A Canberra-based steam locomotive, the largest and most powerful in Australia, will be operational thanks to an ACT Government grant to help it meet new national rail safety laws, Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, announced today.
The 265-tonne 6029 Beyer-Garratt steam locomotive is presently being restored by the Australian Railway Historical Society ACT Division. It is the largest and most powerful class of steam locomotive in Australia, and when fully restored will be the only operational locomotive of 60 class in the country.
“The Rail Safety National Law (ACT) Act 2014, which will commence later this year, ensures that relevant rail operations within the ACT are brought within the scope of the national rail safety scheme and comply with safety requirements,” Mr Corbell said.
“These requirements include the new mandated radio communications equipment which must be fitted in trains operating on the railway network from November this year.
“The government recognises that while the new rail safety regime is important to maintaining safety for users of the rail network, there are special circumstances in this case meriting a grant to assist the Railway Historical Society ACT Division to meet these costs.”
“For this reason, the ACT government will provide a grant of up to $50,000 to the society for the purchase of an In-Cab Communications Equipment (ICE) communications system for its 6029 Beyer-Garratt steam locomotive. “
The ICE system is an important safety mechanism, providing geo-positioning data to rail network operators, while also recording a variety of operational data for use by the National Rail Safety Regulator in the event of an incident.
“Dedicated members of the Society have worked hard to raise funds to restore the 6029 locomotive over the past seven years and the government is pleased to be able to assist the society in complying with the new rail safety requirements for its communications system.
“I looked forward to seeing the 6029 Beyer-Garratt undertake its maiden journey as a newly restored locomotive.” he said.