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A lot has been going on with organising this massive tour since it’s early inception in the last quarter of 2014. Numerous meetings have been taking place between Network owners, Steamrail (SRV), Canberra ARHS and regulators. We are sorry to say, but Locomotive Garratt 6029, will not be venturing to Victoria and South Australia in 2015. This is due to a number of reasons;
- The crews and volunteers are still learning the locomotive. It’s a very different locomotive to anything they are used to.
- The hard working Canberra ARHS team have found a number of items on the locomotive that need modification/trialling having run to Thirlmere late in February.
- The locomotive is still in its early days with components being run in, it has been decided to let the locomotive run in these components with local trips around NSW. Once Canberra ARHS are happy with the reliability of the loco, they will let it loose on longer runs then eventually into Victoria and possibly South Australia.
- The fire that recently happened at Newport has set Steamrail back a long way. Meetings about the fire are taking place all the time and the operational staff of this tour are attending these meetings. Matters arising from these meetings are being dealt with by the same people. This has been a big factor in this decision.’
- The SRV Standard Gauge carriages are still being worked on at the moment. We were hoping that the majority of them would be operational by now, sadly this isn’t the case. This is also stopping a few other projects from pushing forward.
- 600BK was a carriage being worked on to go onto the SG. The fire at Newport extensively damaged the outside of this carriage and part of the roof.
SRV and Canberra ARHS have postponed everything until 2016 when a number of factors are met and operational staff are happy. We thank everyone for their initial support and comments about this big record breaking journey, we apologise for not delivering on what we hope we were. There are just too many factors around this trip that make the organisers a little nervous. Rest assured that SRV is actively pushing to run trains in South Australia and SG Victorian Trains in the near future. SRV and Canberra ARHS are also working together forming a close relationship to bring you some exciting train trips in the future.
In the meantime, please support the Canberra ARHS by going for a ride behind this wonderful locomotive. Their website is http://www.canberrarailwaymuseum.org/
This article first appeared on www.steamrail.com.au
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