Is New England Railway Incorporated Alive? Dead? Inactive? Dormant?

  OldSteamer Locomotive Fireman

Location: Brisbane
Just asking is NER still around?

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  8502 Chief Train Controller

Does the track still exist for the area?
  TomBTR Chief Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
It is good to see young people interested in heritage railway. We have to hand over the reigns at some point to the next generation.

But the thought occurred to me - should this young chap check to make sure that the committee, such as it may be- are not all dead,

The last photo is saw of this group was a group photo dated about 2012, and they were all old fellas even back then, they looked as if their time on earth might fast be coming to an end
Yes, it's not the only group with that problem. I am in another group that is not quite as bad, yet.

Our board members are still alive but there is zero succession planning. "Those young blokes don't know as much we know and they cannot be trusted to make the same decisions that we can make because our long experience. Anyway they do not come to many of our twice-weekly work days." Our board members did do great work to get us started 30 or more years ago, but none of us are getting any younger. The obvious reason that our few younger members don't come to as many work days as the old blokes is that they have real jobs or class during the week and families that feel entitled to some weekend time.

One solution that I have considered is to have a constitutional limit on eligibility for office so that nobody could hold an office for more than, say, two years in every five years (or maybe 3 in 7 etc.) this would force change often enough to allow some younger members to learn about committee work and introduce new ideas. Needless to say I have been reluctant to make a fuss because I don't want to upset the pensioner workforce and I doubt that any change would have the 75% majority needed. Protections like this are best built in when a constitution is first drafted.  

If nothing changes then when nature takes its course and if there are still younger members around the group will get a chance to recover. Otherwise I expect that a successor association or a rival will step in to take over operations and management of the surviving assets.

The young man you write about has my sympathy.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
The NERI Facebook hasn't had a post made since 11/11/2019 which was about the time the area was ravaged by bushfires.
(11) New England Railway Inc Facebook
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Graham. After making my original post yesterday, I went back to their Facebook page to check exactly what David Patterson was saying.

I know that he had made about 6 posts about seeking to call a special general meeting to remove the current committee.

All those posts have mysteriously disappeared.

If you are running a Facebook page, you make annoying posts disappear by deleting your original post under which the comments were appended.

So clearly someone with access to that page (which of course requires a password) has taken immediate action to remove stuff.

This is why Facebook is a poor platform for forum type discussions as it twitter.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
A general meeting of New England Railway Inc has been called.

Interesting strategy is being employed to beat back the Taliban insurgents (aka New England Rail Trail).

A company Northern Regional Railway Company Pty. Ltd has been incorporated as a not for profit company to lease, re-open, and operate a number of disused railways in northern New South Wales, including the Main North north of Armidale and the Casino to Murwillumbah Railway.

It labels itself as a Rail Infrastructure Management Company.

Its current projects include:

Bangalow to Mullumbimby
Status: Licence application in progress to access the track. John Holland (Country Rail Network) has now approved and awaiting sign off by TfNSW.
Plan: Undertake a degradation study and costing analysis and develop a business plan to return trains.
Note: Project is in partnership with Northern Rivers Railway Limited and Northern Regional Railway Limited.
Armidale to Glen Innes
Status: Licence application has been prepared. Currently in the submission phase with John Holland (Country Rail Network)
Plan: Undertake a degradation study costing analysis and develop a business plan to return trains.
Note: Project is in partnership with New England Railway Incorporated.

Mullumbimby to Crabbes Creek
Status: Licence application has been combined with the Bangalow to Mullumbimby application.
Plan: Undertake costing analysis and develop a business plan to return trains.

Create a Dual Use Plan for Railway Lines Currently Not in Use
Status: No response from Rail Trail representatives.
Plan: Develop a joint plan to maximise the use of rail corridors for the benefit of all community members in rural and regional NSW

A bunch of Facebook based dreamers.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
"facebook dreamers"????

except for one vital ingredient: they have spent money.

there are 3 companies involved: Northern Regional Railway Company Pty. Ltd, Northern Rivers Railway Limited, and Northern Regional Railway Limited

Shelf companies these days cost: Pty. Ltd. companies $699.00; Limited (by shares) company $850.00; Change of company name (shelf companies start off life on accountant's shelves under some fanciful names and not their intended working name: $550..00; change of office holders $150.00; allotment of shares $150.00; change of company details (eg registered office) $150.00; business name registration and ABN $316.00

It all adds up (or rather adds to the bill) and someone has to spend this in cold hard cash

And we haven't even got to the accreditation fees which start at $10,000 per applicant (and there looks to be 3 applicants) and then you have to pay annual fees to ONSR; followed by public liability insurances, and we haven't even got to the cost of rehabilitating a railway (which tends to run in the millions( find out eg what the NSW Govt paid John Holland to rehabilitate the short stretch from Kandos to Rhylstone - it was millions) and John Holland are the authorised contractors (by Transport NSW etc)- bet they would love to see some cashed up operator throw money at them
As you point out the associated costs are extreme, and likely to rise rapidly going forwards.

All you read on their pages Is just rant after rant about how authorities / business are against their dream plans (reopening long dead dilapidated railways, that are earmarked for official closure)
  apw5910 Chief Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
orifical closure???
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
I think I passed some of their stored RM's in Armidale yard on my pilgrimage into standard gauge land. Looking pretty sad as one would expect. Had no idea a heritage group had formed up that way. I thought they may have been Dorrigo's awaiting pick up or some of THNSW's stuff stored in the sticks. No clue what class they are.

  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
No clue what class they are.
The unit closest to the camera in the first photo is clearly numbered 732, that should provide a clue... Wink
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
No clue what class they are.
The unit closest to the camera in the first photo is clearly numbered 732, that should provide a clue... Wink
NSW things have never been my specialty. I thought this place would have long figured that out by now Very Happy

God Save Broad Gauge!
  TomBTR Chief Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
I am not sure that many of your observations are about anyone's business other than the members of the groups concerned. Certainly not my business.

Of course if groups post current news on Facebook then they must know that they are inviting the attention of any crackpot with an Internet connection anywhere in the world.

...  A company limited by shares is not a not for profit. ...

This is simply not true. Most Pty Ltd and Ltd companies are there to make money, but not all. I have served for some time as a director of a group that was established as an unlisted public company (i.e. xxx Ltd) about 50 years ago. The structure was chosen at the time to facilitate land ownership and to allow shares to be sold to well-wishers. The company has a clause in its Articles of Association (these days known as the Constitution) dictated by the ATO that prevents the distribution of profits  and payments to directors. This allows the company to enjoy certain tax advantages. These days I would recommend that a new group consider becoming an incorporated association but this option was not available at the time of our foundation.

For the record, I am not a member of any of the groups you have mentioned, but I do wish them all well.

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