Hotham Valley Railway - Comments, Q & A

 
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
I have a question about the sheds themselves. I have wanted to be involved with the organisation for years now, however due to other commitments and distance to travel it hasnt been a real goer. How much work on the locos happens at Pinjarra? Such as machine work for new bearings etc.? I believe that there is a wheel lathe under a tarp up there, that would be a nice piece of gear to get working and usefull to.

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  Hotham Valley Junior Train Controller

not everyone is a steam fan. i would love to see some of those early diesels fired up. especially up the hill and on the main line if you could get any main line tours going again.
"wn514"


couldn't agree more..... so when is G50 going to get fixed?
"Animal08"


Dear Animal08,

I appologise for overlooking your question on G50.

Work on DE loco G50 is currently quite well advanced and the loco should be operational once again sometime in 2010.

Repairs to the damages main generator stator have been completed by Traction Motor & Mining electrics of Malaga and the stator is now at my Welshpool engineering works awaiting the armature which is being worked on by Read's Electric of Beaconsfield. The work required on the armature was significant and expensive (roundly $60,000) and Reads agreed to carry out the work over an extended period to keep the cost down and to ease the financial impact on HVR. The work was commenced in late 2006 and the fires then slowed things down even more. Approximately $45,000 of the work has been completed and paid for by HVR to date. Once the armature is finished, probably this coming December, we will commence the final re-assembly however between now and having the loco running there remains roundly $35,000 to spend. (donations welcome!).

On the issue of HVR getting some diesel services happening, this is on the agenda and we should have something happening this summer.
  Hotham Valley Junior Train Controller

I have a question about the sheds themselves. I have wanted to be involved with the organisation for years now, however due to other commitments and distance to travel it hasnt been a real goer. How much work on the locos happens at Pinjarra? Such as machine work for new bearings etc.? I believe that there is a wheel lathe under a tarp up there, that would be a nice piece of gear to get working and usefull to.
"DBclass"


Almost all of the maintenance work is carried out at Pinjarra however work such as machining of items is generally done offsite. When the time comes and we need to machine steam loco wheels, the wheel lathe will be made operational unless the work can be done more economically by other means.
  Q4004 Chief Commissioner

Location: Thornlie
Hotham Valley. Has there ever been a triple headed steam ranger run from Pinjarra to Dwellingup?

Regards
Q4004
  burt007 Chief Train Controller

Location: On the Road Somewhere...
Hotham Valley. Has there ever been a triple headed steam ranger run from Pinjarra to Dwellingup?

Regards
Q4004
"Q4004"


Back in 2001 a triple header worked the steam ranger to celebrate the 50th Ann. of the W class.

http://www.hothamvalleyrailway.com.au/gallery_1.htm
  burt007 Chief Train Controller

Location: On the Road Somewhere...
Just confirming - is this Sunday's Steam Ranger the last for the season?
  Ade Train Controller

Does this train runs from Perth? I thought it use to.
  burt007 Chief Train Controller

Location: On the Road Somewhere...
[quote="Ade"]Does this train runs from Perth?[quote]

Hi Ade.

No.......mainline services ceased begining of 2006. This is apart from the 2km section between Pinjarra and Alumina Junction.

The reasons have been mentioned earlier in this thread, and explained in full by Ian.

Cheers.

PS - I trust Ian doesn't mind me answering the small trivial questions posted here...
  Hotham Valley Junior Train Controller

Just confirming - is this Sunday's Steam Ranger the last for the season?
"burt007"


At present it is likely we will operate the last Steam Ranger for 2009 on Sunday 1st November.

It is likely this last service will include some form of celebration of the re-opening of the line etc.

There may be some diesel activity involved in this service. If this becomes so, I will be sure to post the information in advance for you all.
  antiussentiment Locomotive Driver

Location: perth
Dear 52440 et al,

MAINLINE SERVICES;
I know everyone would love to see HVR or anyone else with general passenger trains back out on the Main Line steam and/or diesel. As much as this may be desirable, I'm sorry to have to say it but you all really do need to get over it...... sniped..

Can we please end the dialouge about possible main line services because, as things stand in WA, they are not possible.


firstly i'd like to thank ian for explaining the details of running mainline steam in the post above.  it's clear from the tone in his post he's as frustrated with the red tape and bureaucracy involved in runing mainline HVR services as is everyone else.  but it's great that the readers of the post now see what's involved and i thank him for his time puting it up.

the most important part of what he said is the last line.  if people would like to see tourist operators on the net, then proding and poking HVR with not help at all.  they would clearly love to do it as much as many here wish to see and experience it.

what needs to change is the as things stand in WA.  and we all know who the people to talk to about that are.  it will happen with changes made in the network access rules and how they are interpreted.  and these occur though lobbying of political entities.  maybe that is where members of this forum should post their queries rather than the very busy HVR?  we all know HVR have had a load on their plate fro some time now.
  Hotham Valley Junior Train Controller

Dear 52440 et al,

MAINLINE SERVICES;
I know everyone would love to see HVR or anyone else with general passenger trains back out on the Main Line steam and/or diesel. As much as this may be desirable, I'm sorry to have to say it but you all really do need to get over it...... sniped..

Can we please end the dialouge about possible main line services because, as things stand in WA, they are not possible.


firstly i'd like to thank ian for explaining the details of running mainline steam in the post above.  it's clear from the tone in his post he's as frustrated with the red tape and bureaucracy involved in runing mainline HVR services as is everyone else.  but it's great that the readers of the post now see what's involved and i thank him for his time puting it up.

the most important part of what he said is the last line.  if people would like to see tourist operators on the net, then proding and poking HVR with not help at all.  they would clearly love to do it as much as many here wish to see and experience it.

what needs to change is the as things stand in WA.  and we all know who the people to talk to about that are.  it will happen with changes made in the network access rules and how they are interpreted.  and these occur though lobbying of political entities.  maybe that is where members of this forum should post their queries rather than the very busy HVR?  we all know HVR have had a load on their plate fro some time now.
"antiussentiment"


I should expand and clarify my words - "as things stand in WA"

Firstly and foremostly, please don't think I am refereing in any way to network access or any associated interpretations. Both PTA and WestNet Rail have been very accommodating to HVTR in ways quite frankly too numerous to mention. We saw our access as a privilege where they saw it as a right and one they genuinely wanted to fulfil.
In the more bureaucratic areas such as government and agencies, we and other T & H operators in WA have in reality been given significant support.

The multiple issues in WA that make mainline operations awkward and/or difficult to sustain are what they are and most are not readily changeable. Some are, plus many will change and others will become more manageable as time goes by, just maybe not in my lifetime. Right now, its "as things stand".

To give you all at least some idea of what I am trying to say, consider the following;

Low Population: (comparably) - Less volunteers, less enthusiasts, less patronage.
Mostly Single Line: - Less train paths, greater risk of delaying other other services.
Intense Line Usage: - Same issues as Single Line but also limited stopping times at stations, sidings & other stopping places.
Limited Infrastructure: - Fewer sidings, almost no stations/platforms.
Increased Operational Protocols: - Higher speeds, ATP, advanced comms systems, high train crew skills needed such as multiple road knowledge & rules etc , plus greater train examination CoP's etc particularly for any DIRN lines.
Low Fare Expectations: - Here in WA there is a much lower expectation on fares by the general public. Mainline services in for example NSW & Vic are generally at least double the fare value that became sellable in WA for a similar tour.
Insurance: - Although we have one of the lowest indemnity level requirements in WA, we are also one of the few states that have no state cover assistance for the upper levels of indemnity, that is the cover required in excess of the basic 10 to 20mil bringing it to the minimum rail requirement of $200+mil. (HVR's requirement is $100mil as a result of special risk analysis of our limited access & use needs).
Limited Asset Resources: Again, in many other states, quite apart from a much higher general sponsorship and donation support, there is greater state & institutional commercial support for proprietary maintenance, overhauls, asset aquisitions or construction. This is not to say WA has none, because we do have some and HVR has received a good share.
Low Human Rescources: - Volunteering is under pressure everywhere but it still remains largely a 'numbers thing' basicaly the number available is some percentage of the total persons. See first issue - Low Population.

There are of course many other things which affect the non-main line operations and some of the above affect them just as much too but its the order of magnitude and manageability that counts in the two contexts - Main Line or Non Main Line.

In essence, it currently requires as much input here in WA, maybe a little more, to operate any rail service but we have some of the lowest resources in terms of asset, human & financial to do it with plus a smaller earning oportunity. This all impacts adversly on viability and sustainability.

I hope this latest sharing of information and explanation helps us to put the Main Line T & H trains in WA to bed for a while.
  Hotham Valley Junior Train Controller

Just confirming - is this Sunday's Steam Ranger the last for the season?
"burt007"


At present it is likely we will operate the last Steam Ranger for 2009 on Sunday 1st November.

It is likely this last service will include some form of celebration of the re-opening of the line etc.

There may be some diesel activity involved in this service. If this becomes so, I will be sure to post the information in advance for you all.
"Hotham Valley"


Dear All,

I can now confirm that next Wednesday, 28 October, will be our last Steam Ranger service for 2009.

At this stage, G 123 will be returned to Pinjarra with this train.

The Restricted Burning bushfire season commences on Nov 1 in the Shire of Murray and although the Shire has issued HVR with a permit to operate, we have chosen not to run. The primary reason is that we have been unable to achieve attendance by some of the important guests due to other commitments. Secondly, the weather has been changing rapidly and the risk of fire is also increasing rapidly.
We are currently following the Steam Ranger trains with a hirail fire patrol.
  Q4004 Chief Commissioner

Location: Thornlie
Cancel trip down South Western Hwy to Pinjarra now for that and tommorow  Evil or Very Mad
  903 Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth WA
Cancel trip down South Western Hwy to Pinjarra now for that and tommorow  Evil or Very Mad
"Q4004"

??? tomorrows train is still running...
  Q4004 Chief Commissioner

Location: Thornlie
The unfortunate thing is im busy. Now im gonna have to wait till May next year seeing im also busy on Wednesday 903
  burt007 Chief Train Controller

Location: On the Road Somewhere...
The unfortunate thing is im busy. Now im gonna have to wait till May next year seeing im also busy on Wednesday 903
"Q4004"


??? Where have you been for the last four weeks then  Confused ???
  Kafoopsy Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth, WA
How did they manage when the whole Westrail system was run with steam?  Were bushfires frequent?

How much effort/money would it be to convert one of the W classes to oil firing?  That should permit it to operate during the summer.
  Southwest Locomotive Fireman

My great grandfather had a farm with the Capel line running through it (around the 1940's/50's) and apparently it was quite common for the sparks to light fires in the paddocks. They had to keep a close eye on the ones near the line in the summer anyway.
  Q4004 Chief Commissioner

Location: Thornlie
The unfortunate thing is im busy. Now im gonna have to wait till May next year seeing im also busy on Wednesday 903
"Q4004"


??? Where have you been for the last four weeks then  Confused ???
"burt007"

I managed to see this train come back this afternoon with W920 and W903. Does HVTR have thier own crews?
  903 Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth WA
The unfortunate thing is im busy. Now im gonna have to wait till May next year seeing im also busy on Wednesday 903
"Q4004"


??? Where have you been for the last four weeks then  Confused ???
"burt007"

I managed to see this train come back this afternoon with W920 and W903. Does HVTR have thier own crews?
"Q4004"

Volunteer crews operate the trains.
  Q4004 Chief Commissioner

Location: Thornlie
Are the volunteer crews from another company?
  903 Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth WA
Are the volunteer crews from another company?
"Q4004"


Some of them have jobs with other railways
  Q4004 Chief Commissioner

Location: Thornlie
Are the volunteer crews from another company?
"Q4004"


Some of them have jobs with other railways
"903"
ARG? I thought i saw some drivers on the steam engines yesterday
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

I managed to make it down for the run yesterday morning, but could only follow it up the hill due to having to be back in Perth just after lunch.

My family had a great day out, my little girl loved the engines as they started the climb just past Isandra (we were on the side of the road waving!), and she thought the front loco slipping on the curve was the best thing ever...... she was also gripping my head so tight I thought my head would pop.....  Very Happy

If we are unable to ride the train, are we able to drop some money in to the office before the train leaves? I just feel bad that I couldn't get the whole day off to ride the train, but would like to contribute a bit each time I go.....

Cheers,

Matt
  burt007 Chief Train Controller

Location: On the Road Somewhere...
Just confirming - is this Sunday's Steam Ranger the last for the season?
"burt007"


At present it is likely we will operate the last Steam Ranger for 2009 on Sunday 1st November.

It is likely this last service will include some form of celebration of the re-opening of the line etc.

There may be some diesel activity involved in this service. If this becomes so, I will be sure to post the information in advance for you all.
"Hotham Valley"


Dear All,

I can now confirm that next Wednesday, 28 October, will be our last Steam Ranger service for 2009.

At this stage, G 123 will be returned to Pinjarra with this train.
"Hotham Valley"


Have any of our esteemed Gunzels been out and about today to catch some photo's of this train?

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