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In November 2014, Steamrail Victoria operated a charter to Shepparton for two individuals who promoted their charter operation as "The Ride to Pride".
In the lead up to this charter, the promoters indicated they were having issues making the required payments and that funds were tied up in online payment systems. Steamrail operated the trip in good faith on the basis that the remaining payment would be forthcoming after the trip. Obviously the Board at the time took steps to secure the organisation's interests officially with signed documentation to ensure these terms were met.
Unfortunately since that charter operation, many attempts to make contact and resolve the issue have all been ignored and unanswered.
The two individuals who promoted the Shepparton trip have been advertising another venture to the Sydney Mardi Gras in March 2015. Steamrail has been named along with other organisations in operating this train publicly in many online forums and spaces.
A letter was sent to the promoters dated 4th January 2015 by the Board of Steamrail indicating that Steamrail Victoria would not enter into any arrangement to operate another train until payment of the outstanding amount for the Shepparton charter was made. As this next trip is under 4 weeks away, it is no longer possible for our organisation to even consider operating this train due to the operational requirements and third party contracts that would be required to undertake our first interstate operation.
No formal quotation was provided by Steamrail to operate this train nor were any formal arrangements made for its operation.
We regrettably make this statement public, to ensure this information is circulated with enough notice to the many people that have either expressed interest or have booked to travel on this train to Sydney in March 2015. We hope you are able to seek information or answers, that we are not able to obtain from the promoters. There are many pieces of speculation in the public scene indicating "red tape" might stop this trip from operating to many other crazy and outrageous claims, hence this statement.
We hope that anyone who has booked or is considering booking on this trip understands Steamrail's position and that it is in no way responsible for the current situation.
This article first appeared on www.steamrail.com.au
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