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Heritage trains may be back on track by year’s end

By Ian Bushnell - 9 October 2017 8

The ACT’s heritage trains may be running again by the end of the year after a better than expected result from the August auction of carriages and other assets after the Canberra Rail Museum was forced into liquidation owing $700,000.

The liquidator, Deloites’ Eddie Senatore, said he was moving towards the tail end of the business and hoped to have his report to creditors completed by the end of the month.

“I think we have enough to get creditors a lot more than originally anticipated,” he said.

He did not see any need for further sell-offs, meaning significant assets such as the prized Beyer-Garratt 6029 locomotive, were safe and would remain part of the heritage rail fleet.

Although the financial situation was complex, Mr Senatore was hopeful he could move on in November to establishing a new management structure for the remaining rail assets.

“We’re going to try to reconstitute an organisation to manage the assets and hold them is some sort of structure where they’re protected, and then allow members to set up a new corporation basically to continue to operate them,” he said.

The key would be keeping any trust and new corporation separate so there was no confusion or conflicts of interest.

“That way the risks associated with the business activity sit with those people who are running those activities and the trust is simply there to manage and preserve and protect the asset,” Mr Senatore said.

“In the past there was a co-mingling of that activity. The trust was using and charging and there was an intermingling of bank accounts and it was difficult to separate some of the transactions.”

The new corporation would hire or lease carriages or machines from the trust for a fee, with the trust charging rates sufficient to cover repairs and maintenance of those trains. The new business would then charge enough to cover that fee, together with the cost of running the train including staffing, water and coal.

“By having those arms essentially separated there’ll be more robust discussion around what the fees will be. It’s what they ought to have been doing in the past,” Mr Senatore said.

Mr Senatore believed that while the management and mechanics of the business would be different, those working on and running the trains – the volunteers and members of the Australian Railway Historical Society ACT – would be the same.

“The members will be given that opportunity. In the end there are trains there, there are activities to be undertaken, and volunteers will always be needed,” he said.

Mr Senatore had not been talking to the ACT Government, which has previously rejected calls for outright financial support, but said there would be an opportunity for the new corporation to engage with the Government in the future about its activities, such as carriage restoration.

He also believed there were opportunities for private injections. “There is plenty of interest out there. There is a bit of dialogue happening in the marketplace,” he said.

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8 Responses to
Heritage trains may be back on track by year’s end
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dungfungus 8:32 am 13 Oct 17

sammo1 said :

Pandy said :

So has 6029, 1210, 3016 etc been sold?

1210 is owned by the ACT government, so no.
3016 is owned by whatever is left of the society, currently stored at Thirlmere, so no.
6029, who knows…I suspect that Transport heritage NSW, may have completed an EOI to buy the engine, so maybe…

According to this 23 year old link ownership of 1210 is a bit of a mystery. Do you have conclusive information as to its current ownership?

https://www.environment.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/580733/Locomotive_Number_1210_Steam_Train.pdf

sammo1 10:05 pm 12 Oct 17

Pandy said :

So has 6029, 1210, 3016 etc been sold?

1210 is owned by the ACT government, so no.
3016 is owned by whatever is left of the society, currently stored at Thirlmere, so no.
6029, who knows…I suspect that Transport heritage NSW, may have completed an EOI to buy the engine, so maybe…

bryansworld 6:53 am 12 Oct 17

Hard to know what is happening. My googling has found nothing, other than the ad for the 60 class.

Pandy 7:53 pm 11 Oct 17

So has 6029, 1210, 3016 etc been sold?

dungfungus 9:30 am 11 Oct 17

Stephen James Oheir said :

it would be nice to see the garrett and 3801/3830 running all together

They use coal you know, so, won’t that upset the ACT’s target for zero emissions?

Stephen James Oheir 10:03 pm 09 Oct 17

it would be nice to see the garrett and 3801/3830 running all together

sammo1 6:05 pm 09 Oct 17

Did Mr Senatore actually mention 6029, as there was already a tender in place for the sale of this engine. EOI’s had to be in by the middle of last month.
Rumour has it, that the Thirlmere Museum has already made a bid for it…

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