Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
J515 Updates from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
Rare Arnott's biscuit van restored
Got a love of locomotives? Fancy playing Fat Controller in your backyard?
Then perhaps a 1962 Southern Aurora luggage carriage is exactly what you’ve been searching for, or a 1905 American-type tourist carriage might tickle your fancy.
The ACT branch of the Australian Railway Historical Society is in liquidation and several historic train carriages will be auctioned today. Deloitte’s Eddie Senatore is overseeing the liquidation and said a train auction was rare, especially in the ACT or NSW.
He said potential buyers he had spoken to wanted to maintain the assets’ historical significance and connection.
A 1954 steel brake carriage.
Mr Senatore admitted the buyers would be looking for a fixer-upper with the trains on offer, which include a 1962 Southern Aurora luggage carriage and a 1939 14-berth twinette sleeping carriage.
Also on the rails are a 1912 express postal sorting carriage, a 1969 louvre van carriage and two 1908 American-type tourist carriages. “Some of these specimens exist in other museums in better condition,” Mr Senatore said.
However, he said a potential buyer could look at working with the ACT branch of the Australian Railway Historical Society for assistance with a restoration.
A fuel tanker from 1963.
“These aren’t the jewels in the crown — they’re not the best examples of the history of train travel in Australia but they are still a part of history,” he said. “We hope they will be bought by people who will want to see these restored.”
One potential buyer is John Green, the president of 707 Operations in Victoria, an independent rail heritage group. He said the stock was in reasonable condition, considering the age and length of time out of service.
He said it was sad when a railway society struggled but there would be several interested buyers, including people who may consider a train carriage for a bed and breakfast, nursery or cafe.
“You look to see as many of these assets salvaged and saved as possible, rather than ending up as scrap metal,” he said. “Basically to keep them as real assets.”
Mr Green said the number of train enthusiasts was growing in Australia, with social media platforms allowing people to share stories and photos of their journeys.
He said his attention had been caught by the carriages used on the Southern Aurora train.
Slattery Auctions’ Glendon Burton said there was some overseas interest in the trains, particularly from Britain: “I’m led to believe a couple of the steam engines are UK manufactured and that’s why there’s interest.”
He said he had carried out a few auctions of trains by societies in similar situations since joining the auction house. Mr Burton said the auction would be carried out on site and simultaneously online.
This article first appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au
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