also.
I suspect, Some tree hugging sook, complaining about a train on the tracks, and a green one at that.

Three NR's dragging a heavy steelie through town at speed, and climbing St Helens bank would provide a reality dose.  Laughing
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Yep I get the page now asking me to fork out for a subscription as well. From what I can recall one person voiced concern that it would be detrimental to have the train doing "100 trips a day" along the line. For most part, people in the comments section came down hard on those who opposed it and going by that most were for it. Some also pointed out in the comments to those who are complaining about the train who bought property near or adjoining the line - if you are buying property near a railway line, even if it is disused at the time - expect the fact that trains may run on it again some day, especially if there is an increase in development somewhere along the line.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Ok, managed to access "The Australian" article, here is the section specific to complaints:-

For others who live close to the tracks in the area known as ­Belongil, the train is an unwelcome intrusion and its approval should be heavily scrutinised.

“The council has washed their hands of it,’’ said resident John Johnstone, head of the Belongil Action Group Association that is protesting against the train’s operations. He said the association believed the main beneficiary was Mr Flannery’s ­resort, which is at one end of the railroad.

Mr Johnstone said association efforts to obtain documents relating to the train’s operating licence from the NSW Transport Department had been stymied. The group fears the train could end up doing 100 passes a day. Legal ­action in relation to environmental regulations is mooted.

“There was no formal consideration of the impact to people and businesses on the line from either Elements or the council,” said action group member, sea-changer and fashion designer Jennifer Bannister, who swapped St Kilda in Melbourne for life in Byron two years ago.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Great News! I'll try and get to Byron Bay in a few months.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

NBN news have covered the story as well. I'll update this particular post if I find any further news stories

http://www.nbnnews.com.au/2017/12/16/worlds-first-solar-train-launches-in-byron/
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-16/world-first-solar-train-the-brainchild-of-byron-bay-millionaire/9265522

Looks really good in the over head shot, the crew at Lithgow Workshop did a great job.

BG
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
It was a hot day with a dignified send off for the first train, which was subsequently delayed by a sole protester who was duly removed by the constabulary.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_zbKTwrkIY

Images and links to local media coverage here:
http://unseenentropy.tumblr.com/search/bbrr

There were plenty of locals on hand who supported the train, including TOOT members.
  4206 Chief Commissioner

Location: Dorrigo yard
Thank you for sharing
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

The train was indeed restored beautifully. Below are 3 videos which also give a good look of 661/726 which doing tours in 2016 before it had the solar conversion - namely the Vivid Festival Express and the "Rylstone Rambler"



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Qwg4uqVmg



https://youtu.be/2dz9w-iwx6A?t=129



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rGbgpoDCWM&t=1s


The video below was posted by LSMR showing 661's No 2 engine started up for first time in 10 years in April 2014. As said, an amazing restoration job. The next video shows first mainline run of 661/726 by Scott Arnell



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFzXaRP41Vc



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khOTfBxMFFg
  Salty21 Junior Train Controller

Location: Canberra
Ok, managed to access "The Australian" article, here is the section specific to complaints:-

For others who live close to the tracks in the area known as ­Belongil, the train is an unwelcome intrusion and its approval should be heavily scrutinised.

“The council has washed their hands of it,’’ said resident John Johnstone, head of the Belongil Action Group Association that is protesting against the train’s operations. He said the association believed the main beneficiary was Mr Flannery’s ­resort, which is at one end of the railroad.

Mr Johnstone said association efforts to obtain documents relating to the train’s operating licence from the NSW Transport Department had been stymied. The group fears the train could end up doing 100 passes a day. Legal ­action in relation to environmental regulations is mooted.

“There was no formal consideration of the impact to people and businesses on the line from either Elements or the council,” said action group member, sea-changer and fashion designer Jennifer Bannister, who swapped St Kilda in Melbourne for life in Byron two years ago.

Ah Mr Johnstone  you forgot to mention that this train is one of the most quiet, environmentally friendly trains in the world ! Also the fact that it will have to be an extremely overcast day before the train or any of its back-up system's produce any pollution at all !    

SydneyCider
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

John Johnstone, head of the Belongil Action Group Association that is protesting against the train’s operations. He said the association believed the main beneficiary was Mr Flannery’s ­resort, which is at one end of the railroad.
Salty21
A business man making an investment to benefit his own enterprise; gee, what a surprise!

Flannery may well be philanthropic and want to provide benefit to the community (or maybe not), but to do so he first needs his business(es) to be profitable.
  G Train Locomotive Driver

Hi all,
I managed to get up to Byron Bay last week and rode Byron Bay Railroad's "solar train" on wet day after the school holidays. The staff were very welcoming and driver very knowledgable in answering my questions about the operation. It was an enjoyable trip taking around 7 minutes and we rolled away from North Beach Station on the slight grade towards the level crossing protected by Stop Signs. A slow approach ensued, toot of the horn and progressing on once the driver was sure road traffic had stopped. The train ran on batteries during my trips and was very quiet. Track has been rehabilitated along the stretch used. The operation seems sustainable to me with a sound business case and I hope they are successful in providing a viable alternative to travelling into a congested Byron Bay township, along with offering tourists an opportunity to ride in these 2 car diesel trains. Parking at North Beach Station is on the road and I guess if it's popular that park and ride type facilities may be considered.

I don't know whether they have plans for extension of the service towards other nearby towns down the track depending of course on how this current venture goes, but I for one hope that this might be viable one day and wish them every success. Their website is very informative if you haven't already visited.

I look forward to future visits, hopefully with sunnier weather.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/81747760@N05/40049060701/
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Recently, the Byron Bay Railroad Company have made some references to "their sister set" at Lithgow, this being the 668/768 owned by LSMR. Not sure if this is a hint that they want to restore this set in the future for it to be taken up to Byron or not. Posts referred to below:-

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfzE08fnvRF/?igref=ogexp&utm_source=fb_www_attr

https://www.facebook.com/byronbayrailroadcompany/photos/a.1859845790993552.1073741828.1759667334344732/1914005922244205/?type=3&theater


For those interested in 668/768, Matthew Jennings posted some photographs of the set including shots of "Cityrail fleet engineering stowed railcar condition" documents dated 11 February 1995 which is around the time most of these retired railcars and DEBs were auctioned off. It has a full breakdown of information on the mechanical, electrical and physical conditions, date built, date condemned for both the power car and matching trailer.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1214029762025976&set=oa.1844089065864342&type=3&theater&ifg=1

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