Zig Zag Railway - Project Restart & the fire

 
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
You have to wonder at the metality of someone who would steal items like these. What is he going to do with them? What use can they be to anyone, except the Zig Zag?
Leaving aside the moral / legal issue, the thief has to be a complete moron.

Sponsored advertisement

  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
What is he going to do with them? What use can they be to anyone, except the Zig Zag?
Valvegear


Collectibles?

the thief has to be a complete moron.
Valvegear


Absolutely!
  SAR520SMBH Junior Train Controller

It's been nearly a month since the last report from ZZR, just wondering if there was any new news or updates in regards to the post bushfire clean up and general goings on at ZZR? Thanks.
  Mufreight Train Controller

Location: North Ipswich
Any chance of an update on progress at Zig Zag towards getting back on their feet.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

The Zig Zag Railway facebook site gets an update a little more often than here.
  allambee Chief Train Controller

The Zig Zag Railway facebook site gets an update a little more often than here.
tezza

A welcome surprise - a $27,000 grant from the Paul Newman Foundation. Did they apply for the grant?
Also lowlife railfans (the ZZR words not mine) stealing plates off the top points signal box.

It is very sad to have to report that there has been another episode of theft from the Zig Zag Railway.This time it is lever nameplates from Top Points Signal Box.All indications concerning the nature of this theft and the way it was carried out appears to be the work of a railfan (and a lowlife one at that).The following lever plates have been removed:
1: Down Inner Distant
3: Down Home Top Road
6: Down Home Middle Road
7: Down Second Home to No1 Road
10: Down Call-on No 2 Road
12: Middle Road No 1 ROAD
13: FPL 12 & 14 Points
19: PLAT 1 UNATTENDED23: PLAT 2 TO MAIN
24: SHUNT NECK TO PLAT 2
28: PLAT 1 TO MAIN
Keep in mind that these plates have now been reported stolen to the police.Anyone found to be in possession of them is liable to be charged with possession of stolen property and breaches of the Rail Safety Act (which can carry a penalty of up to two years imprisonment).
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

My apologies for the delays in getting back to RP responses (a friend pointed out last week that he missed my updates and that it is over two months since I last updated RP). I have been both away on holidays (touring Queensland) and on some work for ZZR which has kept me busy and away from my desk and giving an update.

There is a lot happening in the background but very little of it is obvious on the surface, and yes, things move very slowly when dealing with insurance companies and governments. Progress has been slow but sure.

We have been visited by or contacted directly by many of those who move in political circles.
Our Local Federal member for the seat of Calare, John Cobb (we sit right on its eastern boundary) visited the site and undertook to address our issues into relevant areas, even telling Federal parliament about our predicament on November 20 last year;

One business which had a particularly tough time was the iconic Zig Zag Railway, which was hard hit by the bushfire that started at Marrangaroo. I visited the site recently and saw firsthand the damage they are facing, which is particularly devastating as they were not far away from relaunching what is really the only major tourist attraction in the area. The damage has ruined any hope the tourist railway had of restarting in the near future. To put the iconic Zig Zag Railway back on track will take a lot of hard work. They will need the help of others to recover from their losses, and they would love to hear from anyone who could help with equipment and heavy machinery.

He went on to state that "regional tourism suffered losses of up to $2 million a day during and in the wake of the bushfires......and visitor expenditure levels of four million visitors and $550 million a year"

These are substantial losses in the tourism industry of the Blue Mountains and the value of losses which are still being experienced to the present. Easter is not looking any brighter!

Since I last reported here, we were visited by the Mayor of Lithgow, Maree Statham and senior local officials. This resulted in our local Lithgow council providing very appreciable assistance in kind (and the kind that we need).
Our local state member: Paul Toole (State Member for Bathurst) has visited and taken a keen interest in our situation.
Michael Duffy, the Chief of Staff for the State Minister for Environment and Heritage (Robyn Parker) who was very diligent in gaining an understanding of the issues we face in getting running again.
So politically speaking, the wheels are getting a real 'oiling' but, like anything in politics, just how much of this lubrication eventuates into real wheel turning remains to be seen.

Earlier in this thread I reported upon work that we had done to overhaul our two way radio system to meet the latest ACMA requirements. All this work came undone in the October bushfire, when the wooden pole of our radio tower fell victim to the flames.

We are now engaging with suppliers for a complete new radio system and this time will use a steel tower as wooden towers are too vulnerable.
Our private insurance assessors have estimated that to repair the damage to the shed and repair its contents to be approximatley $1.2 million, but of course that is not the amount that they have settled with us.
This has concluded direct negotiations with our private insurer and now we begin the process of recovering the difference, but, also, in the meantime it allows us to begin the task of engaging the services of the appropriate companies that can make good the shed damage. We have had offers of donations of second hand machine tools and workshop equipment, as well as persuing second hand equipment sales.

The ADF have appointed an assessor and negotiations with that assessor are now under way

An assessment of the full length of the track has revealed that the total number of sleepers damaged in some way by the bushfire is a total of some 1,050 sleepers. We are getting quotes from rail contractors for the rehabilitation of the track. We are able to replace fire damaged sleepers in the Edgecombe siding with some good second hand sleepers that will be delivered shortly.

RAAF Glenbrook will then be turning up at the end of the month to help repair this siding. Getting the RAAF to lay railway track is going to be an interesting sight!!!!

Scrap theives have revisited the railway in January and some pro-active strategies and processes that we had previously put in place kicked in, progressing to a police matter, and one to which I cannot comment any further. Suffice to say that we are still an accredited railway and interference, or damage to rail safety infrastructure is a breach of the Rail Safety Act which can incurr large fines and possible jail terms. Again, take note.

But, just as it is depressing to hear of looting from our misfortunes, there are many more stories of heartwarming generosity.
Just as we were disappointed to find that individual lever name plates were missing from our Top Points Signal frame, a member of the public read of our plight and donated some that his deceased father had been given on the simultaneous retirement from the railways of both his father and one of the signal boxes he worked. Also donated was the pulling diagram of that frame.
Thank you to that donor.

Similarly, we have have had some generous offers of personal and financial help, some that we cannot disclose as yet, but I would like to make particular mention of appreciable amounts raised by:
Perthville’s Bridge Hotel who kicked off a fundraising function (thanks boys).
and
The ATRQ (Association of Tourist Railways Queensland) who took up a (not insignificant) collection at their meeting last year.
The slogan on their webpage reads "Rail Heritage for All". Their donation for us down in NSW adds real meaning to this catch-cry! So a special thanks to our Queensland brothers.

Help comes along in interesting ways and from some interesting circles. Recently I was contacted by the Bathurst Historic Car Club, offering their services in any way that we could use them. This very generous offer from a neighbouring town from an unrelated interest group had us thinking how could they help us. It wasn't long before we realised that the answer was right in front of us. We offered them the overhaul/repair of one of our fire damaged (petrol powered)Comeng Section cars and when one of their respresentatives turned up to do some "tyre kicking" (his words not mine) to check it out, I had to point out that a very sore foot could ensue from such activities. They are very enthusiastic at this stage and we await their decision on whether to permit such a foreign wheeled vehicle into their hallowed workshop.

There are also some individual offers of help and we are assessing these and contacting the individuals as we reach those processing points.
A particular group that has been formed and one to which we are grateful for is assistance provided by volunteers from within the Railway Signalling industry that have offered to help us rebuild our damaged signalling infrastructure.

I am very pleased with the skill level that has been assembled and the emphaisis here is on teamwork and I am very positive about getting our signalling infrastructure back up on a solid footing in the immediate future.

Sydney trains have put in a ballast crossing which enabled them to clear the rubble from the Bottom Points drains. This crossing will also enable us to now have the depot area cleared of the damaged, bent and buckled vehicle frames within the next month or so.

Then begins the next task of recovering space in our depot.


As I said, not a lot of visible activity, but lot going on in the background.

Now that I am back at my desk, I will provide more frequent updates.

regards
David H
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

A welcome surprise - a $27,000 grant from the Paul Newman Foundation. Did they apply for the grant?
Also lowlife railfans (the ZZR words not mine) stealing plates off the top points signal box.
allambee

Yes, this has been brewing for a while but only just been announced.

Within a couple of days of the October 17 bushfire, our CEO was contacted directly by the Paul Newman Foundation (the maker of those great sauces they market) and they invited us to nominate a specific item that they could contribute to with a grant from the foundation.

This was an absolute surprise and one that we felt honoured to have offered to us. We then had to complete the application form (registered charity details etc.).
The specific item that we had nominated for assistance with was for the replacement of our front end loader/back hoe.

We knew that our insurance on this item would not be much but the cost of its replacement with even a basic second hand machine would be greater than our insurance. Such is our dependence upon the FE Loader/back hoe that adding $27,000 to our insurance payment would at least get us something a bit better than basic. The search is now on for a good quality, second hand FE/BH machine.
Does anyone know of a good one going for sale somewhere?
  Penguinapple1 Station Staff

How's the zig zag going? - I haven't heard much about it lately.
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

Following on from my update last month, again there is no great earth shattering insurance announcement that we could make at this stage (and not sure we would welcome any more 'earth shattering' events anyway - they invariably end up cataclysmic as far as we are concerned), but nonetheless, there are still many little things all progressing steadily.

We recently featured in the heritage section of the March edition of Railway Digest, but without overdoing it, I can re-iterate some of that news here.

With the completion of ballast crossing of the main western line, Sydney Trains were able to get some plant and equipment up to the drain alongside our Bottom Points dead end track so they could finally get to clear out the blocked (and subsequently burned) debris from inside the drain.

[img]https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2882/13326704305_98b3cd0a5c.jpg[/img]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/92327956@N07/13326704305/


[img]https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3793/13327101884_d0e594a3fb.jpg[/img]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/92327956@N07/13327101884/

This also involved some extensive shunting of the Bottom Points area to free up the necessary space for them to access the drain and remove the considerable amount of rubble that had collected inside the drain over the years. With this now done, we can start to plan the task of restoring our damaged track in this area.

In conjunction with this work, and subsequent to the first meeting of our newly formed Signals Working Group, is the planning and preparation of work associated with connecting the Bottom Points Signal Box frame to the depot access points. Management of the depot access points was one of the items ITSR had drawn our attention to and we can now turn our efforts to addressing this issue as part of our overall plan for the re-certification of the BP Signal Box and completion of the signalling improvements long planned for this location.

This work also involves bringing up to a standard level our documentation and testing regimes, for not just Bottom Points but all our signalling installations. This work has only been able to proceed since the formation of the Signals Working Group and, being made up of signalling industry volunteers that have offered their services to repair and restore our bushfire damaged signalling system, we are very grateful for this level of assistance. The eventual handover of this restored system to a team of trained and upskilled members is also part of this teams project.

I guess that now would be a good time to invite any RP readers that may have specific interest (or skill) in signalling (with a strong leaning towards NSWGR signalling practices in particular) to contact me about being involved in the rebuild and also about being a part of the future ZZR signalling maintenance team. We are also looking at a training regime that may not only apply to the ZZR but possibly to other heritage railway operations in NSW as well. In respect to signalling, we are not 'gauge' constrained at all, and knowledge sharing on this specialist topic can only be of benefit to us all!

I have been conducting members working parties at Clarence on a monthly basis now for over a year, and we are making steady progress on improving the condition of the platform track (and some other facilities) in readiness for our return to passenger operations.

The third and final day of RAAF bushfire restoration assistance culminated on Tuesday, February 25 when they re-instated some of the 75 metres of 60lb track panels in the Edgecombe siding. At this stage we do not have any funding to buy new sleepers to replace the 1,050 odd mainline sleepers that were damaged in the bushfire, but we did have access to some good second hand sleepers that we could use.

[img]https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3698/13326696414_ba342322cb.jpg[/img]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/92327956@N07/13326696414/

[img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7249/13326309315_9e8c51dbfd.jpg[/img]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/92327956@N07/13326309315/

[img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7269/13326697584_e1937d3e34.jpg[/img]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/92327956@N07/13326697584/


The repair and relaying of 60lb per yard siding track (as distinct from the 80lb per yard rail in the main line - which is a lot heavier to work with) was a great way to finish off this most generous series of contributions from the RAAF .

[img]https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3677/13326697964_5455ef6cd4.jpg[/img]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/92327956@N07/13326697964/


There was a members working party on March 1 when 17 members attended at Clarence. With the assistance of a new member driving his mini-excavator, and in the pouring rain, we completed the long overdue cleanup of the new coal storage bunker and its environs.

[img]https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3754/13326699204_b092a8a873.jpg[/img]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/92327956@N07/13326699204/

In the afternoon 130 metres of trenching was excavated and new poly pipe for both fresh water and overflow to the settling ponds (burnt out in the bushfire) were laid and covered in, and all done in the pouring rain.

[img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7383/13326313285_ac9eea3a4f.jpg[/img]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/92327956@N07/13326313285/

I would like to thank the efforts and perseverance of all those involved!!
Again, this is part of getting Clarence station precinct into a presentable and tidy state.

[img]https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3691/13326313645_8be9307482.jpg[/img]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/92327956@N07/13326313645/


Negotiations with the Zig Zag Reserve insurers in regards to flood damage, and the ADF representatives in regards to the bushfire damage are steadily continuing. Quotes and schedules are being negotiated with a list of prioritised tasks being pushed the hardest by our negotiating team.

That is all for now.

regards
David H
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

The RAAF is in the news big time at the moment with their extensive involvement in the search for MH370. However, they still managed to give us a run on their internal fortnightly newsletter.
We get our appearance on page 6, that is not bad considering that the attention the RAAF and the AMSA managed search for MH370 is getting world wide.

http://www.airforce.gov.au/News/Air-Force-Newspaper


I congratulate our friends at the RAAF on their efforts and I hope that their involvement and co-operation with other air force units from, (what has to be said is a most intriguing collection of international air force units, all operating their aircraft out of RAAF Pearce), can succeed in finding some resolution to this modern day mystery.

I have also supplemented my previous entry with some photos of recent activities.

regards
David H
  Penguinapple1 Station Staff

Just thought I'd share this video with all of you.
Please share this video with as many people as possible.
and please do tell me what you think.

Thanks



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Iudha8WRLQ
Video by Leokimvideo
  Penguinapple1 Station Staff

also any news this month on the zig zag?
  flathog Chief Commissioner

Location: Central West, NSW
also any news this month on the zig zag?
Penguinapple1

Whilst I can not make any official comment there is a small group of dedicated volunteers working consistently toward preparing our railway to operate again being supported by a much larger group who assist when they can.

There has been a lot of training in preparation for operations to re-commence over the past few months and a working bee was held to remove weeds and saplings from within the rail profile recently, a significant step toward preparing the track bed for trains to operate again.

Over the next few months there are a fair few working bee's focused on preparing a steam locomotive and carriages as well as others focusing on aesthetics and installation of equipment and infrastructure to improve the operation of the railway.

There is a lot to the story that is Zig Zag Railway and to try explain the series of events as they started all those years ago would not be anything short of a novel, however I can with great confidence say the railway will be back again.

From a personal perspective, I can certainly appreciate your video and the views you have expressed, whilst perhaps a few of your suggestions are a little out of touch, it is still reflective of the public impression and a clear example of some of the hurdles that do need to be overcome.

Just to touch on one point in particular, 'Not For Profit' does not and has never meant the railway ran at a loss, or aimed not to make money. This simply meant that any profits made remained within the business and were not paid out as dividends etc to share holders (the members). We still employed staff as necessary and at the time passenger operations ceased we employed a number of people.

Anyway, I'll leave the rest to the "Zig Zag Reporter". Wink

Tom
  Penguinapple1 Station Staff

Whilst I can not make any official comment there is a small group of dedicated volunteers working consistently toward preparing our railway to operate again being supported by a much larger group who assist when they can.

There has been a lot of training in preparation for operations to re-commence over the past few months and a working bee was held to remove weeds and saplings from within the rail profile recently, a significant step toward preparing the track bed for trains to operate again.

Over the next few months there are a fair few working bee's focused on preparing a steam locomotive and carriages as well as others focusing on aesthetics and installation of equipment and infrastructure to improve the operation of the railway.

There is a lot to the story that is Zig Zag Railway and to try explain the series of events as they started all those years ago would not be anything short of a novel, however I can with great confidence say the railway will be back again.

From a personal perspective, I can certainly appreciate your video and the views you have expressed, whilst perhaps a few of your suggestions are a little out of touch, it is still reflective of the public impression and a clear example of some of the hurdles that do need to be overcome.

Anyway, I'll leave the rest to the "Zig Zag Reporter". Wink

Tom
flathog

Thanks - video isn't by me but from a YouTube channel that was uploaded yesterday. I thought it was very important to put this on here to see what people think and what their opinion is about this.

Please do share this video with the Zig Zag Railway as again I think this is very important.

Thanks Again

Jesse
  viaprojects Train Controller

any current news - 12 months have past and there web site need's an update.
  Penguinapple1 Station Staff

Got the Newsletter a few weeks ago about Zig Zag and thought I should put it on this thread as there has not been much info lately.

**All text below has been copied from ZZR's latest newsletter.**

Over the last two months we have reached and completed a number of milestones in the workshop and we continue to have a good turnout of volunteers whose achievements are to be commended.

General News

Locomotive 218A
•    The left hand driving rod has had the driving bush eye machined. A new bush will now be machined and fitted
•    New knuckle pin bushes have been machined and fitted.
•    The piston valves have had the new components completed and are ready to be reassembled and  fitted.
•    The crack testing of the front and rear draw hooks has been completed
•    Polishing of side rods is continuing with very good results
•    The new draw bar is nearing completion
The number of tasks remaining in preparing the locomotive for service is getting smaller. The last major work is the replacement of the trailing truck wheels. With the treads of the wheels at the end of their life the tired wheels will be replaced with solid disc wheels. This is the same practice used by QR heritage.

We have a few more machining jobs to complete before rods can be reassembled and the last fittings reunited with the loco. This will complete the commissioning schedule and the locomotive will be ready for testing.

Carriages
1428
With the return of warmer weather we have been able to commence painting. There are now two coats of paint on the previously prepared windows. After minor repairs to the match boards the car the first coat of paint has been applied to the ends of the car.

We have cleared an area for the overhaul and assemble bogies for the passenger cars. The overhauled and replacement components are being organized to enable a short turnaround of the bogies during their inspection and repairs.

Diesel Loco 1004
We have the commenced on the repair and maintenance of 1004. Once complete will have a diesel for shunting and a second locomotive for passenger hauling. The cooling system has been drained and flushed. Coolant will be used to refill the cooling system.  

Workshop
The weekday crew has been busy cleaning and tidying up our workshop. They have completed painting the old work benches and vices which survived the fire. We now have secured, organized storage for our new machine tools.

We are in the process of acquiring a planetary grinder, pictured below, this will be useful for work carried out to eyes in side rods, air compressor bore and many other jobs on locomotives and equipment.

The night of 17th November thieves entered our workshop.  They searched the workshop collecting brass and bronze including equipment which was hidden away and not easily accessible. It appears they took the goods out the back door and across the mainline.  

Fortunately the thieves didn't make it very far with our property. The following Saturday we found most of the brass and bronze, including the safety valves from 1072, hidden in the bush.

**All text above has been copied from ZZR's latest newsletter.**
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
They really want to steal the brass. Seems ZZR is  targeted as a place to go. Hope the ZZR defeats these criminals/drunks.

Regards,
David Head
  Silver S Set Junior Train Controller

What's the news of the restart? Hope it's positive Smile
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

What's the news of the restart? Hope it's positive Smile
Silver S Set
Lots of saplings growing on the right of way as seen the other day from the highway. Not a criticism but the reality of the situation.
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

Yes, I/we are still here, and I do apologise for what appears to be a 'deafening silence'!!!!
I have not been as diligent with updates as I would have liked but other business has taken precedence.

We are aware of the saplings in the 'right of way' and we undertake clearances from time to time.
[We must be overdue for a sapling clearance along the Chifley Road in the vicinity of Mt Sinai]

Recently, there was a comment in the 'Saints' column of the Lithgow Mercury asking what was going at the Zig Zag.
The Zig Zag Railway would have happily given the Lithgow Mercury the information its 'Saints' column (or any other editorial) said was missing had the Lithgow Mercury asked for it.
Let there be no doubt that Zig Zag Railway intends to become operational again as soon as we can.
We are presently preparing a claim to recover the significant loss suffered in the Marrangaroo Army Depot Bushfire on 16 October 2013.
Once that claim is finalized, we, at the Zig Zag Railway will work with the Regulator to have our Accreditation restored.

With regards to Railpage forums, I have updated both this and the 'Is there anyone there' thread but in the interests of simplifying Railpage notifications, I will be watching this 'Restart and fire' thread more often and would prefer that we use that forum.
Even in saying that, I am not in a position to reply to detailed questions (as I do not have the answers), but I do undertake to update this thread as soon as we have any worthwhile news.

regards
David H
  jayrail Assistant Commissioner

Location: te Anau Southern Alps NZ
Heritage railways are at the mercy of wildfires,storms ,vandals and pilfering sadly.; many  have had to close down ,others regenerate .I read where in WA goldfields the Boulder Loop group have had huge storm damage.
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

During last months storms, a tree came down behind Clarence station.
While it has not caused any damage, it is restricting movement in the picnic area
A working party has been organised to cut up and prepare the tree for removal on Saturday 12 March 2016.
If any members or friends would like to attend Clarence that day to assist, you would be welcome.
An email notice has already gone out to the general membership.
This work will not include weeding the track in the Platform or anywhere along the track.
This will be a station and public area clean-up only.

If you would like to attend please respond by PM (Personal message) to this notice or email me:
zigzagrailway@yahoo.com.au
I will respond with to your message or email with attendance advice.
We would be looking to start around 9.00 am on the day.
David
  Mufreight Train Controller

Location: North Ipswich
During last months storms, a tree came down behind Clarence station.
While it has not caused any damage, it is restricting movement in the picnic area
A working party has been organised to cut up and prepare the tree for removal on Saturday 12 March 2016.
If any members or friends would like to attend Clarence that day to assist, you would be welcome.
An email notice has already gone out to the general membership.
This work will not include weeding the track in the Platform or anywhere along the track.
This will be a station and public area clean-up only.

If you would like to attend please respond by PM (Personal message) to this notice or email me:
zigzagrailway@yahoo.com.au
I will respond with to your message or email with attendance advice.
We would be looking to start around 9.00 am on the day.
David
Zig Zag Reporter
As an interested spectator I and I think many like myself would appreciate more news on the progress towards the restart of operations, possibly on a regular basis and that current news would attract some donations

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.